The purpose of the Youth Outreach Worker (YOW) program is to help marginalized and at-risk youth, ages 12 to 21, and their families to better navigate and connect with services and pro-social opportunities in their communities to improve youth outcomes.”
YOW area of service includes: Kingston, Loyalist Township (including Amherst Island), South Frontenac Township and Frontenac Islands
Further, YOWs work to:
• Promote youth and family engagement in their communities; and,
• Facilitate better access for youth to services and pro-social opportunities.
• Help youth and their families to identify and articulate their needs
• Support youth through a process to make positive changes in their lives
• Raise awareness of, and facilitate access to, locally available prevention and intervention resources by providing information and referrals that address individual needs and risk factors and reinforce strengths
• Foster communication and linkages among community agencies/organizations to improve access and mitigate barriers to services and supports
The target population for the program is marginalized and at-risk youth aged 12 – 21 who:
• Face multiple barriers to success and/or are disengaged from their communities (education, employment, training, legal, etc)
• Are in an identified priority community and/or elong to a distinct priority population approved by the regional MCYS regional office.
A ‘typical’ Youth Outreach engagement might be a relatively casual chat with a youth at an event, playing sports, or just chatting while walking through the neighbourhood. Further, YOWs can speak with family members to gain best awareness and to enable best possible support. With consent, YOWs can link the youth and their family to ‘connector’ organizations who specialize in one or more aspects of community support ( housing, employment, education, addictions, etc)