Young Educated Long-Term Leaders (YELL) Girls Group
Age group: Adolescence (12-17)
Gender: Female only
Population served: Aboriginal/Indigenous; Youth in contact with law enforcement (and/or at risk)
Number of completed Canadian outcome evaluation studies: 0
Continuum of intervention: Tertiary crime prevention
iHuman’s Young Educated Long-Term Leaders (YELL) Girls Group was developed in response to a gap in services in Edmonton’s inner city. YELL’s primary focus was girls already involved in the criminal justice system. The fusion of strengths-based programming with holistic, culturally appropriate activities and educational curriculum aimed to develop internal resources and skills the young girls could draw on to deal with the multiple risk factors they encounter. The goal of the two year pilot was to encourage resilience in order to succeed in maturing towards healthy young womanhood.
The main goals of the YELL Girls Group program are to:
- Develop and increase individual resilience;
- Ensure a program graduation rate of greater than 80% and continued participation in peer mentorship program;
- Improve school attachment, attendance and academic performance;
- Reduce engagement with criminal or high risk factors and behaviours;
- Improve self-awareness and ability to reflect on decision making; and
- Develop a more positive identity and outlook for the future.
The appropriate clientele for the YELL Girls Group program are girls 12-14 years old who are already involved in high risk (violent) behaviours and the criminal justice system.
Many of the target youth deal with multiple issues such as poverty, homelessness, addictions, mental health issues, gang affiliation, and familial neglect or abuse.
The YELL Girls Group program operated as follows:
- Using a strengths-based approach and leading edge art programming (visual art, drama, music, and fashion), YELL allowed girls to explore their identity and self-esteem; and
- Incorporating a holistic approach to curriculum content, girls were also exposed to topics such as nutrition, mental health, sexual health, and overall well-being.
Some of the critical elements for the implementation of this program or initiative include the following:
- Organizational requirements: iHuman Youth Society has a history of fostering positive personal development and engaging traumatized youth who exhibit high-risk lifestyles.
- Partnerships: Limited information on this topic.
- Training and technical assistance: Limited information on this topic.
- Risk assessment tools: Limited information on this topic.
- Materials & resources: Limited information on this topic.
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 YELL Girls Group program has been implemented in Edmonton (Alberta) from 2011 to 2013 and was funded through the Safe Communities Innovation Fund (SCIF), Government of Alberta.
Main Findings from Canadian Outcome Evaluation Studies
No information available.
A social return on investment (SROI) has been conducted on YELL Girls Group. The findings from this study have shown the following:
- The ratio for the YELL Girls Group is 1.99:1, which indicates that $1.99 in social value was created by the program for every dollar invested; and
- Social value was created as participants avoided the criminal justice system and sought alternatives including educational options.
Alberta Community Crime Prevention Organizations. (2015). Social Return on Investment (SROI) Case Study: Young Educated Long-Term Leaders (YELL) Girls Group. 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:
iHuman Youth Society
Record Updated On - 2021-04-29
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