A collaborative planning meeting, held on October 19th, was attended by 15 professionals from across Hastings-Prince Edward who work with children and youth.
Youthab Executive Director, Cathie West, as facilitator, provided the rationale behind this meeting and what we hoped to achieve. Cathie reported that the Children and Youth Mental Health Service Providers Group wanted to canvass youth in order to inform their work plan. This precipitated the idea of collaborating with other youth service providers on youth engagement activities. The purpose of the day was to draft a plan towards the implementation of youth engagement activities with a focus on the health and wellness of youth living in Hastings-Prince Edward.
Following an update from each community on initiatives and activities, two discussion groups were formed to respond to the following questions:
- What steps are needed to implement youth forums by the spring of 2016?
- How would we engage youth in your local communities to move this project forward?
- Other thoughts?
One significant finding was that youth survey results from numerous projects; i.e., 2012 Community Action Research Project (CARP), 2013 Transitional Aged Youth (TAY), etc. are already available – they just need to be pulled together. Participants also discovered that there is significant youth engagement expertise in our catchment area; e.g., Quinte West Youth Centre, and the North Hastings Youth Advisory Committee – that we can learn from in terms of best practices and strategies. Finally, there are two Youth Collective Impact initiatives – one in Prince Edward and one in Hastings – that are planning to engage youth around developing educational and employment potential. Certainly, the benefits of building upon existing opportunities and collaborating on youth engagement are clear.
Please CLICK HERE for a more detailed list of responses as well as meeting minutes.
A small steering committee has been struck, and will be chaired by Children’s Mental Health Services Executive Director Susan Sweetman, to move forward on youth engagement and report back to the Mental Health Providers Group and Children and Youth Services Network. Please feel free to contact me with any questions.
For further clarification on what youth engagement is and what it means for youth, please view this Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental health video.