CES Spotlight blog posts shine a light on youth sector programs and initiatives in Ontario that are undertaking an evaluation journey in collaboration with YouthREX’s Customized Evaluation Supports (CES) at one of our regional hubs across Ontario. The blog posts describe the programs and initiatives and how evaluation supports their objectives to improve youth wellbeing.

In September 2015, Better Beginnings Better Futures began an evaluation journey with our Northeastern Hub through our Customized Evaluation Supports (CES) program.

Supporting Potential Overtime with Teens (SPOT)

Youth living in poverty

Strong, Supportive Friends & Families

– Health & Wellness
Diversity, Social Inclusion & Safety

September 2015

Baby’s Breath

Pregnant and parenting teen parents who are 18 years of age and under. The participants can stay in the program until they are 21 years old.

Education, Training & Apprenticeships

– Employment & Entrepreneurship

February 2016

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Better Beginnings Better Futures enlisted the help of YouthREX’s Customized Evaluation Supports for two of their programs: Supporting Potential Overtime with Teens (SPOT), and Baby’s Breath. Read on to learn about both programs!

Better Beginnings Better Futures is a not-for-profit located in Flour Mill area of Sudbury, Ontario. It provides a multitude of services that assist individuals living in the area from infancy into adulthood free of cost.

Supporting Potential Overtime with Teens (SPOT)
is a multifunctional hub servicing youth in the Greater Sudbury area. It’s a safe space for teens and centrally located for community partnership in delivery of services. The program provides service to youth aged 13-17 that promotes health living, arts and culture free of charge.

The Baby’s Breath Program is designed to meet the needs of pregnant teens 18 years of age and under. It is based on the understanding that teen mothers and fathers need a place where they can meet other teen parents to share their experiences and prepare for the realities and responsibilities of becoming a parent. They want to learn about prenatal care and parenting education in a positive and friendly learning environment.

“The objective of the program is to strengthen participant’s resilience and improve their quality of life.”

– Supporting Potential Overtime with Teens (SPOT)

Through the SPOT program, Better Beginnings Better Futures provides nutritious snack programs and access to a 24-hour supply of food for emergencies. They also maintain a clothing closet, hygiene cupboard, library, and free craft supplies, among many other things.

Baby’s Breath offers both prenatal and parenting education, emotional support through social support counselling and various other additional supports and services.

“Our goal is to create an evaluation that will provide evidence that SPOT and the Baby’s Breath program are positively impacting the lives of participants. With this evaluation data we will be able to strengthen our funding proposals therefore increasing the likelihood of sustaining our program. We will have a better “pulse” on this the needs of our program participants and possibly be able to identify trends.”

– Better Beginnings Better Futures

Why Customized Evaluation Supports? 

The SPOT wanted to learn more about the challenges of gathering information about indicators in relation to their macro goals. The Baby’s Breath Program has a long track record of working with teen parents to strengthen their ability to respond effectively to their needs and that of their children.  By developing a logic model and evaluating processes and outcomes, Baby’s Breath hopes to be able to see if they’re reaching their goals, or what steps they need to take in order to improve their work with pregnant and parenting youth.

We’re excited to share that Better Beginnings Better Futures’ Baby’s Breath has completed a full evaluation journey with YouthREX, moving through the seven steps of our framework to Learning from Evidence: External Communication.

I think a lot of them (Youth Advisory Council) are just as invested in the program as we are in regards to it staying around and its sustainability, so I think they would benefit from that and I think it would be good for kids to have ownership over the program and ownership of the space and that would help affirm that we want you guys to be a part of this process because your just as important part of this program as we are.”

– The SPOT

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