SLYA’S Vision
Every Youth we work with exits SLYA programs feeling confident, supported and prepared to succeed, resulting in no recidivism. 

The Oxford definition of recidivism:  a tendency to relapse into a previous condition or mode of behaviour, especially relapse into criminal behaviour.

About SLYA
The St. Lawrence Youth Association is a non-profit charitable organization, funded by the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services. Established 1974 in Kingston, Ontario. SLYA operates one residential program (Sundance) including medical services; three community-based programs (Community Support Services, Intensive Support & Supervision Program and Youth Justice Family Worker), and a Bailiff Program.

The Association deals with young persons in conflict with the law and young persons who are charged with an offence under the Criminal Code of Canada who are between the ages of twelve and seventeen when they commit the offence.

SLYA is operated by a volunteer Board of Directors with an Executive Director to run the day to day operations of the Association as the senior executive officer. SLYA is incorporated under the Corporations Act, there is a constitution and by-laws, as well as officers of the Board of Directors.

The Board of Directors includes a committee structure. It is responsible for hiring the Executive Director. The Executive Director is responsible to the Board of Directors for programming and service delivery.


We are:                                 and                 We Believe In:

     Collaborative,                                             Accountability,

     Responsive,                                                 Excellence,

     Inclusive, and                                              Growth, and

     Nurturing                                                      Trust                   
SLYA Word Cloud: Collaborative Accountable Responsive Individualized Nurturing Growth - CARING!

Mission Statement
SLYA provides restorative and preventative youth justice programs that are responsive and individualized to help youth grow as confident, capable and successful individuals.

Strategic Priorities

Respond to Diversity & Complexity of Client Population

  • Individually tailored, culturally appropriate programs offered to all clients
  • Embed trauma-informed practices in everything we do
  • Provide cultural diversity training for all staff on an ongoing basis
  • Develop a partnership package to reach out to geographically dispersed partners
  • Explore opportunities to partners with other agencies to provide diverse/culturally specific programming for youth

Reduce Funding Uncertainty

  • Develop program and project proposals in anticipation of funding opportunities
  • Diversify funding sources
  • Expand fundraising profile through education and marketing
  • Explore foundation/fundraising platform options
  • Actively search for funders for specific projects and programs, partnering with other agencies when appropriate

Develop Relationships & Expand Partnerships

  • Meet with partners about opportunities and processes for post-discharge planning and options for warm hand-offs
  • Explore option to partner with agencies to access existing Family and Youth Advisory Committees (i.e. OneRoof or Maltby)
  • Develop a road-show package and present at partner agency staff meetings, invite partner agencies to do the same at SLYA
  • SLYA’s regular participation at Situation Table / Risk Watch
  • Explore opportunities for shared services with partner agencies to better serve youth involved with the justice system

Decrease recidivism and increase youth success by enabling a transition rather than creating a cycle

  • Identify blind spots or gaps in care and work hard to fill them
  • Ensure Continuity of care
    • Post discharge planning that includes a warm hand-off, between programs/agencies
    • Create an Attachment Village – discharge hand-off to at least one caring adult in that youth’s life
  • Enable true transformation
    • Trauma informed care (including accessing internal safety networks)
    • Innovative, responsive, individualized programming
  • Explore / lobby for ability to follow/support youth post discharge, providing re-integration and post discharge support
  • Staff engagement and training to support staff in successfully meeting all SLYA objectives/priorities
    • Ongoing professional development and engagement of staff to support innovation and excellence
    • Integrate all SLYA staff as one unit often, to support decision-making, problem solving, training and engagement
    • Provide opportunities for SLYA staff to integrate with partner agency staff through joint training, information sharing, problem solving and activities