YOUTH JUSTICE MATERIALS
Our organization is in the unique position of possessing all of the existing materials from the former Advocate's Office. As a result, our training has the additional credibility of over 12 years of research and first-hand accounts to add to our brand. The materials we possess directly correspond with the training courses and advocacy materials that we are creating. Below are a few examples of the materials at our organization's disposal.
No other organization in Ontario has access to these materials since the closure of the Advocate Office.
Action Plan for Successful Futures regarding the over-representation of Black, Indigenous, Metis and Inuit Youth within the Child Welfare System in Ontario:
1. "Together We Are Feathers of Hope - A First Nation Youth Action Plan"
"Feathers of Hope is about the importance and power of hope. Based on the discussions and ideas for change raised at the forum(s) we realized that there were no quick fixes to the challenges facing First Nations children and youth, their families and communities, but there is so much that can be done to meet their needs without always requiring more funding. We have included in this action plan the feedback and ideas of forum participants who want to see real and lasting change. The plan provides steps that can be followed to start a change process focused on improving our lives and healing our communities. These "steps to hope" are critical, but more is needed to change the conditions many First Nations youth live in. To learn more click to download."
2. "HairStory - Rooted, A Firm Foundation for the Future of Black Youth in Ontario's Systems Care"
"HairStory started in 2012 as a platform for Black youth from across Ontario's systems of care to get together to speak about their lives experiences, understand their rights and advocate for change that would lead to better outcomes in their lives. The name HairStory is a reference to the cultural and expressive significance of hair to Black peoples. To learn more about these stories click to download."
3. "Search for Home: Reimagining Residential Care"
"When the journey to residential care begins abruptly, and the chance to make connections of any kind is prevented by the constant moving and change, young people do not develop the opportunity to establish roots of their own, even after leaving residential care. Rootlessness, even in adulthood, seems to be a lasting legacy of involvement with Ontario's residential care system."
Strategies for navigating and surviving the Foster Home placement system with detailed recommendations for improvement by individuals with lived experience.
Youth Mental Health Supports and Resiliency Strategies (including materials to support the LGBTQ youth population in care).
4. "From Crisis to Quality - Bridging Gaps in Child and Youth Mental Health Services, Youth Led Recommendations for Ontario's Child and Youth Mental Health Agencies."
"In Ontario, mental health services for children and youth go up to the age of 18 and once one reaches this age, they are cut off and expected to move to the adult sector to seek new services. This transition to the adult sector is challenging, overwhelming, and life-changing for many. With this change, many young people face the challenges of not feeling comfortable with a new counsellor, being added to another waitlist, and not knowing how to navigate or access a new system. In addition to these challenges, the lack of publicly funded therapy in the adult sector can be problematic for many. Youth in this province have identified a need to have stronger transition plans or services in place for when they make the move from the child and youth to the adult mental health sector."
The Effects and Personal Experiences of Young Adults in Ontario's Youth Justice Facilities.
5. "Mon 11:45AM, It's A Matter of Time - Systemic Review of Secure Isolation in Ontario's Youth Justice Facilities"
"When children are placed in institutions, they enter a different world; for those who are not part of that world it is often a case of "out of sight, out of mind," Because society does not see these children, it needs to ensure that others see them. If young people in youth justice facilities are "out of sight, out of mind."then those who are sent to secure isolation cells within those facilities are almost invisible - statistical shadows on the margins of the youth justice system."
6. "Missed Opportunities - The Experience of Young Adults Incarcerated in Federal Penitentiaries"
Young adult offenders are defined in this investigation as individuals eighteen to twenty-one years of age who are in federal custody serving a sentence of two years or more. This age group comprised 2.7% (or 396) if the total federal inmate population (14,648) in 2015-16. While this age cohort is small, it comes with significant implications. Individuals 18-21 years of age are considered to be "emerging adults", in terms of overall development and maturity. They have distinct needs and limited life experiences and it is only because they have reached the age of majority that they are serving a federal sentence in an adult situation.