The role of child protection in substance use services for women

Funding body

SSHRC Insight Grant


The purpose of this study is to investigate the interplay between pressures from child protection services and women’s motivation to participate in substance use services, and the impact on service engagement and well-being. Our objectives are to: 1) examine the associations between pressures from child protection services, social determinants of health (e.g., ethnicity, education, housing) and motivations to participate in substance use services; 2) model changes in motivations and the development of woman-provider relationships in the weeks after entering treatment; and 3) evaluate the joint influences of pressures and motivations on service attendance and 6-month outcomes (substance use, custody arrangements, and quality of life). Interviews and surveys will be conducted with 300 women attending treatment at multiple agencies across Canada. Women will be followed for 6 months, with repeated assessments of motivation, service engagement, and outcomes.

Progress to date

Disruptions to services due to the pandemic have affected study progress; however, data collection began in the summer of 2021 and is ongoing.


  • Dr. Karen Urbanoski (PA)
  • Milligan, K. (Co-A)
  • Cummings, K.
  • Goodman, D.
  • Gordon, S.
  • Patricelli, S.
  • Cheung, C.