Migrant families remain connected to their home countries and their transnational contexts and experiences have an impact on raising and caring for children in Canada, which may have short and long-term effects on the health and well-being of child-caregivers and their children. Ties to their country may involve supporting family members and distance-parenting children who remained behind; working and being civically and politically implicated to build social and economic capital; returning to use health services; and keeping contact with family and friends for social support, child-rearing advice, and as a way to preserve culture, language and identity. Transnational ties, including obligations and resources, are also maintained due to serial migration, deportation and return migration. In this context, families may feel stressed, conflicted, financially strained, and emotionally burdened, but also less isolated, better resourced, supported and empowered. To better respond to the needs of migrant families, these transnational ties should be considered in health and social care, services and policies.
With this perspective in mind, five studies will be carried-out (started and/or completed) over the next four years. Together these studies aim to: 1) gain a greater understanding of transnational family support and the impacts on families across borders (i.e., migrant families and their family back home who are providing the support); 2) assess whether migrant families use health and social services transnationally during pregnancy and early childhood and if so, which ones and why; 3) inquire whether and how health and social services supporting migrant families with young children (0-5 years) consider transnational contexts and experiences; and 4) explore migrant families' expectations regarding their transnational contexts and the delivery of health and social care and services.