Our Kids Network

This proposal develops and implements a knowledge mobilization strategy to: (1) increase Our Kids Network’s capacity to utilize research; (2) strengthen cross-sector partnering in taking research to practice; (3) sustain engagement with internal and external stakeholders; and (4) more effectively respond to the issues facing children, youth, and their families in Halton.

Project Category:
Building or extending networks for further research in priority areas
Topic Area:
Elementary, Knowledge Mobilization, Science Education
Ministry Priority
(2011-2013):
Engagement
Project Lead(s):
Erica van Roosmalen
Brief Background:
This proposal develops and implements a knowledge mobilization strategy to: (1) increase Our Kids Network’s capacity to utilize research; (2) strengthen cross-sector partnering in taking research to practice; (3) sustain engagement with internal and external stakeholders; and (4) more effectively respond to the issues facing children, youth, and their families in Halton.
Research Context:
Developmental Assets are described as the positive experiences and personal qualities that children and youth need to grow up as healthy, caring, and responsible citizens. The framework, which was developed by the Search Institute (www.search-institute.org), is grounded in research showing that children with more assets are more likely to develop positively and less likely to participate in risk-taking behaviours. The Our Kids Network has adopted the Developmental Assets as our framework for promoting positive child and youth development. Based on this, the Network has shifted focus away from risk factors in children/youth to promoting positive environments and strengthening children and youth through asset building.
Knowledge Mobilization Activities:

This project mobilizes knowledge inherently through: (1) forming an advisory/steering committee ; (2) ensuring broad-based community engagement ; (3) creating a results- based accountability framework and monitoring cycle ; (4) creating cross-sector and cross-disciplinary working committees ; (5) developing research in collaboration with internal and external stakeholders ; (6); supporting service providers and community planning teams to develop their own strength-based positive assets framework for children and youth; (7) developing a “for, with and by” youth engagement continuum of practice ; (8) creating or identifying existing communities of practice to engage communities in knowledge uptake and implementation; (9) publishing and promoting research findings in useful formats ; and (10) developing a sustainability strategy . The details of these strategies can be found in the full proposal.


Furthermore, a core value of OKN has been the commitment to sharing all data throughout the entire community of Halton and beyond. All publications, presentations, and survey instruments will be made available on Our Kids Network website ( www.ourkidsnetwork.ca ).

Outcomes:
A lasting impact will be heightened understanding of the work that is done by the OKN resulting in an enriched ability of the Halton community to plan, develop, and implement strategies, initiatives and services.