Our cross-sectional descriptive study sought to determine the impact of cultural supports on the resiliency of Aboriginal children in foster care in Quebec. We hypothesized that Aboriginal youth’s increased access to culturally-appropriate settings while in foster care would be associated with higher scores on a measure of resiliency.
46 Aboriginal youth in out-of-home care were surveyed using the Child and Youth Resilience Measure-28 (CYRM-28). Findings from a regression analysis comparing scores of groups categorized by placement type indicate that children in an Aboriginal foster placement in the community with access to cultural services (type 1) have a resiliency score 38 points greater than the score for children with limited access to their community or cultural services (type 3). Children in a non-Aboriginal foster placement with some access to their community or cultural services (type 2) have a resiliency score 18 points greater than the score for children with limited access to their community or cultural services (type 3). These results support our hypothesis.
The study has some limitations. Results are not generalizable due to the small sample size (N=46). Selection bias may be a factor; this is highlighted by the over-representation of transgender and female respondents as compared with estimates of these subsamples within the Canadian population (Gates, 2011; Statistics Canada, 2010). Another limitation is the cross-sectional nature of the design; a longitudinal study would allow for a measurement of changes in the youth’s resilience levels over time. Our findings highlight the need for longitudinal research with Aboriginal youth in foster care to examine the outcomes of culturally continuous placement settings as well as the potential long-term benefits of cultural supports for these youth.
Gates, G.J. (2011). How mnay people are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender? UCLA: The Williams Institute. Retrieved from: https://escholarship.org/uc/item/09h684x2
Statistics Canada, 2010. Population Projections for Canada, Provinces and Territories: 2009 to 2036. Catalogue no.91-520-X. Ottawa, Ontario.