Using Technology to Provide Support to Children and Youth in Challenging Contests

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Children and youth in challenging contexts, both in Canada and overseas, face common threats to their mental health that can be better addressed when researchers, service providers, practitioners and …

Children and youth in challenging contexts, both in Canada and overseas, face common threats to their mental health that can be better addressed when researchers, service providers, practitioners and communities pool their knowledge, resources and lessons learned of what works best for improving young peoples’ mental health. If these groups continue to work within their occupational and disciplinary boundaries, they will fail to mobilize the full potential of evidence documented by researchers, the practice-related knowledge of service providers and practitioners, and the local knowledge of communities. The CYCC Network was developed in response to this need and in the summer of 2013, released three thematic knowledge synthesis reports: violence, technology, and youth engagement.

Recent years have seen an explosion of new, innovative programs that focus on improving the lives of vulnerable young people through the use of technology. The internet has opened doors of opportunity to reach these children and youth in more effective ways with the information and support they need to lead healthy lives. Today, mobile phones are one of the most prolific mediums through which interventions can be delivered. While the rapid developments made in technology present many opportunities, the expansion of this field has not been mirrored in the development of research and evaluation of those innovations. There is a need for more evidence to support the use of technology as a means of intervention with children and youth in challenging contexts. In response to this gap, the knowledge synthesis report on technology reviews innovations in technology that are known to be effective in helping children and youth in the most challenging of contexts, to nurture resilience, prevent mental health problems, and build a special place for themselves in the collective life of their communities.

Read and download the full report at http://cyccnetwork.org/technology

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  • 1. Using Technology to Provide Support to Children and Youth in Challenging Contexts Knowledge Synthesis Report 2013 Prepared By: Emily Zinck Advisory Committee: Patrick McGrath, Judi Fairholm, Chris Mushquash, and Maria Luisa Contursi
  • 2. “WE USE TECHNOLOGY ASA WAY OF MEETING YOUTHWHERE THEY ARE.” Heather Miko-Kelly Youth Projects and Volunteer Coordinator mindyourmind
  • 3. GUIDING QUESTION:Which innovations in technology are known to beeffective in helping children and youth in the mostchallenging of contexts nurture resilience, preventmental health problems and build a special place forthemselves in the collective life of their communities?
  • 4. Focus on TechnologyInnovations in electronic media that have beenused with children and youth in challengingcontexts to help prevent violence and promotewell-being.
  • 5. Types of TechnologyHardware SoftwareTelephone InternetComputers Tele-healthMobile Phones Interactive Websites – Smart Apps Social Media – SMS (Text Video games message)
  • 6. Population Groups• Children and youth affected by • Aboriginal children and youth war • Homeless children and youth – Child soldiers • Youth gangs – Children and youth in military • Child labourers families – Children and youth in the• Refugee children and youth workplace• Children and youth affected by – Children and youth who have natural disasters been trafficked• Immigrant children and youth • Children and youth living with• Children and youth subject to health-related challenges maltreatment – Children and youth living with• Children and youth in alternative chronic illness care – Children and youth living with mental illness – Children and youth in institutions – Youth in juvenile detention
  • 7. Pyramid of Evidence
  • 8. RECOMMENDATIONS
  • 9. #1- Embrace Technology.Start by looking at what gaps could beaddressed through the use of technology(e.g., access, support-needs) – Strongest Families
  • 10. #2- Foster Partnerships among Stakeholders.Forming partnerships can help strengthenand inform your practice, allowing for moreeffective and relevant service delivery. – Mobile Voice – SpunOut
  • 11. #3- Engage Youth as Partners in Developing Programs.Engage children and youth in programdevelopment, implementation, andevaluation. – mindyourmind “What really makes the difference is not the technology itself but the engagement that happens in implementing and creating those platforms with youth.” Maria Luisa Contursi
  • 12. CROSS-CUTTING THEMES
  • 13. #4- Promote the Sustainability of Programs/Interventions.Funders should support the sustainabledevelopment of a program or project that isalready active and successful. – Zumbido: SHM Foundation
  • 14. #5- More Evidence is needed to Support the Use of Technology- Based Programs.Develop easy to use evaluation tools toassess the effectiveness of interventionsusing technology. These methods andstrategies can be developed throughpartnerships betweenpractitioners, academics, and policymakers. – SPARX
  • 15. #6- Ensure Technical & Professional Competence.In developing a project orintervention, content development andtechnical design are two key items thatneed to be planned for by engaging withprofessionals and academics who can helpinform an approach. – One Laptop Per Child
  • 16. #7- Acknowledge Diversity- Culture & Context- in Program Delivery.Technology offers opportunities forprograms and services to cross bothcultural and geographic borders – WelTel Kenya1 – POI Mapping: Thailand
  • 17. Thank You!!