May 25-26, 2020

Allies 4 Youth

Formerly The High Risk Youth Conference



Our Conference

From May 25-26, 2020, the Allies 4 Youth Conference will bring together service providers, researchers, experts, and the youth to focus on the growing population of young people (12+) with increasingly complex needs. This conference will specifically focus on youth homelessness, indigenous youth & social justice, ethnocultural youth & trauma, and the voice of youth. We keep in mind that all youth, deserve the opportunity to lives their lives in a meaningful way, to feel safe, and experience a sense of inclusion and belonging.

This work with our youth incorporates the most recent research, literature and trends in areas such as trauma, attachment and brain development in children and youth; harm reduction; resilience; strength-based practice; collaborative, multi-disciplinary practice; trauma-informed intervention.


September Feature Article

A Story Written by a Therapy Dog Who Helped Youth for Three Years

Hi friends! I am a 4-year-old Border Collie and was a Police Therapy Dog in the Edmonton Police Service’s Youth Unit for three years, until my project came to a close. The idea of bringing animal therapy to the high-risk youth section of our police service was implemented when my police mom observed a corrections officer proactively utilize a black lab in our adult prison…

Read More →


Keynote Speakers


Senator Patti

Senator Patti LaBoucane-Benson is a Métis from Treaty 6 territory in Alberta. Her 30-year career has been dedicated to serving her community in Alberta, across Canada…



Child rights advocate, Jane Kovarikova, grew up in foster care since the age of six and began living on her own at age 16. Understanding the unique circumstances and challenges…


Dr. Michael

Dr. Michael Marshall, MBBS, MRCPsych, PGDip (Mental Health Law), CCT, is a psychiatrist with a special interest in transgender health - and in particular the mental wellbeing of gender…


Changing the name from High-Risk Youth Conference to Allies for Youth Connections Conference.

In short, this is a shift away from the labelling of the term High-risk youth. While HRYC is well known and a descriptive name that references not only a specific event, but also a specific practice framework and philosophy with a sub-group of youth, it does not justify using a negative label that can follow youth into adulthood, and as parents. The A4YC Steering Committee feels that convenience to us as service providers does not justify a label that can have a negative impact on youth. We looked for a name that is consistent with a strength-based approach to working with youth and to foster an anti-oppressive mindset. While a lengthy, but worthwhile effort, we found a new name for our conference.