Banyan is a not-for-profit organization serving youth in conflict with the law, children and seniors/adults with disabilities. Since 1978, an integral part of our service portfolio has been Youth Justice. The organization has two secure-custody, residential detention centres, Arrell Youth Centre (AYC) and Peninsula Youth Centre (PYC) and an open-custody residential program, George R. Force (GRF) Group Home. Banyan has developed a strong infrastructure to support high-risk youth who have been placed by the court into our secure and open facilities. Specialized programs and services offer youth new learning opportunities to increase their skills and abilities, improve and change negative behaviour, increase youth engagement with supports and decrease re-offending to ensure public safety. Banyan promotes the successful reintegration of youth back into their communities. Our multidisciplinary clinical support team and staff work closely with the youth; mentoring and caring for them with the utmost respect and dignity.
On April 1, 2003, the Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA) came into force, completely replacing the previous legislation, the Youth Offenders Act (YOA). The YCJA introduced significant reforms to address concerns about how the youth justice system had evolved under the YOA. These concerns included the overuse of the courts and incarceration in less serious cases, disparity and unfairness in sentencing, a lack of effective reintegration of young people released from custody, and the need to better take into account the interests of victims. The YCJA provided the legislative framework for a fairer and more effective youth justice system. The amendments adopted by Parliament in 2012 aimed to strengthen the ways in which the youth justice system deals with repeat and violent offenders.
As a youth justice transfer payment provider of the MCCSS, our philosophy mirrors the philosophy of the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services.
The cornerstones of service delivery are preventing youth crime, reducing recidivism and contributing to community safety. They are built through the provision of rehabilitative programs and partnering with communities and governments.
We will hold youth responsible and accountable for their actions.
We will promote an organizational culture that enables leadership, responsibility and innovation in our staff and with our community partners.
Youth services and programs will be seamless, community- based and delivered as close to home as possible.
Programs and services will be evidence-based, evaluated for effectiveness and guided by standards.
Staff and service providers will be appropriately trained and experienced and will collaborate in the best interests of youth, families, victims and communities to achieve service excellence.
Programs and services will be responsive to the needs and strengths of youth including: physical, mental and emotional levels of development, language and culture and spiritual beliefs and practices. Gender issues will be a primary consideration in all programming.
Service delivery will include comprehensive risk assessment, effective case management, reintegration and community- based planning.
Banyan values the significance of a multi-disciplinary approach. Our multidisciplinary clinical team is comprised of registered social workers, experts in psychology, psychiatry and psychometry with over 20 years of experience working within forensic and youth justice sectors. Our clinical team is also supported by nurses, physicians and mental health practitioners. We then create a comprehensive treatment plan that includes various approaches to best meet the needs of clients that are high-risk, court-mandated, and/or clients with complex mental health needs.
Normalized: Young people and families will receive clinically appropriate services within the least intrusive environment.
Professional Excellence: Banyan promotes continuous quality assurance and intervention planning that is based on best practices.
Strengths/Competency Based: Banyan’s approach to treatment planning is strengths-based and is focused on competency building.
The program model seeks to mitigate risk factors and promote protective factors. It is based on the dynamic interplay of the strengths of the individual young person, the plan of care, the multidisciplinary team, our cognitive behavioural programs, and current research as it pertains to youth justice, delinquency, and program interventions.