youth services


Responding quickly to youth and parents who require assistance is a major challenge for all partners in the youth drug-rehabilitation sector.

Last year, the managers of Portage’s drug addiction rehabilitation program for youth at Lac Écho initiated discussions with counsellors, partners, youth and parents to develop a project aimed at improving access to youth services.

Project development was based on two guiding principles. The first is that each time a youth (or a member of his family) reaches out to a resource, assistance must be provided quickly and in accordance with the youth’s needs (whether that assistance is provided by Portage or a partner); the second is that the person requesting help must be accompanied through every step of the process.

The provision of quicker access to services is based on five premises:

  • the availability of numerous doors through which services can be accessed (all doors are open to someone requiring services);
  • the promptness of the initial personalized response (the initial contact should take place within no more than 48 hours);
  • the shared responsibility of partners (each partner is responsible for supporting the youth who contact them and accompanying them throughout the service path);
  • coordination and continuity among partners (ensuring ongoing access in cooperation with community partners);
  • the primacy of youths’ needs (providing information on existing alternatives and respecting youths’ choices).

The project yielded conclusive results. Portage has seen a significant increase in the number of youth contacted who:

  • made an initial request;
  • completed an initial interview;
  • were admitted to Portage;
  • were referred to a partner.

The project was recognized by Accreditation Canada as an innovative process to provide quicker access to youth services. Read the Accreditation Report


Read Seven Ways to Start Talking About Drugs With a Teenager

Read 10 Warning Signs That Your Adolescent May Be Doing Drugs

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