McGuinty Government's Youth In Policing Initiative A Success In Windsor



    Part Of Government's Strategy To Provide More Opportunities For Youth

    WINDSOR, ON, Aug. 30 /CNW/ - Ten youth from underserved communities in
Windsor gained valuable skills and work experience this summer as part of the
McGuinty government's Youth in Policing Initiative, Windsor West MPP Sandra
Pupatello announced today on behalf of Minister of Children and Youth Services
Mary Anne Chambers.
    "Over the last two months, youth from Windsor worked with the Windsor
Police Service and embraced the opportunity to gain real work experience,
develop new skills, build self-confidence and learn about careers in
policing," said Pupatello. "These young people now have a foundation on which
to build future employment and career ambitions."
    Under the program, young people 14 to 17 years of age worked in various
departments, including the forensic unit, technology services, the collision
reporting centre as well as the crime stoppers unit. More than 160 young
people worked with local police services across the province this summer.
    "This initiative helps young people overcome the challenges they face in
their day-to-day lives," said Windsor-Tecumseh MPP Dwight Duncan. "By
providing access to opportunities and supports, it helps young people to
succeed in the face of adversity."
    "The partnership between the Windsor Police Service and the Ministry of
Children and Youth Services led to a successful summer program that was able
to provide participants with a unique insight into policing," said Windsor
Police Chief Glenn Stannard. "Our officers and civilian staff enjoyed having
the opportunity to become role models and benefited from the experience as
much as the participants."
    "The Youth in Policing Initiative reflects this government's commitment
to providing young people with the tools they need to succeed," said Chambers.
"This program provides young people with real work experience and helps them
develop the skills they need to succeed in the workforce."
    The Youth in Policing Initiative is one component of the province's Youth
Opportunities Strategy, a broad-based plan to help young people faced with
significant challenges achieve individual success. The McGuinty government is
investing $28.5 million over the first three years of the strategy. In 2006,
the strategy was implemented in Toronto and Durham Region communities. In
2007, it was expanded to additional underserved communities in Windsor,
Ottawa, London, Hamilton and Thunder Bay.
    In addition to the Youth in Policing Initiative, approximately 194 young
people from underserved Windsor communities also gained valuable skills and
work experience as part of the McGuinty government's Summer Jobs for Youth
Program. The government worked closely with community stakeholders and
partners - including the City of Windsor and the United Way of Windsor-Essex
County - to identify neighbourhoods in Windsor that could most benefit from
these programs. They are: Sandwich and City Centre in the west, and the
Drouillard Road area and the Forest Glade area in the east.

    
    Disponible en français

                           www.children.gov.on.ca
                             www.youthconnect.ca



    Backgrounder
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

                   YOUTH OPPORTUNITIES STRATEGY IN WINDSOR
    

    The Ontario government's three-year, $28.5 million Youth Opportunities
Strategy is building stronger communities by establishing and expanding
community programs that help youth achieve a brighter future. The strategy
recognizes that some youth, particularly those in marginalized and stigmatized
communities, often do not have access to opportunities and supports that would
help them to be successful in life.
    The government is investing more than $860,000 annually starting this
year to improve outcomes for youth in underserved communities in Windsor. In
2006, the Youth Opportunities Strategy was implemented primarily in Toronto
and Durham Region neighbourhoods. In 2007, the strategy continued in Toronto
and Durham Region and was expanded to Windsor, Hamilton, Ottawa, London and
Thunder Bay.

    The strategy includes the following initiatives in Windsor:

    Summer Jobs for Youth Program

    The Summer Jobs for Youth Program provided approximately 194 young people
ages 15 to 18 with the job readiness skills they need to build confidence and
lead rewarding, productive lives. It included pre-employment readiness,
employment placements in a variety of fields including recreation, business
and youth leadership, and post-employment supports. In summer 2007,
approximately 1,800 young people participated in the program across the
province.
    The eight-week program is coordinated by New Beginnings.

    Youth in Policing Initiative

    The Youth in Policing Initiative provided opportunities for 10 youth ages
14 to 17 to work with the Windsor Police Service this summer. The eight-week
program strengthened relationships between youth and the police, enabled young
people to acquire an understanding of some aspects of policing, and encouraged
them to consider policing as a future career option. More than 160 young
people worked with local police services across the province this summer.
    Participants worked in a variety of areas, including the forensic unit,
technology services, the collision report centre and the crime stoppers unit.

    Youth Outreach Worker Program

    The Youth Outreach Worker Program employs five outreach workers
year-round to serve as advocates for hard-to-reach youth. Outreach workers
ensure youth are aware of, and know how to access, a wide range of programs
and services. The program, coordinated by local agencies, employs a total of
66 youth outreach workers across the province.
    In Windsor, the program is also being coordinated by New Beginnings.

    YouthConnect.ca

    While there is a wide range of programs and services to assist youth, it
is often confusing and difficult for youth to know what services are
available, where to find them and how to access them. YouthConnect.ca brings
this information together in a coordinated, creative, comprehensive and
youth-friendly way, for the benefit of youth wherever they live in Ontario.
    YouthConnect.ca provides a forum for young people to access information,
services and resources that will help them make good choices, achieve success
and contribute positively to their communities.

    Ontario Public Service (OPS) Learn and Work Program

    This Specialized Co-operative Education Program provides 20 students who
have left high school without a diploma the opportunity to earn academic
credits towards their high school diploma and gain meaningful paid work
experience in the OPS and its Crown agencies.
    The program is designed for students ages 16 to 19 and is being delivered
at J.L. Forster Secondary School in conjunction with the Greater Essex
District School Board.

    
    Disponible en français

                           www.children.gov.on.ca
                             www.youthconnect.ca
    





For further information:

For further information: Tricia Edgar, Minister's Office, (416)
212-7161, (416) 571-7247 (cell); Anne Machowski-Smith, Ministry of Children
and Youth Services, (416) 325-5156

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ONTARIO MINISTRY OF CHILDREN AND YOUTH SERVICES

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