About Us

The Ottawa Child and Youth Initiative is a collaborative of over 80 community organizations and agencies with a shared vision, mission and values.

Our Vision

Ensuring all children and youth in Ottawa can reach their full potential and grow up great!

Our Mission

Recognizing the power of collective advocacy and collaborative community efforts and planning, OCYI provides a platform for groups to work together to guide and influence practices, systems and public policy, aimed at nourishing the positive, healthy growth of children and youth in our community.

Our Values

  • Collaboration to maximize impact
  • Incorporating and advancing Equity, Diversity & Inclusion
  • The fundamental rights of all children and youth as set out it the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
  • Joint planning and evidenced-based decision-making
  • Strategic development and resource pooling

Our Long-term Objective

Increase awareness, access, and alignment of mental health, substance use health, appropriate use of technology, and gambling resources in each Ottawa neighbourhood to achieve equitable, diverse, and inclusive support for infants, children, youth, and their families.

Our Strategic Direction

OCYI Strategic Direction
OCYI Strategic Direction

Learn more about OCYI's Strategic Direction here, including our strategic priorities and task groups.

Our Beliefs

OCYI is grounded in the Framework to Promote the Healthy Development of Children and Youth, which illustrates that families, schools, neighbourhoods, community and governments all have a role to play in enabling children and youth to achieve their optimal development.


Healthy physical, emotional, cognitive, social and spiritual development includes:

  • Ensuring children are raised and have access to safe and caring environments
  • Meeting children's fundamental needs
  • Creating opportunities for children and youth to develop competencies
  • Stable and nurturing relationships for the children and youth in the Ottawa community

Our Roots

The Ottawa Child and Youth Initiative builds on a long history of coalitions promoting the healthy development of children and youth in Ottawa.


Bringing together early years (0-6 years), school-aged (6-12 years) and youth (12 years and over) coalitions and organizations, the Initiative works across the age spans and sectors to achieve collective goals and impact.


1999: Success by Six is Launched

  • Success by Six is launched, with community leaders and organizations coming together to work towards a common vision of ensuring that every child would be ready for school.

2002: Middle Childhood Matters

  • Middle Childhood Matters is formed to bring attention to the needs of children in the "middle years" - age 6-12 years.

2007: Child and Youth Agenda

  • Child and Youth Agenda led by the City of Ottawa, United Way Ottawa and key community stakeholders brought forward an "overarching" strategy with a commitment to healthy development across the age span.

2004-2008: Popcorn Group/Youth Count

  • The Popcorn Group/Youth Count, a coalition of youth-serving agencies, works together to improve youth services in Ottawa.

2009: Ottawa Coalition for Children and Youth Formed

  • Ottawa Coalition for Children and Youth forms to advocate and raise awareness for key issues for children and youth in Ottawa.

2011: Ottawa Child and Youth Initiative Launched


2019: Partner of the Kids Comes First Health Team

  • Aligning with the Kids Comes First Health Team to build collaborative relationships while promoting the healthy development of children and youth. 


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