Manitoba expands support to Dauphin At-Risk Teens (DART) program
The Manitoba government has announced it is increasing its support to the Dauphin At-Risk Teens (DART) program, which co-ordinates police, social service agencies and community organizations to support at-risk youth and their families.
“By identifying and addressing the root cause of crime, DART continues to make a measurable and positive difference for young people and their families,” said Justice Minister Cliff Cullen. “This collaboration helps end cycles of crime, putting youth and their families on the path to long-term health and success. Our government is proud to announce an annual funding increase of $50,000 to support and expand this important work.”
DART has been working in the community for 10 years. Its clients are young people aged 12 to 17 and their families who are showing high-risk behaviours and may already have existing relationships with community agencies or previous involvement with law enforcement.
Under the DART model, all of the partners work with the youth and their family to identify the issues at the root of the problem and develop a comprehensive plan to improve their lives. This may include addictions treatment support, mental health supports, probation services or parenting supports.
“The DART program has established itself as a key component in the effective implementation of services for at-risk youth in our community,” said Susie Secord, DART chairperson. “From both an operational and management perspective, DART has not only served to bring agencies together and reduce the proverbial red tape, but encouraged a climate whereby partnerships are forged. This is a win-win situation when dealing with high-risk youth. It streamlines the process and allows for a more efficient and effective response from all the involved agencies.”
DART is modelled after the Selkirk Team for At-Risk Teens program, which was found to reduce youth re-involvement with police, improve their family and living situation, improve school attendance and participation, and ensure clients had successful safety plans, among other benefits. DART will continue to receive a $5,000 annual grant from the Manitoba government in addition to its new funding.
Cullen noted community mobilization projects like DART support the goals of the province’s Criminal Justice System Modernization Strategy, released in March, which prioritizes evidence-based investments to reduce crime and support community safety.
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