STEPS – Youth Community Counselling Program (Formerly RAIN and TAYO Programs)

The STEPS – Youth Community Counselling Program is an outreach-based and/or virtual counselling and case management programs for youth ages 15-17 years.  Counsellors meet youth where they are at, providing support to youth experiencing on-going mental health challenges, who may be under-housed or homeless and/or likely to transition into adult services. This program utilizes a strength-based, client-centered approach, focusing on immediate needs and long-term goals.

Goals of the Program:

  • To improve day-to-day functioning and overall well-being of youth
  • To assist youth with an effective transition to other support systems as needed, including adult mental health services
  • Response to immediate needs of youth and development of strategies related to:
    • Mental health challenges
    • Basic needs (food, clothing, housing)
    • Education
    • Employment and employment readiness
    • Substance use issues

Inclusionary Criteria:

  • Youth ages 15-17 years who are residing in the Region of Peel
  • Youth with persistent mental health issues (with or without a formal diagnosis) requiring ongoing support and service
  • Youth with mental health issues and several of the following:  disconnected from family and in an unstable and unsafe living situation (i.e. residing in shelters/homeless), disconnected from school and/or employment and mainstream services, negative peer relationships, substance misuse, history of trauma, aggression, criminal/anti-social behaviour

Exclusionary Criteria:

  • Youth who are actively suicidal, homicidal or in need of immediate crisis stabilization
  • When the safety of the Worker cannot be ensured

Referral Source:

  • Self-referrals
  • Community Mental Health Services
  • Peel CAS
  • Peel School Boards
  • Hospitals
  • Youth Justice Services

Referral Process:

Community partners, youth and caregivers can contact AYSP’s Youth Intake Specialist 905.890.5222.
Youth and caregivers can also make a self-referral by contacting or by calling 905.451.4655.

Partner organizations and AYSP staff working with clients who meet eligibility requirements can make a referral to the STEPS – Youth Community Counselling Program via the Internal Transfer Protocol.

The STEPS – Youth Community Counselling Program Supervisor is available to answer any questions you may have regarding the referral process or program criteria.