January 2017

Looking Ahead

Happy New Year to all of our members! We are anticipating an exciting and fruitful year ahead. To start the new year off right, we have not only redesigned our website, but will also be including more detailed and timely information in these monthly newsletters. We encourage members to submit news, events, research, or success stories that you would like us to share in newsletters or on the website. Please see the end of this message for submission details. In other exciting news, we have conducted regional tables and received fantastic feedback about where our network should focus our energy in 2017. Major themes to be explored this year include: (1) leadership development and succession planning, (2) strategic partnerships and industry alliances, (3) strengthening our advocacy role, and (4) giving greater voice to the youth employment sector. This year, we will have a lot of discussion about setting mandates and priorities and strategising about how best to advance key initiatives. We welcome the opportunity to work with members in order to advance our shared interests and strengthen our sector's ability to serve youth.

Some Upcoming Events
News Corner

EO Memo: 2017-2018 Business Planning

Employment Ontario's recent memo (PDF) (12/09/2016) provides updated info on business planning and submission deadlines: "Due to operational considerations, the launch of the 2017-2018 EO Business Planning process is occurring later than planned...we have extended the submission deadline to January 13, 2017. We would also like to let you know that the business plan template for the Canada-Ontario Job Grant will be made available to service providers through Service Provider Connect in the very near future."
Expert Panel on Youth Employment

Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) explains that "budget 2016 announced the creation of an Expert Panel on Youth Employment to assess the barriers faced by vulnerable youth in finding and keeping jobs, and to examine innovative practices used by governments, nongovernmental organizations and employers both at home and abroad to improve job opportunities for vulnerable youth." You can read the Full Report or Executive Summary. Please contribute your valuable input in the Survey for Employers, Service Providers and Counsellors and encourage youth to share their experience in the Youth Survey.
Youth Ambassadors

Find information on Youth Ambassadors to Ottawa for Canada's 150th anniversary. Also, Youth Science Canada (YSC) is accepting applications until January 16th, 2017 (4 pm) for the 2017 Canada-Wide Science Fair in Regina, Saskatchewan. Find the YSC application details here.
Auditor General's Report

The value-for-money audit report suggests some possible changes to how Employment Ontario programs are implemented. It is a major priority for us to focus on how this report and any related potential program changes could affect First Work members.
Research Corner

Dealing with Trauma

This resource guide (PDF) outlines best practices for working with trauma-affected newcomers, detailing helpful strategies and evidence-based interventions. This research, conducted by the Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health, addresses helpful themes such as cultural competencies; language barriers; mental health issues, such as PTSD; major stressors affecting newcomers; and power differentials.

Teenage Brain Under Construction

Dr. Jean Clinton speaks at the 2016 Roots of Empathy Symposium about how understanding emerging research on brain development (video) can help us to more effectively mentor and nurture youth. Specifically, she discusses how young people's brains and thought processes differ from those of adults, and how we can harness these findings to better understand and help youth.

Mentoring At-Risk Youth during Post-Secondary Transition

This article explains how mentorship eases the transition to college/university for students from underrepresented communities, helping them to combat psychological stressors such as discrimination and/or limited financial resources. The support of "natural mentors" during the first year puts these students in a better position to succeed.

Youth Homelessness

The Canadian Observatory on Homelessness Press has published a study on youth homelessness in Canada: "The Without a Home study is the first pan-Canadian study of young people who experience homelessness. With 1,103 respondents from 47 different communities across 10 provinces and territories, this study’s sample size has enabled us to conduct detailed analyses and to draw important conclusions."

Edinburgh Youth Program

Young Edinburgh Action (YEA) (PDF) involves young people in research and decision-making about the issues that matter to them. This short video highlights this "innovative approach...informed by the views of young people and professionals, academic theory and the need for local government to evidence the work that they do and critically review their approaches."

Cultivating Empathy

Roots of Empathy is a program focused on fostering empathy and pro-social behaviour, which has shown great promise in reducing aggression and bullying among children. This could be an excellent model to adapt into a youth program. It could be particularly beneficial for underserved communities and at-risk youth.
**If you have news, events, research, or success stories that you would like us to share in our newsletters or on our website, please submit them to info@firstwork.org. For newsletter items, please submit by the first week of every month, so we can include them, space-permitting. Thank you!**
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