CanAssist

University of Victoria

Together we CanAssist.

Information for participants

This section provides detailed information for teens and their families about the TeenWork program. If you have a question about the program that is not answered here, please contact our Program Manager.

Who is eligible for TeenWork
Services that TeenWork may include
How the job coach supports a youth once employment has been secured
Long-term employment and adult employment supports
How a young person becomes a TeenWork participant
A list of other youth and adult employment providers
FAQs for teens and families



Who is eligible for TeenWork

Any youth who:

  • has disabilities and is from 15 to 19 years old
  • is attending school
  • acts safely towards self and others in the community
  • is independent in personal care
  • has access to transportation (e.g. handyDART, parents, bus)

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Services thatTeenWork may include

We support youth in achieving their employment goals. This participant-centred service may include:

  • the Discovery Process (a series of work-related assessment exercises that help identify the youth's preferences, abilities and interests, and thereby ensure a good "fit")
  • creation of résumé and cover letter
  • development of interview skills
  • job searching and job development
  • one-on-one, on-site job coaching, which is not time-limited
  • ongoing job maintenance and support

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How the job coach supports teens once employment has been secured

  • helps them understand workplace expectations and requirements, such as general work etiquette, uniform and appearance
  • may help coordinate independent transportation to work and work-related activities; for example, training in riding the bus, parent drop-off/pick-up or a walking route
  • assists in developing specific skills relevant to work tasks
  • if necessary, develops job aids that enable the youth to perform the job tasks as independently as possible
  • finds natural work supports at work; for example, supportive colleagues or workplace mentors

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Long-term employment and adult employment supports

  • as the youth becomes increasingly independent and confident at work, the job coach will reduce one-on-one, on-site support as appropriate
  • the job coach will continue to check in frequently with the employer, youth and youth's family as appropriate
  • once the youth is in his or her graduating year and is nearing the age of 19, the job coach will work with the youth, family and local adult agencies to facilitate a smooth transition into adult supports

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How a young person becomes a TeenWork participant

  • Eligible teens can self-refer, be referred by an education or health-care professional, or have their parent(s) or guardian(s) apply on their behalf. The first step is to print off, fill out and submit the:

    Youth Employment Referral Form [PDF - 554 KB]

    The completed form can be faxed to 250-721-7299 or sent by regular mail to TeenWork at CanAssist, University of Victoria, CARSA, PO Box 1700, STN CSC, Victoria, BC, V8W 2Y2.

  • Contact the TeenWork Program Manager by email and arrange a time to meet and fill out an Expression of Interest form. The youth will then be placed in a pool from which future participants are selected, based on a number of factors. Please note: TeenWork does not hold a traditional waitlist.
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A list of other youth and adult employment providers

Download our list of other employment providers [PDF - 1.2 MB].

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FAQs for teens and families

    Can anyone apply to TeenWork, regardless of their disabilities or abilities?

    Yes. Any youth from 15 to 19 can apply, providing they: want to work; attend school; and have a disability or persistent barrier to employment. Note: There is some flexibility in age, on a case-by-case basis. Please keep in mind that TeenWork is a small-scale pilot project with limited participant capacity.


    What if my teen is 19 or older?

    Youth who are age 19 and over and their families are encouraged to consider the possibility of participating in an adult employment program. For a brief overview of some of the existing programs in the community, please consult Youth and Adult Employment Programs [PDF - 1.2 MB].


    Is there a time limit on the job coach's support of the youth?

    No. Job coaching provided by TeenWork is one-on-one and not time-limited. The duration of on-site job coaching is determined on a case-by-case basis. However, job coaching is provided with the understanding that workplace independence will be possible during the youth's participation.


    What happens if our family wants to go on vacation?

    As with any employee, it is important that the youth follow the vacation leave practices determined by their employer. It is common for vacation requests to be submitted in writing at least two weeks before the desired vacation date. At TeenWork, work commitments are expected to take priority over social activities.


    If the youth is not happy with their job, can they find a new one?

    The job coach will always work to resolve any issues as they arise and before they become overwhelming to the employee or employer. However, as a general rule, if a youth is unhappy in their placement and interested in seeking another job, they are encouraged to find a new position before leaving their current one.


    How many hours per week will the youth receive the job coach's support?

    Job coaching is not time-limited. However, TeenWork is not a full-time day program and support is only offered around work-related activities and obligations.


    How will my youth get to and from their work placement?

    Participants are expected to be independent in transportation, whether public transit, handyDART, walking, or rides from a parent or guardian. The job coach can initially help establish independent transport for the youth if necessary.


    What happens when my youth graduates from high school?

    Successful transitioning to adult supports is a priority for TeenWork. During the youth's final year of high school, the youth, their family and job coach will discuss adult employment agency options (or alternative supports if necessary). A plan will be created to suit all parties' needs and the job coach will work to ensure a smooth transition.


    Do you have a list of other employment providers?

    Yes! Please consult Youth and Adult Employment Programs [PDF - 1.2 MB].


Go to Real teens, real stories to learn about the experiences of past and current participants.

*Please note: TeenWork is a small-scale pilot project with limited participant capacity

Section Navigation: TeenWork