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4.4 Strategic and Systematic Planning for Serving Unaccompanied Youth


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4.4 Strategic and Systematic Planning for Serving Unaccompanied Youth

Speaker: Camille Farrag

To effectively end youth homelessness, strategic planning and coordination of the systems and programs that youth use are necessary. This workshop will examine how some communities have tackled the process of system-wide planning to end homelessness for youth.

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4.4 Strategic and Systematic Planning for Serving Unaccompanied Youth

  1. 1. Camille FarragStrategist, Youth & Prevention
  2. 2. One Plan: Many Perspectives1. August 29th, 2007: 53 young people and community wide agencies2. May 7th & May 8th, 2009: Youth Summit - 25 young people actively participated in developing the agenda and planning for the Summit, over 160 people attended.3. July 2010 – June 2011 ; On-going consultations on a Draft Plan to End Youth Homelessness which included the Youth Sector, young people and the wider community. All 80 pages!
  3. 3. Population facts about CalgaryTotal population of Calgary:1,230,248 (2008/ 2009 estimate)Total Homeless Population:4,060 people were homeless in Calgary on any given night (2008)Total number of homeless youth:• 355 under age 18 (unaccompanied youth)• 327 youth between ages 18 and 24.Total: 682 youth on any given night
  4. 4. Defining Youth Homelessness“A homeless youth is an unaccompanied person age 24 and under lacking apermanent nighttime residence. They can be living on the street, inshelters, couch surfing, in unsafe and insecure housing, and living in abusivesituations. They may also be about to be discharged without the security of aregular residence from a care, correction, health, or any other facility” Setting the Course: A Blueprint to End Youth Homelessness in Calgary, 2009
  5. 5. Strategy 1: Build a coordinated system to prevent &end youth homelessness (system of key components)
  6. 6. Strategy 1: Coordinating activities and tools that helplink the key components 1) a common objective: “to end youth homelessness,” 2) collective support for Housing First policies and practice, 3) a shared understanding on quality standards of care, 4) collection and sharing of high-quality research, 5) a common assessment framework and central referral process, 6) shared tools and resources, such as the HMIS, and 7) system and program outcomes, and performance measurement.
  7. 7. Strategy 2 – Develop an adequate number of housingunits and supportive homes• add housing for youth who are at risk of or experiencing homelessness• work with the government to create family-style homesStrategy 3 – Improve data systems knowledge andinfluence public policy • implement the HMIS; • gain a detailed understanding of youth homelessness; • advocate for a provincial effort to end youth homelessness; • adopt an inclusive definition of youth homelessness; • encourage more Children and Youth Services support for homeless youth under 18; • build income supports for young people transitioning into independence; and • provide better access to post-secondary education.
  8. 8. Create an understanding the uniqueness of youthhomelessness….Youth homelessness is unique because young people:• young people (under the age of 18) have distinct legal entitlements and restrictions separate from those of adults.• Attached to these separate legal entitlements and restrictions is a dedicated justice system, education system, child protection system and health services.• enter into homelessness with little or no work experience;• are often forced into leaving their education (i.e. junior high and high school) as a result of their homelessness;• experience high levels of criminal victimization, including sexual exploitation; and• often enter into homelessness without life skills such as cooking, money management and job searching.• are physically, emotionally, and socially still developing – they are adults- in-progress with unique strengths and assets;
  9. 9. After the Youth Plan launch....• Establishing a Youth Advisory Panel• Consultations on implementation of the Youth Plan (November 2011)• Discussing ways to work with a new government