Youth Qualification Program

The Youth qualification program aims to prevent the marginalization of the CISSS de l’Outaouais’ young clients when they reach the age of majority and become ineligible for further youth protection services. The program aims to increase the youths’ chances of progressively integrating into a socially fulfilling life plan.

The program’s objectives are as follows:

  • Develop support and assistance networks for youths emerging from the care of the CISSS de l’Outaouais youth protection services;
  • Prepare and mentor young participants transitioning from the program to independent living;
  • Integrate 75% of the youths into the labour market or assist them in skills training.

How do I access the program?

Through a referral by a CISSS case worker already involved in the youth’s life (from the age of 15).

Several criteria are in place for accepting or denying a request, including the youth’s willingness to participate in the program. The youth must willingly commit to the process for a 3-year period.

Eligibility criteria considered in the assessment:

  • Must be 16 years old
  • Have a Youth Protection Act (YPA) and/or Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA) file
  • Placement history (place of residence: foster home or family environment)
  • “Poor prognosis” as it relates to the majority (CISSS de l’Outaouais services until age 18, social assistance, marginalization, homelessness, etc.)
  • Autonomy to be developed
  • Reliable social network
  • No plans to return to family environment (or low probability)
  • Lack of definite plans regarding education or training
  • Lack of self-esteem and feeling of insecurity
  • Difficulty following orders
  • Difficulty setting limits

To maximize support, particular attention is paid to a thorough assessment of each youth’s needs as that constitutes an essential condition for a successful response.

Who will I be dealing with?

A team of professionals who are experts in transitioning to independent living and qualification in preparation for socio-professional integration, namely 5 educators working with 10 youths (aged 16 to 19) for a 3-year period.

What should I expect?

The PQJ approach is designed to allow the youth to shine, to make decisions, to take concrete action and implement a unique adult life plan. The approach is progressive and proceeds at the youth’s pace, allowing him/her to take control of his/her life, one step at a time.

Involvement and support from all those around the youth are essential conditions for his/her path and skills development. The youth will learn to recognize and understand the services offered by the local organizations that can help him meet his needs once he becomes an adult.

The program is delivered through individual support and group activities.  The PQJ is composed of the following 3 components, each of which targets a specific objective:

  • Development of a social and support network
  • Preparation for independent living
  • Qualification in preparation for socio-professional integration.

Where and when are the services provided?

The youth qualification program is offered in the community throughout the territory covered by the CISSS de l’Outaouais.