Youth Justice Services
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Youth Justice Services

Lutherwood provides a variety of services for youth involved in the justice system. These services are treatment-based and address mental health challenges that might have led to the involvement in the justice system. Referral to these programs happens through the court system.

Our Mental Health Youth Court Worker is a mental health professional who is present at the Court and available to youth between 12 years of age and up to their 18th birthday, families and members of the court (lawyers, judges) for assistance and consultation when dealing with a youth who may have significant mental health issues. The Youth Court Worker is available for consultation to clarify issues related to mental health concerns or confirmed diagnoses. The worker is knowledgeable and familiar with the process for accessing local mental health services for youth.

Self-referral at the Court by the youth themselves, a family member, a duty counsel or lawyer, and a member of the Crown Attorney's Office .

The Intensive Support and Supervision Program (ISSP) offers intensive youth and family therapy. ISSP is for youth between 12 years of age and up to their 18th birthday with complex mental health issues who have been found guilty of an offence that would result in custody, but whose mental health issues are determined to best be addressed by home and community interventions.

ISSP is accessed as a term of probation to the youth (and supportive family) who agrees to participate in the 12-18 month treatment program. Working with a multi-disciplinary team, goals are developed and a treatment plan put in place to address an individual's particular needs. ISSP builds on each youth's strengths and addresses their specific needs while providing intensive support to the youth and their family at home. Lutherwood’s wide range of resources and services such as its crisis response, life skills development, and educational, employment and housing services may be accessed as needed. The youth and family are also connected to other community support agencies as appropriate.

Youth Contact provides 3-6 months of community support to youth between 12 years of age and up to their 18th birthday on probation who are considered high risk of not following through with the terms of their probation order or of re-offending.

Youth Contact provides comprehensive individual and family support for youth involved with the Youth Justice System in Waterloo Region and Wellington County. Referrals to this 3-6 month program come from the youth's Probation Officer based on concerns that the individual is at higher risk of breaching their current probation order, is not following the terms of his/her community supervision order, or is considered at greater risk of re-offending. The youth worker engages the youth and family in their home and community providing support, encouragement and guidance. Based on individual need, focused support is provided in the areas of school, employment, life skills development, health and housing support.

Parklands Open Custody Treatment is a live-in program for youth between 12 years of age and up to their 18th birthday based on an individualized rehabilitation plan of care developed by the youth, family/guardian and a multi-disciplinary team to address specific emotional, behavioural and mental health needs which contribute to anti-social and criminal behaviour. The strengths-based approach includes personal and family goals, skill-based training, educational programming, recreation and community reintegration. Youth may also be admitted to the program as they await the completion of a court-ordered psychological or psychiatric assessment.

We provide:

  • Individual, family and group counselling based on treatment goals
  • Individualized school program and the opportunity to attain credits
  • Milieu treatment (social responsibility, life skills, emotion management, positive peer interactions and self esteem)
  • Health education and assessment
  • Recreational activities (gym, swimming and community outings)
  • Home and community reintegration support
  • Crisis support
  • Health consultations, teaching and support
  • Resource support to agencies

Each youth and family/guardian are assigned their own Primary Worker and Clinician who work collaboratively to develop individual treatment goals. Our multidisciplinary team then supports the youth and family in achieving these goals. In collaboration with the youth, family and community partners, if required, our Parklands treatment team includes:

  • Program Manager
  • Supervisor
  • Child and Youth Counsellors
  • Clinician
  • Psychologist
  • Teacher
  • Nurse Therapist
  • Music Therapist
  • Reintegration Worker
  • Recreation Therapist
  • School Transition Worker


Youth are admitted to the Parklands program through the Youth Criminal Court system for a placement term or to await the completion of a court ordered psychological or psychiatric assessment.