StreetSmarts Mentorship Program - Touchstone Family Association
Age group: Adolescence (12-17)
Gender: Mixed (male and female)
Population served: Aboriginal/Indigenous; Homeless and/or runaway; Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and two-spirit (LGBTQ2); Persons with disabilities; Placed out-of-home; Visible minority/ethnic group
Location: British Columbia
Number of completed Canadian outcome evaluation studies: 0
Continuum of intervention: Secondary crime prevention
Touchstone Family Association has implemented an integrated, wraparound approach to servicing vulnerable at risk youth. The StreetSmarts Mentorship Program (StreetSmarts) provides mentorship/outreach support where identified youth would receive a more intensive one-to-one service as well as the ongoing long-term support throughout adolescence. The StreetSmarts program integrates with existing Touchstone and community programs where youth are presently being served but with a focus on those that are requiring continuum of service outside of traditional therapeutic interventions.
The program is centered on after school; alternatives to detention; conflict resolution; counselling and social work; leadership and youth development; mentoring – tutoring, peer counseling; group-based recreational activities; leadership and youth development; social emotional learning; substance prevention/education; and employment/education support.
The main goals of the StreetSmarts program are to:
- Support youth to develop a positive self-identity;
- Support youth to develop pro social connections within their community;
- Navigator support for school, home, community connections; and
- Provide a safe, non judgemental adult mentor for vulnerable/at risk youth.
The appropriate clientele for the StreetSmarts program are youth aged 13-19 that are vulnerable/at risk for compromised decision making, based on lack of adult guidance and support.
Youth are referred to the program from probation, school based personnel, community agencies, internal agency staff and self-referrals.
The program supports youth who:
- Are vulnerable as a result of family breakdown;
- Have limited access to community supports/ pro social/recreational opportunities; and
- Could benefit from mentorship and support.
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.
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, Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Probation, the Ministry of Children and Family Development (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.
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.
No information available.
There is no Canadian reference available at this time.
For more information on this program, contact:
Record Updated On - 2022-01-17
- Date modified: