Foundry, B.C.’s Integrated Youth Services initiative, is transforming how young people access health and social services throughout the province.
The project began in 2015 under the leadership of Dr. Steve Mathias. GBF worked closely with Dr. Mathias and the province along with other philanthropic organizations to co-develop and co-fund the project. Initially, six Foundry centres across the five health regions of the province were developed. Now, the branded network has scaled to additional communities across British Columbia.
The Foundry model features service hubs that co-locate and integrate a variety of services for youth aged 12 to 25 (including mental health, primary care, addictions, employment and peer support, with links to education, housing and other social services) in an easily accessible, culturally-appropriate and youth-friendly location. In addition to the establishment of physical centres, Foundry is developing online information and services.
Foundry sites are supported by a central office that has become a multi-function backbone organization. Activities of the central office include support for community implementation, models of care and services, research and evaluation, and alignment with the wider provincial systems for healthcare and social services. The central office is administratively hosted within St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver. The project has a governance council made up of a variety of partners including the provincial government, the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, the St. Paul’s Hospital Foundation and GBF.