System Gap

Stakeholders from across sectors have gathered to create system change that will improve the experience of children and youth with mental health and addictions needs, and their families, in North York and the City of York. To assist in defining the focus of the Service Collaborative, a needs validation process was conducted from which four broad community needs emerged:

• Culturally appropriate services and supports
• Family, peer and service provider supports
• Connections to services
• Broader view of supports.

Building on the results of the needs validation and related conversations, the Service Collaborative decided to focus on the gap in the appropriateness of services and social isolation.


From conversations with service providers, population-specific groups, as well as youth and families, the following guiding principles for the Collaborative’s intervention have been developed:

1. Support the leadership of youth and families with lived experience
2. Encourage services to adapt to reflect the community
3. Meet people where they are at in the community
4. Embrace technology to enable change
5. Improve transparency in accessing services
6. Utilize a strengths-based, holistic approach to supports.

Using evidence gathered from youth, parents, Service Collaborative members and secondary research, a local menu of interventions was created. Discussion of these potential systems changes led to the development of the Service Collaborative’s blended intervention called Peer Positive Services. Peer Positive Services means engaging peers, or people with lived experience, as equal partners in the design, delivery, and review of services. You can find out more about Peer Positive intervention and the process of the collaborative here.

Local Evaluation Plan

The evaluation will work across multiple levels within the system to support ongoing learning, improvement and monitoring through:

• Digital storytelling from stakeholders within the system,
• The use of an organizational learning and fidelity assessment tool, and
• An annual ‘State of the System’ report.

These activities will help to measure support for reflection and learning, addressing inequities, and the equitable engagement of individuals with lived experience within organizations and across the system.


Exploration - complete Installation - in progress Initial Implementation Full Implementation

For more information, please contact:

Josina Vink, Regional Implementation Coordinator
416 535-8501 ext. 30203