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Programs for children, teens and youth

Need help? There are many support programs and resources in Calgary that children, teens and youth can access free-of-charge. You can also download a printable version of the resource list.

Educational resources

JUMP Math Program provides after school and Saturday sessions to enhance mathematical skills in youth. This program is offered through the community clubs throughout the city; various grade levels are offered based upon need. (Children/Youth)

Stoked About Staying in School is a program aimed at youth aged 15-18 who are currently not attending school to see the importance of high school completion and help get them on the right path to obtain their future goals. A paid program, up to nine weeks in duration requiring 30 hours/week commitment from the teen involved. (Teens)

Discovering Choices (through Calgary Board of Education) provides a safe and structured environment for youth aged 16-19 to develop academic skills when mainstream high school isn’t an option. High school credits can be earned through self-directed distance learning and/or work experience. (Teens)

Start Smart Stay Safe (S4) is an education program aimed at helping students successfully navigate through challenging situations like bullying, cyber-safety and peer pressure.

For more educational resources, The Calgary Police Service offers a vast amount of Youth resources.

Intervention resources

The About Face Program is a diversion program for youth ages 12 to 18 whose behaviour has brought them into conflict with authority figures such as parents, teachers or police. The program encourages young people to take responsibility for their behaviour and shows them the advantages of positive life choices. Youth participation in the program is voluntary.

The Youth at Risk Development Program (YARD) is a community-based early intervention initiative that supports youth who are at risk of gang involvement. YARD works with youth aged 10-17 who are currently at risk, affiliated with a gang or involved in gang activity. Youth participation in YARD is voluntary.

The role of the Multi-Agency School Support Team (MASST) is to intervene and act as a conduit to existing social resources from which its clients could benefit. These referrals are done on a case-by-case basis. MASST currently addresses risk factors at the child, family and community levels.

The Gateway Initiative is a program designed to facilitate a connection between the police, young people, their families and appropriate community resources. Gateway is designed to intervene with youth who commit a chargeable but minor offence. The youth must accept responsibility for the offence and be willing to participate in the program.

The Serious Habitual Offender Program (SHOP) is a community-based crime intervention program focusing on prevention, reduction and enforcement, targeting habitual youth offenders between the ages of 12 and 21. 

The ReDirect Program is a prevention and education program aimed at youth and young adults vulnerable to becoming radicalized, before they develop extremist ideologies or intentions.

Employment resources

Youth Ventures Program (through BGS Enterprises) provides opportunities for youth aged 15-30 to explore their potential and develop strategies for personal success though connections to skill link programs that offer pre-employment skills, work experience opportunities, employment services and personal development. (Teens)

Maestro (through Boys and Girls Club of Calgary) is a 30 hour per week paid program for youth struggling with employment. Using arts as medium for learning, youth acquire life and employment skills to transition to the workplace. (Teens)

Youth Employment Program (YEP) (through Calgary Construction Association) is a three-week work experience program for out of school unemployed youth aged 16-24. (Teens)

Youth Employment Centre offers free career planning and job search assistance to youth aged 15-24. Help with resumes, cover letters and preparing for an interview. Also provides no cost industry and e-learning training. (Teens)

Health services

The Alex Calgary offers outreach service for at-risk, homeless and street connected youth aged 12-24. Providing confidential health services, appointments and walk-in welcomes. (Teens/Youth)

Youth Counselling (through Alberta Health Services: Addiction Services) works with youth, their families, key influences and professionals to promote a lifestyle free from abuse of alcohol, tobacco, drugs and gambling. (Children/Youth/Teens)

Crisis intervention and counselling programs (through Calgary Communities Against Sexual Abuse) provide crisis intervention and short-term counselling (up to 12 weeks) for survivors of sexual abuse and sexual assault, their friends and loved ones. (Children/Teens/Youth)

Calgary Pregnancy Care Centre offers pregnancy tests, peer counselling and education, as well as practical assistance. (Teens/Youth)

Calgary Sexual Health Centre offers counselling, non-judgmental support and information on pregnancy options - abortion, adoption, parenting and birth control. (Teens/Youth)

Wise GuyZ Program offers targeted information and opportunities to build skills to develop and maintain optimum sexual health and healthy relationships. This program is currently targeted for Grade 9 males (Aged 13-15)

Bridging the Gap (through Hull Services) provides services to young adults aged 16-24 who are experiencing mental health concerns, issues with well-being, and barriers to service. (Teens)

Eastside Family Centre (through Woods Homes) has a no fee walk in counselling service with a qualified mental health professional providing immediate relief for concerning issues and referrals to other community resources. (Children/Teens/Youth)

Immigrant services

Calgary Bridge Foundation: Homework Club aims to improve academic success in school ESL skills, self-confidence and self-esteem. These clubs are located out of Forest Lawn, Thornhill and Village Square Library. (Children/Teens/Youth)

Youth Inclusive Neighbourhoods Project (through Immigrant Services Calgary) reaches out to youth aged 13-16 who want to realize their potential. Youth will gain valuable life skills through workshops, meet and connect with other teens, participate in sports, go on field trips, volunteer in community action projects and be parented with a mentor. (Teens/Youth)

YMAP Program (through YMCA) is a life skills, career exploration and leadership program for high school aged youth with an immigrant background. (Teens)

Legal advice

Youth Legal Resource Centre is a non-profit legal and education resource centre for children and youth aged 19 and under. (Teens/Youth)

Youth Court Work Program (through Elizabeth Fry Society) assists youth appearing in First Appearance Provincial Court by providing information on legal and community resources. (Teens/Youth)

Youth Criminal Defence Office (through Legal Aid Alberta) can provide legal representation to youth with criminal, provincial and bylaw offences. They can also appear with youth before the Court of Queen’s Bench on school attendance matters. (Teens/Youth)

Mentorship programs

Youth Mentorship Programs with Big Brothers and Big Sisters Calgary partner adult volunteer mentors with young people aged 6-18 for two to five hours a week. These programs run in the traditional one to one model and recreation focused mentoring. There are also partnership programs for newcomers to Canada with the GLO girls program as well as the youth inclusive neighbourhoods program. (Children/Youth/Teens)

The Calgary Police Cadet Corps is a youth program based on the Canadian Military Cadet Programs (Army, Navy, and Air) that have been operating successfully for over 100 years.

Cops for Kids is a mentorship program that brings police officers and kids together for sporting events, educational activities and other opportunities that may be inaccessible to many Calgary kids.

Have you ever wondered what it's like to be a police officer? The Calgary Police Service's Junior Police Academy gives youths aged 12 to 16 the opportunity to find out.

Power Play is a drop-in program for youth aged six to 17. The program is free and allows youth who have cultural or financial barriers to learning to play hockey a chance to do so free of charge.

SuperKids promotes and reinforces positive behaviours; allows the opportunity to build relationships with our youth; and, provides youth with positive Police interaction.

Recreation programs

Boys and Girls Clubs Calgary provide a safe supervised place for youth to hang out and meet other youth, offering a variety of educational recreational and social activities. (Children/Teens/Youth)

Calgary AfterSchool activities and programs for children and teens aged 6-16 throughout the city that are delivered Monday to Friday from 3 - 6 p.m. These activities include arts, crafts, drama, music, sports and recreation. (Children/Teens/Youth)

Earn-a-Bike Program (through Two Wheel View) uses scheduled drop in sessions which allow youth aged 11-16 to learn bicycle repair skills while working on bikes for others. The students then swap hours of community repair for their own recycled bicycle. (Youth/Teens)

School resources

Preventing school violence is important in order to eliminate any actions or events likely to cause physical, emotional or psychological harm to a student, making them feel unsafe at school and inhibiting their development and learning.

School resource officers (SROs) are sworn law enforcement officers with the Calgary Police Service who are places placed in schools. SROs generally possess a background in working with youth and community-based programs. SROs are usually seen as a friend or mentor to students rather than a uniformed officer.

Specialty youth services

Youth Matters Program (through Aspen) provides outreach services to youth aged 13-21 who have made the commitment to having/making positive and healthy lifestyle choices. This program provides outreach around relationship issues, access to education, employment, housing and recreational issues. (Teens)

Act Out Program (through Calgary Family Services) uses drama games and scenes to help youth express themselves about situations they have faced and might face in everyday life as adolescents. This is an 18-week program. No previous acting experience is required. (Teens)

InsideOut Youth Group (through Calgary Outlink) is a peer and social group for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered youth aged 14-25. (Teens)

Healthy Relationships for Teens (through Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter) is a program for youth aged 13-18 and provides prevention-based group counselling to adolescents about issues around abuse/violence, communications, conflict in relationships, healthy expression of feelings, power/control, self-esteem and skill building. (Teens)

Connect Teen (through Distresses Centre) provides a 24-hour support line for teens. From 5 - 10 p.m. there’s a peer support available online and over the phone. (Teens/Youth)

Community Resource Team (through Woods Homes) is a 24/7 telephone and mobile support service that addresses crisis situations such as parent/child conflict, conflict with the law, depression, suicide, running concerns, schooling difficulties, drug/alcohol concerns, domestic violence and relationship issues. (Children/Teens/Youth)

Mayor's Youth Council (through Youth Central) consists of youth aged 13-18 who choose topics relevant to youth and report their findings to The City of Calgary. This program is tailored for youth who are interested in politics, current issues and youth engagement. (Teens)

John Howard Society Programs

Alternative for Adolescent Males Project is a supportive group to help male youth gain insight to their behaviour and communication patters through two-and-a-half hour meetings one day a week for eight consecutive weeks. (Teens)

Child and Youth Empowerment Strategy addresses risk factors that may significantly increase youth crime including truancy, poor grades, strained family relationships, poor self-perception, and peer pressure through the use of workshops and individual sessions. Designed for youth aged 9-17. (Youth/Teens)

Youth Advocacy and Support Programs assists youth aged 13-18 who are at risk and/or involved in the criminal justice system. This program provides one-to-one support, family mediation, crisis resolution and counselling for youth experiencing family breakdown/conflict, substance misuse issues, anger management, mental health and other issues. (Teens)

Youth Drug Impact Program services youth aged 13-18 who are currently experimenting with drugs and/or alcohol and may be involved with the justice system. Youth will participate in six sessions over three weeks. (Teens)