Youth Programs in Canada: A Community-Based Strategy to Address Youth Social Exclusion and Risk Behaviour

By Melanie Bedore.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Social exclusion is a term used to encapsulate clusters of social problems that plague some communities. These compounding problems often include poor health, unemployment, poverty or homelessness, low economic development, poor political and community engagement and low personal expectations. For children living in areas characterized by social exclusion, engagement in multiple risk behaviours like substance abuse and underage crime are more likely to develop into habits that extend into adulthood, at a great cost to the individual and the state. While communities cannot address the systemic inequalities that cause social exclusion, youth drop-in programs are one intervention that can help communities to pursue an agenda for social inclusion. For this project, fifteen qualitative interviews were conducted with workers in youth programs in South-Eastern Ontario. The results suggest that youth benefit through personal development and reduced risk behaviour through a variety of activities that recognize youths’ contributions to the community, improve their self-esteem, and develop their sense of community attachment and belonging.

Keywords: Youth, Canada, Social Exclusion, Drop-in Programs, Adolescence, Risk Behaviour

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 2, Issue 4, pp.87-98. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 580.300KB).

Melanie Bedore

Ph.D. student, Department of Geography, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada

I am a Ph.D. candidate in human geography at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. My research looks at food geographies from a social justice dimension, to develop the idea of a just urban food system for Canadian cities. This work will draw on literature from geography, urban planning and political philosophy, most importantly the work of Susan Fainstein and others on the Just City. My Master's degree is from Queen's University in Public Administration. My Bachelor's degree is from Carleton University in Public Affairs and Policy Management.

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