Action Intersectorielle pour le Développement des Enfants et leur Sécurité (A.I.D.E.S.)
Age group: Early childhood (0-6); Late childhood (7-11)
Gender: Mixed (male and female)
Population served: Families; Placed out-of-home
Topic: Antisocial/deviant behaviours; Family (domestic) violence/child maltreatment
Setting: Urban area; Community-based setting; Residential/home; Social services setting
Number of completed Canadian outcome evaluation studies: 1
Continuum of intervention: Secondary crime prevention
The Action Intersectorielle pour le Développement des Enfants et leur Sécurité (A.I.D.E.S.) program used an approach that was developed in England which aims to offer more targeted and personalized services to at-risk children and their families. A.I.D.E.S. aims to improve children’s safety, health, and development, and help parents find and use resources that are necessary to achieve this.
The program is centred on counselling and social work; family therapy; and parent training.
The main goals of the A.I.D.E.S. program are to:
- Ensure the safety/security and the healthy development of children (as well as decreasing victimization potential of parent toward child);
- Support parents in their roles and responsibilities with regards to their children (i.e., encourage and support their participation in interventions to reduce emotional and behavioural problems); and
- Help communities combat safety risks and intervene in potential victimization/criminal trajectories.
The appropriate clientele for the A.I.D.E.S. program is boys and girls aged 9 and under (and their parents) who are exposed to multiple risk factors within the family and have complex needs.
In order to participate, children and their families must have received two of the program’s services (i.e., child safety services or health and social services) in the past. The family must also have a situation where the child’s development is at significant risk.
Children are referred to the program by the Centre Jeunesse de Québec-Institut Universitaire (CJQ-IU) or the Centre de Santé et de Services Sociaux (CSSS).
The key components of the A.I.D.E.S. program are to:
- Conduct interviews on a regular basis with participating children in order to analyze their needs;
- Develop and carry out an intervention plan with individualized services;
- Develop and implement follow-up activities to review and adjust plans; and
- Evaluate the impact of this model of intervention on the children and their families.
Some of the critical elements for the implementation of this program or initiative include the following:
- Organizational requirements: The lead organization must ensure that activities are tailored to each youth based on their individual and unique needs.
- Partnerships: Organizations should partner with the Centre Jeunesse de Québec-Institut Universitaire (CJQ-IU), the Centre de Santé et de Services Sociaux (CSSS), social service agencies, and other community-based organizations.
- Training and technical assistance: Limited information on this topic.
- Risk assessment tools: Youth are assessed using the Home Observation and Measurement of the Environment (HOME), the Parenting Stress Index (PSI), the Child Abuse Potential Inventory (CAPI), the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL), the British Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families, and the Child’s Needs Analysis Workbook (CABE).
- Materials & resources: Limited information on this topic.
The most recognized classification systems of evidence-based crime prevention programs have classified this program or initiative as follows:
- Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development: Not applicable.
- Crime Solutions/OJJDP Model Program Guide: Not applicable.
- SAMHSA's National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices: Not applicable.
- Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy: Not applicable.
Gathering Canadian Knowledge
Canadian Implementation Sites
Public Safety Canada’s National Crime Prevention Strategy provided funding to implement the A.I.D.E.S. program in four of the following CSSS areas between 2007 and 2011: the region of Montreal (CSSS d’Ahuntsic) and North-Montreal (CSSSAMN); the region of Mauricie and Central Quebec (CSSSÉ); the region of Drummond (CSSSD); and the region of Arthabaska-Erable (CSSSAÉ). The A.I.D.E.S. program was implemented by the Université de Montréal.
Main Findings from Canadian Outcome Evaluation Studies
As part of Public Safety Canada’s funding, an outcome evaluation studyFootnote1 of the A.I.D.E.S. was conducted in 2007-2011 by a group of researchers (Université de Montréal; Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières; Université du Québec en Outaouais, Université de Montréal; Université de Sherbrooke) (Chamberland et al., 2012). A quasi-experimental design with an experimental group and a control group was used. Pre- and post-test measures were also used.
Results from the evaluation showed the following:
- The A.I.D.E.S. program may have an effect on the home environment and may prevent further deterioration of the home situation; and
- Social service professionals working with A.I.D.E.S. participant groups indicated a better understanding of the family situation and parental stress than those working with control groups.
For more information, refer to Chamberland et al.’s (2013) publication.
During the evaluation period, it was estimated that the total cost of implementing the A.I.D.E.S. program for one child and his/her family was approximately $1,400.00 (CAD) (intervention and materials) (Chamberland et al., 2012).
Chamberland, C. et al. (2012). Recherche évaluative de l’initiative AIDES. Final Evaluation Report. Submitted to the National Crime Prevention Centre, Public Safety Canada. Available from: https://initiativeaides.ca/?page_id=24891
For more information on this program, contact:
Danielle Lessard, Coordinator of the A.I.D.E.S. initiative
University of Montreal
2900 Edouard-Montpetit Boulevard
Montreal, Quebec H3T 1J4
Telephone: (514) 343-6111, ext. 3750
Record Updated On - 2021-04-29
A process evaluation study of the program was also conducted through Public Safety Canada’s funding. For more information, communicate with the Research Division, Public Safety Canada.
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