McMan Youth, Family & Community Services – Family Preservation Program
The Family Preservation Program provides a multi-pronged approach to supporting youth and their families. The program comprises a Family Preservation Worker and Youth Workers who provide multi-faceted programming opportunities to aid in the development of skills and resiliency in caregivers, youth, and families. Youth work is aligned with the Positive Youth Development Framework, and all services align with Signs of Safety. Consistent with the Foundations of Caregiver Support, the program works with the youth and families to acknowledge trauma or adverse childhood experiences that may have resulted in reduced ability to trust and relate to others. Within this program, McMan Youth Workers provide daily staffing, including on weekends, and act as a form of receiving and assessment for teens on a walk-in basis. The home base for this receiving and assessment is the McMan Youth Centre, located at our Lethbridge office, which includes a variety of services, equipment, and a large instructional kitchen. Teens who walk-in are given a brief assessment regarding their current family situation, living situation, and general needs. A referral to the Family Preservation Worker is made by Youth Workers when appropriate. Youth Workers also provide skill and resiliency building programs and activities for youth based upon the Casey Life Skills domains. The Family Preservation Worker works in collaboration with not only the Youth Workers but also the greater Family Resource Network to provide family programming opportunities. Referrals are received from Youth Workers and Network partners. An initial family assessment is conducted which guides service delivery for that family. Activities conducted by the Family Preservation Worker include: • Parent/teen mediation • Caregiver/youth/family groups • Family activities • Community connection and referral • Cultural groups, including working with local Elders • Private mentorship sessions • Outreach support, when appropriate (i.e. family needs in-person assistance with referral matters, etc.) Group learnings involve principles of Brain Story, TBRI, and 40 Developmental Assets, among others. Content focuses on understanding and transcending trauma, understanding child developmental stages and developmental delays, unity in family, and family resilience. Family Preservation programming is offered at flexible times, including evenings and weekends, to ensure that scheduling is not a barrier to those who need support. Formal assessment is utilized to measure individual family progress.