Terrace Youth Residential Services, INC. has been providing a full spectrum of services to children and youth since 1998. TYRS INC. homes are located throughout Ontario and serve males and females. Since 1997, services have expanded to include day treatment programs, foster care programs and specialized treatment programs. As TYRS solidified relationships with agencies in partnering communities, services expanded to provide treatment homes in their locations and to date providing services to over 20 Children’s Aid Societies and serving over 100 youth in group care and foster care placements.
Children and youth placed within TYRS Inc. are seen in the total "context" of their lives and not simply viewed in regards to their behaviours. We acknowledge that events and experiences from a child's past may shape their beliefs in the future. Behaviour results from these core beliefs, which they hold about themselves and those around them. These beliefs inform their behaviour and in turn, their behaviour reinforces their beliefs. These systems need to be looked at in order to effectively minimize personal suffering and modify destructive behaviour. We work with our youth to help them identify these systems and acknowledge the affect they have on their behaviour. We work with our youth to develop healthier lifestyles and constructive behaviours.
Our treatment program encourages children to learn from their immediate experience with those in the residence as well as those in the community. This kind of information is useful in allowing residents to understand how they affect others and how others affect them. In this way, the residents are able to:
a) Take responsibility for their behaviour(s);
b) Make realistic choices and engage in problem-solving behaviour;
c) Make constructive changes in behaviours;
d) Critique and change belief systems that previously encouraged destructive behaviour;
e) Work collaboratively with others;
f) Accept support and counselling for issues from their pasts that may be contributing to their current behaviour(s).
Treatment in the group and foster care programs are structured in a variety of ways, youth can be seen by a consulting psychiatrist specializing in child and adolescent mental health for the purpose of assessment and medication review. Youth are screened and evaluated for participation in an internal drug and addictions counselling group facilitated with a trained counsellor. Youth have individual crisis response plans, behaviour management plans and incentive plans based on their needs and personal goals and interests and reviewed by the agency clinician to ensure adherence and efficacy. Our staff and supervisors work with families, schools, counselling services and other community partners to ensure a collaborative and cohesive approach to care.
The programs within TYRS Inc. offer the following:
Structured and Consistent Environment:
A structured and consistent environment is imperative to meet the needs of the group, as a whole as well as the individual. Youth need to be provided with the security and safety that structure and consistency provides in order for them to be able to grow and make positive decisions in their lives. This structure provides them with the knowledge necessary in learning to live with others. It allows them to experience a type of authority that empowers and informs. The consistency of the reinforcement schedule is reflective of the efforts of the staff and directors within the house. All staff share responsibility equally for the maintenance and development of the structure and consistency of the program. This will be reflected in the scheduling of shifts, the plan of cares and the day to day living within the house. Ongoing staff development and training is also imperative in creating and maintaining this environment.
The development and effectiveness of treatment plans for the individual residents is based on their specific needs and is assessed through:
a) Data - referral package, previous testing, and so forth,
b) Interviews with the Clinical Support Team and in-house staff,
c) Placement Suitability Assessment (as needed)
d) Observation of interactions within the home
e) Relationships and interactions within the community (school, friends, etc)
f) Plan of Care, Method Plans, and progress reports
The exact treatment focuses, in conjunction with focused and goal-oriented plan of cares, consist of:
- Comprehensive intake procedures and orientation
- Individual therapy with one of the clinical support staff, supported by the clinician
- Group sessions either inside the home and / or provided by the community, or one on one sessions with a psychologist/psychiatrist
- A structured reinforcement program
- Family therapy
- Advocacy with other institutions
- Crisis Management (ICMP Plan)
- Regular and ongoing review of progress
- Social Skills and Life Skills Groups:
- Group meetings will take place at programs on a weekly basis. The emphasis of these groups will be on developing Social and Life skills. The ability to participate in a group is in and of itself a skill that requires practice, encouragement and structure. Each program will provide guidance and support to its residents through these focused and informative group settings. The topics of these groups may include such things as budgeting, anger and conflict resolution, sexual assault information and support, body image awareness and/or drug and alcohol awareness. Guest speakers will also be included in these groups to provide support and information for the residents.
Sexual Abuse Trauma Assessments
- Psychiatric consults
TYRS Inc. is that of a systemic process in which children and their families become part of the team in the process of gaining knowledge and support in helping the individual taking responsibility and control of their personal difficulties. The professional staff and referring agency as well as the community based team become facilitators within this process. Goal setting and treatment will be developed within the regular reviews with family, community team members and referring agency caseworkers.
Therapeutic counselling encompasses a holistic approach for each youth through a variety of intervention techniques. Treatment goals focus on the resident and provide individual insight and support to the youth and their families, as well as the team. Treatment goals, expectations and individualized plans of care assist the child, family and staff team. The staff team, within their daily routine, assist in the treatment process through positive activities and interaction. Terrace Youth Residential Services provides both group and individual counselling, utilizing a variety of professionals, including but not limited to, clinicians who are employed full time by TYRS. The addition of the clinical team of Crisci and Mayer, a private counselling and consultation firm based out of the Toronto area, has proven integral in providing therapeutic support. Crisci and Mayer offer trauma assessments, sexual trauma assessments and trauma training which has been developed specifically for residential care workers and is a mandatory training for all TYRS employees. They are a well known and published organization familiar with residential care and seeking to improve the quality of care offered in residential programs. They have recognized Terrace Youth Residential Services as providing high quality, trauma sensitive treatment and have voiced their interest in our agency and wish to work with the youth place within our homes. TYRS also employs full time clinicians, one for each geographical location. Each clinician is certified to conduct CAFAS assessments. Each has experience in group care, backgrounds in Social Work or Psychology and extensive training in attachment, trauma and brain development. They work with the staff teams, training and educating them with respect to trauma and the effects of trauma. TYRS offers counselling, psychiatric and assessment services through its sister company, Terrace Youth Wellness Centre. Referrals for services can be made by the Program Supervisor in conjunction with the CAS worker and the house team. Services can remain in place or commence even if the youth is not placed in a group or foster home within TYRS. Additionally, in an effort to accommodate special needs, Terrace Youth Wellness Centre, offers ABA Therapy, Respite Services, and other services for children/ youth with special needs. These services are open to youth placed within TYRS’ residential programs as well as other residential programs or within the community, on a fee for service basis.
We endeavour to provide as many of the services and resources needed to meet the needs of residents within our program. However, there are times when a child may benefit from the use of outside resources. Those youth who have already been working with a psychiatrist or perhaps have made a connection with a counsellor from a service in the community prior to placement within the programs will be encouraged to maintain this relationship in order to provide a continuity of service and treatment. The Director, management team and senior staff continue to develop and maintain a good working relationship with other social, educational and health resources within the community.
Community Out-Reach Program:
We believe that the successful integration of the children into our program and community is related to the acceptance of the home itself within the community. In appreciation and acknowledgment of the support and services we receive from individuals and programs within our community we endeavour to offer various supports back to the community, and encourage youth to be active members in their communities. Some examples of activities that youth are encouraged to participate in are local clean up days, annual fun days, volunteering at local animal shelters and seasonal celebrations.
Recreation, Creativity and Culture:
We believe strongly that a major contributing factor of emotional well-being is physical health. Residents are encouraged to participate in as much physical activity as possible. Regular outings to the local pool, school gymnasium, local gym, rock climbing, trampoline centres and recreational parks and more are a major component of our over-all program. Outdoor camping and downhill skiing are also seasonal components of the program. Children are also encouraged to participate in a recreational activity of their own independent of the house; this could include creative activities such as piano or guitar lessons. Residents are encouraged to be involved not only in an activity they are familiar with but also to experiment and try activities new to them. Arts and crafts within the house will be encouraged as a creative activity and will also be used as a therapeutic tool in individual and group interactions.
As TYRS accepts placements from a variety of geographical locations, all efforts are in place to ensure that cultural sensitivities are recognized and attempts are made to ensure that each youth placed within TYRS homes is offered the opportunity to continue to practice beliefs appropriate to their heritage. TYRS supports youth in their cultural heritage through participation in community resources and cultural groups. Youth are also supported in participating in sharing their culture in the residences through cooking food, sharing activities, language and elements of their own heritage. Special dietary requirements and cultural food items are incorporated into the menus of the residence.
Each youth creates a ‘life book’ which depicts and tells the story of their own connection to their family and roots. Youth are encouraged to learn more about the elements of their own culture, family and background through the completion of activities and worksheets. At times, this can bring up various emotions for the youth which offers a springboard for treatment in the moment and goals can be brought forward to be worked on with the youth.
TYRS has and continues to recruit and operate several foster homes with families from diverse cultural backgrounds and ethnic heritage so as to continue to meet the needs of the youth arriving in care.
Staff, Staff Development & Financial Resources:
Our staff come to us with diplomas as Child and Youth Worker, Developmental Services Worker, Addictions Counsellors, and/ or Bachelor of Psychology and Bachelor of Social Work. Staff must be able to provide a clear vulnerable sector screen, child welfare records check, first aid and CPR training, medical clearance, valid driver’s licence in order to be eligible for hire. The administration of TYRS believes that working with children and youth requires ongoing training, growth and reflection both as an individual and as a team. Upon hire, our staff teams attend Orientation Training, a minimum of 60 hours of Observation Shift Training, formal training in CPS (Collaborative Problem Solving), TCI (Therapeutic Crisis Intervention). Annually, all staff members are required to participate in Crisci & Mayer Trauma Training, Suicide Intervention, Mindfulness Training, Addictions Management, intermediate and advanced level CPS (Collaborative Problem Solving) as well as being offered team specific training for the particular needs of youth in their care. Each staff person is required to participate in monthly in-house staff development sessions as well as outside seminars. Financial resources have been allocated to cover the costs as well as the costs for resource consultants. Additional areas of staff training may include: Family systems theory, crisis management, suicide prevention, sexual abuse (identification and working with victims), understanding self-injury, behaviour management techniques, Therapeutic Crisis Intervention, feminist theory and therapy, art therapy, issues specific to female adolescents, trauma theory training, policy and procedure guidelines. These areas of training are reinforced and enhanced in personal and group supervision.
24 hour on-call support is available to staff with a clear line of authority. Back-up staff, as part of a mobile crisis team, will be available to attend to emergencies as needed. The Director will be available 24 hours per day. The consultants employed by TYRS Inc. may include a Social Worker, an Educational Consultant and an Addictions Counsellor. These individuals comprise the Clinical Team, and are available to provide counselling for our youth and training and consultation for the staff. The administration of TYRS believes that working with children and youth requires ongoing training, growth and reflection both as an individual and as a team.
Assessment / Reports:
In conjunction with the Plan of Care, we provide an assessment of the child in the context of their immediate environment, specifically, in their interactions and relationships with staff, peers, the community, and with themselves. The adolescent's view of “how and why” they are in this situation and what needs to happen to make changes is important. Also important, are their views and experience of the past and current relationship conflicts with family and peers, their commitment to change or stay the same, and the personal meaning of their behaviour is included in the assessment. We employ various models of seeing the world, not one more important than the other, but hopefully providing a comprehensive view that is useful in advancing the health, safety and dreams of the adolescent coming to our program. While we start with a basis of CPS (Collaborative Problem Solving) and Mindfulness, we encourage staff to employ their individual styles and techniques within the program and during their interactions with the residents and feel that it is important in developing a culture within the home. Most importantly, we expect genuineness, caring and nurturing from all staff towards the residents, as well as a commitment to personal, professional reflection and growth.
Management's commitment is to provide such opportunities for growth and the evolution of the program. Our assessment, therefore, includes a statement of how we as staff impact on the resident. TYRS Inc. will provide the placing agency with a monthly report of our youth's progress, behaviour, goals, etc. throughout the duration of the youth’s placement.
Psychiatric Services/ Assessment
Terrace Youth Residential Services, INC is pleased to offer psychiatric, counselling and assessment services including Psycho-Educational assessments through its sister company Terrace Youth Wellness Centre. The Centre uses a number of different psychotherapists with varying areas of expertise including anger management, addictions, trauma, family counselling, and individual therapy using varying methods of therapy including but not limited to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Dialectic Behaviour Therapy, Gestalt Model, Theraplay and Play Therapy.
TYRS presently offers day treatment programs in the Ottawa and Toronto areas, open to youth placed within any TYRS homes. Each program is located in a central area. In the Ottawa area TYRS has developed a relationship with private behavioural school programs to provide for the educational needs of youth with exceptionalities not addressed through public schools. In Ottawa for elementary and high school students as well as in the GTA for elementary students the school boards supply academics for youth, and track their progress, maintaining an up to date Ontario Student Record (OSR) while the youth is registered with their school. Alternatively, in the GTA for high school students, youth are registered with the Independent Learning Centre (ILC) to provide course work and supported in a DTP environment to complete their coursework, they are registered with the school board as being home-schooled and their OSD is maintained at the local school and updated by ILC.
The Program Supervisor supervises the academic component for each youth and provides additional support.
All referrals, where possible, will be encouraged to attend mainstream schools. The availability of our treatment oriented educational program will assist in the programming and supervision of students who are unable to cope with the traditional structures, organization or demands of a conventional educational environment. Individual planning, based on the understanding needs of each child, are developed with the goals of promoting a positive self-image, positive interpersonal effectiveness and enhancement of strengths and talents. It is preferable that all students be identified / assessed through the Board of Education Identification, Placement and Review Committee.