Building Bridges: Creating Resiliency

Program snapshot

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

Gender: Mixed (male and female)

Population served: Youth in contact with law enforcement (and/or at risk)

Topic: Antisocial/deviant behaviours

Setting: Urban area; Community-based setting; School-based

Location: Alberta

Number of completed Canadian outcome evaluation studies: 0

Continuum of intervention: Secondary crime prevention

Brief Description

The Building Bridges: Creating Resiliency program was created as a school/community-based outreach program for at-risk youth in Lethbridge and area. The program aims to increase resiliency of at-risk youth by addressing underlying behavioural issues, and engaging the youth to build protective factors through resiliency groups, mentoring, community service, adventure activities, and building relationships with the program staff. The program offers a multi-faceted, holistic approach by engaging participants individually, in small groups and in the community.


The main goals of the Building Bridges: Creating Resiliency program are to:

  • Decrease and prevent crime associated with high-risk youth;
  • Implement targeted pilot projects designed to reduce or prevent youth involvement in the criminal justice system; and
  • Reduce risk factors while strengthening protective factors among target groups at risk for criminal involvement.


The appropriate clientele for the Building Bridges: Creating Resiliency program are youth (aged 13-19 years old) who are involved in high-risk and socially hurtful behaviours. From 2010 to 2013, 99 youth from three schools participated in the program.

Core Components

The Building Bridges: Creating Resiliency program uses Fairfax Leadership and Resiliency Program (LRP) as its ‘best practice’ model by infusing it with research on Developmental Assets from the Search Institute, and First Nation “ways of knowing” through the Circle of Courage from Reclaiming Youth. LRP is an intensive substance use prevention program designed to serve adolescents currently enrolled in mainstream or alternative high school settings. The program is divided into four main categories of prevention and early intervention services:

  • In-school Resiliency Groups;
  • Alternative Adventure Activities;
  • Community Volunteering; and
  • One-on-One Mentoring.

Implementation Information

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

  • Organizational requirements: A healthy adult-youth relationship is perhaps the most important element.
  • 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.

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 Building Bridges: Creating Resiliency program was implemented in Lethbridge and Picture Butte (Alberta) from 2010 to 2014. Funding was provided through 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 Building Bridges: Creating Resiliency. The findings from this study have shown the following:

  • The SROI ratio of 7.84:1 demonstrates that for every dollar invested in the program a social value of $7.84 is created;
  • The SROI calculation indicates that the Building Bridges: Creating Resiliency program not only returns the initial investment made in the program, but also generates social value in the community. Beyond the conservative estimations incorporated into the SROI ratio, intangible benefits to the community are also generated through the program, making investment worthwhile both financially, as well as from a community development point of view; and
  • Social value is created by avoiding the use of Justice, Healthcare, Social Services and Homelessness system resources.


Alberta Community Crime Prevention Organizations. (2015). Social Return on Investment (SROI) Case Study: Building Bridges: Creating Resiliency. Recipient of Safe Communities Innovation Fund, Government of Alberta. Available from:

For more information on this program, contact:

Lethbridge Family Services
Gary Giesbrecht
Telephone: (403) 327-5724

Record Entry Date - 2018-02-20
Record Updated On - 2021-04-29
Date modified: