Supporting Our Youth Cultivate. Create. Celebrate.

FAQ

How can you support your youth? These answers to some commonly-asked questions might help.

How do I make a referral to your services?

No formal referral is necessary for any of our programs. Our staff are happy to talk with you and/or the young person by phone or in person ahead of a group, to discuss needs and concerns and/or to provide other information. Alternatively, the young person can simply show up to group they are interested in on the day and time posted.

Do you work with guardians, parents and families of LGBTQ youth?

Yes. Positive connection to family and community can be key to a young person’s chances of success and wellbeing. We are happy to meet with guardians and family members, usually with the young person present; however, we require the young person’s permission in order to discuss anything further with the guardian, parent or family. We also recognize that family relationships can be complicated and often painful. First and foremost, we respect the young person’s right to privacy and self-determination.

Do you offer counselling?

No. We are a community development program, but we have strong relationships with a number of LGBTQ youth and young adult counselling programs in the city. We can provide information and referrals to other programs, as needed.

Can I accompany a young person to meet with you?

Yes. With the young person’s permission, we are happy for you to join a meeting with a staff person.

Can I accompany a young person to groups at SOY?

Generally speaking groups are for youth only. For reasons of privacy and respect, requests to accompany a youth to a group will be addressed on a case by case basis. Staff are happy to discuss this in further detail with you.

How much do your services cost?

SOY’s programming is all free to youth.

My child is still in high school. Will they be safe among the older youth they could meet at SOY?

Our group Alphabet Soup, on Tuesdays at 4pm, is exclusively for young people aged 19 and under. All of our other groups serve youth up to age 29, and are coordinated and facilitated by trained and experienced staff, whose priority is to maintain safety for all members. Younger people will interact with older youth (up to age 29*), but the intention is to create and environment of positive engagement and mutual respect. Discussions about healthy relationships are ongoing in all SOY groups. Although SOY cannot monitor or control what goes on outside groups, youth are encouraged to talk with staff if there is a situation that they feel uncomfortable about.

What resources are available for me and/or my child/youth/client?

We do our best to provide young people with resources and referrals to the relevant services wherever needed. We can discuss the young person’s specific needs and concerns by phone, email or in person.

My child is still just exploring their sexual and/or gender identity. Does SOY try to influence a young person to embrace LGBTQ identity?

Our goal is to fully respect a young person’s process and meet them where they are at in terms of identity. We provide information and support so that youth can make informed and considered decisions. We do not try to influence a person, but recognizing that our lives are strongly influenced by heterosexism, homophobia and transphobia, we aim to create spaces where youth can safely explore and consider concepts of identity that may not be discussed, presented or supported elsewhere.

My child/youth/client is attending SOY programs. Can I talk to someone to find out what/how they are doing?

With permission from the young person, specified aspects of what and how they are doing. However, each individual youth at SOY has the right to privacy and confidentiality, which are protected by Ontario privacy legislation.