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Choices for Youth

* This year, Choices for Youth (CFY) successfully implemented a new Client Management System (CMS), EMHWare. Now, for the first time, CFY has a system that tracks data across all programs and supports the process of internal referrals. The path towards choosing this CMS was one that was guided by a team of seven front-line staff from across the organization who helped test and select the new CMS based on their programs’ needs. Our Strategic Initiatives team worked with coordinators and managers to implement a centralized intake and consent process for young people that collects baseline data across all programs and helps ensure that youth data is protected. There is still lots of work to be done to build out EMHware to work best for staff and youth alike. As we look ahead to the next fiscal year, we will be implementing impact surveys and data dashboards to help measure and visualize youth progress through programs. We are so grateful for all the front-line staff and coordinators who have informed the development of EMHWare and have worked so hard to ensure that we are capturing youth data and progress through this system so that we can best demonstrate the incredible impact of CFY’s programs to young people, staff, partners, and funders. Disclaimer: Choices for Youth does our best to ensure that any information we report is accurate and complete. In this fiscal year, we transitioned to a new data system and while we have done our best to ensure high quality data is both collected and reported through this period of transition, there may be minor inconsistencies in the data provided.

Message from the Executive Direction and Board Chair

The Board of Directors and staff at Choices for Youth (CFY) are pleased to release our 2022-23 Annual Report. It has been an amazing year exemplified by tremendous work, all focused on supporting youth and young families who come to CFY for assistance.

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Message from The Honourable Dr. Andrew Furey, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador

Choices for Youth makes a tremendous and positive difference in the lives of youth in this province across a continuum of supports and services targeting all aspects of the social determinants of health. Through a wide-range of housing options; mental health and addiction supports; social enterprise training and employment; and family and natural supports programming, Choices for Youth continues to show leadership within the community, bringing social innovation to the forefront of its work. 

Message from the Youth Leadership and Advisory Council

As the YLAC, we engage directly with CFY’s Senior Leadership Team and Board of Directors. We had our first meeting with CFY’s Senior Leadership Team in February 2023 and followed that up with our first meeting with the CFY Board of Directors in March 2023. Moving forward, we hope to meet with each group at least twice annually to provide our feedback and perspective.


Savannah's Story

“People always struggle with being open to receiving help. It makes them feel like they are less than everyone else. I think it’s important to be open to people’s help because if you do, you could be so much farther in life than you were three months ago. I have changed so much from even just two months ago by being in RallyForward. You’re constantly changing because you’re constantly learning things. Your life is much less difficult if you’re willing to learn and to let people help you.”

Hailey's Story

“I haven’t had any type of consistency throughout my life, in general, so for the last year it has been really great to have a level of consistency. It has really helped with my mental health. I feel a lot less alone, and I know I can go to the Momma Moments’ staff or doctor if I have any concerns, and I feel comfortable going to them, which is also new for me. I haven’t ever been good at going to others for help.”

Krista's Story

“I do enjoy it…I didn’t really have any friends when I was out on my own, and I’m after making friends here. The staff have also helped me get my dental and go back to school to get the rest of my high school credits. There’s a lot of resources I never knew about, and they were able to point me in the right direction.”

Alex's Story

“I had never really gotten a chance to show my abilities to the world and to myself. Choices gives you a safe space to come in, feel comfortable, try your best, and do everything you can do…it just unlocks so much potential in people…people who probably wouldn’t have seen that potential in themselves otherwise. I know that I see a lot more potential in myself than I did a year and a half ago.”

Janet's Story

“When I first came down to Outreach…I was totally ignorant. I never knew what was going on in the city I grew up in all my life. I had no idea, the severity of the homelessness and people being hungry. It was eye-opening.”

Nicole's story

“The Shelter is oftentimes the place where young people are introduced to Choices as a whole. For whatever reason they have become homeless, and we have been able to offer them a bed at The Shelter and then open up a whole world of resources that they didn’t know existed. And that work is being done every day.”

New Housing Initiatives

CFY is excited to share an update on two exciting housing initiatives we have been working on – our Pleasantville Units and new units with Soft Landing!

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housing program

Operating with a housing-first approach means we offer a number of housing programs that provide young people with a variety of options depending on their housing needs. Learn more about these programs!

Harm Reduction through SWAP

SWAP reflects a harm-reduction approach to supporting young people. It meets young people wherever they are in their lives, recognizing that some young people will opt for substance use or engage in other high-risk behaviours. 


Momma Moments, an Award-Winning Program

The work being done by our Momma Moments team was recognized last year with two outstanding achievements – the program model was acknowledged as a Leading Practice by the Health Standards Organization and was awarded the Youth Homelessness Prevention Award by Making the Shift.


A Family and Natural Supports Approach

At the request of youth, the Family and Natural Supports team will build a relationship with a young person’s identified support system to help find creative ways to promote positive relationship-building and connection.

Upstream NL’s Continued Success

School-aged children often have a difficult time accessing the services they need to achieve better outcomes. Upstream NL engages with students at school, building relationships with them and their families and providing the services they need to increase their engagement in the classroom.

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Addressing Youth Employment Needs through Innovative SolutionS

NL Workforce Innovation Centre

The funding provided through our partnership with the Newfoundland and Labrador Workforce Innovation Centre opened several new doors for our Education, Employment, and Social Enterprise (EESE) team. It enabled them to expand their training team and develop new training programs and opportunities for young people.


Expansion of Training

Our EESE team saw its training program grow during the 2022-2023 fiscal year. EESE took significant steps to expand its training team to better support CFY social enterprises and to enhance its ability to offer training and business development to partner organizations operating their own social enterprise in other parts of NL.

Welcome Crust Craft Bakery!

Choices for Youth’s fourth and newest social enterprise – Crust Craft Bakery – opened it’s doors to the public in November 2022.



Integrated Youth Services (IYS)

CFY’s Current IYS Site

Our Outreach and Youth Engagement Centre on Carter’s Hill Place in St. John’s has grown into the first true Integrated Youth Services (IYS) site in Newfoundland and Labrador. Often called “the front door” of CFY, our IYS site brings together a wide variety of services to meet the immediate and long-term needs of youth.

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Advancing IYS Across NL

Choices for Youth is leveraging its 30-year history of community-based work and initiatives to help grow a provincial network of Integrated Youth Services (IYS) hubs in regional centres across Newfoundland and Labrador.


Investing in Staff

CFY is committed to investing in the individuals who are doing amazing work every day to support young people and help them unlock their potential.

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Policy and Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Work

Our Human Resources (HR) team began the process of reviewing and updating CFY Personnel Policies in October 2022. Part of that ongoing process is a renewed commitment to incorporating Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) practices into its HR policies and day-to-day actions.

CFY’s First Collective Agreement

CFY reached its first Collective Agreement in April 2022. Under this Collective Agreement, employees at CFY’s supportive housing building, The Lilly, are now unionized through the Newfoundland Association of Public Employees (NAPE).

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