About Us

Welcome to Youville Centre!

Whether you are a student looking to attend our program, a volunteer hoping to help out, an alumnae looking to get in touch, or a donor wishing to give; we hope that our website will shine a light on the innovative programming and important work that takes place with two generations at Youville Centre.

Our Official Service Description:

Located in Ottawa, Youville Centre is a non-profit, registered charity that serves adolescent mothers and their children. For more than a quarter century, Youville’s trauma-informed, holistic programs and services include: a fully accredited secondary school, crisis intervention, intensive mental health therapy and treatment, addiction counselling, collaborative problem solving, a licensed child development program with a focus on infant mental health and attachment-based parenting programs with intervention and treatment.

Our Mission and Philosophy:

Youville Centre is an innovative centre that inspires, educates and nurtures young mothers and their children to utilize their strengths and achieve their goals.

At Youville Centre, we believe that every child and youth has the ability to learn and grow, and that every young mother deserves to have a dream that anything is possible. Our myriad of programs and services help our young moms to work towards personal, academic and parenting goals in order to create a brighter future for themselves and their children.

Our Multi-Year Operational Plan:

The Youville Centre Board of Directors along with Youville Centre’s leadership team, staff, and clients actively engaged in the revision of Youville Centre’s Mission and Vision along with the creation of our 4-year Strategic Plan.  Our Strategic Plan is client-centered, evidence and trauma-informed, while clearly demonstrating our operational plan, strategic direction, goals, and objectives.  Our commitment to quality assurance is comprehensive, intentional, and grounded in the agency-wide principle of providing the best quality service to our young mothers and their children.

Youville Centre Strategic Plan APRIL 2017


Who We Serve:

Infographic - Who We Serve

Youville Centre is committed to providing a wide range of services to young mothers and their children while assisting them in completing their high school education. Those eligible for the program are young women who:

  • are between the ages of 14 and 25;
  • are pregnant or parenting;
  • are working toward completing their Ontario Secondary School Diploma or Certificate;
  • eligible for subsidized child care services; and
  • are in a position to benefit from mental health services and additional programming offered within the Centre.

Clients are referred to Youville Centre from a variety of sources including: local high schools, nurses, clergy, community agencies, physicians, friends, relatives, or self referrals.

Provided that the client meets the criteria to receive services, the Intake Coordinator arranges a meeting to begin the orientation process. The client’s child begins integrating into our Child Development Program, where one of the Registered Early Childhood Educators discusses the program, the child’s individual needs, pertinent medical information, and parenting goals. The client meets with a Case Coordinator from the Intensive Treatment Support Program to discuss the programs and services including a review of client Rights and Responsibilities. The client is also informed of the benefits and risks of participating in treatment and education at the Centre. Clients then meet with one of our Registered Psychotherapists to discuss our mental health and addiction counselling services. Following the treatment meeting, the client meets with a teacher from one of our education partners, M.F. McHugh Education Centre or St. Nicholas Adult High School, to discuss their previous credit attainment, academic goals, learning styles, and their Individual Pathway Plan.

Although each Youville Centre mom is unique, they all share a common incentive that inspires them to achieve their personal and academic goals. This number one motivation is their child. Youville Centre and teaching staff strive to deliver holistic programming that will provide each young mother with the skills to succeed while always keeping their child’s best interest in mind.


Our Trauma-Informed Approach:

At Youville Centre, we utilize a trauma-informed, research based, and evidence informed approach in our day-to-day work with clients. We use the Trauma Informed Practice Guide (May 2013) to support the translation of trauma-informed principles into practice.  The Guide was developed on behalf of the BC Provincial Mental Health and Substance Use Planning Council in consultation with researchers, practitioners and health system planners across Canada.

Reactions to trauma vary from client to client, from minor disruptions to debilitating responses. Across the continuum, clients may experience anxiety, terrors, shock, shame, emotional numbness, disconnection, intrusive thoughts, helplessness, and powerlessness. The four principles of trauma-informed practice we use as our framework are:

  • Trauma awareness
  • Emphasis on safety and trustworthiness
  • Opportunity for choice, collaboration, and connection
  • Strengths based and skill building

Our trauma specific services are focused on treating trauma through therapeutic interventions to facilitate trauma recovery. This work is done by our Registered Psychotherapists in individual and group formats.

Our work is “based on the understanding that symptoms related to trauma are coping strategies developed to manage traumatic experiences.” (Covington, S. 2002, in Trauma Matters, March 2013, The Jean Tweed Centre, Toronto, Ontario).