General Information



Justification of Stepping Stones


Every day, hundreds of children in our communities are abused or neglected, often in the ‘safety’ of their own homes.  The emotional and physical pain experienced by these young people is difficult, if not impossible to change.


With a growing number of children and youth being placed in the protection of the Children’s Aid Society, the demand for placement alternatives is at an alarming high.  Stepping Stones would offer an efficient alternative choice to the current system, while still maintaining the positive aspects of supervision, monitoring, and skills training.


Types of Placement Options


Therapeutic Foster Homes


Specialized Foster Homes


Stepping Out  SIL 


Stepping Out 18+




Client Profile:     Age Range: 0 – 24 years


Babies, toddlers, sibling groups, school aged children and teenagers, and moms with babies are all within the scope of Stepping Stones.    


Children and adolescents with exceptionalities such as; ADD, ADHD, fetal alcohol/effect, conduct disorder, social or emotional difficulties, behavioural problems, runners, pregnant teenagers, cutters, mild drug and alcohol concerns, high risk youth, involvement with the law and youth/young adults who are in need of supportive living are welcomed into our homes.


Matching of Children – How/Who


Matching of a child is very important to the longevity of the placement.  When considering a placement in a specific home, the emotional needs of the family and the child being placed will be considered.

·       Clients age, natural child/children, home structure, routines, size, and motivation for fostering will also be taken into consideration, i.e. adoption, as well as matching with the other clients in the home.

·       Stepping Stones will endeavour to keep all placing agencies aware of the client profiles in the home when meeting to discuss the possibility of new placements.

 

Stepping Stones Demographics

SSFC operates and provides services in the geographic areas of  Eastern Ontario. SSFC will provide direct to families through an office located at 2047 Meadowbrook Rd, Ottawa. Having an office close to our families and the Ottawa CAS provides a more consistent approach to quality care. It also allows families an opportunity/place to come while children are having access visits. 

As Ottawa’s Inuit population in 2015 has climbed to 3,300, Inuit health, cultural and community services available have also increased and expanded. Ottawa is a perfect location when Children and Youth are in need of placement outside of their Northern Communities. 

Education


Three main reasons why children do poorly at school are poor attendance, the incompletion of assigned schoolwork, and the lack of skills necessary to complete the schoolwork.  Though the children in our homes will have clear expectations that education is a necessity, the goal of the foster home will be to facilitate wherever there is a need.


Ensuring that the children in the foster homes are attending school, the utilization of services of the Stepping Stones CYC is a valued resource.  If a particular child is showing a pattern of truancy, the foster family and its supervisor will work with the school to correct the problem quickly.  Our goal for the child is to manage his/her own school environment with our support.

Stepping Stones will also ensure that the children in the foster home’s charge have a structured routine around school and homework completion.  The foster families will have daily contact with the school to monitor progress and develop a working relationship with the school.

Some of the children in our homes will need extra help to master the demands of the day-to-day classroom.  Qualified tutors will be used to help the children acquire the academic and behavioural skills that they are lacking.  Time will also be spent focusing on time management, organizational skills, and exam preparation.


Our goal in this area is to help our children meet new success in school, motivating them to pursue a higher level of education or trade for their future.

 

Recreational Skills


Participation in community-based activities and organizations are stressed with the foster parents through a training process.  Having the children in their care participate in recreational activities is planned and supported in the disbursement of their daily per diem. 

The benefits to the children in our homes attaining recreational skills are endless.  He or she is able to build self-esteem in a pro-social manner by learning the values of cooperation, negotiation, sportsmanship and teamwork, developing physical skills, and dispensing restless energy.  Youth in our foster homes will be encouraged to participate in a wide variety of cultural, educational, and recreational activities.

It is our hope that over time Stepping Stones will be able to support all of our foster children in all of their recreational pursuits.  We strive to ensure that none of our children fail to participate in the events due to lack of funding.


Life Skills 

SSFC recognizes that many of the children coming into their homes lack basic skills due to improper parenting, and an unstable living environment. While in our care, the children will be taught standards consistent with today’s societal norms such as their cultural norms, proper manners, proper hygiene, and other age appropriate skills. Youth will have the opportunity to participate in the Financial Literacy Program and job readiness training.

 It is our understanding or expectation that the skills taught would require adjustments as the child matures. Every youth in our care will be prepared for independence. We envision that all children in our care will seek higher education. Those children who choose not to seek post-secondary education will leave well prepared to live on their own.


A study completed for the United States National Research Council on street youth reported 

“Children who leave care and are unprepared for the realities and expectations of society, experience high unemployment and are living off of social assistance.”    The study also concluded that emotionally ready youth leaving care after being taught life skills, tend to fare better.


 Social Skills Training

 Teaching our children social skills will be a very important component of the SSFC program.  It is through this teaching that the children are better able to cope with the environmental demands in their lives. The Program believes that our adapted approach to social skills (the Goldstein Model) is an effective way to teach our children social skills. The program for adolescents and primary school children will be modified and taught to our children.

The expectation will be placed on all of our foster families to incorporate the skills teaching into their homes and plan of care for each child. Parents will be trained to implement a non-threatening and progressive program. The program’s approach is through role-plays and feedback. Real life situations are seen as teachable moments.

 

Potential Program Components

Family Counselling/access

  Anger management

  Drug and alcohol counselling

  Sexual education

  Sexual harassment

 Parenting courses for teens

 Transitional living

 Financial Literacy Program

All programs are designed with a specific purpose which will help develop a positive self image, teach effective life and coping skills, address personal issues, and teach the youth to use the community so that they can integrate successfully. Programs are developed on an individual client need basis, and are designed and implemented to the child or youth's specific needs.