Child and Youth Well-Being Review

An expert advisory panel explored ways to best support the well-being of children and youth impacted by COVID-19.


The Child and Youth Well-being Review was established to better understand the full scope of the psychological, social, educational and physical effects related to the COVID-19 pandemic on children and youth.

The panel engaged with a wide range of Albertans, including researchers, educators, health care professionals, and mental health experts, as well as parents, children and youth.

COVID-19 has affected all aspects of life for young people from every culture and community. The panel learned from experts on ways to ensure children and youth have the tools they need to process and cope in healthy ways.


  • Open

  • Results under review

  • Completed

Who is listening

Ministry of Children's Services

Why we did this

Preliminary research, including from the Hospital for Sick Kids, shows a majority of children and youth experienced harm to their mental health during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some members of the expert panel have been compiling data in this field since the pandemic began and contributed to research and recommendations.

Input received

Adult and youth surveys

We gathered feedback from 9,176 Albertans through 2 separate online surveys from May 27 to July 31, 2021.

  • The adult survey collected thoughts and ideas from parents, caregivers and professionals who work with children.
  • The youth survey collected thoughts and ideas from children and youth under the age of 19.

Telephone town halls

We held 6 telephone town halls where 659 Albertans shared their stories.

Stakeholder engagement

Stakeholders were invited to participate in telephone town halls and panel-led virtual round tables. 16 round table sessions were held with 127 Albertans representing 98 organizations. We also received 96 written submissions.


The panel collected information from researchers, educators, health care professionals, and mental health experts, as well as Alberta parents, youth and children.

Recommendations to help support young people were provided in a report to government in December 2021.

A cross-ministry action plan, informed by the Child and Youth Well-being Review, includes 10 recommendations that chart a path to supporting children and youth affected by the pandemic.

Review panel mandate

The review panel engaged with Albertans and collected input on how we can:

  • address gaps in accessing mental health, social and educational supports, services and programs
  • further collaborate with parents, children, youth, and community stakeholders to improve current programs and services
  • monitor COVID-19 impacts on children and youth over time

The review panel gathered input from:

  • children and youth
  • parents, guardians or caregivers
  • child and youth-serving government departments
  • civil society organizations
  • educators
  • health and mental health experts and professionals

Meet the panel

The Child and Youth Well-being Review panel is co-chaired by Children's Services Minister Rebecca Schulz and Matt Jones, MLA for Calgary-Southeast. Additional members include health, education and child well-being experts:

  • Photo of Dr. Kelly Schwartz

    Dr. Kelly Schwartz

    Dr. Kelly Dean Schwartz is Associate Professor, School and Applied Child Psychology, in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary. As a registered psychologist, Dr. Schwartz has been engaged in the study of children, youth and families for over 25 years, most notably focusing on the development assets and family strengths contributing to healthy development and thriving.

    As Director of the Social Development Research Team (SDRT), his lab has received provincial and national grants to study child and youth engagement with social media and technology, international positive youth development, student mental health, and resiliency in first responder and military families. As a member of the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute, the Mathison Centre for Mental Health Research and Education, and the Owerko Centre, Dr. Schwartz also serves on community, provincial and national boards, advisory committees and national institutes.

  • Photo of Jennifer Turner

    Jennifer Turner

    Jennifer Turner is the Superintendent of Schools at Fort McMurray Public School Division in Fort McMurray. She is a former Assistant Superintendent at Rocky Mountain School District 6 in Invermere, BC and has served in a variety of roles in education for over 26 years. Jennifer is also a Registered Psychologist with both the College of Alberta Psychologists and the British Columbia College of Psychologists. She currently is a Doctoral Candidate in Educational Leadership from University of Calgary with a specialization in District Leadership of Mental Health Promotion and Intervention, and has a Master of Science in School Psychology from Capella University in Minneapolis and a certificate in Advanced Clinical Supervision Educational from the University of Calgary. Jennifer's undergraduate degree, a Bachelor of Education, was obtained at the University of Alberta. She serves on the board of the Multicultural Association of Wood Buffalo and the Wood Buffalo Community Foundation Community Grants Committee.

  • Photo of Carol Carifelle-Brzezicki

    Carol Carifelle-Brzezicki

    Carol has worked extensively in the Indigenous community for the last three decades and is a member of Peavine Metis Settlement. Carol completed a master’s degree in Health Studies Center from the Nursing and Health Studies at Athabasca University. This degree is supplemented by three summers (2006-2009) at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health/University of Alberta School of Public Health-Joint Indigenous Summer Research Institute. Carol has started a PhD at the University of Alberta School of Public Health-Health Promotion and Socio-behavioral Sciences. She has been a registered Social Worker with ACSW for twenty years.

  • Photo of Dana Fulwiler

    Dana Fulwiler

    Dana has been a public school educator in Alberta for 15 years and offers expertise in well-being science and research, resilience, positive mental health and education. She holds a Master of Applied Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania and Master and Bachelor of Education from the University of Saskatchewan. Dana is an Assistant Instructor in the MAPP program at the University of Pennsylvania and Sessional Instructor in the B.Ed program at the University of Calgary.

  • Photo of Nancy Mannix

    Nancy Mannix

    Nancy Mannix is the Chair and Patron of the Palix Foundation, a private foundation that supports improved health and wellness outcomes for children and families. The Palix Foundation has been awarded the 2015 Canadian Medical Award for Excellence in Health Promotion; 2014 Lieutenant Governor of Alberta’s Circle on Mental Health and Addiction True Leadership Award; 2013 Certificate of Recognition by the Canadian Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry; 2010-2011 President’s Award, Canadian Mental Health Association; and the 2006 Medal for Exceptional Contribution for Early Childhood Development by the Centre of Excellence for Early Childhood Development.

    Nancy has served as a member of the Alberta Innovates-Health Solutions Board and has worked with Calgary Health Trust and the Canada West Foundation. She has served on boards such as the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research and the Alberta Bone and Joint Health Institute. Nancy has a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of San Diego and a Juris Doctor Degree from Seattle University.


Connect with the Child and Youth Well-being Review:

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