Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Langley Youth and Family Services: A free program to help youth with disruptive behaviour problems

Over the past few months, Langley City council has been receiving presentations from city departments, programs that the city funds, and other non-profit organizations as part of the orientation process of the new council term which runs from the start of November 2018 to the end of October 2022. One of the presentations that we received recently was from Langley Youth and Family Services.

Langley Youth and Family Services is a unique program that is funded jointly by the Township of Langley and Langley City to help young people in our community reduce their interaction with the criminal justice system, and improve their mental health literacy.

The program’s scope is as follows:

  • To provide counselling to children and youth (ages 5 – 17) who are identified by Langley RCMP because of involvement in delinquent or pre-delinquent behaviours.
  • To provide counselling to children and youth (ages 5 – 17) who are identified by Langley community partners because of disruptive behaviour problems.
  • To include parents/guardians in the counselling for the purpose of supporting and assisting their role in creating a positive, responsible lifestyle for the children.
  • To liaise and collaborate with Langley RCMP and Langley community partners in order to enhance and develop crime prevention strategies, policies, and services for the Langleys.

If you or someone you know could benefit from this program, they can be referred via a school counsellor, family doctor or pediatrician, psychiatrist, social worker, or other mental health professional. People are also referred via the RCMP. Information about the referral process is available online. This free program is only available to people who live in Langley.

The program has been running since 1977. Currently, there are only a handful of communities in British Columbia that have similar programs. Ted Leavitt, who is the program manager, noted that about 80% of the people that go through the program do not show up in the RCMP system within a six-month period. He also mentioned that the Langley program is used by other communities as a reference.

By helping young people early on, this program supports them in becoming more positive and productive members of our community. This is good for that person, society in general, and our municipality as it means less calls for service from the police and other municipal services which ends up saving money.

No comments: