Youth Justice Ontario is an association representing over 50 agencies province wide that provide services to youth involved in the youth justice system. The agencies that we are comprised of provide a wide spectrum of multi-faceted services which extend from prevention and early intervention programs, to custody and community aftercare.
Youth Justice Ontario believes that rehabilitation and change is key for the future of youth and their communities. There has been much research done on the area of youth crime and recidivism, resulting in therapeutic relationships being an essential component in providing a catalyst for change.
Youth Justice Ontario believes an effective program delivered by well trained professional staff is the fiscally responsible manner in which to deal with the often complex issue of youth crime, which in turn requires complex solutions. Being a provincial association gives us the understanding of the broader perspective as well as the need and necessity to provide local solutions to local problems.
We believe the professional human services staff we employ provide the key to cost effective rehabilitation of youth. Our agencies are, more often than not, the “safety net” for some of the highest risk youth in the province. While providing community safety, we are often also the only advocate for these high risk youth.
The wealth of expertise and experience in providing these services is invaluable in affecting positive change. We have historically worked in collaboration with the government of the day, and will continue to work at building new linkages that ensure we can continue to be responsive to the systemic needs of today.
We respect and value the need to work cooperatively with the government and our local communities. As an active and productive partner with the government, we can assist in educating our clients and keeping our communities informed. Youth Justice Ontario believes in solution based outcomes. We are confident our active participation on youth justice issues would assist the government in making decisions that are both cost effective while still providing quality services for youth and families in Ontario.
In recent years, a subcommittee developed and circulated a survey to all members of Youth Justice Ontario. From that survey, the following information was learned.
Currently, YJO member agencies are finding it difficult to hire and retain qualified staff. The result is that the agencies are experiencing an instable environment in which it is becoming increasing difficult to deliver secure and effective programs. YJO would like to seek the advice and suggestions of the Ontario government through the Ministry of Community, Children and Social Services, which funds the YJO agencies regarding the following: