Categories associated with best practice:
Community residential facility for youth in need between the ages of 12 and 18; that operates on a seven day, 24 hour basis.
Tsi Tionkwatention A’no:wara Rason:ne (Sounds like gee djo gwa den djo a no wa la la soon nay) is a Mohawk word meaning “My Home On Turtle Island” – Youth Lodge. The Youth Lodge is an eight bed co-ed residence for youth ages 12-17 experiencing serious difficulties in their lives. “My Home On Turtle Island” is a group home for First Nations youth operating on the Six Nations of the Grand River. With the support of the Board of Directors, the staff of the Lodge follows the philosophy of Choice Theory as written by Dr. William Glasser.
The Youth Lodge provides a therapeutic approach in a culturally sensitive manner that encompasses mental, physical, spiritual and emotional areas. Every aspect of life at the Youth Lodge, including rules and the approach to behaviour management, is considered part of an integrated, holistic program. It is intended to assist the participants in recognizing their less effective behaviours and through the process of self-evaluation, learn to make more effective choices in order to meet their needs.
The basic rules of life in the Youth Lodge are based on the safety and respect of all participants and staff. Residents participate in the daily upkeep of the residence, attend school or a work/volunteer program and participate in programming. In the Youth Lodge approach youth continue to participate in activities that focus the heart of the behavior. The Lodge recognizes that attempting to change their behaviors through the use of external controls such as reward and punishment (consequences) is futile. The Lodge sees behaviours as the symptom of the real problems which need to be addressed.
The Lodge is a home where each program is individualized for every youth. The staff attempt to determine what the reason is for the less effective behaviours and to the best of their abilities, to provide learning situations where the youth can gain skills to more adequately meet their life’s ambitions. The staff also set boundaries that provide safety and protection for all. The program focus is to assist the youth to self assess and learn to independently move successfully through their lives, accepting responsibility for their behaviour and learning new skills.
ADDITIONAL SUPPORTING INFORMATION
The Lodge serves male and female youth ages 12 to 18. Priority is given to those who are members of Six Nations or New Credit; followed by other First Nations youth. The Lodge does not accept youth assessed as psychotic, suicidal or medically unstable (unless these conditions are under effective control by medical professionals). Youth on YOA probation may be considered for admission at the discretion of the Supervisor.
Referrals are forwarded to the Intake Worker at Ganohkwasra Family Assault Support Services. Intake consists of: 1) pre-assessment screening (suitability of services); 2) completion of Intake package; and 3) supervisor interview/screening. Information Needed: 1) health card; 2) birth certificate; 3) status card if applicable; and 4) social insurance number card. The parent(s)/caregiver of youth between the ages of 12 – 16, are required to attend the Intake Interview.
An initial plan of care is drafted and signed in the first 30 days with the new resident, the parent(s)/caregiver, Lodge staff and the referring agency. If consensus on an appropriate plan cannot be achieved, arrangements are made to return the youth to the referring agency or home (if a direct referral).
Programming is focused in the following areas: A. Health B. Life Skills C. Culture D. Therapeutic Residents are encouraged to participate in recreation/leisure activities in residence and in the community.
Youth Lodge individual and/or group counselling is provided by Assigned Lodge Staff (Primary Worker) as defined in each resident plan of care. Community Counselling is a referral to long-term counselling. \ Elders utilize traditional approaches and methods as appropriate. Contracted Professionals are called-in as required under the terms of resident plans of care (such as a psychiatrist). Lodge Staff & Elders work in consultation with those involved in the care and support being provided to a resident’s family in anticipation of the resident’s return home.
Residents are discharged from the program when it has been determined through the service monitoring and review process, that Plan objectives have been reached. Discharge is also considered when: 1) it is the result of a change in a court order; 2) it appears that a Lodge resident has needs/ behavioural characteristics which cannot be addressed in the Lodge environment, or would be more effectively addressed in another environment; 3) a resident’s parent/guardian(s) failed to carry through with a commitment made to participate in individual or family counselling; and 4) a resident repeatedly breaks Lodge rules (to a degree deemed serious by staff) despite discussion, warnings and restrictions. Aftercare support is provided to residents.
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