Projet de qualification des jeunes (PQJ)

The intensive intervention project (PQJ) to prepare young people for the transition to independent living and ensure that those attending youth centres are qualified is an initiative of the Association des centres jeunesse du Québec. The project was implemented in four regions around Quebec: Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Laval, Outaouais and Montreal. It reached 80 young people 16 or younger at the time they joined who had significant placement histories and who presented a number of risk factors.

The objective of the project is to prevent the marginalization of the young people who come to the youth centres on the cusp of their age of majority—18, when services are no longer offered—to reduce their chances of being marginalized and slipping progressively into the criminal world. The intervention project focuses on young people's personal and social development and changes in their living environment to help them integrate into society and the workplace, leading to independent adult life.

As part of the project, an assessment protocol was put in place for each of the young participants to guide the intervention. Two tools, the Profile of Youths and Their Families and the Ansell-Casey Life Skills Assessment (ACLSA), were used. Following a discussion on the results of the analysis with these tools, social workers and young people develop an action plan specifically for obtaining qualifications and preparing for independent living. The frequency and intensity of the meetings depend on the young people's needs. The meetings continue for one year after the young people have left the youth centres.

Project Assessment

A quasi-experimental evaluation (by an independent third party) was conducted to analyze the program's implementation and results. The implementation analysis aims to describe the program's components and mechanisms and to obtain more information on the characteristics of the young people being observed.

The evaluation also aims to describe the program's results and effects. To do this, the development of 75 of the 80 young participants was measured seven times during the project. The analysis of the young people's development was compared to the social workers' analysis and the documentation (young people's social records). The participants' situation was compared to that of a control group made up of 26 young people, who had never taken part in the PQJ, at the time they left the youth centres. A comparative analysis with 96 young people from the general population (recruited in CEGEPs) was also conducted.

Key Findings

The implementation assessment findings show that:

Findings from the results evaluation

Lessons Learned


The Projet de qualification des jeunes (PQJ) intervention definitely and significantly helped build a space for acquiring qualifying knowledge and skills, and assisted the young people taking part in the project in gaining some work experience.

The innovative aspect of the project is recognized beyond the youth centres network. The Government of Quebec has confirmed funding for gradual implementation of the PQJ to all youth centres as part of the unveiling of the Youth Action Strategy 2006-2009.

For more information on this project or to obtain a copy of the final evaluation report, please contact the National Crime Prevention Centre at 1-800-830-3118 or go to our Web site at

If you wish to register for the NCPC mailing list to receive information from the Centre please visit the subscription page at:

You can also go to the Association des centres jeunesse du Québec Web site (in French only) at

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