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Youth Success Strategy (YSS) Development Grant Funding Stream

  1. Context
  2. What is UWTYR’s Youth Success Strategy?
  3. Purpose of the 2017 Development Grant Stream
  4. Eligibility
  5. Program Requirements
  6. Amount Available
  7. Program Selection Process
  8. Summary of Dates
  9. Office Hours
  10. Appeals
  11. Appendix 1: Examples of Outcomes and Indicators

1. Context

United Way has been serving the GTA for 100 years—and throughout our history we’ve worked to help kids be all they can be. We know the important role young people will play in our collective future—an investment today will pay large dividends tomorrow. When young people are given the right opportunities to learn, participate in their community, and build a solid foundation, it sets them up to be successful throughout their entire lives.

In 2013, we started a round of consultations to ask people what role they want United Way to play in building a better region. We engaged more than 1,900 people—and we heard loud and clear that youth should continue to be a priority in our work. That’s why, in our Change Starts Here strategic plan, United Way has reaffirmed our commitment to youth success for the years ahead.

The Youth Success Strategy (YSS) is one of three priorities identified in United Way Toronto York Region’s (UWTYR) new Strategic Plan, Change Starts Here. The three priorities for having greater community impact are:

  1. Support a strong responsive community services sector (CSS)
  2. Build strong neighbourhoods (BSN)
  3. Create youth success (YSS)

The YSS is our action plan to help young people get job-ready and equipped to build a better future. We created this strategy specifically for young people who have the hardest time to find work.

The YSS Development Grant will support agencies and organizations to enhance existing employability programs with a strong focus on education-to-employment.

2. What is UWTYR’s Youth Success Strategy?

Our goal is: by 2025, United Way will support 10,000 youth facing multiple barriers to access meaningful career opportunities.

United Way Toronto and York Region uses the barriers as defined in the Province of Ontario’s Stepping Up Framework. Multiple barriers can also be understood as intersecting barriers that affect the employability of youth. The YSS focuses on youth who:

  • Live in Poverty
  • Are Racialized
  • Have a Disability or Special Needs
  • Are in and/or Leaving Care
  • Are in Conflict with the Law
  • Are LGBTTQI2s
  • Are Newcomer
  • Are Indigenous
  • Are Francophone
  • Have Low Educational Attainment

An agency’s youth employability program must serve youth between the ages of 17-29. Eligible programs do not have to serve the full age range of the YSS, but should be able to demonstrate outcomes for any subset of youth between the ages 17-29. Clear impact for the age relevant to the YSS must be demonstrated throughout the program application.

To reach our goal we have identified four interdependent outcomes for the Youth Success Strategy:

  1. Increase applications to post secondary education among specific groups of youth facing multiple barriers
  2. Develop access to work relevant networks for youth facing multiple barriers
  3. Increase access to meaningful career opportunities (MCO) for high school graduates
  4. Increase access to experiences that build employer recognized soft skills

See Appendix I for information on program alignment to YSS Outcomes.

The YSS is a significant evolution from a broad investment in youth to an evidence-based strategy to support young people to develop the skills necessary for meaningful employment.

3. Purpose of the 2017 Development Grant Stream

The Youth Success Strategy Development Grant is an opportunity for community organizations and agencies to receive support to improve existing programs that are aligned to the goals of our Youth Success Strategy.

Development Grant Funds can be used to strengthen programmatic interventions in alignment with the goals of the YSS for greater impact on youth facing multiple barriers.

The funding contract is up to one year.

Some of the program development activities may include:

  • Embedding and operationalizing Positive Youth Development Approach e.g., develop manuals and provide training for staff
  • Integrating employer-recognized soft skills as part of the youth employment program experience
  • Convening and strategizing on youth employability opportunities with local employers
  • Developing a program manual or curriculum
  • Developing or revising the design of the program producing a Theory of Change and or logic model
  • Developing or revising the program’s monitoring and evaluation framework
  • Improving staff skills directly related to more effective service delivery e.g., partnership building
  • Improving intake, assessment, tracking and referral processes

4. Eligibility

This funding is open to all social service organizations with charitable status, as well as those that are incorporated non-profits trusteed by a charity. Service delivery organizations must be located in Toronto and/or York Region and must provide services in these areas.

An eligible youth employability program must have completed two years of program activities by April 1, 2017. The program must have set realistic targets and objectives with evidence to support that the program has met or attempted those targets and objectives. One program per agency may be submitted for consideration.

We do not fund individuals.

To be eligible for The YSS Development Grant your organization must:

  • Be a registered charitable organization OR
  • Be an incorporated non-profit organization, trusteed by a registered charity
  • Have audited financial statements for at least 2 years (fiscal 2015 and 2016 years). In the case of trusteed applicants, the trustee must have audited financial statements for at least 2 years in addition to the applicant’s financial records
  • Provide social services in Toronto and/or York Region
  • Provide services to people living in, or at risk of, poverty

UWTYR will not fund the following (ineligible1 organizations):

  • For-profit organizations
  • Organizations that do not have charitable status or are not trusteed by a charitable organization
  • Government, government agencies, boards and/or commissions
  • Hospitals and long-term-care facilities2
  • Universities, colleges and school boards
  • Organizations located outside the City of Toronto or York Region
  • Organizations whose purpose is solely related to political activity, as defined by the Canada Revenue Agency
  • Organizations without a clear demarcation between religious and community service as evidenced in the organization’s by-laws
  • Organizations that could be deemed discriminatory, as defined by the Ontario Human Rights Code
  • Foundations
  • Unions
  • Professional Associations

UWTYR will not support the following (ineligible programs/activities):

  • Services mandated by the Child and Family Services Act, ( R.S.O. 1990, c. 11)
  • Residential facilities that are licensed and regulated under the Child and Family Services Act and funded by Ministry of Children and Youth Services or Ministry of Community and Social Services
  • Residential facilities that are funded or managed by Corrections Canada
  • Programs that do not have a primary focus on youth employability (e.g., environmental, arts or athletic programs)
  • Programs that align better with or are currently funded through UWTYR’s Building Strong Neighbourhoods Strategy and Community Services Sector program funding

UWTYR program funds may not be used for the following (ineligible costs/activities):

  • Programmatic gaps e.g., additional staff, new location, ongoing operational costs
  • Purchase of capital assets e.g., laptop
  • Backfilling existing funding need

5. Program Requirements

Each program proposal submitted for funding will be reviewed with the following considerations:

  • Strong alignment with UWTYR’s goals and outcomes of the YSS
  • Adequate program design
  • Demonstrated commitment to Positive Youth Development
  • Demonstrated understanding of the target population
  • Proposed outcomes will clearly improve program quality and efficacy
  • The financial request will clearly meet the projected outcomes
  • Operational outcomes are sustainable after the project e.g., manual or staff training vs. hiring new staff
  • The agency is willing to work with UWTYR as a partner
  • Strong case for UWTYR investment relative to other needs

The YSS Development Grant will then prioritize applications that directly serve youth who:

  • Have a Disability or Special Needs
  • Are in and/or Leaving Care
  • Are in Conflict with the Law
  • Are LGBTTQI2s
  • Are Indigenous
  • Are Francophone

6. Amount Available

The maximum funding available through the development grant stream is $75,000 per program per agency. Up to 20% of the program grant may be applied to program administrative costs.

7. Program Selection Process

UWTYR staff and volunteers (including youth) will review and short list applications based on:

  • Alignment of the intervention with UWTYR YSS Theory of Change and intermediate outcomes
  • Demonstration of youth education to employment services to youth facing multiple barriers
  • Intended outputs and outcomes of the intervention
  • Feasibility of the program development plan

8. Summary of Dates

  • Pre-Screen opens: By April 5, 2017
  • Pre-Screen self-assessment completion date: May 1, 2017
  • Full Application due: June 5, 2017
  • Funding Announcements: December 2017

9. Office Hours

Office hours are available to all applicants interested in applying for the YSS Development Grant. Office hours are an opportunity to access support with your YSS Development Grant application and have your questions answered. Office hours will be held from May 15 – June 2, 2017. Support can be provided over the phone or in person.

To make an appointment during office hours contact: Stefany Hanson, Manager YCF & Youth Initiatives by phone at 416-777-1444 ext. 319 or by email at yss@uwgt.org.

10. Appeals

There are no appeals for the YSS Development Grant.


Appendix I: UWTYR Youth Success Strategy - Examples of Outcomes and Indicators

Intermediate Outcomes Some examples of indicators
A. Increase applications to post secondary education (PSE) among specific groups of youth facing multiple barriers
  • Number or percentage of program participants who applied to PSE under program
  • Number or percentage of participants who were accepted into PSE under program
  • Number or percentage of participants who enrolled in PSE under program
B. Develop access to work relevant networks for youth facing multiple barriers
  • Number or percentage of program participants who are reporting establishing new professional contacts through the program
  • Frequency with which the program participants are connecting with their newly established professional contacts
  • Types of interactions with the work relevant network that participants are reporting on (e.g. meeting with industry professionals, industry talks or engagement sessions, one-on-one coaching)
C. Increase access to meaningful career opportunities (MCO) for high school graduates
  • Number or percentage of participants who are reporting getting knowledge on ways to access, maintain and bridge MCO
  • Number or percentage of participants who received industry recognized certificates under program
  • Number or percentage of participants who gained work related experience in the career of their interest
D. Increase access to experiences that build employer recognized soft skills
  • Number or percentage of participants with a higher score on their post-program employer recognized soft skills
  • Number or percentage of participants who are reporting improvements in their employer recognized soft skills
  • Number or percentage of participants for whom training providers are reporting improvements in their employer recognized soft skills

1. Agencies listed as ineligible may partner in the delivery of a community service program or project, where a social service agency is the funding applicant
2. An exception will be granted to agencies that are currently funded by UWTYR