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Melanie Doucet

McGill University School of Social Work
PhD Student
Former youth in state care are a particularly vulnerable population, with reduced life chances for success as adults. The degree and quality of support received during youth’s transition to adulthood have a long-term impact, whether on educational achievements, employability, or overall well-being as adults. Melanie’s research focuses on the experiences of former youth in care during and after their transition to independent living. She is particularly interested in examining risk factors and protective factors that may have altered youth’s experience. In examining protective factors, she will inquire into the types of supports and services that youth received from the State prior to, during, and after their transition out of the child welfare system – services such as independent living training, counseling, and ongoing follow-up. Ultimately, Melanie will examine whether the State lives up to its responsibility as guardian to youth under its care and to youth after they exit the system, and whether the rights of children and youth under State care are respected. Melanie plans to draw on her findings to produce policy recommendations to improve the service delivery system.