The Story of Delisle Youth Services
Delisle Youth Services started in 1970 with our flagship long-term residential program with 16 youth. The city was a different place then, but many of the issues our youth were facing in the 1970s are remarkably similar to issues our youth are facing today.
As the city grew and became more diverse, youth were exposed to new challenges and risks. Delisle responded by mirroring this growth and diversity: we grew and developed new programs to support our youth in meeting their challenges.
- In 1978, Delisle’s first Day Program (now known as Day Treatment Program) got its start to help teens learn life skills.
- In 1980, in collaboration with the Toronto District School Board teachers were incorporated into the Day Treatment Program, and academic credits were offered.
- In 1985, our Counseling Program was launched.
- In 1993 we began offering counseling services in several Toronto high schools.
- In 2000, Centralized Access to Residential Services was begun.
- In 2001, The Special Needs Team became a part of Delisle Youth Services.
- In 2010, STARS program for queer youth started.
- In 2011, the Studio opened a drop-in space which celebrates queer and trans youth and builds allyship among all youth.
- In 2013, Merge Day Treatment Program for youth with more intense and persistent challenges was added to Delisle. It is administered together in partnership with the Griffin Centre and TDSB Section 23.
- In 2014, Sessions, a drug education for youth, was launched in a variety of locations throughout the GTA.
Yearly, we provide support and encouragement for over 2,000 youth and their families/caregivers. Despite many changes over 41 years, our approach is the same as it was in 1970: our client’s best comes first, and our actions are rooted in compassion and integrity.
We are fortunate to have staff that has risen to the challenges of working in a busy, growing organization. And when we succeed, our society wins, both in terms of human and financial capital. But - staff support is not enough. We need the support of our community to serve as many youth as possible.