Appendix: Youth Action Plan

Stepping Up: A Strategic Framework to Help Ontario's Youth Succeed was publicly released in June 2013 and is a strategy that provides a common vision, guiding principles, themes, and outcomes that are important for Ontario's youth.

The development of Stepping Up was a commitment in the government's Youth Action Plan, released in August 2012. Stepping Up builds on earlier research from the Review of the Roots of Youth Violence report (2008) and with up-to-date research and evidence on youth as outlined in Stepping Stones: A Resource on Youth Development, released in June 2012.

In 2014, the first Stepping Up annual report was released. The annual report highlights the government's initiatives to support youth. It demonstrates that Ontario has invested in all seven Stepping Up themes for youth wellbeing. The annual report also provides an updated Profile of Youth Wellbeing and provides an updated picture of how Ontario's youth are doing.

Stepping Up identifies key initiatives and cross-cutting actions to support a positive asset-based view of Ontario's youth in the youth-serving sector. In 2014-15 activities and initiatives related to Stepping Up and the Youth Action Plan included:

  • Providing funding for the new Youth Research and Evaluation Exchange (YouthREX) program to provide research and evaluation resources, tools, supports, and services to Ontario's youth-serving sector in order to help improve outcomes for youth;
  • Providing funding for the Youth Collective Impact (YouthCI) program to support and strengthen local collaboration and collective impact to foster youth wellbeing and improve outcomes for at-risk youth in communities across Ontario;
  • Supporting the Premier's Council on Youth Opportunities, the permanent advisory body of youth and young professionals, front-line workers and other leaders from the youth-serving sector who provide advice to government on issues relating to youth, including how to enhance existing youth-oriented programs, policies, strategies and resources;
  • Supporting a private sector jobs and mentoring initiative led by the Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance (CivicAction), a council of community and business leaders, to explore barriers and identify opportunities for disadvantaged young people. The Escalator: Jobs for Youth Facing Barriers report, released in 2014-15, documents findings from cross-sector stakeholder engagement and presents recommendations for private-sector led action; and
  • Supporting grassroots, youth-led and community based initiatives for at-risk youth in the Greater Toronto Area (Durham, Halton, Peel, Toronto and York) by providing $5 million for the Youth Opportunities Fund (YOF) program. The YOF is delivered by the Ontario Trillium Foundation and is guided by Stepping Up: A Strategic Framework to Help Ontario's Youth Succeed.