statement of principles

Support for youth and emerging adults in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Change is coming to Newfoundland and Labrador as many of our social support systems shift how they interact with youth and emerging adults. We, the undersigned, agree that the following core principles, which incorporate and build on the principles of Housing First for Youth, should be consistent across our work. This means consistency across all systems and organizations that support youth and emerging adults, and particularly within systems and organizations supporting youth who are more likely to be marginalized. This includes Indigenous, racialized, and LGBT2SQIA+ youth and youth with disabilities as well as those facing mental health challenges, addictions, family breakdown, and involvement with the child protection or criminal justice systems.

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SHOWCASE YOUR ORGANIZATION'S COMMITMENT TO THESE PRINCIPLES.

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OUR SHARED PRINCIPLES

1. Recognize the distinct needs of young people and emerging adults

 

Systems of support and how they are delivered must be strengths-based and aligned with the unique ways children, youth, and emerging adults function, think, and interact. 

2. Reduce barriers

All organizations have a responsibility to identify barriers to access (including administrative barriers such as wait times and hours, policy barriers such as age limits, as well as cultural and geographic barriers) and work to eliminate them. Programs should be flexible, needs-based, and culturally appropriate for the young people they serve. 

3. Focus on prevention

Interventions with children and youth should be prioritized, made as early as possible, and include the provision of support for their families, with the goal of avoiding future challenges and strengthening connections with their existing community of support. Efforts should be made to identify those who are at risk of educational disengagement, family breakdown, connection to child welfare and related systems, involvement in the criminal justice system, and use of crisis response systems.

4. Family-centered interventions

Support systems should encourage the participation of young people's families (however young people define them), help strengthen those families and explicitly focus on supporting young parents and their children from the beginning of pregnancy.

5. Youth choice and self-determination

Systems supporting youth should be co-designed by youth to offer the maximum amount of choices - including in housing options, support interventions, and opportunities to engage in training, education, employment, and leadership, all without judgement. Service providers should work to ensure that seeking support is in itself an affirming, supportive, low-risk act.

6. Support for Indigenous youth

A commitment to reconciliation means a commitment to Indigenous youth. Indigenous young people face a challenging landscape of intergenerational trauma and discrimination. Systems supporting youth must recognize this and support the strengthening of connections to culture, to the land, and to the community for Indigenous youth, while recognizing the diversity of Indigenous cultures and experiences. This work must be led by indigenous organizations and communities, whose ways of working and knowing provide important lessons for all, and particularly for service providers.

7. Support for LGBT2SQIA+ youth

Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, Transgener, Two-Spirited, Intersex, and Asexual (LGBT2SQIA+) youth face much higher risks of family breakdown, homelessness, and violence, and require targeted supports. These supports must recognize how different kinds of marginalization intersect. They must also include education for service providers and communities and engage peers, schools, and families in the struggle against discrimination against this population. 

8. Harm reduction

Services for youth and emerging adults should be designed to meet them where they are at, regardless of behaviour or the choices they are able to make at any given time (e.g. addictions, mental health challenges, criminal-justice involvement, attendance, etc.). Instead, they must be provided with the resources and tools they need to attain maximum safety in their current circumstance as well as being offered additional support aimed at long-term stability and growth. Service providers must focus on the training and support needed to make their staff champions of this approach in this community, and on providing diverse service options that still offer youth choice. 

9. Integrated services (integrated models of care) and coordinated access

Closer integration, prioritization, and information-sharing between programs, organizations, and systems should be an explicit goal of all  youth service providers, and should extend to a broad network of organizations that includes all levels of government, community organizations, and the private sector. This includes low-barrier and province-wide coordinated access to a wide range of support services, as well as physical co-location of youth supports.

10. Targeted supports for the most vulnerable youth

The most vulnerable youth (those facing multiple, overlapping barriers related to addictions, mental health, family breakdown, and involvement with the justice system) often have the most limited access to resources and can be very difficult to engage. Targeting engagement and supports towards these youth, particularly supports focused on prevention, helps avoid lifelong impacts and system involvements and should be a priority for youth-serving organizations. When services are not accessible, service providers must work to provide alternative options.

11. Trauma-informed practice

Supports and organizational practices should be designed to recognize that many young people seeking support have experienced one or more types of trauma, and to acknowledge the distinct impacts of intergenerational trauma. Practice should be informed by principles of safety, choice, collaboration, trustworthiness, and empowerment . Service providers should always be seeking education on the impacts of trauma and how to respond to them so as to provide trusting and nonjudgmental spaces for youth.

12. Support for youth and emerging adults with disabilities

Youth and emerging adults with disabilities have equal rights to support and to opportunities to thrive. Service providers must identify ways to make programs more inclusive and to provide targeted supports where needed.

13. Recognizing intersectionality

While providing targeted support is important, it is also important to recognize that many young people and emerging adults live at the intersection of multiple identities, strengths, and risks and should not need to self-identify within one particular group to receive support.

14. Celebrating successes and strengths

Service providers should make every effort to identify and celebrate the many ways in which each young person has strengths, achieves successes (however small), and how they can be a support to their peers.

By acting together, we are building a brighter future.

Add your voice to the list of individuals and organizations supporting this work.

Blake Sheppard-Pardy

Charles J. Andrew Youth and Family Treatment Center

 

April Andersen

Charles J. Andrew Youth and Family Treatment Centre

 

April Andrews

Charles J. Andrew Youth and Family Treatment Center

 

Patricia Kemuksigak

Charles J. Andrew Youth and Family Treatment Center

 

Blake Sheppard Pardy 

Charles J. Andrew Youth and Family Treatment Center

 

Pauletta Tremblett

Charles J. Andrew Youth and Family Treatment Center

 

Jackie Lake-Kavanaugh

Office of the Child and Youth Advocate

 

Wilma MacInnis

Office of the Child and Youth Advocate

 

Will White

Youth Centres Canada, Grand Falls-Windsor

Karen Young

Aunt Jean's Place, Stephenville

 

Lisa Browne

Stella's Circle

 

Jill Peckford

Stella's Circle

  

Stephen Gaetz

Canadian Observatory on Homelessness, York University

 

Paul Rowe

Catherine Donnelly Foundation

 

Angela Picco

Choices for Youth

 

Kris Kelly

Choices for Youth

 

Jeannie Piercey

Choices for Youth

 

Sheldon Pollett

Choices for Youth

 

Ayon Shahed

Choices for Youth

 

Joshua Smee

Choices for Youth

 

Board of Directors

Choices for Youth

 

Susan Rose

Egale Canada

 

Scott Hudson

Nunatsiavut Government

 

Kaila de Boer

Nunatsiavut Government

 

Odelle Pike

People of the Dawn Indigenous Friendship Centre/ Newfoundland Aboriginal Womens Network

 

Jennifer Elson

Labrador Friendship Centre

 

Alicia Neville

Labrador Friendship Centre

 

Jennifer Hefler-Elson

Labrador Friendship Centre

 

Chris Sheppard

St. John’s Native Friendship Centre

 

Crystal Cater

Homelessness Partnership Strategy, Grand Falls-Windsor

 

Stephanie Battcock

Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador

 

Colin Hipditch

Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador

 

Joan Brown

Housing Supports Office, Marystown

 

Shirley Coady

Housing Homeless Network, Marystown

 

Katie Wells

Town of Happy Valley - Goose Bay

 

Karen Beresford

Exploits Valley Community Coalition

 

Gail Thorne

Exploits Community Centre

 

MaryAnn Spearing

Community Mental Health Initiative, Corner Brook

 

Steve Gaulton

Community Mental Health Initiative, Corner Brook

 

Jade Kearley

Community Mental Health Initiative, Corner Brook

 

Janice KennedyBay St. George Status of Women Council, Corner Brook

Bernice Penashue

Innu Round Table Secretariat

 

Kylie Rose

Innu Round Table Secretariat

 

Miriam Lyall

Elder

 

Ken Mesher

Elder

 

Elizabeth Penashue

Elder

 

Steve Mathias

Foundry, British Columbia

 

Terrilee Kelford

Cornerstone Landing Youth Services, Ontario

 

Kimberly Beers

Department of Children, Seniors and Social Development, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador

 

Amanda Winsor

Department of Children, Seniors and Social Development, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador

 

Denise Rumboldt

NunatuKavut Community Council

 

Frankie Leonard

Premier's Youth Council

 

Desiree Wolfrey

Rigolet Safe House, Rigolet

 

Helen Whalen

SPLASH Centre, Harbour Grace

 

Maggie Snow

SPLASH Centre, Harbour Grace

  

Kerri Randell

Central Housing and Homelessness Network

 

Cyril Tobin

Newfoundland & Labrador Housing & Homelessness Network

 

Dan Goodyear

Canadian Mental Health Association NL

 

Bruce Pearce

End Homelessness St. John's

 

Courtney Slaney

Community Youth Network, Gander

 

Chelsea Barbour

Community Youth Network, Nain

 

Mary Barter

Community Youth Network, Southwest NL

 

Jennifer Bennett

Community Youth Network, Placentia

 

Lisa Buckland

Community Youth Network, Corner Brook

 

Marie Bungay

Community Youth Network, Harbour Breton

 

Deidre Clarke

Community Youth Network, Springdale

 

Sara Dyson

Community Youth Network, Hopedale

 

Debbie Forsey

Community Youth Network, Grand Bank

 

Colleen Hayter

Community Youth Network, Botwood

 

Paulette Isaacs

Community Youth Network, St. Lawrence

 

Amy Ivany

Community Youth Network, Baie Verte

 

Vanessa Lee

Community Youth Network, Southwest NL

 

Robert Moran

Community Youth Network, Cape Broyle

 

Cailin Pardy

Community Youth Network, Cartwright

 

Sharon Price

Community Youth Network, Summerford

 

Carmella Rose

Community Youth Network, St. Anthony

 

Lisa Ryland

Community Youth Network, Southern Labrador

 

April Skinner

Community Youth Network, Grand Falls-Windsor

 

Pam Stevens

Community Youth Network, Bonavista

 

Nancy Baines Toope

Community Youth Network, Plum Point

 

Krystle White

Community Youth Network, Port aux Basques

 

Lisa Willcott

Community Youth Network, St. Albans

 

Roseanne Leonard

NL Association of CBDCs

Christine Young

YMCA of Western NL, Corner Brook

Shaun Obed

Youth Delegate

Nicole Seymour

Youth Delegate

 

Nick Ings

Youth Delegate

 

Jobie Lidd

Youth Delegate

Patrick Hickey

Youth Delegate

 

Cody Byrne

Youth Delegate

 

AJ Clarke

Youth Delegate

 

Brittany Stockley

Youth Delegate

 

Donovan Taplin

The Prime Minister's Youth Council

  

Bernice Hancock

Community Education Network, Stephenville

 

Michelle Power

Community Education Network, Stephenville

 

Lynette Collins

Mariner Resources Opportunities Network

 

Dale Mayne

Mariner Resources Opportunities Network

 

 David French

A Way Home Canada

 

Melanie Redman

A Way Home Canada

 

Tonia Pilgrim

Labrador-Grenfell Health

 

Danette Hicks

Salvation Army Community and Family Services, Gander

 

Roxana Green

Community Youth Network, Clarenville and Area

 

Angela Crockwell

Community Youth Network, St. John's

 

Nicole Keiley

NL Sexual Assault Crisis and Prevention Centre

 

Kevin O'Shea

Public Legal Information Association of NL

 

Carolann Harding

SmartICE Inc.

 

Mike Kearley

Vine Place Community Centre, Corner Brook

 

Robyn LeGrow

Jimmy Pratt Foundation

 

Cindy Murphy

John Howard Society

 

Wendolyn Schlamp

YWCA St. John’s

 

Vickie Budgell-Chippett

ACE Neighbourhood Centre, Bishop’s Falls

 

Gary Noftle

Boys and Girls Club, Buchans

 

Ashley Ivany

Boys and Girls Club, Botwood

 

Jane Henderson

Boys and Girls Club of St. John's

 

Paula Sheppard Thibeau

Corner Brook Status of Women Council, Mount Moriah

 

Rob Higgs

Lake Melville Youth Centre Steering Committee, Goose Bay

 

Tracey Coady

Regional Action Committee on Housing (REACH), Clarenville

 

Emile Cabot

Social Change Network, Grand Falls-Windsor

 

Jackie Thompson

Status of Women Central, Grand Falls-Windsor

 

AnnMarie Connors

Transition House, Gander

 

Heather Davis

Transition House, Corner Brook

 

Nicole Dicker

Transition House, Nain

 

Teena Flowers

Transition House, Hopedale

 

Michelle Greene

Transition House, St. John’s

 

Jessica Keating

Transition House, Happy Valley - Goose Bay

 

Nicole Northcott

Transition House, Labrador City

 

Lisa Slaney

Transition House, Marystown

 

Dan Meades

Transition House Association of NL, St. John’s

 

CLICK HERE ADD YOUR VOICE TO THE LIST OF INDIVIDUALS AND ORGANIZATIONS SUPPORTING THIS WORK.

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261 Duckworth Street

St. John's, NL A1C 1G9

E: info@choicesforyouth.ca

P: 709.754.0446

F: 709.726.3125

Choices for Youth

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