Solutions de rechange et acquisitions de compétences pour les 12-24 ans
Gender: Mixed (male and female)
Population served: Gang-involved (and/or at risk)
Number of completed Canadian outcome evaluation studies: In progress
Continuum of intervention: Secondary crime prevention
Solutions de rechange et acquisitions de compétences pour les 12-24 ans (SORACOM) is a program designed to reduce youth violence and youth gang activity in the Saint-Michel community in Montreal. This program, which is based on the Wraparound approach,Footnote1 seeks to make a difference in youth’s sense of belonging at school and in the labour market while reducing the attractiveness towards a gang or criminal lifestyle.
The program is centered on academic support; conflict resolution; counselling and social work; job employment; leadership and youth development; mentoring – tutoring; skills training; social emotional learning; and truancy prevention.
The main goals of the Solutions de rechange et acquisitions de compétences pour les 12-24 ans program are to:
- Foster changes in attitudes towards violence and crime among youth; and
- Reduce the attractiveness towards youth gang membership.
The appropriate clientele for the Solutions de rechange et acquisitions de compétences pour les 12-24 ans program is youth between the ages of 12 and 24 who are at-risk of gang involvement. Youth may participate in the program if they have significant risk factors associated with gang involvement and/or if they have a history of violence.
Youth are referred to the program by their school administrators or the police service.
The Solutions de rechange et acquisitions de compétences pour les 12-24 ans program consists of:
- A personalized action plan, which reflects the unique needs and strengths of each youth and their families;
- A support team, which guides the youth to successfully achieve the goals and the objectives set out in their individualized action plan;
- Referrals to various community resources so that the youth may have access to employment and educational assistance; and
- An exit/transitional plan, which seeks to prepare the youth to successfully plan for their futures in the workforce and in the community.
Some of the critical elements for the implementation of this program or initiative include the following:
- Organizational requirements: It is important to incorporate family members and community-based organizations into the individualized action plans for each youth. This will ensure that youth develop prosocial goals in order to achieve success in school, in the workforce, and in their community.
- Partnerships: Organizations should collaborate with local high schools, police services, health and social services, and other local organizations.
- Training and technical assistance: Staff must be trained in the Wraparound approach.
- Risk assessment tools: Limited information on this topic.
- Materials & resources: Limited information on this topic.
The most recognized classification systems of evidence-based crime prevention programs have classified this program or initiative as follows:
- Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development: Not applicable.
- Crime Solutions/OJJDP Model Program Guide: Not applicable.
- SAMHSA's National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices: Not applicable.
- Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy: Not applicable.
Gathering Canadian Knowledge
Canadian Implementation Sites
Public Safety Canada’s National Crime Prevention Strategy provided funding to implement the Solutions de rechange et acquisitions de compétences pour les 12-24 ans program in Montréal (Quebec) (2013-2019) by la Maison des Jeunes par la Grand’Porte.
Main Findings from Canadian Outcome Evaluation Studies
As part of its funding with Public Safety Canada, an outcome evaluation study on the delinquency intervention program was conducted from September 2013 to August 2018, by Lafortune et al. (School of Criminology, University of Montréal). The evaluation methodology includes a mixed design with four evaluation components of the implementation process, such as performance measures, the description of young participants sought initially, the WrapAround Fidelity Index (2008) (WFI-4), and discussions and focus groups led by the response team. To evaluate the impact of the project, on a quantitative level, a design involving a pre-test and a post-test with a control group was selected.
The results of this evaluation showed the following:
- There were no significant differences observed among the 35 young people in the main group and the 48 in the control group with regard to the average age, previous use of psychotropic drugs, the perception of cohesiveness and conflict in the family, pro-social activities, school failures, employment history, number of friends, experiences of victimization, self-reported resilience, values, self-reported knowledge, personal beliefs in just world;
- Significant differences were observed with regard to gender (M/F), family composition, academic level achieved, previous monitoring experience under a law, risk of joining a gang or their culture, self-reported criminal history and the availability to change;
- Facilitators estimate that the WrapAround process was successful for 73% of young people;
- The program successfully encouraged young people to participate in more pro-social activities and develop positive attitudes toward school and studying; and
- In the medium-term, it is not possible to corroborate the fact that the program had a significant effect on the positive attitudes with regard to gangs, gang involvement, experiences of victimization or self-reported criminal behaviour.
By dividing the total cost of the SORACOM project by the number of participants involved in the WrapAround project (N = 130) we find that that $19,400 was committed for each young person who has completed all four phases. The total costs of the SORACOM project is $2,421,038.79 (Lafortune et al., 2018, p.82).
Lafortune, D et al. (2018). Solutions de rechange et acquisitions de compétences pour les 12-24 ans Project Evaluation Report. Final evaluation report. Presented to the National Centre for Crime Prevention, Public Safety Canada (unpublished report).
For more information on this program, contact:
La Maison des Jeunes par la Grand’Porte
8649 24e Avenue, Suite 7
Montreal, Quebec H2I 1M1
Telephone: (514) 721-1747
Record Entry Date - 2018-03-12
For more information on Wraparound, refer to the program descriptive sheet.
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