Child & Youth Care
Oakville Children's Homes (OCH) provides children access to available community based programs and other services. Central to the OCH model of care is the importance of community. By participating in everyday community life to the fullest extent possible, children with disabilities develop a sense of belonging and at the same time the community becomes a source of support in different ways, for example, in education or recreation. By organizing activities around the community, children have the best possible chance of reaching their full potential.
Core OCH programs and services include the following:
a. Personal support plans
Each child will have a personal support plan which would include personal goals and expected outcomes and specify the types of services OCH will provide in pursuing this objective. The goal is to create opportunities in a child's daily life that are as close as possible to what children in the general community experience while at the same time making sure it is tailored to meet the child's individual needs and goals and is appropriate for their age, support needs, and cultural background.
The support plans are reviewed regularly to ensure it remains focused on the child’s needs.
b. Recreational and Social activities
OCH has a history of providing an active and rewarding social and recreational program. Recreational activities are an important part of a child's mental and physical well being. Activities available include the following:
· Swimming year around (minimum of once/week)
· Soccer, ball hockey and skating on a seasonal basis (minimum of once/week)
· Other physical activities and/or exercise programs tailored to suit individual needs
OCH has traditionally organized many regular outings and activities, such as, visits to Wonderland, Toronto Zoo, Wet and Wild Park, Science Centre and local parks. In addition to these, over the past five years March break trips to the Caribbean have been offered to youth and young adults who wish to partake. Summer vacation trips out of the province have taken place in the past although these are not on an annual basis.
c. Professional and Clinical services
As noted above, OCH's client profile has gradually changed where now the entire client population is identified as special needs (DD, MID, LD). The unique challenges faced in caring for special needs cases requires the appropriate professional support to be available and accessible. Through its network of professional service providers OCH is able to meet individual needs as required without undue delay.
d. School Liaison Officer
OCH has a staff member who acts as a School Liaison Officer whose role is to facilitate on-going communication and exchange of information with school authorities in order to take the necessary steps and make adjustments at the earliest stage possible. Other duties include admission, school transfers, IPRC meetings, IEP reviews, annual review meetings, teacher conferences, regular school visits, weekly communication, course selection and working with school authorities to develop a transition plan for older children.
In addition to the core programs noted above, Oakville Children's Homes works with placing agencies to develop customized programming to meet specific needs. Examples of these would include: (a) special needs of First Nations children in care; and (b) children suffering from Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (ASFD).