Promoting Alternative Restorative School Supports for Youth
The program is a community-based initiative designed to increase the protective factors surrounding high risk youth. Specifically, the program aims to shift youth’s focus to productive, healthy, cultural, networking, educational, physical, and mental health-based activities, to prevent them from engaging in activities that lead to school disciplinary measures or early entrance into the justice system. Furthermore, the program increases the support and advocacy of high-risk youth who previously have or are already facing school and court hearings, and will attempt to ensure they do not reoffend, revisit, or re-engage in dangerous activities, using restorative practices. The PARSSY program collaborates with schools and institutions to refer youth to this program as an alternative to other punitive disciplinary decisions such as suspension and expulsion.
Strengths Needs Culture and Discovery (SNCD) tool
Restorative Justice: listening circles :
Wisdom Keeper Circles
What are Restorative Practices?
Restorative practices encourage positive social bonds and relationships in schools, workplaces, the justice system, and communities at large. According to the International Institute for Restorative Practices, the restorative approach is inspired by the indigenous practice of listening circles, and promotes a greater sense of belonging for students, fosters community building, and reduces instances of bullying and school-based violence.
Who do we serve?
Edmonton-based high school students
Youth 12 to 24 years
ABC (African, Black, Caribbean) communities
Newcomers to Canada
Youth experiencing one or more of the following: socio/emotional barriers in school, cultural disconnection and isolation, mental health concerns, barriers to employment and positive social integration, and youth involved in the justice system
Area of Focus
Interpersonal relations: Working, accompanying, and interacting with the youth at a 1 on 1 level
Community relations: Introducing the youth to various positive role models within their community through different programs and initiatives
Recreational activities: Introducing and referring the youth to different extracurricular activities, clubs, associations, sports, and activities based on the interests they state in their intake forms, where they can both develop their skills and strengths, and learn new ones.
Mentorship: Introducing and pairing the youth to carefully selected mentors, that can further inspire, assist, and engage the youth in positive ideas, and decisions
Support and advocacy of youth in school disciplinary hearings: accompanying or representing youth at school disciplinary hearings in order to ensure the youth feels supported, fully understands the circumstances and their situation, while receiving fair representation, and outcomes
Support and advocacy of youth in criminal justice system: accompanying and representing youth at criminal justice hearings in order to ensure the youth is supported and understands the factors and legal information of their situation, as well as bail plans, and legal representations
Reduce number of expulsions and suspensions in schools
Reduce number of youth who reoffend and participate in high risk behaviours
Increase number of youths feeling that they have improved relationships with their schools and a greater sense of belonging
Increased number of youth being employed
Increased number of youths who have been consistent in participating in the basketball league and other youth programs
Increase youth’s confidence to lead their own restorative circles meetings
M.E. Lazerte High School
Harry Ainlay High School