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Pine River Institute’s Director of Research and Evaluation, Dr. Laura Mills, is leading a province-wide project to develop and implement a common approach to evaluation in the youth addiction sector. We secured $327,500 from the Ontario Trillium Foundation on behalf of 12 youth addiction agencies. This initiative has also received support from the Ontario Centre of Excellence in Child and Youth Mental Health, and Addictions and Mental Health Ontario.


On May 29, 2015 Pine River was granted $210,264 by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care under Health Canada’s Drug Treatment Funding Program to support this collaborative initiative, Supplementing, Sustaining & Spreading Evaluation Capacity in the Youth Addictions Treatment Sector. We are grateful to the Government of Ontario, the Government of Canada, and to our partner organizations in this project for their dedication to establishing a common approach that will benefit all. Thanks go to:

Alternatives for Youth (Hamilton)


Community Addiction Services of Niagara

Dave Smith Youth Treatment Centre (Ottawa)

HopeGreyBruce (Owen Sound)

Maison Fraternité (Ottawa)

Mamisarvik Inuit Healing Centre (Ottawa)

Portage (Elora)

Ray of Hope (Kitchener)

Rideauwood (Ottawa)

SickKids (Toronto)

Sister Margaret Smith (Thunder Bay)

 Below is an update on this project from Dr. Mills.

The current state of the evaluative capacity among youth addiction agencies in Ontario is varied and non-systematic. It can be difficult, and sometimes impossible, to determine how effective youth addiction programs are, and whether we are getting youth to the right program for their needs.

Our project is designed to increase the capacity to do evaluation among the agencies involved. To this end, we have conducted an environmental scan with clients, parents, and agency staff to better understand what client outcomes we should be measuring, and how and when to measure them.

We are now developing a common framework for evaluation. This includes training on tools, building interactive software, and selecting and setting up hardware.

The common framework will be piloted across our collaborative programs, which are varied in type and approach. What we learn from this pilot will inform training materials and resources for other programs in the province.