The Youth Services Plan is created by youth for youth to make sure that municipal programs and services are meeting the needs of the youth aged 13–24. By identifying relevant issues for youth, the Plan will support the decision-making as how best to address the needs of Halifax’s youth through the delivery of programs and services as well as working collectively with community partners.
We envision a future where youth have the opportunities and supports to achieve their greatest potential.
We enrich the quality of life for youth by providing a variety of programs, services, and spaces that are supportive of the municipality’s diverse youth population.
Core values are the principles or philosophies that guide how we work with youth:
- Diversity and Inclusion
Rationale: We recognize that a young person’s experiences, views, and needs may be
shaped by intersecting identities including race, culture, gender, sexuality, socio economic
background and disability. Youth are not a homogenous block and other social aspects
need to be taken into consideration when designing programs and services. We believe all
young people deserve, and have a right to, the same chances and opportunities and strive
to ensure equality of opportunities for all young people.
- Transparency and Accountability
Rationale: We are committed to being open and honest to youth. We have established
clear outcomes and performance indicators for each strategic priority and will provide
youth with a clear understanding of the progress of this work. Reporting will be easy to
understand, timely, youth friendly, and focus on continuous improvement. We believe
government should be accountable and responsive to youth.
Rationale: We work together with staff, youth, and community organizations to ensure
that youth have access to the supports, programs, and services they need. We believe
working together can help improve outcomes and strengthen support youth.
- Youth Voice
Rationale: We are here primarily to serve young people and recognize their strengths and
voices as assets to our work. We believe youth should be leading the way.
Strategic Priorities (2022-2024)
The following strategic priorities were created based on the feedback of over 1800 youth. A Youth Team was formed to interpret the data collected and form the priority areas. These are created by youth for youth!
Youth have access to spaces in their community where they can take ownership, feel welcome, socialize, obtain support, and access services.
1.1. Goal: To focus on an integrated youth service-delivery approach.
1.2. Goal: To ensure youth spaces are welcoming, inclusive, and accessible.
1.3. Goal: To ensure youth spaces support the mental well-being of youth.
Rationale: Youth have expressed an interest in youth dedicated spaces. Providing a space that youth can make their own increases interest in the programs offered, while also acting as a connector to external services that can help support youth. Collaborating with youth in the making of a dedicated space pre-emptively removes barriers to access, which in turn makes the space, services, and programs accessible and inclusive for all youth.
All youth across the municipality feel represented and included in programs, services, and committees.
2.1. Goal: To learn more about serving underrepresented youth populations and communities.
2.2. Goal: To develop and improve programs and services for underrepresented youth populations and communities.
Rationale: Municipalities are strongest when they bring together and amplify diverse sets of voices, perspectives, and backgrounds. However, youth have expressed that they do not feel represented or supported in the programs and services they currently access, which in turn makes them feel discouraged and less likely to continue to access those programs and services in the future.
Youth feel prepared to make a successful transition to adulthood.
3.1. Goal: To offer a variety of ways for youth to develop their skills.
3.2. Goal: To develop job readiness by enhancing employment programs and opportunities.
Rationale: Education and skill development do not stop once youth finishes school for the day, it is an ongoing process that helps youth transition to adulthood. Youth expressed the need for HRM to address a spectrum of skill development that is missing from school or at home. Youth are looking for programs and services that build life skills, employability, and leadership skills.
Youth feel empowered to engage in local government and contribute to shaping their communities.
4.1. Goal: For youth to gain confidence to effectively engage in local governance.
4.2. Goal: To provide avenues for youth to give input and feedback on municipal programs, services, and projects.
4.3. Goals: To prepare youth to become leaders in their communities.
Rationale: Youth are key players in the creation of a thriving municipality. Youth feel they could express their views and ideas, but often their voice and input are not taken into consideration when it comes to policies and decisions that directly impact them. This recognition and engagement of youth in civic matters strengthens their commitment to, and understanding of, democracy, and leads to better policy decisions.
All youth are aware of the services and programs offered by the municipality.
5.1. Goal: To target youth with marketing and promotions that are on trend and will catch their attention.
Rationale: Youth clearly stated they do not use HRM’s current system of communication; therefore, it is best to take an innovative and creative approach to better engage with youth on the social platforms that are frequently used. Effectively utilizing the Halifax Youth webpage (halifax.ca/youth) and engaging youth through social media tools is the best way to spread information. Most of the feedback from youth has stated that a lack of awareness is one of the main barriers to participating in programs and services.
Interested in learning more?
Want to do more?
You can participate by:
- E-mail/ text your thoughts to us (firstname.lastname@example.org or text/call 902.233.8129)
View the 2016 Plan:
- Youth Services Plan (2016-2020)