John Howard Society of Hamilton, Burlington & Area

Youth Programs

Aggression Management Program

The Aggression Management Program is a cognitive skills based program for youth 12 – 17 years who have interpersonal problems as a result of their aggressive behaviour. The program consists of eight ninety minute sessions designed to help youth identify their personal aggression patterns, explore alternatives and develop a plan of action to improve how the young person responds to stressful situations. The program is divided into the five components of Anger, Communication, Triggers, Choice Points and Problem Solving.
Note: This program is open to internal referrals only through the Extrajudicial Measures and Sanctions programs.

Choices: Cognitive Skills For Youth At Risk

(Funded by the Ministry of Children and Youth Services)
Choices is an interactive eight session program designed for both males and females 12-17 years of age. Choices is offered on a weekly basis, both on and off site, and each session is ninety minutes long. The goal of the program is to provide youth with practical skills that will assist them in making better choices at home, school and with their peers. This program is open to community referrals.

Crime Prevention Program

This program is a short term intervention designed to create greater awareness in participants of the costs of criminal behaviour to their community, as well as, their responsibility to change their own actions to create positive change. The program teaches the young person how to constructively respond to problem situations through the use of various exercises focusing on self control, conflict, responsibility, stealing, the law, decision making and leisure time. This program serves youth between the ages of 12 to 17 years. Note: This program is open to internal referrals only through the Extrajudicial Measures and Sanctions programs.

Extrajudicial Measures Program

(Funded by the Ministry of Children and Youth Services)
In partnership with Hamilton Police Services, youth are diverted from the formal youth justice process while holding them accountable for their actions in a community context. We work with each young person to design a program of measures that addresses their risks and needs as well as the needs of the person(s) harmed and the community. The outcome of each case is reported back to Hamilton Police Services. This program serves youth 12 to 17 years of age.

Extrajudicial Sanctions Program

(Funded by the Ministry of Children and Youth Services)
In partnership with the Hamilton Crown Attorney’s Office and Hamilton Youth Probation Services, we assist youth through a diversion program as an alternative to the formal court process. We contract with the young person and provide them with sanctions (tasks) to complete as a means of holding them accountable for their actions while helping them recognize the impact of their behaviour on the person(s) harmed and their community. The youth’s strengths and needs are targeted to create an individual program with the intention of benefits to both the youth and their community.

Hamilton Youth Drug Diversion Program (HYDDP)

(Supported by a donation from Newalta Corporation )
The Hamilton Youth Drug Diversion Program was initiated by Hamilton Police Services to address the needs of school aged youth 12 to 17 years of age who are arrested for drug offences. Rather than send youth to court for their drug related misdemeanours, the police wanted an alternative that would assess the youth’s individual needs, but still hold them accountable for their actions.

Youth are referred to the program by a police officer. They are instructed to contact the John Howard Society to arrange a meeting with a youth worker. The youth is scheduled for a screening with a counselor from Alternatives for Youth and the John Howard Society to determine the youth’s substance use level, their motivation to change and any other significant strengths and risks of the youth. The results of these assessments determine the most appropriate intervention, or combination of interventions for the young person. There are three options: 1. Education Day: Suitable for a youth who is a casual drug user. 2. Five Session Group: Suitable for a youth who is a moderate drug user. 3. Individual Counseling: Suitable for a youth who may be struggling with addiction. Every youth and a parent/support person is required to attend the Education Day as a part of their program of measures/sanctions.

The HYDDP is a collaborative, comprised of the following agencies: Hamilton Police Services, The John Howard Society of Hamilton, Burlington and Area, Alternatives for Youth, Good Shepherd Youth Services, and City of Hamilton, Culture and Recreation Services. The Newalta Corporation has generously provided partial funding and staffing to this program through their Community Investment Program. Note: This program is open to internal referrals only through the Extrajudicial Measures and Sanctions programs.

Family Support Program

(Funded by the United Way of Halton & Hamilton)
The Family Support Program is designed to provide support, information, early intervention and referral to other services for parents with youth ages 12 to 17 who are experiencing parenting challenges or parent/child conflicts. Service is strength based, family centered and offered in individual or group formats. The goal is to assist families to find positive solutions to conflicts and concerns by identifying and using family strengths, creating greater understanding between parents and youth and providing a skills building process for parents of youth.
Although the topics of the group sessions are participant directed some of the sessions available include: providing effective boundaries, communication strategies, problem solving, negotiation and conflict resolution. The program is delivered on site and off site throughout Hamilton, Burlington and Area and is open to community referrals.

Youth Justice Committee

(Funded by the Ministry of the Attorney General)
The Youth Justice Committee involves trained community members who meet with victims, young people 12 to 17 years of age accused of minor, non-violent offences, and their parents, to negotiate an appropriate way for the young person to make amends for his or her actions. The Committee may develop and implement alternatives to formal court proceedings, either on referral by police or the Crown. Examples of alternate interventions include community service, restitution and counselling programs. All young people must agree to accept responsibility for their actions, and to apologize to the victim.

Youth Navigation Program (YNP)

This community based initiative for youth requiring support will help young people navigate the service systems, and connect them to resources in the community. The program provides individual case management and group sessions to support youth in identifying, developing and implementing a personal plan based on their own goals. Program services include; anger management, mental health, financial literacy, conflict resolution, and employment support. Self referrals are welcome and programing is free to all participants aged 12-24 years.

Non-Residential Attendance Centre (NRAC)

(Funded by the Ministry of Children and Youth Services)
The JHS of Hamilton Burlington & Area provides a highly structured intensive community based alternative to custody for youth (ages 12-17) who have come in contact with the law. Youth engage in effective cognitive programming based on prevention, rehabilitation and reintegration. The program provides individualized support for youth to assist them in achieving their program goals, motivate and facilitate change and supports them in becoming positive members of the Hamilton Community.

HWDSB Cognitive Programming Initiative

A youth worker from the John Howard Society is assigned to the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board to provide the following functions in the Suspension/ Expulsion program.
Support the work of staff and management, including teachers, teaching assistants, social workers, and in charge principal
Provide support to restorative practice in the class room.
Liaise and collaborate with other community agencies regarding the delivery of cognitive behavioural programs
Provide cognitive skill development facilitation and individual work
Provide direct behavioural interventions as required

Hamilton Wentworth District School Board Youth Worker Contract for the Grade 12 and 12+ initiative and the Urban Priorities Initiative

The John Howard Society Hamilton Burlington and Area provides Youth Worker contracted services to these initiatives to support students who are at risk of not completing grade 12 or who have returned to school to complete grade 12. The services supports training and facilitation of restorative justice to further explore goal development, social, emotional, and cognitive skill development. The aim is to support students to reach success and graduate Grade 12.