Providing More Supports for Young People to Succeed
McGuinty Government Building Stronger Neighbourhoods through Youth Action Plan
Ontario is adding 35 youth outreach workers in nine communities across the province to help young people make positive choices and stay on track.
Through Ontario's Youth Action Plan, the additional youth outreach workers will work in Toronto, Peel, York, Durham, Ottawa, Thunder Bay, London, Windsor and Hamilton, providing one-on-one support to youth and helping connect them with the right support services in their communities.
Youth outreach workers prevent and intervene in negative behaviour, promote civic participation and develop social and leadership skills. To ensure that young people receive the best possible supports and mentorship, all youth outreach workers will be trained in a common set of skills.
Expanding the Youth Outreach Worker program is part of the McGuinty government's provincewide Youth Action Plan, which is getting guns and gangs off the streets, providing positive alternatives for youth and ensuring safer communities and neighbourhoods for all Ontarians.
- There are currently 62 youth outreach workers providing outreach and referral services to disadvantaged youth in seven communities, growing to 97 in nine communities.
- The government will begin accepting applications to fill the additional youth outreach worker positions — with a focus on agencies operating in under-served communities — in the coming weeks.
- The overall youth crime rate in Ontario is 23 per cent lower than in 2000. The youth violent crime rate is also down by 17 per cent over the same period, better than the national rate, which dropped 10 per cent.
- Ontario’s Youth Action Plan will benefit an additional 13,000 young people each year by moving forward on 20 initiatives, including expanding the Youth Outreach Worker program.
- Ontario recently expanded Parenting and Family Literacy Centres across the province. The centres help children up to six years of age build essential literacy, numeracy and social skills through stories, music and play.
- Ontario is investing over $20 million in new funding to support the Youth Action Plan — efficiencies and savings were found to fully offset the cost of expanded and new programs.
“Youth outreach workers share life experiences with the young people they serve and are sensitive to the issues they face so that they can provide our kids with the best possible mentorship. We want our youth outreach workers to have maximum impact on the lives of the young people they serve, so we will be targeting these new outreach workers to better reach under-served communities.”
Dr. Eric Hoskins
“As youth outreach workers, we strive to be positive role models and empower youth to draw on supports and opportunities that exist in their community. It is rewarding to see how youth in under-served communities become engaged citizens.”