Date of Submission


Document Type



Doctor of Education




transformative leadership, distributed leadership, change path model, recidivism, mental health


Indigenous youth are overrepresented in the child welfare system in Canada. Organization X, a Ministry of Children and Families program provider, has made significant efforts to address the needs of Indigenous youth in care, including creating the Residential Treatment Resources (RTR) program. While behavioural-focused RTR program is an important step in the right direction, the program fails to address the causal mental health needs, which has resulted in high numbers of recidivism among Indigenous youth after discharge. After careful review of the literature, the possible solutions revealed mental health counselling is a vital supportive resource required for this population. Additionally, counselling must be culturally sensitive, include traditional practices, be client centred, and be collaborative with both the youth and the Indigenous department, which is a part of Organization X. The lens of this organizational improvement plan (OIP) is transformative and centres on marginalized Indigenous youth. The theoretical lens that works in conjunction with this is critical race theory, which examines race, racism, and power. Specifically brought to bear is the critical Indigenous research methodology. The paradigm and theoretical perspective complement the two leadership approaches that will guide the change. Transformative leadership and distributive leadership will motivate and empower stakeholders to actively and enthusiastically engage in the change process. The change implementation plan draws from and is guided by the four steps of Deszca et al.’s (2020) Change Path Model: awakening, mobilization, acceleration, and institutionalization. Also presented in this OIP are plans for monitoring, evaluating, and communicating the change process.