Stepping Up and the Annual Report: A Snapshot

Stepping Up: A Strategic Framework to Help Ontario’s Youth Succeed (2013) is the Government of Ontario’s framework to support the positive development of Ontario youth aged 12 to 25. Stepping Up includes a commitment to report annually on outcomes and indicators that show how youth are doing in Ontario.

This report contains an updated Profile of Youth Wellbeing and highlights government strategies, programs and services for youth that were announced, launched or enhanced between fall 2015 and fall 2016. There are many youth-focused strategies, programs and initiatives beyond those noted in this report. A more complete listing of youth-focused Ontario government strategies and programs appears in the Stepping Up Inventory of Youth Programs, which is also updated annually.

In this third Stepping Up Annual Report, we have highlighted key government strategies as well as youth-focused programs and services that support them. Please note that many programs and services support more than one strategy, and many strategies and their programs address more than one Stepping Up theme. Also, while one ministry may be identified as the lead for a strategy, many ministries may deliver programs and services that support the strategy. This is especially true for strategies that address complex issues, as is the case with Open Minds, Healthy Minds—Ontario’s Comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions Strategy. The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, Ministry of Children and Youth Services, Ministry of Education, and Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development all deliver and support a range of programs and services that support this single strategy.

If Stepping Up is new to you, read the summary that follows and visit the Ministry of Children and Youth Services’ Stepping Up website, where you will find the Stepping Up framework and previous annual reports.

We hope that the 2016 Stepping Up Annual Report and the Inventory of Youth Programs 2016 are useful to you and the young people and adult allies in your life.

Framework Components

Stepping Up provides a platform for all those involved in supporting Ontario youth to come together, be informed by one clear vision and inspired by a set of guiding principles, while working on common goals.

Common Vision

The vision of Stepping Up is that together we will support all young people to become healthy, safe, hopeful, engaged, educated and contributing members of their communities and our province.

Guiding Principles

The following principles, which are grounded in positive youth development, guided the development of Stepping Up:

Common Goals

Stepping Up consists of seven themes and 20 related outcomes that evidence shows are important for the positive development of Ontario’s youth. The themes are based on what was heard from young people and experts. The outcomes represent the Government of Ontario’s priorities for youth.

Health & Wellness

Strong, Supportive Friends & Families

Education, Training & Apprenticeships

Employment & Entrepreneurship

Diversity, Social Inclusion & Safety

Civic Engagement & Youth Leadership

Coordinated & Youth-Friendly Communities

How to Use Stepping Up

Stepping Up is a tool for anyone positioned to support positive youth development and well-being—parents, teachers, service providers, policy-makers and youth themselves. It establishes a common framework to support decision making, program planning and partnerships.

Ontario’s Profile of Youth Wellbeing establishes a common outcomes framework that helps align our work to support youth at all levels of the system.

Stepping Up identifies sub-populations of youth facing greater risk factors and challenges. Understanding the needs and issues facing these youth populations can help you design and target your communities’ programs, services and policies to support youth in most need of support.

How You Can Get Involved