Vulnerable-Youth-Learning-Report-executive-summary - page 1

United Way of Calgary and Area has a long history of supporting vulnerable youth in our city.
As part of this work, in 2010, we began exploring the first-hand experiences of vulnerable youth as they transition
into adulthood. This was done through research, community consultations with youth-serving agencies and youth
themselves to identify challenges, barriers and gaps being faced by many youth in our city.
The culmination of this work is the
hich outlined the need for youth to have access
to a range of services and social supports. A key finding in the
nd other research was
the importance of formal and informal relationships for youth in their communities as it is a critical factor in their
transition into adulthood.
Social supports are essential in establishing a sense of inclusion and building resiliency as well as for maintaining
both the mental and physical wellbeing of all individuals. For vulnerable youth, social supports comprised of both
professionals and non-professionals play a key role in developing autonomy, self-direction and social competence,
all of which directly contribute to a successful transition into adulthood.
In response to these findings, United Way launched its Vulnerable Youth Investment Strategy focused on building
and strengtheninghealthy natural supports such as family, peer and/or non-professional relationships for vulnerable
youth. Over the course of three years United Way, with
acting as a strategic advisor, is
supporting learning and innovation in this area. We have invested in three learning initiatives committed to
prototyping approaches that build on promising practices for supporting positive family supports and mentoring
relationships for youth. The three projects are:
s YES Project
For more information on UWCA’s Vulnerable Youth Investment Strategy please contact:
Kiran Kadavil,
Community Planner, Community Investments & Collaborations
T: 403.410.1850 E:
``I’m celebrating the fact that we are actually doing this, that we’ve started
the conversation about natural supports, that we’ve put money behind it.
It’s a gap and we don’t know as a community how to do the work yet. But
now we have people thinking about it, talking about it.``
– Learning Strategy Stakeholder
1 2,3,4
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