This Residential Program, operated by The Children's Aid Society of the District of Thunder Bay, provides a home for adolescents who are experiencing difficulties and whose needs cannot be adequately met by the regular foster care system, or within their family home. The program has one site: The Churchill Group Home, an eight-bed co-ed home located in a residential neighbourhood. The site has one crisis bed. The crisis bed will be available when other resources within the Foster Care system are not available. All other beds are designated long term. Adolescents placed in the designated long term beds can reside at the home for whatever length of time that will be beneficial for them. The average length of stay is one year, and youth are allowed to remain in the residence beyond sixteen years of age as they work toward independence.
The home offers therapeutic services in a residential setting to youth who are currently experiencing social and emotional difficulties. Programming focuses on supporting young people in overcoming these difficulties through development of life, social and independence skills, with a focus on relationship-building and identity. Families and other significant supports in a youth’s life are encouraged to work with the home and young person to help support them through this transition, and to ensure positive life experiences.
The SPRING Program is a therapeutic foster care program offering a therapeutic milieu to children and youth within the Children’s Aid Society, who have difficulties in regular foster placements and mainstream schools. It is a multidisciplinary approach, offering interventions which include, assessment, group therapy, behavioural and academic programming. The program works in partnership with other service providers in the community to help provide children and youth with comprehensive service within the community.
The SPRING Program offers an academic program for the children and youth in the Therapeutic Foster homes. This day treatment program is supported by, one and one half teaching staff and four child and youth workers.
Therapeutic Foster Parents are encouraged and expected to participate as part of the Therapeutic Team. Therapeutic Foster Parents are recognized for their importance as they play a vital role in the treatment program and in the child’s life. Day programming and residential programming incorporate the same treatment philosophy creating a therapeutic milieu.
For the therapeutic milieu to be successful daily information sharing is critical. The Spring Program staff will provide ongoing consultation, education and advice to Therapeutic Foster Parents to enable them to carry out their duties in a professional and objective manner. Given the challenging nature of the work, it is of the utmost importance that clinical advice be followed when making decisions regarding the care and treatment of the child. Open communication with the case manager and the foster home worker is also critical. All participants must be working together to provide the best care for the clients.