Anita Kothari, VEGA Knowledge Mobilization Lead, and Tracy Robinson
The Environmental Scan: A Way to Bring in Practice Guidance
One of the on-going VEGA project activities is conducting an environmental scan:
What is an Environmental Scan? Environmental scans are useful to identify current practice in the topic of interest. The VEGA environmental scan complements the systematic evidence reviews underway for the project. In both the environmental scan and the systematic reviews there are three main topics of interest in the area of health care related curricula, training, policy and guidance. These include:
- Child maltreatment
- Intimate partner violence
- Child exposure to IPV
An environmental scan is not systematic by nature, but it does help to see what tools and guidance are currently being used at the point of practice among key organizations and among VEGA stakeholders (members of the National Guidance Implementation Committee (NGIC – https://projectvega.ca/ngic/). The VEGA scan is examining the on-line presence of each of the identified members of the NGIC and other relevant organizations. In addition to the family violence topics listed above, we also looked for related material in the areas of mandatory reporting, trauma-informed care and cultural competency/safety. We are examining the type of document (curricular, policy, etc.), when and how it was produced (consensus, evidence-based, etc.) and specific content and tools that might be relevant to the VEGA work. Our VEGA NGIC liaisons have provided significant help in making sure we don’t miss any relevant materials.
What has been learned from the scan? To date our scan shows that there exist relevant, practice-focused Canadian resources and tools to complement the VEGA systematic reviews and other knowledge syntheses. Most documents have been developed in North America but many have been developed collaboratively by multiple countries.
A next step will be evaluating existing resources, along with our NGIC partners, to make sure we don’t duplicate existing work, and to find the best ways to integrate these resources with the emerging VEGA guidance and curriculum. As with all aspects of VEGA, this is a joint effort between the VEGA team and our NGIC partners.
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