Program focus: Abuse, Anti-Human Trafficking, Behaviour Difficulty, Budgeting, Case Management, Child Welfare, Communication Skills, Developmental Disability, Employment, Housing, Immigration, Legal, LGBT, Life Skills, Male identified, Mental Health, Postnatal, Psychoeducation, Resume building, School, Sex Work, Sexual Relationships, Skill Development, Socializing, Substance Abuse, Trauma, Work more…

The Gender-Based Violence Program provides free support to individuals who are involved or at risk of being involved in human trafficking or those who have been involved in the sex trade by choicecircumstance, or coercion. The program is grounded in treating trauma, relational therapy and addressing human rights. Our team works from a strength based, sex-positive, harm reduction and trauma-informed approach. We believe in empowering survivors to have self-worth and to build healthy support systems.

Our team is composed of Trauma TherapistsCommunity Outreach Workers and Peer Navigators. The GBV program offers the following services centred around client-directed service planning:

  1. Trauma Therapy. Our therapists use a trauma-informed approach to help clients overcome psychological trauma.  The GBV program recognizes that individuals who access our services often experience a combination of acute and developmental trauma.   An acute trauma can be one where a person perceives a threat to one’s life, body, or emotional safety.  Developmental trauma can occur because of adverse and chronic childhood experiences, such as neglect and abuse.  As a result of trauma, people may have difficulty coping with their experiences, which can be very distressing and disruptive to daily functioning. Our therapists support individuals by working toward managing trauma symptoms, reducing shame and blame and building healthy relationships.  Our therapists apply various therapeutic modalities in this process, including relational therapy and EMDR, as well as provide psychoeducation for participants and their family.
  2. Community Outreach & Education. The GBV team is available to provide outreach and education to youth 12-29 years old in various settings. Outreach and education take a preventative, non-judgemental approach to human trafficking/sex trafficking and incorporate topics such as healthy relationships, safety, consent and boundary setting. Concurrently, as part of our outreach, the GBV team can provide education on the topics of sex trafficking and trauma-informed care to service providers.
  3. Case Management & Service Navigation. Our Community Outreach Workers assist individuals with finding safe and affordable housing, accessing financial assistance, finding medical care, obtaining identification documents or legal consultation, school enrollment, job searching and can provide external referrals when needed. Assistance with life skill development, goal setting and budgeting support is also available
  4. Peer Support & Navigation. Our Peer Navigators actively advocate to reduce and end sexual exploitation. They act as support workers to encourage trauma recovery, build hope, confidence, and resilience within participants. The lived experience of the Peer Navigators lessens the isolation that many survivors feel, by creating a sense of belonging, connecting survivors with each other and to community-based resources. They can also offer assistance with appointments, court support, and aid with safety planning
  5. Support Group. Our Peer Navigators run an online support group with support from one of our Trauma Therapists. The group focuses on life skills and social/recreational activities.
  6. Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) Counselling Program. This program offers short-term (8-12) immediate counselling sessions for children and youth who are victims of internet sexual exploitation and to their immediate family members. *ICE is available by referral only via the Ontario Provincial Police and BOOST. Learn more about ICE .

Any questions can be directed to the Gender-Based Violence Program at GBVinfo@stridestoronto.ca or 416-438-3697 ext. 13265.


On November 9, 2022, the Government of Canada endorsed the National Action Plan to End Gender-based Violence. Preventing and addressing GBV in Canada requires a coordinated national approach, with federal, provincial and territorial governments working in close partnership with survivors, Indigenous partners, direct service providers, experts, advocates, municipalities, the private sector and researchers.

The work of Strides Toronto’s Gender-Based Violence Program supports the vision of a Canada free from gender-based violence and supporting victims, survivors and their families regardless of where they live.

Eligibility details

  • Youth aged 12 – 29 years
  • Residing in Toronto
  • Involved in or at risk of being involved in human trafficking and/or current or previous involvement in the sex trade by choice, circumstance, or coercion
  • All gender identities welcomed
  • Have an identified need or goal to address

Please note that we are not a crisis service. If you are in immediate danger, please contact 911 immediately. The Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline (1-833-900-1010) is available 24 hours, 7 days a week for telephone support and referral information.

To complete a referral, please fill out our referral form

Find out more about our program here

Get in touch with us on Instagram

Program focus: Behaviour Difficulty, Child Welfare, Life Skills, Mental Health, Trauma

Priority Access for Child Welfare (PACW) Services helps children and youth that are at-risk of being placed in child welfare because of challenges at home; severe difficulties at school that could lead to loss of school placement; or has significant mental health and/or addiction issues and child welfare has become involved. Depending on the need of the family, therapists can meet with youth and their caregivers weekly or bi-weekly for 3 to 6 months.

The goals of the program are to reduce the severity of the difficulties in the home, improve relationships and reduce the risk for out-of-home placement. Services are offered in a range of settings (e.g. our office, the community, child welfare office and sometimes the home) using a treatment plan that is created collaboratively with the child/youth/family. Trained therapists provide children/youth/families with tools to help develop healthy behaviours, better relationships and enable youth to function positively and effectively in the home whilst addressing their mental health and/or addiction issues.

Referral details

A referral needs to be made to Strides Toronto by one of the Child Welfare agencies:

  • Children’s Aid Society Toronto (CAST)
  • Catholic Children’s Aid Society (CCAS)
  • Native Child and Family Services
  • Jewish Family and Child Services

The social worker from the Child Welfare agency will ask for consent from the family and send Strides Toronto the referral form asking the therapist to help support family. Our therapist will then contact the family directly and we will all agree a time to meet.

Program focus: Behaviour Difficulty, Child Welfare, Communication Skills, Mental Health, Socializing

Our Intensive Child and Family Service is offered to children and their caregivers who are experiencing social, emotional, and/or behavioural challenges that interfere with their daily lives and may lead to family breakdown in either their home, school and/or community. Often families eligible for this service are living with complex needs that may be impacting multiple domains of their lives.

Services are provided in-home, in-community, in-office or other settings which would be most helpful to supporting change. These services are provided by a Child and Family Therapist who will meet as frequently as required to help make a difference, offering service in a flexible manner that may include individual treatment, family and/or group therapy.

Referral details

Contact Strides Toronto Intake at 416-438-3697 ext. 19055 to initiate a referral.

Intake will help determine if Intensive Services is the most appropriate service for you or if there is an alternate service that may better meet your needs.

Program focus: Abuse, Behaviour Difficulty, Child Welfare, Mental Health, Trauma

The Infant Mental Health program offers a variety of family-focused, multidisciplinary mental health assessment and treatment services that are inclusive and accessible to all families living in Scarborough. Services are provided at Strides Toronto, in the home, or in the community at a time convenient for the family.

The program strives to strengthen parent child interactions by focusing on building positive family relationships to improve healthy social and emotional development of infants and children (birth to 3 years old) in partnership with their families and communities.

Parents with young children under the age of 3 years who are concerned about their children’s behaviour (separation anxiety, sleep difficulties, eating concerns, excessive crying, or challenging behaviour) are eligible for this service.

Program focus: Anti-Human Trafficking, Bilingual Services (French), Case Management, Child Welfare, Employment, Housing, Legal, LGBT, Mental Health, School, Sex Work, Sexual Relationships, Skill Development, Substance Abuse, Trauma, Work more…

Youth In Transition Workers aim to meet youth where it is more convenient for them, in the community, at coffee shops, libraries or at the office. Some resources and supports offered to youth may include:

  • Housing and or educational supports
  • Employment and services training
  • Life skills (e.g., financial management and household management)
  • Legal services and psychoeducation
  • Health and mental health services
  • Access to Trauma Therapy and Human Trafficking Peer Support Group
  • Snacks and TTC fare for case management needs
  • Access to Strides Food Mart available upon sign up

In addition to the above supports, Strides YIT workers provide targeted/focused assistance in the following areas:

  • Mental Health and Addictions YIT
  • Bilingual (French speaking) YIT connects youth with Francophone resources within their communities.
  • Anti-Human Trafficking YIT provides individualized case management to youth at risk of sexual exploitation and Human Trafficking.

The length of work with youth varies based on their long-term and short-term goals. Once youth provide consent, referrals can be emailed directly to our team: YIT@Stridestoronto.ca.

Eligibility Details

Youth aged 16 – 24 years and is:

  • in Extended Society Care or
  • in a formal Customary Care arrangement immediately prior to the youth’s 18th birthday or
  • eligible for support under Continued Care and Support for Youth (CCSY) or
  • accessing Ready, Set, Go (RSG) funding

Get in touch with Strides Toronto Youth In Transition (YIT) workers on Instagram:

Program focus: Abuse, ADD/ADHD, Behaviour Difficulty, Child Development, Child Welfare, Communication Skills, Mental Health, Parenting, Skill Development, Socializing, Trauma more…

Live-in treatment at Strides Toronto is an intensive, therapeutic, twenty-four-hour care and treatment program for children whose social, emotional and behavioural difficulties are such that they have been unable to adequately function in a family setting, even with the provision of less intrusive service alternatives such as outpatient counselling or Day Treatment.

The program provides a range of services including assessment, twenty four-hour care and treatment; in-home support related to parenting and child management; children’s groups; individual child and family treatment; and aftercare. Program consultants are available as required for psychological and psychiatric assessments as well as on-going treatment consultation. Other specialized assessments are arranged as required e.g., speech and language, occupational therapy and neuropsychological testing.

The purpose of the program is to promote opportunities for children and their families to learn and practice new social skills and regulate emotions that will enable the children to return home. For those children for whom returning home is not possible, emphasis is placed on preparing them for integration into their next home environment.

“Betty’s Place” is a staff operated treatment program located in a residential neighborhood that serves six children at one time (male and female). The program is funded and licensed by the Ministry of Children, Community & Social Services under the Child and Family Services Act.

Quick Access
Quick Access is a bed designated to the various Child Welfare agencies for their clients who require access for children needing immediate placement. Clients who are admitted through the Quick Access process will receive the same treatment as any other client admitted through the Regular Service process.

Eligibility Details

Residential Service is provided to children primarily between the ages of 6-12. Children are referred through Help Ahead Central Point of Intake from across Toronto. The specific admission criteria for the service include:

  1. Children who continue to experience social/emotional difficulties in their home environment despite previous less intrusive interventions.
  2. Children must have at least average intellectual potential, i.e. children who do not require educational services designed for the developmentally delayed.
  3. Child must be able to be safely maintained in an unlocked community setting.
  4. Families must be willing to be involved in monthly treatment planning meetings, family work, in house behaviour management sessions, and attend organized family events within the residence
  5. A child who may have a mild form of autism will be considered.
  6. Children with physical handicaps will be considered given the limitations of our site.

The Live-In Treatment program is funded by Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services (MCCSS).

Program focus: Abuse, Behaviour Difficulty, Child Welfare, Life Skills, Mental Health, Trauma

Our all gendered Live-In Treatment Program is a volunteer program offered to youth who are coping with an array of psychological, emotional, and/or behavioural challenges that interfere with their daily lives and can no longer live at home and are seeking support.

Youth live in a large home called The Megan Residence with other youth. Their daily routines are highly structured, providing a safe, predictable environment, which promotes self-reliance in preparation for independent living or semi-independent living, transition back home or into the community, or a move to adult mental health services.

Using Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) as the basis for treatment, we provide short and long-term treatment in collaboration with clinicians such as psychiatrists and psychologists. When family (biological or chosen) are involved, we require them to participate in the youth’s treatment as we utilize a Family Systems Model to support wholistic care. Each youth enrolled in our Live-In Treatment Program will be assigned an individual and family therapist to provide both individual and family therapy.