Boys & Girls Club Services of Greater Victoria
Our Impact Why We Exist
Our tag line proudly proclaims we are a “good place to be”. It refers not just to our locations but also the essence of Boys and Girls Clubs. It is the relationships that are forged between participants and our staff and volunteers. It is the safety and support we provide through our care families and youth programs. It is the specific environments we create that let youth know they are valued and can achieve their potential. THAT is the ‘good place’ that our programs and services create.
In our work with children, youth, families and communities, all Boys and Girls Clubs are guided by Core Values. They define us as a movement and are the standard against which all Boys and Girls Club services are measured.
Inclusion & Opportunity — We strive to offer children and youth from all economic, cultural and social backgrounds access to the resources, supports and opportunities that will enable them to overcome barriers and achieve their positive potential in life.
Respect & Belonging — We provide a safe, supportive place, where every child is listened to, respected and valued in an environment of inclusion and acceptance. Our staff and volunteers model honesty, fair play, positive attitude, cooperation and respect for self and others.
Empowerment — We believe all young people can grow into responsible, contributing and self-reliant members of society. Children and youth are at the centre of everything we do. Through adventure, play and discovery, we encourage and empower them to develop healthy lifestyles, a life-long passion for learning, leadership and life skills and a sense of social responsibility.
Collaboration — We work together with families and volunteers in each community, in partnership with the public and private sector, to create healthy community solutions to providing children and youth with what they need for optimal development.
Speaking — Out We speak out on behalf of children, youth and their families to reduce disadvantage, enhance their lives and enable their voices and ideas to be heard.
Our Story What We Do
Boys & Girls Club Services of Greater Victoria, first incorporated in 1960 as the Boys’ Club of Victoria, provides safe, supportive places where children and youth experience new opportunities, overcome barriers, and develop skills, positive relationships and confidence for successfully leading their lives and their communities. While locally autonomous, we are part of a national and international movement that is over 100 years old. And what originally began as a desire to provide meaningful and constructive activities to keep young boys off the streets developed into an international organization that has the healthy development of children and youth at its heart. Today there are 99 Clubs operating in 500 service locations across Canada and 200,000 children and youth are served, ranging in age from pre-school to young adulthood.
We are one of the largest providers of services for children, youth and parents in Greater Victoria. Our wide range of innovative and accessible programs reflect local need and build on the internal strengths and capacities of the participant – meeting youth where they are and helping them get to where they want to be. We work with hundreds of participants - youth, children, families, homeless youth, single parent families, youth in care, aboriginal youth and young offenders.
The success of our programs derives from the strong relationships we build with participants and their families. Every participant is listened to, respected and valued in an environment of acceptance and inclusion. We are committed to supporting them and encouraging them in the development of those assets - experiences, opportunities and internal capacities - they need to not only face life’s challenges but also to achieve their potential. We believe all young people can grow into responsible, self-reliant and contributing members of our community.
At Boys & Girls Clubs we have always recognized that programs that are positive, strength-based, and build capacity in individuals is crucial to healthy child and youth development. A number of international studies and evaluations have proved that out-of-school programs are cost-effective and provide an exemplary ratio of benefits for the resources required to operate them. For example, in 2004 Boys and Girls Clubs of America demonstrated that every $1 invested in youth development resulted in a return on investment of $10.51.
Our Programs How We Do It
Our After School opportunities help children develop skills and build self-esteem through participating in constructive activities during crucial out of school hours. All programs include a diverse mix of recreation, play, intentional learning, skill development and positive relationship building, with an emphasis on healthy eating and physical activity.
Rogers Raising the Grade helps youth who are struggling in school develop skills and tools to improve their grades, explore personal interests, and to connect with friends, all while enhancing their digital literacy.
Partnering this year with the Duke of Edinburgh Awards, our Youth Leadership programs focus on the core areas of Physical Activity, Skill Building, Service to the Community, and Adventurous Journey. These programs provide a solid foundation for young people to become capable, caring and responsible members of society.
Teens facing specific challenges are supported and assisted through a variety of programs that are complemented by safe, supportive housing through our Youth Care Homes. Youth support workers work closely with the youth, their families and the care home family while the youth is in the program. The Care Home Parenting Program helps young women who are pregnant or in the early months of parenting through a combination of housing, life skills training and guidance. Turning Point helps youth dealing with issues of personal safety (including sexual exploitation). Supportive Recovery and Withdrawal Management are programs that specifically help youth and the family struggling with substance use issues.
Our youth justice services include: Intensive Support & Supervision Program serves youth in the criminal justice system with the overall goal to reduce youth involvement in crime and to optimize their health and well-being. Coastline Challenges offers an intensive, multi-week outdoor program for male youth on probation aged 13 to 18. Full Time Attendance Program offers court-ordered housing and support for six males in supportive Care Homes as an alternative to custody.
Parents Together is an education and support program for parents experiencing challenges parenting a teen. Parenting Without Power Struggles is a 10-week program that offers parents the opportunity to explore adolescent development, communication skills, boundaries and parental self-care.
What You Can Do
We care about kids — all of them. Not just those who need a safe and fun place to go after school but those who never had a safe and fun place to go. We provide an ear to hear and a heart that cares. We provide the praise they never got and the patience they never experienced. We let them know they're not alone. And that opens doors to a world of opportunities for growth and self-discovery. Ultimately, this benefits our whole community and we are all richer.
We must continue to provide that ear, that heart, that praise, that patience. The need for the programs and services that will help children and youth develop the values, skills and capacities they need to succeed has never been greater. Our challenge and our opportunity is to ensure all kids are given a chance to realize their potential. Our children are our future. They are our collective responsibility and we must not let them down.
Boys & Girls Club Services of Greater Victoria Foundation invites you to invest in Victoria’s future. You will be opening doors for children and youth in our communities for many years to come.
Help us help kids realize their potential and build a brighter future for our community by making a tax-deductible donation today! Simply complete this secure online donation form to make your gift.