Young people's experiences in the co-op housing program

Study by Aviva highlights YouthLink's outstanding work with at-risk youth. 
TORONTO, April 12, 2013 /CNW/ - In recognition of the International Day for 
Street Children, Aviva Canada, one of the country's leading providers of home, 
auto, leisure, group and business insurance is pleased to announce the release 
of a study on YouthLink's Co-op Housing Program. 
Aviva Canada has supported YouthLink's Co-op Housing Program, along with a 
number of other initiatives undertaken by the agency since 2010. The goal of 
the Program is to provide an affordable, safe place for vulnerable youth 
between the ages 16-21 to find stability and prepare for independent living. 
YouthLink is a non-profit organization based in the Scarborough area of 
Toronto, Ontario with a mission to support vulnerable youth in making positive 
life choices. They offer a range of community services that promote mental 
health and well-being. 
The study, called Passport 2012 which was commissioned by Aviva was conducted 
by local researchers in Italy, Canada and two sites in India. What makes the 
study unique and more impactful is that it focused on interviews with the 
participants in the program, as well as the staff supporting them. This is a 
rare opportunity for both the report and the program participants, whose 
voices are often silenced or disregarded. 
"We're thankful for Aviva's investment and collaboration in this study which 
allowed us to gain deeper insight into the how the Co-op Housing program is 
working, especially for the youth directly supported." - Katina Watson, 
Director of Counseling at YouthLink. 
Recommendations from the report were broken down into four audiences: 
policy-making and practice, corporate/donor support, research and for young 
people as service users. 
Key recommendations include: 

    --  Youth need to be actively listened to for their insights.
    --  Youth need time and a safe space to explore who they are and
        what matters to them, with youth who have lived chaotic or
        traumatic lives likely needing more time than others.
    --  Services are needed to breach the gap from state care/childhood
        to independence.
    --  Listen for depth, not just numbers: Funders in Canada want
        numbers; they want proof that programs are working, but
        quantity doesn't always indicate success.
    --  Funders often offer grants on one- or three-year terms. This is
        not enough time to show progress. It will be important to
        educate funders about the long-term impacts of programs such as
        the Co-op Housing Program.
    --  Youth need to recognize their successes and how impressive they
        are. Focusing on continued improvement is important but so is
        realizing how much they have achieved and the hurdles they've

Aviva Canada is part of Aviva plc., a global insurer with over 31,000 
employees serving 34 million customers. Aviva supports Street to School (S2S) 
programs through more than 20 charity partnerships around the world. Street to 
School is about championing the needs of street children and recognizing that 
every child living on, working on or connected to the street has the right to 
fulfill their potential.

Aviva and its partners chose a developmental evaluation and participatory 
assessment approach to find out from children and youth how well the S2S 
programs are doing, and if and how they could be more effective. View the full 
PASSPORT 2012 report on Youthlink's Co-op Housing Program.

About Aviva Canada
Aviva Canada is one of the leading Property and Casualty insurance groups in 
Canada providing home, automobile, recreational vehicle, group and business 
insurance to more than three million customers. A wholly-owned subsidiary of 
UK-based Aviva plc, the company has more than 3,000 employees, 25 locations 
and 1,700 independent broker partners. Aviva Canada and its employees invest 
in positive change including through the Aviva Community Fund and Eva's 
Initiatives, its signature partner in Aviva's global Street to School program 
to help homeless and other at-risk youth reach their potential.

For more information visit, our blog or our Twitter, Facebook 
and LinkedIn pages.

Media Contact: Glenn Cooper Senior Manager, Public Relations and Social 
Media Aviva Canada Inc. Desk: (416) 288-2685, Mobile: (416) 523-3225

SOURCE: Aviva Canada Inc.

To view this news release in HTML formatting, please use the following URL:

CO: Aviva Canada Inc.
ST: Ontario

-0- Apr/12/2013 13:30 GMT

Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.