Research and Action for Youth Health

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About Collective Impact - YAOCV

About Collective Impact - Youth Aging Out Of Care Vancouver

A young person's introduction to Collective Impact:

Collective impact is a concept that helps communities build a shared vision for impact on very complex social issues such as youth aging out of care. It works towards bringing together different organizations, governments and members of community to achieve long lasting change that could not be done otherwise.

Collective impact isn’t collaboration but in fact much more complex. Collective impact requires a sense of urgency to work towards a better solution.

Collective impact can be looked at as a very unique puzzle. The overall picture of the puzzle is the vision that everyone shares of the desired long lasting solutions. In order to build the puzzle you need pieces, which in this case are the different non-profits, organizations, government ministries and young people. With this puzzle however the pieces need to be adaptable. Not all pieces in the beginning will fit into place, or have a mind set to fit in. It will take time and work, and just like collective impact, this puzzle could take years to reach the desired impact.

Collective impact is different as it brings together organizations that work independently in specific areas such as housing, employment, social, community, governments, etc. so they can coordinate their efforts towards a bigger picture, in this case, the future success of youth transitioning out of care. Youth aging out of care need a variety of supports working with each other in order to be successful. For example:

  • What use would it be to the youth to learn how to manage and budget money, if they are unaware on how to obtain employment or don’t have a source of income?
  • What use is employment help or training, if a youth is worried about finding a place to stay that night or has to worry about securing a spot at a shelter?

This is why youth aging out of care is such a complex issue. In order to really help these youth, networks and organizations really need to be side by side working together figuring out the best ways collectively to help. The whole community, governments, service providers and the youth need to share in the same plan in order to have a positive impact. Collective impact isn’t just an idea that partially helps youth aging out of care; collective impacts’ goal is to ensure all youth aging out of care have the basic fundamentals needed to pave the road to their own success.


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