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: 3 or more; 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 2020, 3 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 completed)
  • 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 completed)
  • MVP (Ma vie en premier) (Centre des jeunes l’Escale de Montréal-Nord) (Québec) (2014-2019) (process and outcome evaluation completed; 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 completed; 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

As part of Public Safety Canada’s funding, an outcome evaluation to evaluate the results of the  MVP (Ma vie en premier) program was carried out between September 2014 to June 2018 by the Groupe de recherche sur les environnements scolaires (GRES). The evaluation methodology included a longitudinal prospective quasi-experimental design that compared students who had been exposed to the MVP intervention at Calixa-Lavallée and Henri-Bourassa high schools with students who had not been exposed (control group). The following results should be considered only in the context of the MVP’s implementation and should not be generalized to other situations.

Results from this evaluation showed the following:

  • The MVP program had few positive effects, particularly among students dealing with discipline issues, including respect to assertiveness, self-control, stress management, leadership and tardiness.
  • There was a relative decline in problems associated with alcohol and drug consumption and tardiness (whereas there was an increase among the control group students).
  • There was an improvement in a few indicators showing the progress of students who took part in the MVP program compared to those in the control group (indicators: assertiveness, self-control, class participation, self-reported performance in French, report card grades in French and Math, and the drop-out risk index).
  • A number of negative effects seemed to manifest themselves among students with discipline issues who took part in the program. These negative effects concerned assertiveness, self-control, stress management, impulsivity, social isolation, and class participation. The program’s impact varies according to the discipline issues of students.

For more information, refer to Pascal, Rosso-Mercier, & Janosz’s (2019) publication.

Study 4

As part of Public Safety Canada’s funding, an outcome evaluation study to evaluate the results of the SACY ROVER Program was carried out between April 2015 and March 2020 by Arbor Educational & Clinical Consulting Inc. The evaluation methodology included a pre-post-post non-equivalent groups design. A non-equivalent group design does not include random assignment to a treatment or control group. As a result, the comparison group may be different than the intervention group from the outset of the study.

Results from this evaluation showed the following:

  • The results include youth engagement in the program, enhanced leadership skills for youth, and improved youth-parent relationships.
  • When examining the whole group, there were overall positive results, particularly with respect to ‘connectedness to school adults’ and ‘connectedness to neighbourhood adults’.
  • In examining gender differences, females made positive gains in all areas of relationships whereas males reported gains in three of the five areas, with two areas being positively statistically significant.
  • Youth struggling with poverty reported a statistically significant finding for ‘connectedness with neighbourhood adults’ as well as a positive finding, although not statistically significant, for ‘connectedness to school adults’.
  • These findings point to the strength of the program in supporting youth to grow their relationships, whether those relationships are with adults, youth or both.

For more information, refer to Arbor Educational & Clinical Consulting Inc.’s (2020) publication.

Cost Information

In 2020, as part of Arbor Educational & Clinical Consulting Inc.’s outcome evaluation study, it was found that the average cost for participation in the SACY ROVER Program was $10,308 (CAD) per youth and family per year of programming.


Arbor Educational & Clinical Consulting Inc. (2020). SACY ROVER LRP. Final Evaluation Report. Submitted to Public Safety Canada (Unpublished report).

Pascal, S., Rosso-Mercier, D., & Janosz, M. (2019). Ma Vie En Premier (MVP). Final Evaluation Report. Submitted to Public Safety Canada (Unpublished report).

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
Record Updated On - 2021-05-14
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    For specific information about each replication of the program, communicate with the Research Division, Public Safety Canada.

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