Young people who are in the care of the Ministry of Children and Family Development and have complex emotional, mental health, developmental and/or behavioural challenges can now get help through two new community resources in Vernon and Prince George.
“If a child or teen shows signs of multiple struggles and lacks the developmental skills that affect interpersonal relationships, ability to cope, problem solve, manage anger and social skills – we need to make sure that they have access to the specialized services that will meet their unique needs,” said Minister of Children and Family Development Stephanie Cadieux.
Each Complex Care Community Residential Resource (CCCRR) has five beds and will stabilize, assess and support children and youth in care (aged seven to 18 years) who have a variety of special and complex needs. Workers are trained to deal with extreme behaviours that may be the result of previous traumatic events in a youth’s life.
Staff use a variety of techniques to help calm and stabilize the youth and then teach them, and foster parents, behaviour management techniques that can be used at home. Staff also have access to trained professionals such as psychologists and psychiatric staff on an as needed basis should behaviours escalate to a point where more intensive help is needed.
“We have worked hard to provide specialized services for youth facing complex care needs, including the recently announced re-opening of The Crossing at Keremeos,” said Health Minister Terry Lake. “Today, we’re further able to support the needs of these vulnerable young people with the opening of these two new community-based resources.”
The CCCRRs offer services that are sensitive and appropriate to the culture and identity of each child or youth, while also ensuring a strong focus on the successful reintegration of each young person back into their communities. The level of service offered at the CCCRRs is suitable for children or youth who have been involved with community out-patient services in the past, but may require access to more specialized services that focus directly on intensive, around the clock support to manage and change behaviour.
Both resources are operated by qualified service providers – North Okanagan Youth and Family Services Society in Vernon and Milieu Family Services in Prince George. The length of stay at the CCCRRs will vary for each child or youth depending on their needs.
“North Okanagan Youth and Family Services Society is happy to partner with the Province to develop services for children and youth with complex care needs,” said Jan Shumay, executive director, North Okanagan Youth and Family Services Society. “We recognize the importance of a collaborative, dynamic and multi-level approach when working with children, youth and their families, and we are committed to providing the best possible supports in our short-term residential program – supports that are based on each client’s unique needs, including past trauma and other issues that affect their daily behaviour and attitudes.”
“Milieu is excited to deliver services through the Complex Care Community Residential Resource in Prince George, which provides comprehensive supports to youth with complex needs who are experiencing trauma,” said Cynthia Roling, executive director of Milieu Family Services. “The Complex Care model provides assessment, rapid-response planning and wrap-around training for support teams, all of which helps youth return to their communities with a positive and well-integrated plan for success.”
The CCCRRs are part of the ministry’s overall Children and Youth Complex Care Needs (CYCCN) model of care that serves children and youth in ministry care who have multiple, persistent challenges that affect their ability to function at home, in school or in the community. The new resources will be evaluated in one year to determine if they are a successful model that can be used elsewhere in the province.
- Of the estimated 84,000 children and youth in B.C. aged four to 17 years who are experiencing a mental disorder, 29% have two or more disorders at any given time.
- Complex care beds are different than mental health and substance use beds in that they are specific to helping young people who have complex emotional, mental health, developmental and/or behavioural challenges.
- There are now 16 beds available in B.C. to support and manage the complex challenges of children and youth in the care of the ministry that struggle with more than one challenge at the same time.
- The CCCRRs and the overall care model address findings in the ministry’s Residential Review Project Report, including ensuring appropriate residential services are available for children and youth with complex needs in B.C. communities.
For a copy of the ministry’s Residential Review Project Report, visit: http://ow.ly/oUMB300fVv3
For more information on the Province’s Healthy Minds, Healthy People: A Ten-Year Plan to Address Mental Health and Substance Use in British Columbia, visit: http://ow.ly/QbeX300fWgr
To find out more about North Okanagan Youth and Family Services Society, visit: http://www.noyfss.org/
To find out more about Milieu Family Services, visit: http://milieu.ca/welcomemilieu
A backgrounder follows.