The BRIDGE Program is funded by the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services/Youth Justice Services Division and operated by Banyan Community Services in cooperation with the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board.

BRIDGE is a voluntary Program for youth (13 – 18 yrs) that are at high-risk for poor school success and that are high-risk for having continued conflict with the law.

BRIDGE will provide a specialized classroom and community school out-reach program for youth (13 – 18 yrs) in conflict with the law designed to promote academic readiness, assist with vocational development, ensure successful transition into mainstream school, and to decrease the likelihood of re-offending.

The program includes two components:

Component One is called Academic Readiness and consists of a classroom, a certified Teacher and a Community Support Worker. Students work on credits toward achieving a secondary school diploma and participate in various therapeutic activities. On-site individual and group counselling are incorporated into each student’s Plan of Care. Students will usually spend one semester in Academic Readiness and then progress to Step Two.

Component Two is called Transition and consists of a Community Support Worker working together with the student, his/her family, and the school personnel to ensure successful integration into a community school. The Community Support Worker will maintain regular contact with the student, family, and school personnel in order to ensure that success is maintained. The Community Support Worker will provide ongoing consistent support to the student as they transition back into mainstream school with the necessary tools/strategies to maintain successful attendance and academic progress. Students can remain in Step Two for at least one semester (this can be extended if need is determined by all parties involved).

An application package needs to be filled out by the youth’s Case Manager (Probation Officer).

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