What is the Halton Youth Collective Program?
The program is a collaborative approach – or wraparound service – to address the issues that confront youth as they transition out of care. The Collective is composed of: the Oakville Community Foundation, Halton Children’s Aid Society, members of the Halton Granter’s Roundtable*, a team of youth and 25 youth-service agencies representing various social services.
Their goal is to have 90% of youth between the ages of 18-24 who are supported by the Halton Children’s Aid Society satisfied with their current or path to education, employment or training.
Year 2 Impact
The Halton Youth Collective has released their Year 2 Impact Report which contains insights for program refinement in Halton and for possible implementation by other Ontario CAS organizations and their youth-serving community partners. The second year of the program saw continued barriers like the COVID-19 Pandemic, negatively impacting employment opportunities and other experiences.
However, by the end of Year 2, 95% of program participants were found to be satisfied with the education, employment and training.
The Pilot Study
The Halton Youth Collective Program released their new 2020 Pilot Study report, detailing the ins and outs of this life-changing program. The Halton Youth Collective Pilot Study launched with 25 youth transitioning out of the care of the Halton Children’s Aid Society and offered support related to education, employment, mental health, financial needs and more. The youth were also matched with a mentor to support them and offer advice, help and encouragement in their endeavours.
According to the report, between 800 and 1,000 youth transition away from child welfare services every year in Ontario as they’re “aged out” of the program. This transition is notoriously difficult due to the lack of support offered to youth no longer in the care of Children’s Aid Societies across the province.
These youth often find themselves experiencing homelessness, unemployment, involvement in corrections, a lack of skills and a lack of education engagement and achievement. Specifically, these youth find themselves part of the NEET statistic.
*The Halton Granter’s Roundtable began as an initiative of the Oakville Community Foundation to bring together funders looking to identify ways to collaborate, address priority needs in the community and create impact for local charities and the community they serve. The Roundtable turned their sights to the issue of youth transitioning out of care and to finding a solution.