What if there were proven approaches to help vulnerable youth?

Children and Youth in Challenging Contexts Network - CYCC Network (NCE-KM)

O.V.O.L.’s first group of youth leaders from the Regent Park community in Toronto.

The challenge: Organizations that work with youth want to know that the programs they deliver are having a positive impact. Unfortunately, most lack the time, money and resources to conduct formal evaluations. This was the case for the Yonge Street Mission which had launched OUR VOICE, OUT LOUD (O.V.O.L) – a youth-led anti-bullying program that sees youth leaders share positive coping techniques and actions to neutralize bullying, starting with schools in Toronto’s Regent Park community.

The response: The CYCC Network, in collaboration with partners in Ontario, Quebec and Nunavut, has developed a mentorship program, an online evaluation toolkit and Wisdom2Action events. These evidence-based techniques help community-based groups adapt and adopt proven approaches to working with vulnerable children and youth. One CYCC mentor is working with the Yonge Street Mission to evaluate and expand O.V.O.L. from one pilot school with 12 youth leaders, to 30 youth leaders at four schools by September 2017.

These types of programs aren’t typically shared because organizations don’t have the data to prove they actually are working. Having this evidence makes it easier to share the results with others and apply for funding to expand the program. Don Mahleka, Research Assistant, CYCC Mentor