Why Some High-Risk Youth Succeed: Building Strength Through Collaboration
- Confederation Education Centre, Ottawa ON
The aim of this community service provider conference is to provide participants with a chance to learn about and discuss some of the complex relationships that exist between the major issues facing at-risk youth. How do service providers prioritize the issues? How does each issue impact the other? How does a collaborative approach encourage better outcomes?
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Leena Augimeri
Leena K. Augimeri, Ph.D., is a leading authority on young children in conflict with the law. She is the Director, Centre for Children Committing Offences (CCCO) & Program Development, at Child Development Institute in Toronto and Adjunct Professor at the University of Toronto. The CCCO is a dedicated research, training, model development and knowledge exchange unit specializing in young children in conflict with the law. For the past 26 years, this scientist practitioner has been developing a comprehensive crime prevention model for young children engaged in antisocial behaviour which is currently being adopted worldwide. Dr. Augimeri is the co-founder/developer of the longest and most fully developed evidence-based intervention for children under 12 years of age in conflict with the law – the SNAP® Model. Dr. Augimeri is a noted author, researcher, presenter, and skilled group leader who co-authored the Early Assessment Risk List for Boys (EARL-20B) and Girls (EARL-21G). The EARLs have been translated in various languages and are used to assess risk for future antisocial behaviour in young children and help facilitate effective clinical risk management plans. In addition, she is also known for chairing a task force which led to the development of Canada’s first police-community referral protocol for children under 12 years of age in conflict with the law which has subsequently been adapted by other communities. She consults to numerous national and international projects pertaining to young children at risk for future antisocial behaviour. Dr. Augimeri is a Fellow of the Academy of Experimental Criminology and the recipient of the Child Welfare League of Canada’s inaugural Outstanding Achievement Research and Evaluation award. Currently, Dr. Augimeri is working with a number of Aboriginal communities in the adoption of the SNAP® model. For more information please visit either the Child Development Institute or CCCO website.
Please note that participants will have the opportunity to attend three (3) sessions in total throughout the day.
Session 1 - Thinking Critically about “Pathways Out” for Gang-Involved Youth Under Control of the Criminal Justice System
Presenters: Ross Hastings & Laura Dunbar
Presentation: Much has been learned in recent years in the areas of police discretion, judicial prosecuting and sentencing practices, but less attention has been focused on how to help youth, especially gang-involved youth, exit successfully from the control of the criminal justice system. The purpose of this session is to describe the research findings in this area, and to assess the extent to which current policies and practices are evidenced-based. The session will conclude with a discussion of a collaborative research initiative designed to develop and implement supports for youth in custody or under supervision in the community to help them exit successfully from gang involvement and integrate more effectively.
Session 2 - Ready or not, here I come: Challenges of transitioning youth with mental health issues, addictions and criminal justice involvement into adult mental health system
Presenters: Dasa Farthing & Heather Carson
Session Description: A number of challenging factors exist in working with and transitioning youth with complex needs into the adult mental health system. Commonly identified deficiencies in the care system include a lack of system co-ordination, fragmentation between stakeholders and limited or ineffective collaboration between treatment providers. This presentation will explore how these factors are experienced by front line mental health providers using examples from current research, as well as general practice experiences.
Session 3 - The family group conferencing model
Presenters: Phyllis O`Neil
Session Description: Family Group Conference is used around the world in child welfare as a family driven process and in youth justice as a restorative practice. In recent years it has been adapted in numerous countries to address a wider variety of issues that include planning for adults with mental health difficulties, aging parents, discharging adults from hospital, addressing homelessness and releasing prisoners from jail.
Family group conferences in the context of youth transitioning is about youth bringing their family together (biological, friends, neighbors, community people, service providers, etc) to support them in developing a plan, which will help them move forward in their lives. The Family Group conference model recognizes and respects the importance of family, culture, rights, responsibility and the need for partnership. All of which are important to supporting youth as they transition within systems, between systems, out of systems and into adulthood.
This workshop is meant to create discussion around how a Family Group Conference can be used to assist youth who are experiencing transitions in their lives.
Session 4 - Perspectives in harm reduction
Co-Presenters: Lauren Orser, Suzy Yim & Meredith Kate Coffin
Session Description:Engaging with high risk youth is an ongoing challenge for community workers in meeting the needs of this priority population. Recent evidence from the Enhanced Street Youth Surveillance study suggests that street-involved youth lack accessible services; further, rates of intravenous drug use and acute hepatitis C infection are on the rise among street-involved youth ages 16-24. This presentation will offer an overview of harm reduction, share how work through local partnerships has resulted in successful outcomes regardless of youth readiness for change, and encourage workshop participants to reconceptualise harm reduction in their work.
Example 1: Meredith Coffin is a youth counsellor with the Youth Health Clinic, a partnership between Sandy Hill Community Health Centre and the Youth Services Bureau. Grounded in a non-judgmental, harm reduction framework, Meredith provides support to youth around substance use, housing and mental health. Through individual and group counseling, Meredith works with clients to develop tailored interventions that match their needs.
Example 2: The harm reduction drop-in is a weekly, low threshold program offered at the Youth Services Bureau (YSB), in partnership with Ottawa Public Health (OPH). The drop-in caters to the needs and interests of street-involved youth, combining accessible, youth-led education and programming with relevant primary care health outreach. Lauren Orser, a registered nurse at OPH, offers youth testing for sexually transmitted and blood borne infections, vein and wound care, and safer drug and piercing equipment. The hep C team at YSB, led by Suzy Yim, offers youth-to-youth information on hepatitis C and harm reduction, encouraging youth to identify and reduce risks.
Participants of this presentation will have the opportunity to further their understanding of the harm reduction philosophy and engage in discussion with other practitioners regarding the ideology and practical application of this way of working with youth.
Session 5 - Transitional youth: What works and why
Presenter: Caroline Wallace & Ebenezer ‘Eb’ Anponsah
Session Description: Historically Project Upstream has worked with clients who may have burned bridges with other community service providers and are often labeled “Hard to Serve”. Working with this population has taught us over time what approaches may work best, resulting in best practices which have proven to work effectively with our Youth.
1.Client Centered/ Client Driven Approach - Helping client figure out what is working, what is not, where to start
2.Family Focused Case management - Supporting roles
3.Strength Based Model - Taking inventory, making plans
4.Harm Reduction Approach to Substance Use - Looking at possibilities
5.Stable Housing - Safe, long term solutions and options
Session 6 - Client complexity and youth justice within residential addiction treatment
Presenters: Glenn Barnes & Mike Beauchesne
Session Description: This presentation will offer participants insight into the complexity profile of youth receiving residential addiction treatment and the interrelationship to youth justice involvement. Presentation focus will include a discussion of the unique needs of these youth and families in this context, and exploration of some of the relevant logistical and philosophical challenges and implications for offering fully effective care to this population.
Session 7 - Walk a mile in my shoes
Presenter: Linda Barbetta
Session Description:The Learning Disabilities Association of Ottawa Carleton (LDAO-C) is pleased to offer an outstanding workshop dedicated to helping children, adolescents and adults who experience social, emotional and behavioral problems related to their learning disabilities. “Walk a Mile in My Shoes” is an interactive, energetic and very enlightening workshop for everyone!This workshop is designed to give participants an understanding of what it is like to have learning disabilities (LD’s). Participants will engage in a series of exercises that simulate problems with memory, decoding words, written expression or reading facial expressions. Through these exercises, participants gain knowledge about current thinking in the field of LD’s and a practical understanding of the implications for everyday life and mental health. This workshop is probably unlike anything you've participated in. What more effective way to understand learning disabilities than to experience it firsthand!A trained facilitator will put you and your group through a series of simulations and exercises that will give everyone the feeling and better understanding of what a child or adult with learning disabilities experiences every single day of their lives.
It will help participants:
§ Understand the emotional, social and behavioral impact of learning disabilities.
§ Experience the challenges of having a learning disability.
§ Understand the overall impact of learning disabilities.
§ Identify effective strategies and approaches.
§ Understand terminology used to examine learning disabilities.
§ Empathies with what it’s like to have a learning disability.
Walk a Mile in My Shoes is experiential Interactive and Customizable, expect to walk away from it amazed!
Session 8 - Systems improvement through service collaboratives
Presenter(s): To be determined
Session Description: Open Minds, Healthy Minds: Ontario’s Comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions Strategy, commits to the creation of 18 Service Collaboratives to support coordinated services for all Ontarians, with a focus on children and youth for the first three years. The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is sponsoring the Systems Improvement through Service Collaboratives (SISC) initiative to create these Service Collaboratives. 14 geographically-based Service Collaboratives, and 4 justice and health-related Service Collaboratives are being established. Provincial System Support Program representatives at CAMH will provide an up-to-date presentation on SISC activity in Ontario, with a focus on the Ottawa Service Collaborative and the Champlain Youth Justice Collaborative, and facilitate a question and answer period. CAMH will provide an up-to-date presentation on SISC activity in Ontario, with a focus on the Ottawa Service Collaborative and the Champlain Youth Justice Collaborative, and facilitate a question and answer period.
Session 9 - Youth Justice Addiction and Concurrent Disorder Treatment
Presenters: R Paul Welsh & Wendy Brown
Session Description:Addiction and Concurrent Disorder Treatment and Parent services for Youth in Mental Health Court and Youth Probation referrals began 9 years ago. Groups and individual counselling of 12-24 months duration, extensive Parent programs, Probation support and Youth Mental Health Court Addiction partnership achieve good retention, ‘completions’, substance use, education, crime outcomes.
Objectives:Present evidence of needs for addiction counselling for Youth Justice clients and Parents; Explore challenges, successes of addiction services for young offenders with Concurrent Disorders; Expand knowledge of Addiction and Mental Health Treatment to youth in Court/Probation in Ottawa;
Participant Involvement:Guided Discussion of Participants experience, challenges with addiction youth in Court/Probation; Discuss evidence on addiction and mental health service and rationale for service to Parents; Present a Youth Justice Addiction Programs, client profile and outcomes for 75 clients yearly; Discuss potential for capacity building in AMHO Community of Practice.
Session 10 - Keeping It Cool: An anti-violence program supporting a healthy expression of anger
Presenters: Katherine Marr
Session Description: “Keeping It Cool (KIC): A Conflict Solutions Program for Youth” is an 8 week strength-based program for 12 to 18 year olds. It is a program of the Coalition of Community Health and Resource Centres in the Ottawa-Carleton area. KIC does not fit into traditional anger-management approaches. The structure includes a combination of individual counselling and group sessions. The purpose is to provide a safe, non-blaming space for young people to discuss, share, and gain a better awareness of some of the difficulties they face in their everyday lives. The desired outcome is for participants to begin and/or maintain a process of positive change in relation to their presenting concerns. These concerns include: problematic expressions of anger, depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, relationships, self-harm, substance misuse, violence and conflict with the law. Katherine Marr, the youth counsellor for KIC, will draw on case examples of past KIC participants to highlight the importance of recognizing the link between mental health, addictions and youth justice issues when working with young people. Referrals to KIC are made through agencies such as: Youth Diversion programs, Ottawa Police Services, Rideauwood Addictions Services, Youth Services Bureau, Children’s Aid Society, Schools and others. Collaboration among educators and social service providers is a significant factor in ensuring the KIC experience is positive for participants. In this workshop, you will be encouraged to reflect on your perspective about the link between mental health, addictions and youth justice issues as well as on your role in the process of change.
Session 11 - Community Intervention Planning Pilot Project
Presenters: Kelly Raymond, Kathy Neff & Cathy Lonargan
Session Description: Children/youth with concurrent mental health and conduct disorders are high users of the service system without achieving positive outcomes. Because of acting out and crisis-oriented behaviours, many providers and agencies are involved with the child/youth but despite considerable effort and resources, the interventions are not sustained and often contradict one another. Partner agencies from the Children and Youth Mental Health Network in Ottawa have developed a common service approach to working with this population. The session will include a brief history of the project, explore what makes it different, provide an up-to-date on recent activities, and facilitate a question and answer period.
Session 12 - Moving research into practice: Exploring the use of research, assessment, and collaboration for the purpose of improving youth outcomes
Presenters: Lori Walls
Presentation: Evidenced-based and evidence-informed practice in the Youth Justice context is focused on reducing recidivism, which in turn improves public safety. With reduced recidivism and improved public safety as the focus, it is evident why these terms have become a familiar part of the language of Youth Justice Services (YJS). However, research suggests that only 2% of clinicians and frontline staff actually reference these terms when providing a rationale for programming choices (Rosen 2004). This limited use of research in programming choice highlights the fact that incorporating research language into the dialogue is only the first step in a move toward evidence-based practice.
The Effective Programming and Evaluation Unit (EPEU) of the Youth Justice Services Division are tasked with finding ways to support the transition of research into practice for frontline staff. The challenges and successes of striving to create, implement, and operationalize evidence-based practice are presented to enhance and support the ability of YJS staff and community partners in a move toward the creation of a Youth Justice System that promotes evidenced-based policy, programming, and practice with the goal of improving outcomes for youth.
For conference agenda, presenters biographies, and agency fair information please see full conference annoucment or e-mail email@example.com
The Ottawa Youth Justice Services Network (OYJSN) is a leadership group dedicated to advocacy, education, partnership building and the enhancement of system coordination efforts for youth justice issues in the Ottawa area. For additional information please visit our website at www.oyjsn.ca
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