Youth Mentor Connector

Program snapshot

Age group: Adolescence (12-17); Young adult (18-24)

Gender: Mixed (male and female)

Population served: Adult offenders; Youth in contact with law enforcement (and/or at risk)

Topic: Academic issues; Alcohol and/or drug use; Antisocial/deviant behaviours

Setting: Urban area; Community-based setting

Location: Alberta

Number of completed Canadian outcome evaluation studies: 0

Continuum of intervention: Secondary crime prevention; Tertiary crime prevention

Brief Description

The Youth Mentor Connector Program was designed as a free program for youth aged 12 – 25 who are at risk of becoming involved or have been involved with criminal activity. This volountary program utilized various types of mentoring such as traditional one-on-one mentoring, connecting youth to organizations or groups of interest, encouraging participation in clubs and teams, and to utilize resources in the community that may be of service. Mentors were trained, committed adults who were passionate about supporting youth and helping them to reach their full potential.

Goals

The main goals of the Youth Mentor Connector are to:

  • Establish a long term response team for at-risk youth;
  • Increase positive youth relationships;
  • Reduce youth criminal involvement;
  • Increase participants' attachment to school;
  • Increase youth and family connections to community resources;
  • Increase the inclusion and involvement of at-risk youth in leadership opportunities; and
  • Increase positive attitudes towards community members.

Clientele

The appropriate clientele for the Youth Mentor Connector program is 12-25 year old boys and girls who are at risk of being involved, or have previously been involved, with criminal activity as a result of poor relationships, family discord, drugs and alcohol use, or disconnection with school.

Core Components

The Youth Mentor Connector program consists of:

  • One-on-one mentorship;
  • Positive ticketing program: Drayton Valley RCMP issued “tickets” when saw youth doing good things. Tickets may be a free movie pass, a meal at McDonalds, or a free pass to a local hockey game;
  • Youth advisory council; and
  • Connection to community resources.

 

Implementation Information

Some of the critical elements for the implementation of this program or initiative include the following:

  • Organizational requirements: The program relies on recruiting trained and dedicated adult mentors from the community, as well as the cooperation of community agencies and the RCMP.
  • Partnerships: The Mentor Connector Response Team is a community partnership between the Town of Drayton Valley, the Drayton Valley RCMP, the District Family and Community Support Services (FCSS), and our strategic partners including the Comprehensive Family Violence Institute, Wild Rose School Division, St. Thomas Aquinas School Division, Alberta Health Services, Mental Health and Addictions, Family School Liaison Program, Probation, Youth Justice Committee, Aim for Success and Central Alberta Child and Family Services.  Due to the multitude of partner organizations, the organizational capacity was strong.
  • Training and technical assistance: Limited information on this topic.
  • Risk assessment tools: Limited information on this topic.
  • Materials & resources: Limited information on this topic.

International Endorsements

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

The Youth Mentor Connector Program was implemented by the Town of Drayton Valley in Alberta from April 2009 – September 2014.

Main Findings from Canadian Outcome Evaluation Studies

There are no full outcome evaluations available for Youth Mentor Connector; however some data analysis preliminarily shows that the program helped contribute to an increase in positive youth relationships and youth and family connections to community resources, while decreasing alcohol and drug use, criminal involvement, and school dropout rates. With youth being more engaged in school, feeling supported by a mentor, and increasing their sense of belonging, there has also been a noticeable drop in mischief-related crimes in the Town of Drayton Valley.

 

Cost Information

A social return on investment (SROI) has been conducted on the Youth Mentor Connector program. The findings from this study have shown the following:

  • The SROI ratio, which is based on the total value created divided by the total investment, indicates that over the three-year pilot, the average social value of investment in the Youth Mentor Connector program is $1.59 for every dollar invested.

Funding was provided by the Safe Communities Innovation Fund (SCIF), Government of Alberta.

 

References

There is no Canadian reference available at this time.

For more information on this program, contact:

Town of Drayton Valley

Annette Driessen

Telephone: (780)514-2232

E-mail: community@draytonvalley.ca

 


Record Entry Date - 2018-03-15

Date modified: