The SYICCN is a non-profit organization that advocates and supports Youth, aged 14 - 24, in or from foster care/young offender systems. Located in Regina, the SYICCN is mandated to help set up local 'networks' throughout Saskatchewan and develop strategies that empower youth in and from the system.
Youth who are currently in or from the foster care system/young offender custody are the primary participants of the youth in care network. The SYICCN works towards a goal for educational development and healthy nourishment in the lives of these young people through educational workshops, speaking panels, youth run projects, recreational and other activities and positive peer support. Alongside this we aid in the development of youth run support groups-local "youth in care/custody networks" across Saskatchewan.
At a deeper level, the SYICCN mandate sees to it that youth in care and/or custody are able to find their voices within the system(s), and to encourage them to speak out on issues and services in the system based on their own experiences. The SYICCN strives to offer services to all of Saskatchewan's youth in care and/or custody by working closely with regional departments of social services, the foster families association and many other youth friendly agencies. Many of our adult supporters come from these professions. Most of all we are a "by youth, for youth" organization. All of our members, staff, and some of our volunteers are people who are currently in or have had experience with child welfare, foster care, and young offender systems.
Our guiding principles encourage youth to assume positive roles in their lives and in their communities. The SYICCN strives to accomplish these goals through peer mentoring, adult support, fairness, fun, and friendship.
What we do
The SYICCN’s purpose is to ensure that young people involved in government care are able to have a voice in their lives and in their community in order to make improvements to the services they receive. As an organization we are a valuable resource to those who work with young people, from government, other non-profit organizations, community, caregivers and the public. We address a wide range of topics, some of which include:
- The stigma of being in Foster Care and/or Custody
- Leadership and Accountability
- Rights and Responsibilities of youth in Foster Care and/or Custody
- Education and Employment
- Positive examples of life “after care”
What do local networks do
Local Networks are where the “stuff” goes down! Local Networks get together at different times throughout the year. This could be as much as every week to as little as once a month, depending on what the youth participants decide and how much support is offered through the region they reside in. Local networks are youth run, with the help of excellent adult support people! Each network’s activities vary as it is up to the participants to decide what they want to do.
THE FOLLOWING COMMUNITIES HAVE Local Youth in Care Networks IN THEIR AREA:
- Prince Albert
- Meadow Lake is developing
For more information on Local youth networks in Saskatchewan or how to start one in your area please contact the SYICCN office.
Youth in Care Networks work best with a network of support built up around them. In Saskatchewan there have been several “core groups” of youth over the years. One factor that has contributed to their success has been adult support. Our Adult Support persons also participate in many of the provincial and national conferences, roundtables, focus groups and projects as a valuable support.
Adults from all areas of the child welfare and young offenders programs are welcome to participate in Youth in Care, as well as any other interested members of the community. Adults who:
- are not afraid of youth empowerment;
- believe in and respect the expertise/voice of youth in care/custody;
- have the energy and time available; and
- have a vested interest in working WITH youth
For more information on how to become an Adult Support please contact the SYICCN office.