StepStones for Youth is a registered charitable organization dedicated to addressing the critical need for preventative intervention programs for vulnerable youth who have experienced trauma and abuse and are living in poverty; especially those who have been involved with the child welfare system. StepStones has been successfully providing youth with opportunities for personal and social development through programs designed to encourage skill development, increase support networks, recreation and community involvement, promote educational achievement, employability and positive mental health, and prevent homelessness and criminal behaviour.
Through its programs, StepStones has demonstrated that these outcomes are possible when youth feel connected, empowered and supported.
StepStones provides support through Youth in Transition and Mentor Support workers, mentoring, overnight summer camp, tutoring and scholarships. We specifically focus on education and employment, housing and community connection.
In the Youth in Transition Mentoring Program, youth are paired with a youth in transition (YIT) worker and a volunteer mentor. Through intensive case management and a supportive adult figure, youth are provided with the tools to break the cycle of poverty and prepared for the difficult transition to independence via support in navigating the educational, social and community systems.
Youth re-enter high school, develop an educational plan, become employed, find and maintain housing, stabilize their mental health, develop natural support systems and critical life skills. Youth become part of a community and engage in drop-in counselling, workshops and dinners that establish a sense of belonging in these youth who are otherwise on their own.