Street Smarts Program - Touchstone Family Association

Brief Description

Touchstone Family Association has implemented an integrated, wrap-around approach to servicing vulnerable youth at-risk of gang involvement. The Street Smarts Program provides mentorship/outreach support where identified youth would receive a more intensive one-to-one service as well as the ongoing Street Smarts Leadership group. The Street Smarts Project integrates with existing Touchstone and community programs where youth are presently being served but with a focus on those that are criminally-involved and at greatest risk of involvement in gangs.

The program is centred on after school; alternatives to detention; conflict resolution; counselling and social work; leadership and youth development; mentoring – tutoring, peer counseling; and group-based recreational activities.


The main goals of the Street Smarts program are to:

  • Support youth to develop a positive self-identity;
  • Support youth to develop a positive Canadian identity; and
  • Prevent and reduce the involvement of youth in criminal gangs.


The appropriate clientele for the StreetSmarts program are youth aged 13-18 that are criminally involved and who are at the greatest risk of gang involvement.

Youth are referred to the program from probation, police and school officials and can also be self-referred.

The program supports youth who:

  • Have a history of violence, use of force and/or use of weapons;
  • Have shown interest in gang involvement or engage in “gang-like” activities;
  • Have a history or interest in dealing drugs; and
  • Could benefit from mentorship and support.

Core Components

The core components of the program include the following:

  • Individualized intervention: Involves intake assessment, development and implementation of a needs-based intervention plan, and coordination of services and support for the gang-involved youth who have been referred to the program;
  • Positive mentorship: All youth are matched with peer and adult mentors both in their ethno-specific communities and in the broad community. Staff members serve as mentorship coordinators and work closely with youth involved in the program;
  • Prosocial activities: Activities are designed to support the youth to keep negative influences in their lives at a distance and to disengage from antisocial peers, while at the same time helping them to develop an attachment to the community and to develop positive identities and a sense of belonging; and
  • Support for family functioning: This component of the intervention recognizes the importance of family and positive family functioning in the lives and well-being of the youth from immigrant families. Staff connect youth and families to family resources and provide family coaching to address issues related to parenting, communication, and acculturative gaps among family members.

Implementation Information

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

  • Organizational requirements: The lead organization must have solid skills in outreach, case planning, and program delivery.
  • Partnerships: School Board, RCMP, Probation, MCFD, Richmond Addictions Services and City of Richmond.
  • 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 program has been implemented in Richmond, British Columbia from 2006 up to now.

Main Findings from Canadian Outcome Evaluation Studies

No information available.

Cost Information

No information available.


There is no Canadian reference available at this time.

For more information on this program, contact:

Touchstone Family Association
Carol Hardie
120-6411 Buswell Street
Richmond, British Columbia
Telephone: (604)207-5029

Record Entry Date - 2018-03-13

Date modified: