– Our Programmes–

LIFE SKILLS PROGRAM & ASSESSMENT

Connor Homes provides all youth 12 and older with an intensive life skills program.  This program follows the outline as provided by the Daniel Memorial Independent Living Assessment for Life Skills. Child and Youth Workers will assist each youth to complete a life skills assessment. Results from this assessment will appear under Independent Living Skills title in the Plan of Care.

 

Programs to instruct the youth in those areas of Life skills required will be implemented by the Treatment Foster Parents and Child and Youth Workers. Child and Youth Workers will provide the instruction from community resources. Youth are reassessed as required and the growth is documented in the Plan of Care.  Areas of non-growth are reviewed until a level of competency is achieved in that area.

 

A comprehensive report is generated which outlines a percentage grade for each of the following areas. The areas in which growth is required will have a detailed treatment plan attached to that skill to guide the Treatment Foster Parents and Child and Youth Workers in their instruction.

  • Skills to be acquired:
  • Money
  • Management/Consumer Awareness
  • Legal Skills
  • Food Management
  • Health
  • Personal Appearance
  • Housekeeping
  • Emergency and Safety Skills
  • Transportation
  • Job Seeking Skills
  • Educational Planning
  • Job Maintenance Skills
  • Religion (optional)
  • Knowledge of Community Resources
  • Leisure Activities
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Housing

 

INDIGENOUS TREATMENT PROGRAMME

guidelines and standards for care

 

It is our goal to promote cultural competency during the process of treatment. In understanding the importance of family and community when caring for Indigenous youth - the involvement of these members is highly encouraged in this programming and the direction of elders is greatly respected.

 

Our programming includes

Psychotherapy and Traditional Counseling

Our coordinator is a proud member of Moose Cree First Nation and has a Master of Social Work degree. As a previous psychotherapist she has clinical expertise in the issues effecting Indigenous youth and their families, such as intergenerational trauma. She provides annual training to our foster parents, and is available to the child and youth workers and psychotherapists working with Indigenous youth for consultation. Our goal is to ensure Elders are available for one-to-one traditional counselling, to facilitate healing circles and provide ceremony.

 

Our coordinator also provides our foster parents with resources to provide culturally competent treatment. Not only does it provide workers with an understanding of the historical and current issues affecting their Indigenous youth, but it also provides information needed to ensure a culturally sensitive home.

Since this program was created we have contracted elders and traditional healers into the treatment plan of our youth. We have recently contracted Strong Earth Alliance led by Shaman Harry Snowboy to provide opportunities for traditional ceremonies and identity-based healing for our youth. We are excited for this new partnership and are very much looking forward to where this new vision will take us.

 

Arts Programming

In recognizing the importance of artisans in the Indigenous culture, youth are given opportunities to participate in traditional arts and crafts workshops, such as smudging feathers and drum making, and have access to resources should they wish to pursue these customs in their homes. This programming promotes that youth of all ages should have access to storybooks and educational resources on their history and culture, such as those on residential schooling. In addition, the program aims to ensure all homes are provided with language workbooks for the youth to practice their traditional tongue.

 

For our coordinator, the joy of these workshops is that in many cases she discovers artisans and offers them contracts with providing workshops to our youth. The artisans are in their own way healers by providing a safe space for youth to learn teachings and develop coping skills such as craft work that is culturally relevant to Indigenous youth.

From children's books to workbooks, we provide a resource list for children and youth of all ages to learn about issues such as residential schooling. Storybooks are a great way to assist children and youth with understanding their struggles.

One of the detrimental losses for the Indigenous people has been language. When an Indigenous youth comes into our care, they receive language books. We have acquired many wonderful language books such as "Moose Factory Cree" by Daisy Turner and "Talking Gookom's Language: Learning Ojibwe" by Patricia M. Ningewance. It is our hope that they are interested in practising their traditional tongue, and we encourage foster parents and child and youth workers to assist them in this learning. Occasionally, we are also able to contract elders to provide language workshops.

 

Medicine Walks

The number one recommendation from Elder’s is to connect youth to the land therefore we offer opportunities for medicine walks. Time on Mother Earth is Sacred, and we must learn to have a Spiritual connection and bond with her again. It is imperative for our overall wellbeing and holistic healing. Guided by an elder, these walks also provide traditional teachings and ceremony.

 

 

  • Physically and biologically, healing occurs simply by being on the land earthing/grounding and connecting to the Earth energies.
  • Emotionally, mentally and psychologically - youth are given an opportunity to work through issues and taught how to listen and learn from the teachings of the Land.
  • Spiritually youth can engage in a sacred fire ceremony where they learn the importance of tending to their own "inner fire" and spirit. It is the hope that some may also want to pursue further ceremonies such as the naming ceremony, which we believe is imperative for their identity-based and spiritual healing.
  • It is also an incentive of this program that youth will want to spend time at sacred sites, such as petrogylphs and pictographs.

 

Spirituality

The teachings of the Medicine Wheel and Grandfathers are highly encouraged within the homes. This program provides a Wellness Wheel workbook given upon admission so youth can work on their overall wellbeing under the premise of the Medicine Wheel teachings. Youth are also given the sacred medicines should they wish to smudge. Talking circles are encouraged as the forum to discuss weekly issues in the homes and it is an expectation that foster families participate in the cultural opportunities provided by their surrounding communities, such as pow wows, should their youth wish to participate.

 

  • The Wellness Wheel workbook was taken from the ideas of this great resource - The Wellness Wheel: An Aboriginal Contribution to Social Work by Margot & Lauretta, 2006. Our coordinator created a workbook that is kid user friendly and sends copies to each youth upon admission.
  • We have a smudging policy that respects this traditional form of cleansing. We understand it is not only an important in the Indigenous culture, but that it has been scientifically proven to cleanse our space/aura of toxins on a microbacterial level and highly encourage homes to smudge.

 

Cultural Events

Cultural events bring together all the Connor Homes youth and their families across the province to celebrate Indigenous culture and to instill Indigenous pride. Inspirational role models, entertainers, musicians, drummers, dancers and artisans take the stage after everyone enjoys a traditional potluck. It is a great time to come together as a community and learn from traditional teachings, listen to inspirational stories and engage in friendly bannock competitions.

 

  • Every year Connor Homes welcomes back Shibastik and his Healing through Hip Hop workshop as our youth are huge fans. For other events, our coordinator enjoys looking for the next event's Indigenous guest of honour. These events are a highlight for youth at Connor Homes as they enjoy coming together and participating in the workshops. We aim to find role models that the youth are excited to meet, and who offer teachings that will boost the youth's self-esteem and build confidence in their Indigenous identities.

 

New

  • We have developed a certification process to enable Homes to better care for Indigenous youth. We understand that due to the lack of resources and services on reserves that many youth must be cared for by Eurocentric homes far from their homes, communities and cultures. We recognize cultural differences and worldviews and thus expect our foster parents to become trained on them, as well as the historical and present-day issues that impact Indigenous families. We aim for culturally sensitive and competent homes that see themselves as an extension of their youth’s community. Connor Homes is accredited through CARF international, so we expect the standards be continuously raised for Indigenous children and youth.

We aim to provide treatment that is respectful of cultural differences. With that said, we also believe strongly in that all Nations can come together in the principle that certain teachings whether from an Ojibway or Mohawk elder are a strong foundation for all. We honour and celebrate both our differences and our common ground. This program has an elder's board that provides wisdom and guidance on how to best understand these teachings and how to best provide them to the children and youth in which we serve.

 

If you have any questions or concerns about this programming, our Indigenous Treatment Program Coordinator is Jenny Sutherland and can be contacted at jennysutherland@connorhomes.ca or 613-612-6298

 

 

BLACK HORSE SUMMER CAMP

All Children and Youth placed with Connor Homes including those who aren’t residents of Connor Homes have an opportunity to participate in Blackhorse Ranch Summer Camp. This camp runs weekly throughout the summer months from Sunday evening through to Friday afternoon each week.

 

Children and Youth with special needs or behavioral difficulties are welcome at this camp and will be provided an opportunity to work one on one with the horses throughout the week.  Each child is assessed for their ability to successfully attend this camp. A plan is put in place for each child or youth which at times can include one to one workers and special accommodations can be made for some of the campers with special needs.

 

Our goal is to allow every child and youth the opportunity to attend summer camp.

 

At Blackhorse Ranch Camp

Each camp is a week-long adventure with horses. You will learn all about horses including:

  •  How to take care of a horse and their basic needs, learn safety around horses.
  •  Each morning campers will take part in an educational lesson and a riding lesson
  •  Campers that are comfortable will be taken out on the breathtaking hundreds of acres of trails.
  •  At the end of your camp week, you will get to show your loved ones what you have learned at our end-of-camp party with horse rodeo games!

 

Outings When not Horsin' Around

  •  Wasaga Beach swim trips
  •  Bowling
  •  Movies
  •  Trampoline Place
  •  Scales Nature Park
  •  Driving Range

 

CIT Camp

We are offering Counselor-In-Training camp once again this year. We are looking for kids 16 and up who wish to learn leadership skills, how to work in a team, be a peer mentor, and build up their resume.

 

Come Ride With Us!

 

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    Connor Homes has been providing Residential Care and Treatment to Children and Youth for over 40 years throughout the province of Ontario.

     

    OUR MISSION . . .

    To provide high quality, effective residential services to children and youth that support helping each individual child to emerge and grow.