IYS staff at the centre with youth

Integrated Youth Services (IYS) centre the engagement, priorities, and needs of youth. Visual models of IYS often feature a youth at the centre of diverse service options. Along with youth at the centre, this PhD research study reveals how IYS staff are at the centre with youth. IYS frontline staff undertake a huge range of activities to support youth, including welcoming and gathering, facilitating drop-in spaces and programs, implementing rapid assessments, and linking youth to clinical and community resources. Using institutional ethnography to understand the experiences of IYS staff, this research project involved 19 qualitative interviews with IYS staff across Canada, along with some limited workplace observations. Early findings reveal how IYS staff connect youth with the components of IYS at every step, and identify how to better support IYS staff in their essential work with youth.

Presenters and slide deck

Lisa Lachance

Lisa has been Executive Director of the W2A Network, the foundation for the new social enterprise, W2A Consulting Limited, since April 2013.Lisa worked with the federal government in Ottawa, in children’s rights at the Canadian International Development Agency and at the Privy Council Office. Lisa was the inaugural Director of Policy at the Nova Scotia Department of Finance.

Lisa has consulted for Canadian, international, and United Nations organizations on knowledge translation and mobilization, children’s rights, youth and community engagement, and gender-based violence. Her areas of expertise include policy development, facilitation, performance measurement and evaluation, and knowledge translation.
Lisa holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Development Studies and a Masters of Public Administration. Lisa is a passionate parent, professional ,and academic advocate for improving access to the supports needed for young people’s well-being and mental health. She is currently a PhD candidate in Health at Dalhousie University.


Key Learnings

  • Youth within integrated youth services (IYS) have complex formal and informral social relations both inside and outside of the IYS sphere.
  • Staff in IYS need be supported for a diverse range activities, including youth engagement as staff role can interrupt the restriction of power.
  • Informality persists with heterogeneity across IYS sites in terms of (a) service collaboration, (b) personal relationships, and (c) use of texts.

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