The format YLJ uses for a support circle is similar to that of a harm circle, with some slight differences. Those differences can include:
- Length of time: Since support circles do not have the added pressure of a closing out date/court date, the 3 to 4 month long window period is not as prevalent here as it is in harm circle processes. However, YLJ staff capacity is important to take into consideration. Once a youth in a support circle has been working with us for 3 to 4 months, we reassess the youth's needs and make a plan of action from there, which can include lengthening their YLJ process (if YLJ has capacity) or using another community organization(s).
- Circle content: Support circles usually do not address a "specific" incident of harm, rather they call in and discuss concerns that a youth has for themselves, along with concerns a youth's community / family has for them. The intention of a support circle is to meet a youth's unmet needs with the hope of transforming harmful ways of being and acting that could hurt a youth in the future.