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Collaborating With and For Homeless Youth in Hamilton 43rd Annual Addictions Ontario Conference AY-Alternatives for Youth, Sue Kennedy, Lori Claxton Social.

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Presentation on theme: "Collaborating With and For Homeless Youth in Hamilton 43rd Annual Addictions Ontario Conference AY-Alternatives for Youth, Sue Kennedy, Lori Claxton Social."— Presentation transcript:

1 Collaborating With and For Homeless Youth in Hamilton 43rd Annual Addictions Ontario Conference AY-Alternatives for Youth, Sue Kennedy, Lori Claxton Social Planning and Research Council, Erika Morton on behalf of the Street Youth Planning Collaborative Monday May 30 st, 2011

2 This presentation will share: The innovative work happening within Hamilton on street-involved and homeless youth issues How we are conducting systems planning and community development work The model of collaboration led by the Street Youth Planning Collaborative (SYPC)

3 History Directors from street-involved youth agencies have a long history of ad-hoc communication Ten years ago a group of service providers began meeting formally in order to address community gaps Separated the directors and front line staff to enhance communication The directors table partnered with the SPRC in 2004

4 History continued… In October 2005, the Addressing the Needs document was released The subsequent recommendation implementation phase helped us understand how the three stakeholder groups would work together

5 Three Stakeholder Groups The Street Youth Planning Collaborative The Street Involved Youth Network The Street Youth Involvement Committee

6 Who Is Involved? Street Youth Planning Collaborative

7 The Street Youth Planning Collaborative The SYPC strives to advocate for, support and facilitate an enhanced, seamless system of services for street-involved and homeless youth.

8 Who is Involved? Street Involved Youth Network This community network boasts a membership of 31 individuals from 20 community agencies (Includes SYPC agencies, YMCA, OW, Public Health, Child Welfare agencies, Mental Health services… This group meets monthly to discuss on the ground, street youth issues – partly to provide information and education to front line staff and partly to document the trends and realities on the front line

9 Who is Involved? Street Youth Involvement Committee Comprised of youth who have been homeless, are homeless or who have an interest in homelessness They have been meeting for 4 years – once per month They provide input to an adult ally on homeless youth issues, consult the community and do project work

10 SYPC Planning Processes and Mechanisms Addressing the Needs of Street-Involved and Homeless Youth in Hamilton (October 2005) Annual Strategic Planning Sessions Monthly Planning Meetings Dedicated Community Development Support

11 Communication, Planning and Decision Making The CD support is the conduit between all stakeholder meetings All decision making rests with the SYPC We are working toward more integrated and collaborative planning with the three stakeholder groups

12 Status, Implementation Strategies and Initiatives The SYPC is building it’s profile as a decision making, planning body on street-involved youth issues We completed and evaluated a three-year recommendation implementation strategy in August 2009 The current focus is around housing and increased collaboration development We are being recognized provincially and nationally on the work we are doing

13 Successes The collaboration model-3 stakeholder groups Commitment to systems planning Documentation of community conversations and use of research in work Community development support Action oriented and gets work done Increase of the profile and community awareness around street-involved youth issues

14 Successes continued 7 member Youth Housing Support Team Youth Outreach Workers of Hamilton project Angela’s Place and Wesley Youth Housing transitional housing projects Weekend Open Access Support The Addressing the Needs report and subsequent Interim Project Check-In Increased capacity and training for front-line staff Increased mental health services, including clinical services

15 Challenges Time Balancing inclusiveness and getting work done Working with diverse agencies A funding climate that expects collaboration but does not foster it Meaningfully valuing the perspective of front line staff and youth

16 Next Steps for the SYPC Committed and dedicated to their work Profile building Sustainable funding


18 Alternatives for Youth Mission Statement: Alternatives for Youth empower youth to make positive choices that minimize the harm of substance use or addiction and to be engaged in positive ways with their community. Vision Statement: We envision a future where youth are not harmed by substance use or addiction, and are engaged in positive ways within their community. Vision Values

19 AY Values Accessibility Inclusion Openness Empowerment Flexibility

20 AY Core Service: AY Opened its doors in 1969 Community treatment for children and youth ages 12-23 who are substance involved Provide assessment, treatment planning, evidence informed interventions, referral and follow-up in a harm reduction framework Comprehensive psychiatric assessment, consultation, and treatment for youth with concurrent disorders.

21 Risk Factors for Street Involved Youth Family History: Parental drug use Quality of family relationships, organization and communication Ineffective parenting or absence of Intimacy and stability(disengagement/enmeshment)

22 Risk Factors Cont’d Early Anti-social Behaviour the greater the variety, frequency and seriousness: the greater the likelihood of drug abuse e.g. rebelliousness, temperament, social isolation, impulsivity, early learning related difficulties, early onset on drug use

23 Risk Factors cont’d Peers Association with street drug users, couch-surfing peers Perceived street-involvement by other adolescents Gang involvement

24 Risk Factors cont’d Attitudes, Beliefs, Personality Traits Alienation from “main-stream” society Rebelliousness Risk-taking Non-conformity Resistance to traditional authority

25 Street Drugs: Risks and Harms drug interactions especially for poly-drug users routes of administration financing drug abuse disease transmission psycho-social impact and consequences legal risks and hazards limitations of the treatment and social services

26 AY’s Response - A Triage Model of Integrated Care Focus on crisis Street drug use and street-involved lifestyle cannot be separated out Crisis intervention as a component of clinical case management Distinguish between crisis events and other traumatic events

27 Assessment Complete alcohol/drug history: Identify negative and social and physical consequences of use(physical abuse, needle use, safe sex, pregnancy) Determine if withdrawal symptoms are present Screen for mental health status(depression, anxiety, panic,suicide, psychosis)***Referral to mental health clinician/psychiatrist

28 Early Intervention Triage and assessment for youth who are accessing street-involved services for the first time. Youth shelter may not be bet entry point to services. what brought you here? do you have any other options of places to go?(extended family, friends, etc.) goal of early intervention is to assist youth to access community services before engaging in street involved youth culture and services

29 Intensive Intervention Triage and assessment for youth who are entrenched in street-drug use and street- involved lifestyle ensure basic needs are met: food, shelter, clothing, identification, legal explore primary presenting concerns that youth is identifying i.e.: physical health, mental health, current pattern of substance use Goal is to explore risks, vulnerabilities and strengths and reduce barriers to treatment

30 Exiting Street Involved Youth Stabilization and move toward independence and support network is community based. housing education employment substance use mental health family/peer relationships


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