Helping youth overcome challenges
Youth Diversion helps youth overcome challenges by: Providing prevention, intervention and educational services that divert youth from risk and support their ability to thrive.
All youth in our community are supported in making choices that contribute to their overall wellbeing, help them reach their potential and expand their leadership capacity.
The Youth Diversion Program is a Canadian registered charitable organization. Donations received by the Program are directed to support services in our prevention and early intervention programs. Administration costs are NOT funded through donation revenues.
The Youth Diversion Program is a charitable organization which has offered service to youth in the Kingston area since 1974. We value:
- Youth centred approach
- Professionalism & Leadership
- Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
- Our staff & volunteers
- People & relationships
- A belief in positive change
Services and Programs
Youth Outreach Worker Program
In patnership with Pathways for Children and Youth and with the financial support of the Ministry of Children and Youth services, the Youth Outreach Worker (YOW) engages youth ages 12-21 years old and their families, helps them better navigate and connect with services and supports in their community.
Since 1996 the Program has operated two initiatives to prevent crime. REBOUND, a program which originated in Sarnia , Ontario is a 10 week program for adolescents. Each week, young people attend a 2½ hour session working on such skills as communication, decision making, anger management and conflict resolution. A recent evaluation conducted by a noted psychologist shows that REBOUND has a promising effect on reducing crime, and parents report improvements in their children's attitudes and behaviours.
Our Mentor Program provides at risk youth with adult volunteers who act as mentors with the youth. Through the use of screen and assessement tools, Volunteers work with their assigned youth to accomplish specific goals which have been set for the relationship, while providing support and advocacy to the youth.
School Based Programs
School and Non-Academic Programming (SNAP) provides an alternative to home suspension program, designed to assist students from local schools who have been suspended or expelled for violence, aggression and opposition to authority. Rather than spend the suspension or explusion period at home, students attend our Program for the duration of their suspension/expluson. Based on the Student Action Plan, screen and assessment tools, programming is tailored to meet each student's individual needs and designed to address the behaviour which resulted in the suspension/explusion. Teachers and volunteers are always present to support the academic needs and reenforce positive prosocial skills. Upon their return to school, students and the school receive a report of the youth's performance, as well as recommendations for continued assistance.
In partnership with the Limestone District School Board and the Ministry of Children and Youth Services, the program developed an approach to conflict resolution called "Mediating and Empowering through Nurturing Dialogue" (MEND). Youth Diversion staff train school staff and students in this approach, and assist in the resolution of conflict in the school setting.
Substance Use and Addictions Services
KAIROS Substance Use and Addictions Counselling
In 2011, the Program added the substance use and addictions service previously operated by Kairos Rehabilitation Program. Our Kairos counsellors provide needs assessments, harm reduction focused counselling and focus on collaborations with other services to assist youth and young adults who are experiencing difficulty with substance use. Our approach is based on the stages of change model and seeks to work along side our clients to seek harm reduction startegies which can address their usage concerns, along with providing assistance and support in navigating other challenges they are experiencing in their lives.
Youth Justice Programs
Intersections is an evidence–informed early intervention program for children and youth who are at-risk of becoming justice-involved and it provides supports to their families as needed. These young individuals and/or their families often come into contact with police because of situations related to mental health issues or illnesses, childhood and youth developmental issues and/or substance use issues. In order to reduce and prevent further interaction with police services and the justice system, this program helps young individuals and/or their families to access available support services within the community.
Youth Justice Committee & Extrajudicial Measures/Sanctions
The Program offers two youth justice services which hold youth accountable for their actions, by giving them the opportunity to address their offence and seek restoration of their harms. The Extrajudicial Measures/Sanctions Program, commonly referred to as Diversion, provides an alternative to formal police charges (EJM) or court proceedings (EJS). We also deliver the Youth Justice Committee, funded by the Ministry of the Attorney General, which meets with youth approved of by the Crown Attorney or police. Invited parties are their parents, persons harmed (ie. victims, witnesses or complainants), peer or community supports to facilitate a restorative circle to generate an appropriate response to the offence and offending behaviours. By participating, the youth does not go through the formal Youth Court System to be held responsible but rather the approach is a timely response to a necessary intervention for that yong person. Referrals are received from the police and the courts, and if successful, the young person will not be formally charged and the matter is withdrawn or closed.
Common to all programs is the extensive use of volunteers. Over 100 people provide direct service to our young people during the year, in all aspects of our program. This past year, over 1200 youth received support through the Youth Diversion Program's services. This commitment by people in our community is the element that makes the quality of our programs so high. At the same time , the community support for these initiatives has been incredible, with various service clubs, private citizens and corporations donating money and services to assist the Program to continue the operation of these programs in our community.
For further information please contact Shawn Quigley, Executive Director at (613) 548-4535 or by email using our Contact Page