All That Kids Can Be

Every kid should have the basic building blocks to stay on track to succeed—in school, and in life.

The issue

For some local children, growing up isn’t easy. Challenges can begin before a child even steps into school for the first time.

UP TO 40%

of children start school without a proper foundation for learning in some Ottawa neighbourhoods.

68% OF YOUTH

graduate from high school in some Ottawa neighbourhoods, compared to over 90% for the rest of the city.

1 IN 5 YOUTH

in Ontario struggle with their mental health.

SECOND LEADING

Suicide is the second leading cause of death for Canadians between 10 and 24 years.

1 IN 7 STUDENTS

in Ontario report symptoms of a drug use problem.

YOUTH MORTALITY

The mortality rate for a homeless youth is 40 times that of a young person living at home.

Our response

United Way East Ontario believes that every child across Prescott-Russell, Ottawa, Lanark County and Renfrew County has the right to a good life, a safe place to grow up, to learn, and to make good friends—no matter where they live or what their personal circumstances are. That means succeeding in school and in life, and staying on track to graduate so that they can enter adulthood ready to take on the world.

United Way plays a key leadership and support role in initiatives critical to meeting the needs of vulnerable children and youth. These include:

One of the most comprehensive initiatives in terms of membership and scope, OCYI is focused on joint research, advocacy, planning and program development in support of early years and school age youth.
Project step is an initiative designed to tackle problematic youth substance use that ensures ready access to addiction prevention and counselling in Ottawa’s publicly funded high schools, and in community settings. Over the past three years, the work of project step has adapted to respond to the opioid crisis in Ottawa, and a coordinated, collective approach continues to be critical. Project step is now also prioritizing education around vaping and e-cigarettes.
United Way is also a partner and principal funder of A Way Home Ottawa, a youth-driven, local coalition working together to prevent and end youth homelessness in our city. Preventing youth homelessness is one of the key ways to end chronic homelessness, and A Way Home Ottawa convenes key community partners to changes in the system to improve support of our most at-risk youth.

The outcomes

United Way also partners with local, front-line agencies to deliver vital programs and services that help improve lives, break down barriers, and create opportunities for our region’s most vulnerable people. These include early-childhood education, support for young parents, after-school programs, school-based addiction counselling, and housing supports for youth experiencing homelessness. As part of our commitment to measuring our impact, we track and report how these investments make a difference.

Outcome: Children ready to learn

90% of participants reported positive parent-child activities that supported the achievement of developmental milestones

1,348 families/caregivers were provided with information, resources, tools, trainings, and/or teaching skills

Outcome: Children and youth are engaged and active

75% of middle/high school aged-youth developed soft skills

7,863 youth participated in school and/or communitybased, out-of school time programs and/or received individualized supports

Outcome: Resilient children and youth

73% of children and youth demonstrated prosocial behaviours and improved emotional well-being

2,000 children and youth demonstrated prosocial behaviours and improved emotional well-being

Outcome: Children and youth have improved mental health

83% of children and youth improved mental health outcomes

252 children and youth improved mental health outcomes

Outcome: Children and youth are successful in school

88% of children and youth maintained or improved academic competencies

1,177 children and youth maintained or improved academic competencies

Outcome: Youth housing needs are met

92% of youth living in emergency shelters or transitional housing received supports to live independently

206 youth living in emergency shelters or transitional housing received supports to live independently

Outcome: Youth reduced or stopped using drugs (non-mainstream schools)

81% of youth reported a reduction in the frequency of drug use

140 youth reported a reduction in the frequency of drug use

Results (In 2018-19)

A note on numbers:  In 2017, the four United Ways of Prescott-Russell, Ottawa, Lanark and Renfrew Counties decided to join forces. Today, we operate as one entity: United Way East Ontario. As we evolve and increasingly see and seize opportunities to work cross-regionally, more data will become available to report on the local needs and investment outcomes in all of the communities we serve. For this reason, for now, many of the facts and stats on this page are Ottawa-specific as it represents our largest investment footprint.

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