John Howard Society of Waterloo-Wellington

Youth Programs

Extrajudicial Measures and Sanctions

This program provides an opportunity for youth who have committed minor offences to take responsibility for their actions and make amends to the community.  Some youth are required to meet with a community panel to develop a contract that may included such things as restitution, letters of apology, essays, attending special programs and performing volunteer work.  Others are referred directly to educational workshops.  Youth are referred to the program either by police (pre-charge) – Extrajudicial Measures or by the Crown Attorney (Post-charge) – Extrajudicial Sanctions.  The latter are seen by Youth Justice Committees, which are comprised of community volunteers who have been trained under principles of the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

Funded by:     Province of Ontario 

Attendance Centre Program

This program is intended for 12-17 year old youth as an alternative to a term of custody.  The program focuses on the development of cognitive skills that reinforce positive values and promote responsible behaviour.  The program is client centred , addressing risk factors identified as contributing to criminogenic behaviour.  Youth develop stronger problem solving skills and learn to apply critical reasoning and consequential thinking in their everyday lives.  Youth may attend program one to three nights a week based on the individual needs.  Program structure emphasizes recreation, nutrition, core programming and community involvement and support.  Core programming includes but is not limited to substance use, anger management, healthy relationships, healthy sexuality, school support, job preparation and employment readiness, problem solving, communication/listening skills, self esteem, responsible social media use, bulling, conflict resolution and goal setting.   Community partners assist in delivering skill building and educational workshops raising awareness of services, opportunities and promoting community involvement. Programming is offered in group format, 1:1 format, 1:1 to group or group to 1:1 format dependent on the youth’s needs.      Youth  may be referred directly from the courts or from a Probation Officer.

Funded by:     Province of Ontario  

Youth Justice Programs
(Preventing Property Crime, Get Connected, Substance Use Program, Anger Management Program, Employment Program, Financial Literacy Program, Girls Group, SNAP ®, Healthy Relationships (4th R), Extrajudicial Measure/Youth Justice Committee)

The Agency offers a wide range of Youth Justice Programs.  All of the programs educate youth about making good choices and thinking before acting.  They also stress the development of decision-making skills, moral reasoning, victim empathy and dealing with negative peer pressure.

The Preventing Property Crime raises awareness of social and financial impact on themselves and the community; address thoughts, beliefs that lead to their actions; victim perspective: decision making; alternative decision making.

Get Connected helps to define healthy relationships; boundaries; effective communication styles as it pertains to appropriate electronic communication (e.g. texting, sexting, distribution of personal images; cyberbullying; use of social media).

Substance Use Program provides youth with supportive, open-ended space in which they may express their thoughts and feelings concerning their experience of substance abuse and the impact of substance motivated behaviour within their lives.

Anger Management Program attempts to address risks and needs in the areas of anger, hostility and aggression by providing youth with the necessary tools/skills and strategies to avoid reacting negatively and/or impulsively.

Employment Program offers the chance to enhance the essential skills and work habits of youth, increase participants’ awareness of career opportunities within the skilled trades, expand knowledge of key apprenticeship pathways, build understanding of what it means to be a reliable worker.

Financial Literacy Program focuses on increasing knowledge and understanding of responsible money management and developing the foundational elements of personal finance, including saving and budgeting, earnings and deductions, banking and credit.

Girls Group provides the opportunity to safely discuss real life issues relevant to relationships and violence in a gender specific format, encouraging greater feelings of self-worth and assisting youth with developing positive social supports.

SNAP® (Stop Now And Plan): (*For Justice Involved MALES Only) is a digital module evidence-based program for youth with serious disruptive behaviour problems and criminal justice involvement.

Healthy Relationships (4th R)  promotes healthy relationships and targets violence (bullying, peer and dating violence), high-risk sexual behavior and substance use among adolescents.

Extrajudicial Measure/Youth Justice Committee meets with youth and parent/guardian to determine appropriate measures to make amends for the offence; YJC monitors youth’s completion of agreed upon measures. (Restorative Justice- victim involvement).

Funded by:    Province of Ontario 

Educational/Prevention Programs
C.O.P.E.S Program

C.O.P.E.S. Program (Communicating Our Perspectives and Emotions Successfully) is a school-based program for intermediate and secondary level students who are referred by school personnel.  The program is highly interactive with many opportunities for meaningful and directed discussion.  The COPES curriculum uses real-life scenarios to assist youth in strengthening their assets and increasing their resiliency.  The program is delivered in small group format over the course of multiple sessions.  Content includes but is not limited to topics such as pro-social communication styles, perspective taking, understanding others, effectively working as part of a group, and emotions regulation.  Incorporating social emotional learning concepts, participants continue to build their skills of self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, positive relationships, problem solving and conflict resolution.

Funded by:  United Way of Kitchener-Waterloo and Area, United Way of Cambridge and North Dumfries and the United Way Community Services of Guelph and Wellington. 

Bullying Prevention Workshops
(School Based)

Each of our multi-session bullying prevention / social competency and skill development programs are completed within school classrooms throughout the scheduled school day.  Workshop times and duration are arranged to best compliment individual school schedules.

One By One:  We Get Along (JK – grade 3)

The primary program fosters development in social competency such as self-monitoring, appropriate problem solving, knowing when to seek help and recognizing passive, aggressive and assertive choices.

The Power Within (grade 4-6 / occasional  grade 7/8)

The junior level program takes a more in-depth look at a bullying situation and the players involved (the person who chooses to bully, the person who was targeted and the bystanders).  During the program, students discuss the decision that each individual could make and the ramifications of those choices.  Social competencies are explored as they apply specifically to a bullying situation (ie.  students are taught to be assertive through the use of a strategy specifically designed to combat bullying)  A final session also introduces concepts of cyber safety/responsibility and cyberbullying.

Funding for Educational / Prevention Programs is provided by United Way of K-W and Area, United Way of Cambridge and North Dumfries, United Way Community Services of Guelph and Wellington and Service Canada.

Youth In Transition Program

The Youth in Transition Program works to support Crown Ward youth in their successful transition out of care, to living on their own as independent adults.

The Y.I.T. worker will assist youth to develop, identify and pursue their goals and will support them to access and navigate adult service systems relevant to their specific needs.

Youth involved in the program are between the ages of 16 to 24 and will work with the Y.I.T. worker in the following key areas, but not limited to:

Employment, Housing, Educational Opportunities, Recreation, Community Resources, and Life Skills.

The Program works closely with staff from the local Family and Children Services to identify Crown wards who may benefit from the services of the Y.I.T. Worker.  Referral to the program may also come from other local service providers or from the youth themselves.

For additional information, or to make a referral, please contact our Y.I.T. staff at 519-622-0815 ext. 300.

Funded by:     Province of Ontario