Leadership and Resiliency Program (LRP)

Program snapshot

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

Gender: Mixed (male and female)

Population served: Aboriginal/Indigenous; Visible minority/ethnic group

Topic: Academic issues; Aggressive/violent behaviours; Alcohol and/or drug use

Setting: Rural/remote area; Urban area; Community-based setting; School-based

Location: Alberta; British Columbia; Newfoundland and Labrador; Northwest Territories; Nova Scotia; Nunavut; Quebec

Number of completed Canadian outcome evaluation studies: 1; In progress

Continuum of intervention: Primary crime prevention; Secondary crime prevention

Brief Description

The Leadership and Resiliency Program (LRP) is a school- and community-based program for students that enhances youths’ internal strengths and resiliency while preventing involvement in substance use and violence. The LRP uses social psychology and behavioural interventions to address cognitive dissonance and support the process of attitudinal formation. The LRP components and activities are developmentally appropriate and created specifically for the target population.


The main goals of the LRP are to:

  • Increase perceptions of competence and self-worth, reduce disciplinary actions in school, and improve communication and refusal skills;
  • Increase knowledge of the negative consequences of substance abuse and violence; and
  • Increase community involvement in promoting the healthy development and value of youth.


The appropriate clientele for the LRP is boys and girls between the ages of 14 and 19 years old. Risk factors for the program include violent behaviours, substance abuse, and trouble in school. The program has been found to be effective with participants of diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds.

A robust youth referral and assessment process is crucial to the effectiveness of the LRP. Referrals come from a variety of sources that make sense for different community contexts and it is important that LRP staff establish strong relationships with referral sources. Schools, substance abuse agencies, along with police and other community partners can provide referrals.

Core Components

The LRP consists of several core components that complement each other. These components are all considered integral to providing a comprehensive program. They consist of:

  • Weekly resiliency groups: 7 to 10 participants meet for approximately 1 to 1-1/2 hours per week during school hours throughout the school year;
  • Monthly community volunteer/service learning experiences usually scheduled outside of school hours: participants identify opportunities to volunteer in areas such as working with abused animals, providing services for younger children or elders, undertake community beautification programs; and
  • Monthly alternative or adventure activities: scheduled outside of school hours with the activities appropriate to each location, but focus on the participants learning about healthy risk taking and personal challenges.

Underlying each component is a focus on building leadership and problem solving skills among the participants while encouraging the development of peer refusal skills, risk management, goal orientation, future-oriented thinking, optimism, empathy, internal locus of control, and conflict management.

Implementation Information

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

  • Organizational requirements: Organizations that have some experience delivering clinical programming and services for youth and are well connected in the community seem to be well-suited to implementing LRP. Hiring an appropriate staff is critical to the success of the program (education, experience, personality). Volunteers are also an important part of LRP implementation.
  • Partnerships: Organizations should collaborate with schools, substance abuse agencies and others in the community who work with youth and their families.
  • Training and technical assistance: Independent LRP trainers are available for consultation.
  • Risk assessment tools: Limited information on this topic.
  • Materials & resources: Program materials, training materials, a fidelity checklist, and sample budget are available on the LRP website.

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

In total, from 2009 to 2020, 14 organizations will have been supported by Public Safety Canada’s National Crime Prevention Strategy to implement the LRP. As of 2018, 6 organizations are still implementing the LRP. 

Programs are listed alphabetically:Footnote1

  • Community within a Community: A Culture-Based Leadership and Resiliency Program (Tl’oondih Healing Society) (Northwest Territories) (2009-2014) (completed process evaluation)
  • Connections Leadership and Resiliency Project (The SPEC Association for Children and Families) (Alberta) (2009-2013) (completed process evaluation)
  • Cowichan Leadership and Resiliency Project (Community Options Society) (British Columbia) (2014-2019) (performance monitoring and assessment in progress)
  • DO Edaeze: YCS Leadership and Resiliency Program (Yellowknife Catholic Schools) (Northwest Territories) (2009-2014) (process and outcome evaluation completed – multisite; see study #1 )
  • Heilsuk Future Leaders Projects (Hailika’as Heiltsuk Health Centre) (British Columbia) (2016-2021) (performance monitoring and assessment in progress)
  • Leadership and Resiliency NL (Waypoints) (Newfoundland) (2014-2019) (process and outcome evaluation in progress; see study #2)
  • Leadership and Resiliency Program (The Secwepemc Cultural Education Society) (British Columbia) (2009-2015) (completed process evaluation)
  • Learning to Lead (Pacific Community Resources Society) (British Columbia) (2014-2019) (performance monitoring and assessment in progress)
  • MVP (Ma vie en premier) (Centre des jeunes l’Escale de Montréal-Nord) (Québec) (2014-2019) (process and outcome evaluation in progress; see study #3)
  • PREVENCITE (Centre des jeunes l’Escale de Montréal-Nord) (Québec) (2011-2014) (completed process evaluation)
  • RELAYS: Resiliency Education Leadership Adventure & Youth Service (Cape Breton Regional Police Services) (Nova Scotia) (2015-2020) (performance monitoring and assessment in progress)
  • SACY ROVER Program (School Aged Children & Youth Resiliency Overcoming Violence)(Vancouver Coastal Health Authority) (British Columbia) (2015-2020) (process and outcome evaluation in progress; see study #4)
  • SSDEC Leadership and Resiliency Program (South Slave Divisional Education Council) (Northwest Territories) (2008-2015) (process and outcome evaluation completed – multisite; see study #1)
  • Ungasiktumut Isumaksaqsiujuniq LRP (Hamlet of Arviat) (John Arnalukjuak High School) (Nunavut) (2011-2016) (performance monitoring and assessment completed)

Main Findings from Canadian Outcome Evaluation Studies

Study 1

As part of Public Safety Canada’s funding, a multisite outcome evaluation study of the LRP offered by the South Slave Divisional Education Council and the Yellowknife Catholic Schools in the Northwest Territories has been recently completed. The outcome evaluation aimed to determine the overall impact of LRP on a variety of student outcomes (school performance, life choices, and relationships).

Results from this evaluation showed the following:

  • Qualitative data based on interviews with staff and program leaders suggest there has been marked improvements’ in students’ attitudes towards school and their likelihood to graduate. Quantitative data, however did not show any increase in students’ grades for core courses over a two year period, and students did not report increased feelings of attachment to either school or teachers
  • There were no consistent findings with regards to students’ attitudes towards drugs. In most cases students’ attitudes towards drugs did not change. At the end of the three year period, there were increases for rates of use of cigarettes, alcohol, and marijuana, but very little or no change on rates of other, “harder” drug use (cocaine, amphetamines, methamphetamines, or prescription drug abuse).
  • Qualitative data from interviews with staff suggested that after participating in LRP, students were less tolerant of violence, vandalism, and other criminal activity among their peers. Quantitative findings, based on survey data collected from students, did not confirm these findings. Most examinations of attitudes towards violence and conflict resolution were not significantly different, suggesting that there was no impact of LRP on students’ attitudes.

Study 2

Leadership and Resiliency NL (Waypoints) (Newfoundland) has been selected by Public Safety Canada for a process and outcome evaluation. This evaluation is currently in progress; results are not yet available at this time.

Study 3

MVP (Ma vie en premier) (Centre des jeunes l’Escale de Montréal-Nord) (Québec) has been selected by Public Safety Canada for a process and outcome evaluation. This evaluation is currently in progress; results are not yet available at this time.

 Study 4

SACY ROVER Program (School Aged Children & Youth Resiliency Overcoming Violence) (Vancouver Coastal Health Authority) (British Columbia) has been selected by Public Safety Canada for a process and outcome evaluation. This evaluation is currently in progress; results are not yet available at this time.

Cost Information

No information available.


R.A. Malatest & Associates Ltd. (2015). Evaluation of the Leadership and Resiliency Program Summative Three-Year Report. Final evaluation report. Presented to the National Crime Prevention Centre, Public Safety Canada (Unpublished report).

For more information on this program, contact:

Alcohol and Drug Services – Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board
3900 Jermantown Road, Suite 200
Fairfax, Virginia 22030
Telephone: (703) 934-5476
E-mail: wwwcsb@fairfaxcounty.gov
Website: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/csb/services/leade-rship-resiliency/overview.htm  

Record Entry Date - 2018-02-27

  1. 1

    For specific information about each replication of the program, communicate with the Research Division, Public Safety Canada.

Date modified: