OYJSN Governance




Operational Guidelines


Mission Statement:


The Ottawa Youth Justice Services Network is a leadership group dedicated to building and enhancing coordination, partnerships, education and advocacy regarding youth justice issues in the Ottawa area.


Terms of Reference:


The Ottawa Youth Justice Services Network goal is to develop community capacity regarding youth justice issues by:


  • Providing an open forum for discussion of youth justice legislation and other related issues;
  • Creating a collective voice to define emerging priorities as well as influence policy, legislative changes and funding to various levels of government regarding youth justice issues;
  • Advocating for the needs of children and youth in conflict or at risk of being in conflict with the law, in the Ottawa region;
  • Exploring and facilitating interagency and cross-sectoral communication and the sharing of resources and services;
  • Developing and promoting interagency networking and collaborative partnerships;
  • Creating key linkages to connect youth justice & multiple sectors;
  • Initiating, coordinating & sharing both research and professional development opportunities in the area of youth justice & emerging trends and issues;
  • Developing opportunities to engage the community in both comprehending and addressing youth crime prevention and the youth criminal justice system.




The membership of the OYJSN will be maintained at around 30 members and effort will be made to ensure that those members represent the variety of services offered in the Ottawa Youth Justice system.  While it is understood that grassroots, neighbourhood organizations are very important to the community, the members of the OYJSN will be representative of the entire Ottawa region, as well as some representation from government departments of various levels.


All members who serve on the OYJSN should have the authority of their respective agency to represent their service in any decision-making processes by the Network.  Members or their


designated alternates are expected to be in attendance at 75% of the Network meetings in order that they can fulfill the role of an active participant.


Requests for new membership will be brought forward to the OYJSN at a regular meeting for consideration and approval.  They will be selected based upon the need to fill identified gaps in service area representation.


The OYJSN will strike a subcommittee to complete a review of membership in June each year to assess ongoing needs.



Committee Structure:


The OYJSN will not have a standing “Executive Committee”.  Subcommittees will be struck on an as-needed basis.  The Subcommittee Chairs report directly to the OYJSN Chair.  Examples of such committees might be:


Operational Planning SubcommitteeConference Subcommittee
Mental Health SubcommitteeEducation Subcommittee
Communications SubcommitteeAmazing Youth Worker Race Subcommittee


A standing subcommittee for “Connecting Transitions” was integrated into the Network structure in 2017 to coordinate/facilitate the Amazing Youth Worker Race annual initiative.


OYJSN Chairperson:


The Chairperson role is to be neutral, facilitating and ensuring collaboration within the Network.

Responsibilities include;

  • calling and chairing the monthly meetings, setting agenda
  • ensuring the timely progression of the meetings
  • striking subcommittees as needed and monitoring their activities
  • preparing correspondence at the direction of the committee
    • letters of support will be in keeping with the Terms of Reference and will support the principle or need addressed by a proposal, and will not be in support of the individual proposal or project
  • circulating information that is pertinent to the membership
  • overseeing the content of the website
  • represents the first official point of contact for the Network


Tenure – the Chairperson will have a two-year term.  At the end of each two-year term, in June,  the Chairperson may present himself/herself for re-election.  At this time, the opportunity exists for other interested OYJSN members to run for the position.


The Past Chairperson will support the Chair and provide continuity of leadership and corporate knowledge.



Administrative Support:


The administrative support (taking and distribution of minutes, conference preparation support, etc. as needed) will be provided by a member agency.


Meeting Guidelines


The OYJSN meets on the third Thursday of the month from 7:30 – 9:00 a.m. at a designated location.  These meetings take the following format:

  • Acceptance of Agenda
  • Acceptance of Previous Minutes
  • Business Arising from the Minutes
  • Reports from Sub-Committees
  • New Business
  • Agency Updates


Award of Excellence in Youth Justice Leadership


The Award of Excellence in Youth Justice Leadership will go to an individual who has exemplified the values, mission and goals of the Ottawa Youth Justice Services Network through:


  • Recognized leadership, energy, creativity and innovation;
  • Demonstrated commitment and capacity to “build bridges” and foster collaboration in addressing youth justice issues;
  • Making a significant contribution to the field of youth justice in a way that has benefited the Ottawa community;
  • Working with partners to include other community members and service providers to develop local or citywide initiatives and/or solutions to youth justice issues.


In the spring of each year, a subcommittee will be struck to look at nominations for this award.  The award will be presented at a public event designated by the membership.