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Kids on the Outside: Policy Options for Youth with Incarcerated Parents in British Columbia

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The United Nations, non-profit organizations, and research communities have identified youth with incarcerated parents as a distinct and vulnerable population requiring tailored policy response. This research study examined the situation in British Columbia, and focused on how to foster resilience in this population rather than only examining damaging effects of having incarcerated parents. The study drew on academic and grey literature and key expert interviews to identify policy options. Importantly, the study also presents insights into advancing research in the field, specifically what is required when working with youth in the future. As a result of preliminary research, four policy options are presented: an integrated approach, education-centred supports, corrections-centred supports, and a justice-centred option. The policy options recommended are intended to support the resilience, life outcomes, and well-being of youth with incarcerated parents, and feature youth engagement in decision-making, and integrating data collection and sharing to inform evidence-based service provision.
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