April 11, 2019 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

Dr. Rachel Birnbaum of King’s School of Social Work has received approval for a grant from the Board of Trustees of The Law Foundation of Ontario in an amount up to $78,773. for  the Research and Improved Knowledge Dissemination for Child Protection Cases Involving High Conflict Parental Separation project.

Dr. Birnbaum will serve as principal investigator of the three-year project to measure the effectiveness of employing collaborative interdisciplinary responses (including from legal and child welfare) to high conflict separation or divorce family cases that also involve the child protection system due to allegations of neglect and abuse. The focus will be on assisting families to receive timely, appropriate services to help them resolve parenting disputes in a child-focused, efficient way.

The project would allow agencies and professionals to undertake new approaches and offer increased communication and collaboration between the Office of the Children’s Lawyer and child protection agencies in the handling of such cases.

“We believe that this unique collaboration and research initiative between child welfare and child legal representation can effect substantial change in practice and lead to better decision-making.  In turn, this will have a significant impact on children and families post-separation as a result of better communication and improve decision-making of agencies and the courts and result in improved outcomes for children in these difficult cases in Ontario,” says Dr. Birnbaum.

Dr. Birnbaum is excited about “this unique and truly collaborative project that is only possible with the financial support of the Law Foundation of Ontario for this important work that can provide assistance to children, families and the family justice system when parenting disputes also come to the attention of child welfare.”

At King’s, Dr. Birnbaum is cross-appointed in the School of Social Work and in Childhood and Social Institutions. She is also a member of the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists of the Royal Society of Canada.

For more information on Dr. Birnbaum, please visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BSHuY5oh3iw or https://www.kings.uwo.ca/about-kings/facts-and-information/kings-profiles/rachel-birnbaum/