What is the system challenge?

Transitioning to adulthood can be hard for any youth, especially those facing important decisions about their education, career, family and living situation. During this difficult time, youth with mental health, addiction and/or substance use challenges often have difficulty finding the right services and supports to help them successfully transition to adulthood and independence.

What are we doing about it?

The Simcoe Muskoka Service Collaborative determined that Transition Age Youth (TAY) are better served if all agencies working with them share a common approach that recognizes the unique needs of TAY and provides timely, innovative services that are youth-centered, accessible, coordinated, evidence-based, community-driven, and as least intrusive as possible.

The Service Collaborative decided to use the Transition to Independence Process (TIP) ModelTM – an evidence-supported practice that provides guidelines and core practices (specific activities that service providers do with youth seeking service – this include future planning, goal setting, skill building, mediation, etc.) to support service providers when engaging youth. It was designed to involve youth and young adults (14-29 years old) in a process that helps them to become more independent and successfully achieve life goals, especially those related to:

  • employment/career;
  • education;
  • living situation;
  • personal effectiveness/well-being; and
  • community-life functioning.

The TIP Model builds on existing staff roles, skills and youth initiatives within the community, so you do not need to hire staff or to add programs in order to implement it. TIP acts as a template for service providers across many sectors (see list below). The TIP Model would support the development of a system of care for TAY.

Transition Age Youth System of Supports (TAY SoS) Partnership

The TAYSoS Partnership is a community-led partnership designed to create a fully integrated system of supports to assist youth and their families through the transition to adulthood. The initiative supports the implementation of the TIP Model and is intended to be as broad as possible for this age range by including health, education, employment, community and social support programs (see complete list below).

Creating a complete system of care meant that all TAY in Simcoe Muskoka would have equal access to services and supports, regardless of their age, race, gender or sexual orientation. The Service Collaborative used the Health Equity ImpactAssessment (HEIA) tool to identify strategies to ensure all youth benefited from the TAY SoS Partnership and developed a set of guidelines to support agencies to adapt TIP’s core practices to meet the unique needs of TAY. The TIP Model supports the development of the TAY system of supports by:

  • providing strategies for connecting with TAY that help them plan for their future, set goals, solve problems and resolve conflicts;
  • developing a common language for service providers and improving collaboration;
  • fitting within existing programs and community initiatives; and
  • using a youth-friendly, person-centered approach.
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Full Implementation

The TAY SoS Partnership is providing full oversight for the implementation of the TIP Model, as well as additional activities contributing to the development of an integrated system for care for TAY.

The TAY SoS Partnership Steering Committee and its Working Groups are continuously improving their planning and processes and are currently re-focusing on the key elements needed for sustainability. Next steps will be to continue to build on the TAY system of care with an emphasis on youth and family engagement, as well as the implementation of the TIP Model in the communities across Simcoe Muskoka.

Successes/How do we know it works?


service providers have been trained in the TIP Model since 2014


agencies have programs where staff are using the TIP Model consistently and where the number of goals attained by youth and use of the TIP core practices are being tracked


of staff surveyed feel competent using the TIP Model and 65% of staff surveyed believe the TIP Model has been well implemented in their agency


agencies are actively involved in the TAY SoS Partnership

Who is involved?

To date, 45 agencies from 14 sectors are involved in the Simcoe Muskoka Service Collaborative and TAY SoS Partnership. Sectors include:

  • youth mental health and addictions / adult mental health and addictions
  • peer support
  • government
  • housing and homelessness
  • primary care
  • youth justice
  • youth services
  • child welfare services
  • cultural/linguistic services
  • education
  • employment
  • developmental services

Next Steps

The TAY SoS Partnership continues to support the implementation of the TIP Model, as well as the improvement of services for TAY across the communities of Simcoe-Muskoka.

We are helping to scale the TIP Model into in the following sectors:

  • Post-secondary (Georgian College)
  • First Nations and Métis communities in Simcoe-Muskoka
  • Francophone communities in Simcoe-Muskoka


Download the resources and click on the pin to access the embedded documents.

Watch a video about the Talk Back! Youth Summit, where youth shared their perspective on getting help in Simcoe Muskoka
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For More Information, Please Contact:

Mary Hanna, Program Consultant

Christine Lebert, Manager