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Message from the Minister of Children and Youth Services

photo of Teresa Piruzza

Our government wants Ontario's children and youth to thrive. We want them to be safe, healthy and happy, to succeed in school and to have the opportunities they need to grow into responsible, contributing adults.

Our programs and services support children and youth to overcome mental health challenges, escape poverty, avoid conflict with the law, get jobs and successfully transition to adulthood.

While we are proud of our accomplishments, we know there is always more that can be done. That is why we are launching Stepping Up – A Strategic Framework to Help Ontario's Youth Succeed. It is a first-of-its-kind roadmap for Ontario that will help our government, and our partners, step up and do more.

Stepping Up strengthens our government's commitment to young people, identifies our priorities and will guide our decision-making. The development of Stepping Up is an excellent example of the benefits of collaboration. It builds on past consultations with youth and partners through the Review of the Roots of Youth Violence, Stepping Stones: A Resource on Youth Development and Ontario's Youth Action Plan. It also reflects input from 18 provincial ministries, the Premier's Council on Youth Opportunities, Dr. Alvin Curling, my Strategic Advisor on Youth Opportunities and co-author of the Review of the Roots of Youth Violence report, and partners in the youth-serving sector, including young people themselves.

Stepping Up is also a call for co-operation and action in all our communities for all of us to come together and work towards success. The report has the young person at its centre. It identifies 20 evidence-based outcomes and related indicators across seven themes that are important to Ontario's youth. To keep our focus on enhancing the well-being of our young people we will track these outcomes and indicators every year, and we will report annually on our collective progress.

I want to thank everyone who contributed toward this important framework. Together, we can ensure young people in our province get the support and opportunities they need to reach their full potential. The future of our province depends on it.

Teresa Piruzza

Minister of Children and Youth Services - February 2013 to June 2014

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