Youth Inclusive Neighbourhoods (YIN) Program

Program snapshot

Age group: Adolescence (12-17)

Gender: Mixed (male and female)

Population served: Families; Newcomers, immigrants and/or refugees

Topic: Aggressive/violent behaviours; Gang and/or related criminal activities

Setting: Urban area; Community-based setting; Recreational/sport-based setting

Location: Alberta

Number of completed Canadian outcome evaluation studies: 0

Continuum of intervention: Secondary crime prevention

Brief Description

Over a three year period, the Youth Inclusive Neighbourhoods (YIN) project utilized the ‘Youth Inclusion Programme' modelFootnote1 to bring the community together in order to address factors that put youth at-risk of gang and violent criminal activities.  The project’s guiding principle is that promoting community engagement can reduce social isolation; a crucial underlying aspect of the project’s targeted risk factors.

The project taught positive life and community engagement skills, and provided access to both mainstream and specialized community services and resources. Through informal workshops, civic engagement, one to one mentoring and recreational activities, the YIN project provided youth with healthy and sustainable activities, which reduce risk and enhance protective factors for participants. Through the partnership between Immigrant Services Calgary (ISC) and Youth Central, youth participants became involved in community based projects designed to increase youth civic participation and illuminate the potential for positive change and self-improvement. Big Brothers and Big Sisters (BBBS) of Calgary, in partnership with ISC, provided mentor matches for individual youth, helping them gain positive role models and a soruce of support.  The YIN Program provided parents with parenting support as well as referrals to other specialized agencies where needed.  This comprehensive approach provided youth with the direct support and assistance required to make positive decisions, as well as improve environmental factors that are crucial to lasting success in lowering the involvement of high risk immigrant and refugee youth in criminal activities. 


The main goal of the YIN Program is to:

  • Engage high-risk immigrant youth in learning new skills, participating in positive and healthy activities with others, and receiving support with their education, career guidance and mentorship.


The YIN program serves at-risk immigrant and refugee children (aged 13-16 years old).

Core Components

The YIN Program consists of:

  • One-to-one counselling;
  • Peer mentoring;
  • Community engagement;
  • Skills building workshops;
  • Recreational activities and volunteering opportunities; and
  • Home visit and family events.

Implementation Information

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

  • Organizational requirements: Strong partnerships and multifaceted approach towards targeting youth, mobilizing parents and social agency partners, and building pro-social connections were key to this program.
  • Partnerships: The ISC was the lead partner in delivering the YIN program and worked with BBBS Calgary and Youth Central Calgary – two other strong organizations in Calgary – as well as two junior high schools (Holy Cross and Bishop Kidd).
  • Training and technical assistance: Limited information on this topic.
  • Risk assessment tools: Limited information on this topic.
  • Materials & resources: The junior high schools provided free facility use during the course of the program. 

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 YIN Program was implemented in Calgary (Alberta) by the Immigrant Services Calgary over three years from 2009 to 2012. The YIN was a recipient of the Safe Communities Innovation Fund (SCIF), Government of Alberta.

Main Findings from Canadian Outcome Evaluation Studies

No information available.

Cost Information

A social return on investment (SROI) has been conducted on the YIN Program. The findings from this study have shown the following:

  • On average, after three years of implementation, for every dollar invested in the program, a return of $2.82 (CAD) in social value was created.

For more information, refer to the Alberta Community Crime Prevention Organizations’ (2015) publication.


Alberta Community Crime Prevention Organizations. (2015). Social Return on Investment (SROI) Case Study: Youth Inclusive Neighbourhoods Program. Recipient of Safe Communities Innovation Fund, Government of Alberta. Available from: 

For more information on this program, contact:

Immigrant Services Calgary

910 7th Avenue South West, Suite 1200

Calgary, Alberta T2P 3N8

Telephone: (403) 265-1120



Record Entry Date - 2018-03-15
Record Updated On - 2021-04-29
  1. 1

    For more information on YIP, refer to the program descriptive sheet.

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