Supporting youth


Banyan offers various support services for youth who have been in conflict with the law.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Counselling and Assessment

    Banyan’s Counselling and Assessment program provides brief counselling services for young people age 12 – 18 that are currently on probation.  Referrals are made through youth probation services in Hamilton, Haldimand and Norfolk.

  • Youth Mental Health Court Worker

    Banyan’s Youth Services ensures youth with mental health issues who are in conflict with the law receive appropriate services and a coordinated service response. Through establishing effective relationships between the young person, the youth justice court (including the Crown and defense counsel) and appropriate youth justice resources, the Youth Mental Health Court Worker Program will function as a short-term bridge between these systems, and divert youth from the courts where appropriate.

    Referrals/inquiries may come from the individual who has been charged, family members, friends, care providers, community agencies, judges, defense/duty counsel or crown attorney at any stage of the court process.

  • Court Ordered Section 34 Assessments

    Through our Court Ordered Section 34 Assessment service, Banyan provides psychological and psychiatric assessments for youth who have been charged with an offense. We assist probation and parole officers by assessing the rehabilitation needs of youth through the provision of treatment.

    Through the expertise of our multi-disciplinary team, Banyan applies evidence-based therapies and practices, as required, to assist offenders in more effectively managing mental health issues directly impacting on their criminal behaviour, and in developing the skills to make better life choices and aid in their rehabilitation.

  • Our Philosophy of Care

    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’s health and professional services

    Banyan’s health and professional services team applies evidence-based/informed approaches to best support each youth’s specific presenting concerns throughout their time with Banyan, including the following:

    • Substance withdrawal
    • Mental health concerns
    • Supporting a youth with an acute mental health issues
    • Self- Harm
    • Suicide Ideation
    • Medical issues

    Learn more about our multi-disciplinary approach

  • Section 23 Education

    Section 23 classrooms, as part of Ontario’s Education Act, serve students who require their educational needs to be met outside of the regular school system, in specialized settings. A student in a Section 23 Program is a client of an agency funded by the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services that provides services in one of the following categories:

    • Care
    • Treatment
    • Corrections

    The length of time in any given program varies according to the needs of the student and may involve an assessment period followed by long or short-term treatment. Concurrent with receiving services provided by the agency, students are taught by District School Board teachers following the Ontario Ministry of Education Curriculum.

    An important part of these programs is the development of personal life management skills. Individual education and treatment plans are created for students to address their strengths and needs.

    Students in Section 23 Programs may be in either residential or day treatment. Programs locations include:

    • hospitals
    • group homes
    • custody facilities
    • treatment facilities
    • classrooms in community schools

    If you have questions about Section 23 Programs, contact the principal of your local elementary or high school.

    Section 23 classrooms in Banyan’s youth justice out-of-home programs are on site at all of our locations. Board teachers offer independent study in all courses and all levels. Courses include English, math, history, geography, physical education, culinary, art and civics. These are credit courses and the educational staff co-ordinate with the board of education to ensure student success.

  • Youth Justice Outcomes Framework

    In 2014, Ontario launched the Youth Justice Outcomes Framework following three years of consultation, research and development. The Framework is a set of data collection and reporting tools that not only considers
    1) reoffending rates among youth in conflict with the law, but also measurable improvements in their
    2) behavior,
    3) skills and
    4) engagement with supports.

    This outcome-focused, evidence-based approach strengthens decision-making and provides youth a voice, through the experience surveys, in the decision-making process. The Youth Justice Outcomes Framework is built to adapt and grow as Ontario’s youth justice transformation moves forward. Ontario is currently working on incorporating additional data sources, such as Statistics Canada data, to enhance the Framework’s analytics. Ontario is also building youth justice staff capacity in outcome measurement and data management to support the Framework’s implementation across the province. In the near future, Ontario will make outcome data public. Opening up this data not only supports transparency and accountability, but also promotes public participation in Ontario’s on-going work to improve outcomes for youth in, or at risk of, conflict with the law.

    Visit our Quality & Performance page to read our Annual Client Satisfaction Report.