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A Scoping Review of Programs for Young Mothers with Child Welfare Involvement in Canada and the United States
Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal  (IF1.862),  Pub Date : 2021-09-03, DOI: 10.1007/s10560-021-00782-9
Goulden, Ami, Hoekstra, Kiera, King, Bryn

Young mothers with child welfare involvement often participate in programs to prevent future child maltreatment. However, most programs are not designed for young mothers and overlook unique challenges related to development, psychosocial stressors, relationships, and stigma. This scoping review synthesized existing literature and mapped what is known about programs designed for young mothers with child welfare involvement in Canada and the United States. The scoping review protocol was designed using Arksey and O’Malley’s methodological framework. An extensive search was conducted from university databases and grey literature. The inclusion criteria were (1) the program was designed for parents under 25 years old, (2) the program serves mothers with child welfare involvement, (3) the studies are published in English, and (4) the programs were delivered in Canada or the United States. The search results included 1925 articles and 14 were screened using the inclusion criteria. Article publication dates ranged from 1981 to 2017, with most studies being conducted in the United States. Three themes identified in this review were (1) service delivery approaches, (2) program outcomes, and (3) collaboration with child welfare services. The findings suggest that few programs designed for young mothers exist in Canada and the United States. A variety of program evaluation methods and program delivery approaches were found. Program characteristics that may benefit young mothers with child welfare involvement include incorporating peer support initiatives, the explicit intention to build a therapeutic alliance between the service provider and the mother, and prolonged service delivery.