ALIGN is leading a three-year project to explore how the concept of well-being is defined, operationalized, and measured across the continuum of services for children and families in Alberta. ALIGN contracted us at PolicyWise for Children & Families (PolicyWise) to conduct this work. In the first year, we created a definition of child and youth well-being that resonates with diverse cultural communities across the province and prioritized Indigenous peoples’ perspectives. This definition integrates insights from ALIGN member agencies, Indigenous Knowledge Keepers and Elders, youth, leading practitioners, research, and wellness scholars. Our shared definition is comprised of four foundational principles and seven domains of child and youth well-being relevant to the child welfare continuum in Alberta (see image below).

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Drawing of a flower, with each of the seven petals listing a domain and with the four principles at the roots.  Domains: caring and stable relationships; supportive and safe environments; sense of identity and autonomy; cultural connection; healthy development and growth; connection to the land; and meaningful knowledge. Principles: Multidimensional and interconnected;  Ecological and relational; Equitable access and social structures; Strengths-based and trauma-informed.
The next phase of this project is to develop shared measurement approaches that align with the principles and domains of child and youth well-being. To do this, we will build on the excellent work ALIGN agencies are already doing. As a first step, we would like to understand what approaches ALIGN member agencies currently use to assess their practice and the impact of their work on the well-being of the children, youth, and families they serve.

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* 1. What organization do you work for?

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* 2. We want to understand how learning about impact can vary across different contexts or populations. Please briefly describe the populations you serve.
For example: Indigenous children and families, newcomers, families supporting children with disabilities

When answering the following questions, please keep in mind the domains of well-being include caring and stable relationships; supportive and safe environments; sense of identity and autonomy; cultural connection; healthy development and growth; connection to the land; and meaningful knowledge. The foundational principles include: multidimensional & interconnected; ecological & relational; equitable access & social structures; and strengths-based and trauma-informed.

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* 3. What principles guide your organization's evaluation of your work and impact on child, youth, and family well-being?

We would like to understand how your organization assesses your work that supports well-being, and understands the impact of your work on child, youth, and family well-being.

This can refer to evaluation, assessment, or validation of impact on the individual & family level, the practice & organizational level, and impact within the community.

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* 4. Please describe the evaluation approaches, tools, and/or frameworks your organization uses. Please include approaches to gathering feedback or understanding changes in well-being (e.g., community-based validation, circle processes, holistic or relational approaches, and methods such as informal conversation, observation, storytelling) as well as standardized measures and tools (e.g., surveys, Ages and Stages Questionnaire [ASQ], Child and Youth Resilience Measure, Natural Supports Framework, Parental Stress Scale).

If an approach/tool/framework is publicly available, please provide its name. Otherwise, please provide a description.

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* 5. What role does accreditation and/or funding (e.g., by FSCD or Children’s Services) play in the approaches and/or tools you use?

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* 6. Are there any further thoughts, experiences, or recommendations you would like to share with us about measuring well-being? (For example: success stories related to evaluating or measuring well-being, concerns or challenges you currently face or anticipate facing regarding understanding impact on well-being)

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* 7. If we require further information, would you be open to us following up to discuss a potential virtual interview about the approaches your organization uses to assess well-being? (Saying yes holds no obligation for interview participation)

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* 8. If yes, please share your contact information below:

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