Assessment, Support, Intervention and Success Team (ASIST)

Program snapshot

Age group: Adolescence (12-17)

Gender: Mixed (male and female)

Population served: No specific targeted population

Topic: Academic issues; Aggressive/violent behaviours; 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

Brief Description

The Assessment Support Intervention and Success Team (ASIST) focuses on youth who have been expelled or are at risk of expulsion from their current school as a result of violent and/or anti-social behaviour. ASIST provides at-risk youth with a single entry point to access the tools, support, and guidance they need to make healthy, positive changes in their lives.

ASIST understands that youth who are at-risk of expulsion because of criminal and socially deviant behaviours generally have both academic and non-academic problems (dysfunctional families, health or mental health problems, low income, substance abuse, etc.). ASIST addressed the non-academic issues.

Each year ASIST instills confidence into the lives of youth and their families, as well as provides them with the resources needed to overcome many of the risk factors they face. With these resources in hand, participants are able to address barriers and successfully re-engage in the school system.

Youth develop the problem-solving skills, social supports, and positive family functioning necessary to build and maintain trusting relationships, manage stress, and make positive behaviour choices that lead to a safe and crime-free life.

Goals

The main goals of the ASIST program are to:

  • Partner and collaborate with existing organizations to deliver integrated services for at-risk youth;
  • Make a difference to at-risk youth in grades 7-12 providing supports and services which will encourage them to stay in school and be a positive contributing member of the school community; and
  • Reduce incidents of expulsions and suspensions.

Clientele

The target audience for this program are grade 7-12 youth within Edmonton Catholic Schools who are at risk to being expelled as a result of violent and/or anti-social behaviour (and their families).

Core Components

The core components of the ASIST program are as follows:

  • Identify at-risk students through an intake and assessment process involving appropriate stakeholders;
  • Provide students with the assessments, supports and interventions leading to future educational success;
  • Work proactively with junior high and high school students that are facing an increasing number of challenges and issues; and
  • Provide and bring in wrap around services to the students through partner organizations.

Implementation Information

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

  • Organizational requirements: Some of the challenges that the program faced early on dealt with staffing (changes in staff, maternity leave, etc.).  Additionally, there was confusion as to how each main partner operated; however, as the project evolved, this issue was resolved.  Another issue noted was the move of the program to a school location (from the Bill Rees YMCA) which created a delay and excess funds for staffing.
  • Partnerships: This project was a collaboration between the YMCA and Edmonton.
  • Training and technical assistance: Limited information on this topic.
  • Risk assessment tools: Participants in the program were identified through an intake and assessment process involving appropriate stakeholders.
  • 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

This project was first implemented in Edmonton, Alberta from May 2009 – June 2014. In this time, ASIST worked to empower 163 youth and 98 families within the Edmonton Catholic School system to reduce or prevent their vulnerability to at risk behaviours.

Main Findings from Canadian Outcome Evaluation Studies

No information available.

Cost Information

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

  • Over three years, $1.86 of social value was created for ever $1.00; and
  • In order to determine the value of the investment in the program, financial proxies were assigned to tangible outcomes, where possible. Proxies used include: treatment of diagnosed mental illness, Alberta minimum wage, addictions counselling, counselling, incarceration of youth, youth probation, Legal Aid services, police investigations, police court attendance, and school expulsion.

References

Alberta Community Crime Prevention Organizations. (2015). Social Return on Investment (SROI) Case Study: Assessment Support Intervention and Success Team (ASIST). Recipient of Safe Communities Innovation Fund, Government of Alberta. Available from: https://open.alberta.ca/publications/safe-communities-innovation-fund-pilot-project-executive-summaries

For more information on this program, contact:

Young Men's Christian Association of Edmonton (YMCA)
Amanda Thorpe-MacInnes
Telephone: (780) 429-5725
Email: athorpe@edmonton.ymca.ca


Record Entry Date - 2018-02-20

Date modified: