Program helps youth with special needs in community

The Quesnel Youth In Action program is in its second year of operation, providing social enhancement for youth with special needs

The Quesnel Youth In Action licenced after school program is in its second year of operation, providing social enhancement for youth with special needs, not special needs youth – and yes, there’s a difference – because the diagnosis does not define the person.

“This is the second year it’s run and it started because one of our board members has a teenage son with special needs and it’s tough when they turn 12,” behavioural interventionist Erin Savard said.

“There’s nowhere for them to go. They’re not allowed to go to daycare anymore.”

For youth between the ages of 11 and 19, there’s the new option of  Youth in Action licenced after school program, which specializes in social enhancement for the youth.

“Most youth in the program have been diagnosed with special needs,” Savard said.

“There would be a reason you want your child in this program.”

This program is specifically designed for youth with special needs however, Savard said, there could be a role for youth without special needs.

“If any youth without special needs wanted to join the program, they would need to take on more of a mentor role,” she explained.

“It would be nice to be learning from a peer.”

The program has helped provide specific skills for them to use in everyday life outside the program.

“We play games with counting, cash handling and we go for a lot of walks,” Savard said.

Additionally, the program offers crafts, help with homework and snacks, which the attendees help choose and prepare.

Since this is the first program of its kind in the province, Savard said the program has been an example for others in British Columbia.

“We’re trailblazers. We’ve had people around the province call and ask for help,” she explained.

“The program has taken a long time to get up and running and we’re still ironing out the wrinkles.

“It’s a big deal and took a lot of brainpower.”

Before the program was established, Savard explained parents only had one option.


“Families with special needs youth would have to hire someone for one-

on-one help,” she said.


The program is similar to an at-home session, however, it integrates a needed social aspect.

The program also provides assistance to youth with special needs who can’t always go places alone.

“When you have special needs, you can’t just go on the bus and go to the swimming pool,” Savard said.


The program runs Monday to Friday, with the exception of school breaks and

Pro D days, from 2:45 – 5:30 p.m. with some flexibility allowed within the program.


The youth meet in room 106 at Quesnel Junior High School, 585 Callanan St.


The cost is $18 per day and to register, call Savard, 250-991-2415 or the Quesnel Child Development Centre, 250-992-2481.



Just Posted

Quesnel and District Arts Council looking for artists to participate in Sketch and Paint Competition

The competition will have four 30-minute rounds and a grand prize for the winner

Danae McCroy first gymnast to represent NCCS at provincials

She will compete in all events at the three day event in Delta

Quesnel’s Long Table Grocery shortlisted for Small Business BC Award

Long Table is one of the top five finalists in the Best Community Impact category

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

Quesnel youth encouraged to apply for Power Pioneer awards

The BC Hydro Power Pioneers are recognizing youth who have excelled in community service

Students give two thumbs up to no more B.C. student loan interest

Eliminating the loan interest charges could save the average graduate $2,300 over 10 years

Ontario man accused of killing 11-year-old daughter dies in hospital, police say

Roopesh Rajkumar had been hospitalized with what police described as a self-inflicted gunshot wound

Manitoba ‘pauses’ link with ex-B.C. premier Gordon Campbell after allegations

Campbell had been hired to review two major hydro projects

Heritage minute features Japanese-Canadian baseball team, internment

The Vancouver Asahi baseball team won various championships across the Pacific Northwest

UPDATE: Woman, off-duty cop in critical condition after stabbing outside B.C. elementary school

The officer was interceding in an alleged assault when he and the woman were stabbed

$10-a-day child care not in 2019 budget, but advocate not irked

Sharon Gregson with the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C. says NDP on track to deliver promise

B.C. Seniors Advocate questions labour shortage in care homes

Are there really no workers, or are care aide wages too low?

B.C. business groups worry about looming economic decline in wake of NDP budget

The party’s second government budget focused on plenty of spending, business advocates say

Missing Surrey snowshoer caught in avalanche found dead on Vancouver mountain

North Shore Rescue resumed its search today after efforts were temporarily halted Tuesday due to snowstorm

Most Read