Intercultural Youth Initiative (IYI)

Program snapshot

Age group: Late childhood (7-11); Adolescence (12-17)

Gender: Mixed (male and female)

Population served: Aboriginal/Indigenous

Topic: Alcohol and/or drug use; Social development

Setting: Community-based setting

Location: New Brunswick

Number of completed Canadian outcome evaluation studies: In progress

Continuum of intervention: Secondary crime prevention

Brief Description

The Intercultural Youth Initiative (IYI; multi-site site youth intervention) is a single, innovative hybrid program intended for youth 11 years to 15 years of age who are at high risk of criminal behaviour and vulnerable to early criminal justice system involvement in New Brunswick. IYI is designed to address the risk factors and vulnerabilities that leave youth at risk of crime and victimization. Common interventions integrated into the program include: mentoring; experiential learning; supports to increase school attachment; social engagement through community service; recreational activities; and personal skill development. The expected outcomes for the program include reducing risk factors, increasing protective factors, and reducing antisocial behaviours (stealing, bullying, propensity to violence).


The main goals of the Intercultural Youth Initiative are to:

  • Decrease problematic life choices (drug/alcohol use; early sexual involvement; risk taking);
  • Increase an attachment to learning and school performance; and
  • Increase community involvement resulting in a reduction of youth offending.


The appropriate clientele for the Intercultural Youth Initiative is all youth who are 11 to 15 years of age (any gender), high or very high risk-need for criminal behaviour on the Youth Level of Service/Case Management Inventory (YLS/CMI), and parental consent and youth assent is provided to participate in the program.

Core Components

The Intercultural Youth Initiative is based on social learning and social control theory and positive youth development. The central components of this project are:

  • Assessment and care management;
  • Educational component that provides academic skills enhancement targeting risk factors;
  • Personal development component that provides skill development activities, mental wellness services, cultural/spiritual teachings and cognitive behavioural training;
  • Community service component that provides opportunities for volunteer involvement, community involvement and participation in events and activities and developing relationships with mentors and Elders, targeting risk factors;
  • The Strengthening Families Program (SFP) provides a 14-week family group program addressing youth risk factorsFootnote1; and
  • Cultural and knowledge sharing / events provide opportunities for youth (and families if applicable) to learn community history, cultural and traditional practices and spirituality along with the nurturing of a holistic approach to life and intergenerational relationships.

Implementation Information

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

  • Organizational requirements: The John Howard Society of New Brunswick will provide administrative support and management responsibilities to coordinate all aspects of the project. The Regional Advisory Board assisted by the evaluation team and the John Howard Society Project Management team will oversee the implementation of the program and will address questions and problems that arise throughout the project.
  • Partnerships: Important partnerships to the successful implementation of this program include: the University of New Brunswick Nursing; Integrated Service Delivery; Band Councils and Elders; the RCMP, Fredericton Police and Saint John Police; Aboriginal Government Services; the Department of Education; the Department of Justice and Public Safety; the Department of Social Development Mental Health & Addictions; the Child and Youth Advocate and municipal governments; and non-profit organizations, community agencies and professional associations, and community network.
  • Training and technical assistance: Orientation and training related to standards, tools and techniques specific to the program will be offered to regional supervisors, site coordinators and youth counselors and partnering professionals (if applicable) within the start-up stage.
  • Risk assessment tools: Australian Self-Report Delinquency Scale-Revised; Alcohol Use Identification Test; Drug Abuse Screening Test – Adolescent version (DAST-A); Youth Level of Service/Case Management Inventory (YLS/CMI); Strength Assessment Inventory (SAI).
  • Materials & resources: Space, materials, equipment, and furnishings are necessary to operate all components of the project, at three sites. Since activities are carried out over the lunch and supper hours, arrangements for food are also required.

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

Public Safety Canada’s National Crime Prevention Strategy provided funding to implement the Intercultural Youth Initiative between 2018 and 2023. The following locations have been selected as implementation sites for the IYI in New Brunswick: Elsipogtog First Nations, Saint John and St. Mary’s, and the Acadian Peninsula. The IYI is being implemented by the John Howard Society of New Brunswick.

Main Findings from Canadian Outcome Evaluation Studies

As part of Public Safety Canada’s funding, an outcome evaluation study of the Intercultural Youth Initiative is set to be conducted by an external evaluator. This evaluation is currently in progress, results are not yet available at this time.

Cost Information

No information available.


There is no Canadian reference available at this time.

For more information on this program, contact:

Susan O’Neill, Senior Manager Operations

John Howard Society of New Brunswick

44 Peters St., Saint John, NB, E2L 2Z9

Telephone: (506) 657-5547

E-mail :


Record Entry Date - 2020-12-15
Record Updated On - 2021-04-29
  1. 1

    For more information on the Strengthening Families Program (SFP), refer to the program descriptive sheet.

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