what we do
Helping youth build independence.
Meaningful employment is a key part of helping young people succeed and build independence. Whether they want to work at a CFY social enterprise, or within the private job market, we give them the support, resources, and training they need to meet their goals. For many at-risk youth, barriers like education level, mental health and addictions issues, a lack of prior employment experience, or involvement in the criminal justice system can often stand in the way of finding success in employment.
While there are many traditional employment programs in our community, they are typically not suitable for at-risk and homeless youth, leaving them without options for moving forward. We are addressing this gap directly. Through Employment Support, Education and Training, Social Enterprise initiatives, and our Youth Leadership Council, we are bringing to life a dedicated strategy focused on empowerment, building new skills, and accessing sustainable employment.
Our experience has shown that when given the opportunity and with the right supports, young people become strong assets in the workforce. Responding to various needs and complexities, our team offers direct support to at-risk and homeless youth who are not yet ready for traditional employment.
Employment programming includes embedded supports in each of our social enterprises, where trained staff work side-by-side with youth and provide individualized goal setting and coaching. We combine trauma-informed, strengths-based, and harm reduction practices with an empowerment philosophy that ensures activities meet the needs of young people.
Once connected to the Employment Support team, youth receive wrap-around support from staff to help them succeed as they work towards accessing and maintaining stable employment. The Employment Support team is able to liaise with private employers, coordinate with CFY social enterprises, advocate for the young person, help with attending health and legal appointments, and connect young people to additional CFY and community-based services and programs as needed.
Looking to become a part of the Employment Support Program? Contact us using the form below.
The social enterprise portfolio at CFY offers meaningful and supportive workplaces for many of the young people who come to our doors. Working across numerous sectors and industries, we operate multiple businesses, all of which train and employ young people, deliver positive social and economic benefits, and earn revenues to help fund our employment programming at CFY.
Youth Leadership Council
The young people we serve every day are the experts on the barriers, challenges, and realities facing youth in our community. It is our job to empower them by listening to their experiences and respecting their expertise. Through the sharing of information, training, and resources, the Youth Leadership Council (YLC) helps break down barriers for their peers while informing us and other service providers on how to continually enhance the work we do.
Leveraging the YLC as a platform, the young people we work with are also able to impact our community in a large way. This group of youth is able to combine their passion and strength to harness real change. Whether informing our Board of Directors, facilitating workshops to better equip professionals with first-hand perspective, speaking on panels or administering surveys for data collection purposes; all YLC activities are intended to highlight the needs and concerns of local youth as well as building the leadership and professional skills of YLC members.
The Youth Leadership Council recognizes the inherent value in youth voice and experience. With integrity towards upholding every member’s core values, the Youth Leadership Council focus on a “person over problem” approach to empower, de-tokenize, and challenge communities to value diverse perspectives.
To learn more about the YLC and how you can get involved, contact:
Tim Smuck | Director of Programs
Some of 2017/2018's YLC