Program Description

 

Therapeutic Foster Homes

 

Children placed in this type of home require the elements of everyday family living. These children are provided with wrap around services and programs that assist in helping meet all their needs. It is expected that a child placed in this environment can integrate into the family and have their needs met by following the family’s normal routine. These children should be able to respond to regular consistent behaviour management interventions such as, reasonable and logical consequences.


Specialized Foster Homes

 

Children placed in this staff supported family require intensive help or supervision to complete daily routines.  Foster parents are often required to change/modify the daily routines to ensure the wellbeing of the child.  Children with special needs, emotional behavioural and physical needs are placed with these well supported, trained families. These homes consist of no more than 4 high need clients who require supervision for very specific behaviours. Each youth has a one to one worker for a minimum of 10 hours a week, to help with social and skill development.


Therapeutic and Specialized Foster families are specifically trained in therapeutic management techniques of difficult behaviours. Our priorities are our children and youth and the trauma they incurred when being removed from their homes, because of this, our focus is attachment and trauma based counselling, skill development, social development, and educational needs.

 

The individual child and their rate of development are the focus of our program. Social Workers, Case Managers, and Child Youth Counsellors (CYC) will develop individual plans to maximize the child’s strengths.  The integrity of the SSFC program hinges on the skills and abilities of its foster parents. 

To this end, SSFC requires foster parents to attend regular training (monthly), keep moderate logs on the progress and needs of the children in their care, come together regularly to support each other and to receive support and utilize Coordinators available 24 hours a day 7 days per week for phone support, and, for intervention when needed.     

It is important to the delivery of our program that all of our foster parents have the latest training available. Each foster families training includes, but is not limited to:

  •      Attachment and Trauma Based Counseling
  •      Mental Health First Aid
  •      Cultural Integrity and Awareness
  •      Parent Resource Information Development Education (PRIDE)
  •      Behaviour Management Techniques
  •      Behaviour Management Intervention
  •      Skills Streaming
  •      Anger Management
  •      Managing Running Behavior
  •      Drug and Alcohol
  •      Suicide Prevention
  •      Self-Injurious Behavior /Cutting
  •      Sexually Provocative Behavior
  •      Understanding and Managing Aggressive Behavior
  •       Collaborative problem Solving
  •       Aggression Replacement Therapy
        Additionally, all foster parents are enrolled in the Foster Care Support Network Training    program. This is a monthly training and certification program that foster parents receive, are  then tested on and receive a certificate of achievement for. Modules for this program include 12  Volumes with a total of 132 individual units that foster parents can be trained in. These range  from Assisting Children’s Mental Health Issues to Foster Parent Self Care

 

Training of our foster parents in all areas of behaviour profiles enables the placement office, Children’s Aid Society (CAS) and the Department of Family Services (DFS) to match the foster families with a client who best fits. Though families complete the training, SSFC will encourage placement of children in their homes based on the families cultural identity, expressed interest, and training. Specific components which make the SSFC programs unique, is the support of the child in each stage of his/her development.

 Case Management


SSFC provides a wrap around service for each individual in our care. This is achieved through open communication, regular planning conferences (youth involved), quarterly reports, long term planning and community supports.  


SSFC prides itself on the quality of its quarterly reports as they encompass two components of the child’s care. 


1: The quarterly report is an account, with pictures, of the child & youth’s development and achievements while in care.


 2:  The child’s development is measured through 8 Dimensions :  Health, Education/Work, Recreation, Identity, Family and Social Relationships, Social Presentation, Emotional and Behavioural Development, and Self Care.  The dimensions are Goal Specific, Task Oriented & Time Measured.


SSFC recognizes the placing agency as the guardian and endeavours to include the social worker, the foster family, the child or youth in care, the foster family supervisor, the CYC involved, the bio family (where appropriate) and any community professional involved in the development and implementation of the plan. 

     Family Commitment 

     Since many of our children have witnessed dysfunctional family relationships, our foster families recognize the integral role of their family as part of the child’s treatment.

 

     Safety 

     We believe in Maslow’s Hierarch of Needs.  Once an individual feels secure and that his/her basic needs are being met, then he or she can begin to strive towards self-actualization – striving to become the best that they can be.  Our foster families will endeavour to provide a safe, secure, and nurturing environment.

    

     Structure

     Our foster families know the importance of structure in the building and development of a loving and trusting relationship.


Counselling

Due to our children and youth’s complex needs, SSFC in consultation with the Akausivik Health Team, will provide specific counselling.   This counselling is a “fee for service” and is included in the Preapproved costs of 20 sessions per year.  SSFC has 2 psychologists who contract their services through us to meet the immediate needs of the youth.   SSFC believes that counselling needs to be started immediately and currently, community based services have a wait list of months and the youth need to be covered by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan. 

 

Krysteli Needham, SSFC Social Worker  counsels the child or youth through the use of play therapy and other counselling modalities. This is determined in the case management plan and will be included in the quarterly report.

 

     Education Needs  

    We recognize that many children coming into our homes have had numerous school placements and are therefore lack the academic foundations to succeed.  Through the support of tutors and one on one CYC’s we strive to have the children resolve their educational difficulties within the school milieu.

 

     Skill Development

     We operate from the premise that many of our children have experienced inappropriate role models and therefore have learned many undesirable traits.  Our foster families are skilled in breaking down the individual traits and retraining the child in the accepted norm.

 

     Community Involvement

     Recreational pursuits and leisure interests are strongly encouraged.


     Transition

    The children in our care will be provided with the necessary skills for reintegration back into the home or independent living.

     Our support of the child does not end with the above-identified areas of focus. Our foster parents are the valued resource working with the child on a day-to-day basis. Case managers and qualified consultants provide ongoing support and supervision in order to help our families reach their full potential as foster parents. We recognize that foster parents have opened their homes and hearts in hopes of helping children in need ‘one step at a time’.

   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 Child Protection Services, the demand for placement alternatives is at an alarming high. SSFC would offer an efficient alternative choice to the current system, while still maintaining the positive aspects of supervision, monitoring, and skills training.


The integrity of our program hinges on the skills and abilities of our foster parents. To this end, SSFC will endeavour to have a comprehensive training package.

Foster families will participate in ongoing behavioural management training as required, and in relation to the child being placed in their home. In order to enhance the ongoing development and educational growth of our families, monthly training with case management and profiling will occur.

Foster parents are encouraged to attend other outside training as offered by other organizations dealing with the development of children. Our ultimate goal is to support our foster families in all their training needs.


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, cultural identity and motivation for fostering will also be taken into consideration, i.e. adoption, as well as matching with the other clients in the home.

      SSFC endeavours to keep all placing agencies aware of the client profiles in the home when meeting to discuss the possibility of new placements.


     Stepping Stones Commitment to Cultural Integrity in Foster Homes

With the history of contact between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples in Canada and the imbalances of acculturative influences. SSFC strongly acknowledges how this has caused serious erosion of their culture and identities. However, SSFC does not believe these tragedies have assimilated and segregated those cultures or that Aboriginal cultural is a thing of the past.

SSFC thrives on encouraging cultural integrity with each child and youth and is relentless in encouraging the children and youth (who are open and willing) to learn, practice and join those communities from which they are from. SSFC understands how important it is for Indigenous  children to continue to experience their culture, even when they are in foster care.

Additionally SSFC team, foster families and staff enjoy and frequent Aboriginal cultural training and events in the National Capital regularly and enjoys a large network of Inuit, Metis and First Nation events and community gatherings.

So that the youth treatment and care is respectful of their way of life, SSFC places priority in cultural protection with the care of the children and youth ensuring that the traditions, symbols, values, norms and worldviews and youth’s family connections are respected.