Advocating for youth and their families so they can thrive!

Youth Advocate Program

The Youth Advocate Program works with youth ages 9-15 engaging in or at high risk of engaging in criminal activity by strengthening connections and reducing barriers to create safer communities.

What is the Youth Advocate Program all about?

The Youth Advocate Program goals are to increase the capacities of youth, families, and communities. We do this through advocacy, connections to community resources, and service provision. We offer intensive and integrated interventions to prevent youth from being charged with future crimes.

The program is aimed at youth aged 9-15 who meet the program requirements. Each youth accepted into the program gets paired one on one with a Youth Advocate Worker in their community who supports the youth and family. We have a maximum of 45 participants at a given time.

Program Requirements

The staff team reviews the circumstances of each youth to determine fit for the program. Information is taken from the initial referral and conversations with the youth, parent/guardian, and other service providers.

To be accepted, there must be evidence that youth are:

  1. Engaging in criminal activity or presenting criminal behaviours. This could mean the youth is facing current charges, going through a restorative justice process, or engaged in behaviours that could be criminally charged but have not been for whatever reason.
  2. Exposed to crime through peers, family, or community.
  3. Experiencing hardship or presenting criminal behaviours in two out of the three life domains of home, school, and community.

If you think a youth would be eligible for referral to the program, please reach out to us or complete the Online Referral Application.

If you are interested in learning more about other resources for youth who aren’t eligible to be referred to the program, please check out our Resource Guide.

This program is voluntary for the youth and can not be court appointed. Consent must be given by the parent/guardian and youth before a referral is made.

 

What is Offered Through YAP

Additional support outside of home or school Mentoring New and fun experiences and connection to recreation activities Advocacy Connection, support, and navigation with community resources

  • IWK and mental health supports
  • Schools
  • Department of Community Services
  • Court systems
  • Restorative Justice
  • Recreation programs
  • Community based organizations
  • Tutoring
  • Therapy and Counselling
  • Transportation
  • Employment and volunteer

 

Our Approach

The Youth Advocate Program takes a youth and family centered and strengths-based approach. We use wrap around principles to provide supports.

How do I refer a youth?

Fill out an Online Referral Application and a member of the Youth Advocate Program will contact you within one week.

OR

Contact the Intake & Assessment Coordinator directly at 902.817.7530 or e-mail: youthadvocateprogram@halifax.ca

Please note: A referral does not guarantee acceptance to the program. All information will be kept confidential.

When you send in a referral, staff will contact you within 5 business days. If you don’t have confirmation, please email youthadvocateprogram@halifax.ca

Who is a good fit?

Because there are many different factors that we take into consideration throughout the intake and assessment process, there is no “one size fits all” for who will be accepted into the program. Please look through the information below and reach out if you have any questions.

  1. Is the youth between the ages of 9-15 at the time of referral?
  2. Does the youth live in one of the Youth Advocate Program communities shown on the map (Boundary Map is below)?
  3. If the youth is 9-12 years old, are they presenting behaviours that could be considered chargeable offenses?
  4. If the youth is 13-15 years old, are they already facing charges?

To give a better idea of how a youth might be assessed, please see the three examples below showing different risk levels. If you aren’t sure if the youth would be a good fit, please reach out or send in a referral.

Youth A

  • Caught smoking weed with friends
  • Coming home late
  • Acting out in school
  • Not attending class
  • Talking back at home

Considered to be at a lower risk of engaging in the type of criminal activity we are aiming to reduce. Please see our Resource Guide for appropriate services. If the behaviour of this youth changes or escalates please send in a referral. 


Youth B 

  • May be selling weed to their friends, but they haven’t been caught
  • Got into a fight at school, no charges laid
  • Getting suspended
  • Threatening violence at home
  • Police are being called to deal with the youth’s behaviours
  • Family members who are incarcerated

Considered to be at high risk of engaging in criminal activity and may be accepted into the program. Please send in a referral and staff will do an intake and assessment with the youth to determine eligibility and interest.

Youth C

  • Police called to school to deal with the youth
  • Facing charges
  • Threatening violence and then following through

Considered to be engaging in criminal activity and are likely to be accepted into the program. Please send in a referral and staff will do an assessment with the youth to determine eligibility and interest.
 

 

 

 

YAP Boundary Map

For mobile use, full sized map or issues loading the map, use this link.

Youth Advocate Program Communities

Contact the Youth Advocate Program

 Intake & Assessment Coordinator, Youth Advocate Program
 902.817.7530
 E-mail: youthadvocateprogram@halifax.ca
Acadia Centre (Below the Lower Sackville Library)
636 Sackville Drive, Lower Sackville

Youth Advocate Program  902.817.7530

Required fields are marked with an asterisk (*)

Online Referral Application

If you do not get confirmation of receipt for the referral within 5 business days, please email: youthadvocateprogram@halifax.ca 

Consent
You are sharing personal and private information about this family and youth. Please speak with the parent/guardian and youth to explain the program and referral process before proceeding. If you, the parent/guardian, or youth have any questions before moving forward, please reach out to the Intake & Assessment Coordinator using the email or phone number given.

Personal Identification of Referred Youth

Referring Individual or Agency
Reffering individual *


Questions
Does the youth demonstrate any of the following behaviours? If yes, please explain in the space below.


In accordance with Section 485 of the Municipal Government Act (MGA), any personal information collected on this application form will only be used by municipal staff and, if necessary, individuals and/or organizations under service contract with the Halifax Regional Municipality for purposes relating to the processing of this Youth Advocate Program application.

If you have any questions about the collection and use of this personal information, please contact the Access and Privacy Office at 902.943.2148 or privacy@halifax.ca.