Enhanced Support Services
This is a service that was implemented in 2002, initially as a means of providing additional support and guidance to the Durham Children’s Aid Societies Foster Care network. The Enhanced Support Services is a collaborative arrangement between Children’s Aid Society’s Internal Resources and Enterphase Child & Family Services. Current recommendations, as suggested by The Ministry of Children & Youth Services – Action Plan, is moving toward reorganization of resources with a focus on evidence-based outcomes in meeting social service resource needs in an effective and efficient manner. As a result, there are greater incentives for agencies to share and work collaboratively in accomplishing goals within a financially responsive nature. In developing this service, we realize there has been a tremendous shift in the whole landscape of Child Welfare. The focus of this service is clearly enhanced access to support services, transparency, accountability, and outcomes responsive to the children and youth we serve within Internal and External Resources.
The Enhanced Support Services has become a staple of our residential services system, providing enhanced support, child management strategies, training, crisis management, emotional support and response for medical emergencies. It has been expanded to include Kinship placements, as well as adoptive placements. CAS residential services are comfortable in utilizing the service for strategizing and/or emotional guidance in avoiding eventual crisis situations and/or placement disruptions. In addressing the increased demand and responsibility of the Support Services, an increase in personnel will be required in meeting its obligations.
To provide ongoing support to children and families with an emphasis on building caregiver’s capacity utilizing teamwork with foster families, adoptive families, and kinship homes. Included will be child & youth development, developing relationships, communication skills, guiding children’s behaviours, and supporting families while respecting the diversity of children and families.
To explore ways of understanding and being with children and youth where behaviours may present challenges for caregivers. Our vision includes the education and exploration of behaviours, attachment, separation, abuse and neglect, communication skill, and self awareness of effective caregiving.
RATIONALE FOR SERVICE/STRATEGY
Our target population represents a particular vulnerable group that, without enhanced services, may experience, and continue to experience, significant difficulties in one or more environments in their lives. This can result in disruption of placement, schools, and other community services.
The Enhanced Support Services’ primary goal is that of supporting the Residential resources of Children’s Aid Society – Foster Homes, Adoptive Homes, and Kinship Homes. This service is in addition to, and not to be mistaken for, the On-Call Emergency Duty Services provided directly by Children’s Aid Society – On-Call Service.
The Enhanced Support Services is available primarily to, but not limited to, after hours on weekday evenings, weekends, and holidays.
The Enhanced Support Services focuses on;
- Supporting Foster Homes, Adoptive Homes, and Kinship Homes in managing difficult situations, gaining
solutions to escalating behaviours and developing core themes of teamwork in;
– guiding children’s behaviours,
– developing relationships and communication skills,
– supporting families while respecting the diversity of children and families.
- Stabilizing placements through the development of self awareness.
- Exploring critical issues and how these impact on the child and significant others.
- Providing direct/indirect strategies of intervention to allow time for planned interventions and strategic case
- Providing ongoing training on the fundamentals of the caregiving relationship.
- Providing Personnel Deployment
- Support and Mentoring the Youth Transitioning to Independence Program (Youth TIP)
ENHANCED SUPPORT SERVICES – STAFFING:
Resource Staffing provided for this service are expected to be a model to the children and the placement in providing healthy interpersonal relationships with values of honesty, caring, respect, and commitment. The Resource (Enterphase) Management upholds and models their values and sets the expectations with front-line staff. A critical aspect of management is demonstrating tolerance and respect for staff of all faith groups and cultural identities.
All personnel participating in the Enhanced Support Services will be fully experienced and trained in the following;
- Understanding & Managing Aggressive Behaviours (UMAB) – Crisis Intervention
- The Treatment Milieu – What is it & What to do
- Fire & Safety – Practices, Prevention and Interventions
- Policy & Procedures – Child Welfare Regulations and Processes
- Medication Administration
- Advanced Driver Awareness Training
Direct supervision of the Enhanced Support Services is provided by the Resource Supervisor of Enterphase. A fully trained relief pool is available in the event additional support workers should be required.