Brant Youth and Family Engagement

As the Lead Agency for the Moving on Mental Health initiative for Brantford/Brant, Woodview is committed to engaging with youth and families in our community to create meaningful change to children’s mental health services in Brant.

The New Mentality defines youth engagement as “empowering all youth as valued partners in addressing, and making decisions about issues that affect them personally and/or that they believe to be important” (Pereira, N., 2007).

The goal of our youth and family engagement framework considers youth and families as equal partners in the co-creation of the programs and services that they use. It also includes partnering with youth and families in a variety of ways to transform the children’s mental health system in Brant. We are fortunate to have youth working with us to co-lead our efforts to engage youth to co-develop transformation at the service, program and system levels. We have been delighted to have various groups of youth in the community agree to work with us on these projects and their input and partnerships have been invaluable. We also have two phenomenal working groups comprised of youth, families and service providers helping to guide and lead this work.

This work has led to measurable change in the way we offer services, our hours, types of services, locations and has led to the creation of a second Brantford space in downtown Brantford called, Woodview in the Square. Want to know more about this space? Visit https://youthhubs.ca/en/ for more information.

We have heard the youth, implemented change, and reported back to evaluate our success and opportunities for growth. It has been an extremely exciting journey to work with the youth, to hear their perspectives, to see them excel in their areas of strength, and learn from their lived experience. Youth have valuable insight and creative ways to solving problems.

Evidence shows that programs and services co-created with youth and families are more likely to have better outcomes for both service users and providers. Engagement practices help organizations to move from a provider perspective to an invested partnership philosophy. This helps to embed the culture of engagement into the heart of an organization.

This is an exciting journey, and we are just getting started.

family engagement logo for the brant location