Youth in Ontario
Learn about programs, services and support to help you develop skills to achieve your goals and build your future.
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Programs, services and supports
Find programs and support to help you feel safe and stay engaged in your community. Contact your local Youth Outreach Worker Program.
Find out how we’re working toward eliminating systemic, race-based disparities by increasing opportunities for Black children, youth and families in Ontario.
Learn about members of the council and how they are helping young people achieve their economic goals.
Learn about Student and Family Advocates and how they will support Black students and families.
If you or someone you know is a victim of violence or human trafficking, or if you suspect that you know someone who may be a victim of human trafficking, the Youth Violence and Human Trafficking Prevention Program can help by providing culturally-focused education and prevention programs and recovery and resilience supports.
Students and young people who are looking for a job can get help from many programs, regardless of your background or circumstances.
Health and wellness
If you’re 24 or under and you don’t have a private plan, you can get prescription drug coverage if you have a health card and an eligible prescription.
Find mental health support, helplines and resources for people under the age of 18.
Education and learning
Elementary and secondary school
The low-down about learning at Ontario’s public universities, colleges or registered private career colleges.
Find out how you can get help paying for college or university. Find out if you’re eligible and how much you can get.
Youth who are in trouble with the law
Ontario’s youth justice system provides programs and services for youth between the ages of 12 and 17 who come into trouble with the law.
If you’re a parent or guardian, find out:
- what you can do to help your child stay out of trouble with the law
- what you should do if your child is under 18 and they get arrested
Get help if you are involved with a gang, if you could become involved with a gang or if you want to leave one.
Cannabis related offenses
If you have come into contact with the law because of a cannabis related offense, police or the courts could refer you to the Youth Cannabis Diversion Program instead of charging you, going ahead with a prosecution or imposing a fine. It’s an online program that will teach you about:
- the risks associated with cannabis use
- laws related to cannabis
- the impacts of cannabis use to help you make positive choices
Support for youth-led and youth-focused organizations
If you’re part of a youth-led grassroots group or youth-focused community organization that helps at-risk youth, you can apply to get an annual grant and capacity building support. The fund invests in initiatives that allow young people to build the skills they need to:
- stay engaged in school
- advance 21st century hard and soft skills
- build strong and healthy peer relationships
- navigate and expand resources in their communities
The grassroots youth sector can learn about research evidence and evaluation practices, including a knowledge hub, community board and digital café.
Guides and reports
Review our comprehensive developmental framework to support children ages 6 to 12. It is based on up-to-date evidence on middle childhood development.
Read the strategic framework to help Ontario’s middle years children thrive. The middle years (ages 6–12) are a developmental turning point and a critical period of transitions from early childhood to the teen years.
Read the strategic framework to guide the delivery of high quality supports and services for youth aged 12 to 25 across Ontario. Stepping Stones is designed to help anyone who works with or cares for youth to identify and respond to their needs at each stage of their development.
Use this guide for decision-making, program planning and partnerships so that everyone involved in supporting youth between 12 and 25, can work together through a common, shared approach.
Read the 2016 Stepping Up Annual Report to learn about our progress in supporting Ontario youth since the release of Stepping Up in 2013. The report includes case studies, and the 2016 Profile of Youth Wellbeing
Read the 2016 Stepping Up Inventory of Youth Programs to learn about Ontario’s programs and initiatives that support the wellbeing of youth.