Youth Engagement Program
The goal of the Youth Engagement Program is to support CFS of Western Manitoba’s youth-in-care through their journey from entering care to independence and competence. This initiative has proved to be a very effective and important support to these youth.
A Youth Engagement Specialist works directly with the youth-in-care, their workers, and their care providers to:
- Provide supports and resources
- Offer a listening ear so that youth can have a voice in the child welfare system.
The Youth Engagement Specialist also helps problem-solve and connect youth to sources of support and information.
Another part of the Youth Engagement Program is to provide support to youth who are extending their care or transitioning out of care. Scholarships and sponsorships are identified and youth are assisted in developing their post-secondary education plans with their worker and caregivers.
Intensive Permanency Services
Intensive Permanency Services has the primary responsibility to positively and productively engage with identified youth of Child and Family Services of Western Manitoba, with the ultimate goal of re-connecting the youth to family members or individuals who have been natural supports to the youth in the past in order to establish permanent, life-long relationships for and with the youth.
IPS works with the youth through the 4 phases of permanency: trusting, healing, connecting and supporting and will conduct extensive searches for family members or natural supports (adult) for the youth that are safe and willing to be lifelong supports to the youth. Specific plan will be developed for reintroduction of the youth to the support that addresses youth safety
Family Finding™ is the practice of rigorously searching for and engaging extended family members and other supportive adults to establish an enduring support network for children.
It is based on the belief that children need a sense of belonging and unconditional love for health, growth and development. Permanent supportive connections can improve the life outcomes for children and youth involved in child and family services systems.
- The goals of Family Finding™ are to:
Prevent unnecessary family separation and support youth and children who are in care in developing meaningful and forever connections with adults who will love them across their lifespan.
- Ensure safe, stable and healing connections for all youth. For youth in out of home care, ensure the development of a timely permanent plan by developing a resilient and comprehensive network of supportive adults.
- Support youth in developing a healthy sense of identity and provide family members with the opportunity to meet the needs within a family system.
- Enable young adults emerging from care to live safely and productively within their communities.
- For those with lifetime care needs, to increase connectedness and decrease dependence on formal service systems.
- Enhance family-driven decision-making.
- Create and honor culturally competent, family-led healing with young people, parents, relatives and all network members.
The General Authority engaged with Kevin Campbell, creator of the Family Finding™ model, to deliver two staff training sessions as well as accelerator practice sessions.
We have infused the philosophy and practice throughout our Agency and have prioritized our children and youth currently in permanent care. We also incorporate a “family seeing” lens starting from a family’s first involvement with our Agency. Families identify their support networks and children identify safety people. Creating safety networks with families for their children starts by asking the following questions:
- Who loves this child?
- Who might love this child?
- Who could learn to love this child?
- Who does the child love?
Children need safe loving permanent connections and families need supportive healing to create this.
Children’s Therapy Program
If you know or suspect that a child is being abused, please report it immediately to CFS of Western Manitoba at 204-726-6030 (toll free 1-800-483-8980, 24/7) or your police department.
CFS of Western Manitoba provides therapeutic services to children who have experienced abuse trauma and to their family members.
Our Childen’s Therapy Program reduces the impacts of trauma as measured by the pre- and post-measuring of PTSD symptoms in the majority of clients. Without therapy, victims of this kind of trauma can develop negative life-long effects including (but not limited to) poor social and peer skills, difficulty in relationships, destruction of self-esteem, guilt, shame, rage, sleeping and eating disorders, educational difficulties and parenting problems. Treatment can be short or long term, intense and offered at different life stages.