Skills building for street youth: fostering social and professional integration



This research examines the impact of Espoir, an initiative developed under the Québec government's Solidarité jeunesse program to better meet the needs of the young people who frequent the day centres of Maison Dauphine in Québec City and Bon Dieu dans la rue in Montréal.

The initiative's objective is to foster the social and professional integration of street youth by encouraging and preparing them to return to school or to enter the workforce, and by providing support for dealing with any personal problems that may limit the realization of their life projects.

There is a degree of unanimity regarding the skills that promote socio-professional integration.

Our work on sustainable workforce integration has led to the observation that there is a degree of unanimity regarding the skills that promote socio-professional integration. As is the case with most programs aimed at increasing employability, the Espoir program encourages the development of personal, social and professional skills. These are skills that generally develop throughout our lives. With this research, we set out to understand the part played by the Espoir program in the trajectory of its young participants. The study's main objective was to understand how family, school and work experiences, as well as experiences in the street and with the Espoir initiative, promote or hinder the acquisition of these skills.

Our findings show that participants' school and work experiences prior to participating in the Espoir program guided the focus of the intervention, thereby allowing the young participants to work on specific skills: developing their self-knowledge, improving their inter-personal relationships skills, confirming their interest in a particular field, returning to school, and in some cases, enhancing the knowledge required for finding a job and the motivation to work.

Main researcher

Andrée LaRue, RIPOST / CSSS de la Vieille-Capitale

Research report

Call for proposals

Deposit of the research report: December 2007