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College of Nursing Faculty Member Dr. Janet McCabe Receives Community-Engaged Scholarship Research Funding from the U of S
Active participation in everyday activities is really important for an individual's healthy development. For children and youth, there are numerous benefits to participating in activities outside of the school setting. Unfortunately, children and youth with disabilities tend to participate less frequently and in fewer activities than youth with disabilities. For these individuals, interacting with friends and peer supports may boost their social skills and psychosocial well-being, so it's very important to keep them active. Dr. Janet McCabe, based at the Prince Albert Campus, has received Community-Engaged Scholarship Research Funding from the University of Saskatchewan for her project titled, The Peer Mentorship Project: Exploring the effect of peer mentoring for children and youth with disabilities.
Through the piloting of a peer to peer mentorship program that will increase participation in social and physical activity for children and youth with disabilities in rural Saskatchewan, Dr. McCabe's project will help researchers gain a better understanding of the obstacles and aids these individuals encounter. Her project will outline the perceived barriers to participation, pilot a 6 month peer mentor program that brings together children and youth with disabilities with peer volunteers, identify changes in the level of participation and perceived barriers/facilitators and gain an understanding of the benefits of the peer program to the volunteers working with the children and youth with disabilities.
When asked about the project, Dr. McCabe replied, "One of the highlights of community-engaged scholarship is working directly with communities, to identify research possibilities that will ultimately have a direct impact within the community. Rather than researchers working in isolation from communities, community engaged research and scholarship provides communities with a voice in the research process."
Dr. McCabe's work on the Peer Mentorship Program will be completed in collaboration with People Advocating for Children with Exceptionalities (PACE) in Meadow Lake, SK. PACE is an advocacy group that Dr. McCabe was first introduced to in the summer of 2012, and through collaboration (i.e. presentations to parents), together they developed this project to meet a need in the community. The new funding will provide the money required to assemble the right team, deliver and evaluate this program and the results will provide PACE with the evidence and outcomes necessary to advocate for additional funding to continue running the program, should this mentorship program be successful.