Support Teens at Risk (STAR) Program
COVID-19 and the S.T.A.R. Program
VSLG is committed to keeping our clients, our staff and our communities as safe as possible during this difficult time. Staff continue to work 24 hours a day / 7 days a week as per our normal schedule and our S.T.A.R. Program activities are continuing to run remotely. Staff will continue to offer support and resources through telephone, texting, email, traditional mail and video technologies in keeping with World Health Organization policies. On-scene or in-person responses are at the request of our emergency partners only. We recognize that this is a stressful time and will do our best to ensure all individual's needs are met to the best of our ability and within the mandate of our services.
We would also like to give a small word of caution. Situations where individuals are confined to their homes can sometimes increase safety concerns. Emotional safety planning during times of high stress is incredibly important and should not be forgotten. As well, increased traffic online of adults, teens and kids can increase risk of sexual exploitation and cyber-bullying. As much as we would love these things to stop, we know that they don't, even during a pandemic. Please reach out at any time for support via telephone (613-341-7700 / 1-800-939-7682) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or self-referral form (Self Referral Form) .
Follow the link below for more resources for teenagers.
Unique to VSLG, our STAR Program was created in response to a growing awareness that youth victims faced numerous challenges in accessing support services that they may require. Originally a pilot project, the program underwent a formal evaluation process where evidence was demonstrated that it may increase positive outcomes, specifically for girls.
Our Youth Outreach Services worker will provide crisis response, on-scene support, information, safety planning and referral services to youth victims of crime and trauma typically in a high school setting. This may include accompaniment to police stations for the purposes of disclosure or investigation, accompaniment to court, transportation to counseling services, referrals to specialized counseling services when required, specialized kits of information specific to youth and related to coping, safety planning, ongoing emotional support and assistance with referrals to community based programs. Referrals for services related to this program often come from various high schools, police, self-referrals and community service providers.
VSLG staff have presented the STAR program at the National Sexual Violence Resource Centre's yearly US symposium in Pennsylvania, the only Canadians to have been invited. We have since been invited back and the program has been shared with the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape (PCARS)