Our unique approach
Two kids, similar circumstances – one ends up in jail and one a good citizen. Why?
We made it our business to find out. Then set out to create the most effective crime-prevention centre and programs possible.
First, we reflected on our long-standing history of success
For two decades, YouthLink Calgary Police Interpretive Centre has been providing youth the straight facts about crime-related issues that put them at risk. We reflected on what we know works and we confirmed our ideas with the experts – your kids, during a youth focus group.
- Kids want to learn about these issues outside a classroom setting.
- They want to avoid choices that put them at risk, but aren’t sure how.
- They want the straight facts about real issues – hold the sugar coating.
- Meaningful discussions and critical conversations need the foundation of a supportive and safe space.
- Reaching youth at the cusp of confronting these challenges is essential for arming our children with the right tools at the right time.
- Information needs to be current, real and relevant for young minds to care.
More than ever, our kids need guidance. And most importantly, they want to have these conversations – with people they trust.
We teamed up with the men and women that know what’s really happening – the Police.
We looked through our City’s vigilant eyes, the Calgary Police Service, to gain a clear understanding of the crime-related issues faced by today’s youth and their families. What did we learn?
- Examples of youth participating in criminal and vulnerable behaviour is found within each of Calgary’s socio-economic populations.
- Building trust between the Police and new Canadian’s is increasingly important for on-going community safety.
- Youth are dealing with mental health challenges more often, increasing their likeliness of participating in criminal or vulnerable behaviour in the future.
Learn more about our real intel
Through research, we understood the consistent crime-related challenges faced by youth today.
We landed on three main philosophies to focus on:
- Everyone deserves a bright future. Despite our circumstances, pressures and challenges, we all have the ability to make positive decisions for ourselves and therefore live as responsible citizens.
- Mental health and support plays an important role in avoiding crime and victimization.
- Community members must trust the police in order to report crime and ensure the on-going safety of a community.
We developed the most targeted and strategic experience possible.
Creating change is no easy feat, but this is the challenge we were built for.
A year of development, a life-time of passion and incredible support from our partners, has resulted in a program that has propelled YouthLink Calgary into a nation-wide leader in crime prevention.
We selected our best audience
- Calgarians on the cusp of facing crime-related pressures and challenges – Grade 6 Students.
Focused on the most pressing issues
- Drugs (and substance abuse)
- Online Safety
- Healthy Relationships
Developed the tools that work
- Critical information straight from the streets
- Positive decision-making skills
- How to get help
Designed for impact
- Hired an inspiring team that wake up every morning excited to make a difference. We are all unique and have been through our fair share of challenges. We inspire dreams and build relationships that matter.
- Used real, local stories that are relevant and evoke emotion. Stories that shed a beacon of hope that will follow participants during the years they need it most.
- Created experiences that break down stereotypes of police and build lasting trust and understanding.