What is the Encompass Program?
The Encompass Program is a combination of day/education (Section 23 classroom**), after-school and home-based programs that provide treatment to children with trauma, psychosocial, learning and mental health challenges at school, at home and in the community. The program works with parents and their children by joining with the family to identify their most urgent needs, and uses a wellness and strengths-based approach for improving emotional, mental health, learning, and family relationship challenges. Treatment plans are developed in partnership with families that leverage the child and family’s strengths and resilience to manage and master challenges, so that children can be successful at home and in their community school.
The overriding aim of the Encompass Program is to provide the child and family with opportunity to test and discover solutions for managing complex issues and to begin the healing process by participating in a variety of therapeutic activities designed to provide corrective experiences and build resilience for future success. Accordingly, the program focuses on five main areas:
1. Strength and Independence
The multidisciplinary approach focuses on building trusting relationships with children by positively supporting their learning and development of a broad range of skills in preparation for confidently achieving mastery over their own wellness. By joining with children and their families, the goal is to help them recognize their strengths, build resilience, confidently make choices and seek solutions to individual challenges.
2. A Love of Learning
Program activities are designed to leverage learning though fun, and include a variety of therapeutic groups and recreational activities in the after school program. Children will learn about wellness (emotional, spiritual, physical, etc.) and relationship-building methods, to special outings to cultural and recreational events.
3. Family Unity
Home-based family sessions are designed to build strong healthy loving relationships between children and their parents. Family work is strength-based and holistic in nature with a focus on setting achievable goals that are defined by the child and family. Celebrating family successes and building confidence for meeting future challenges is a key objective of the program.
4. Success in School
The children in the Encompass Program will participate in the development of Individual Education Plans that are focused on the child’s strengths, encourage positive classroom participation and teach achievable work habits and learning skills that are proven to lead to success. In addition, a focus on relationship-building skills and the enhancement of self-esteem all work together for success in school.
5. Hope for the Future
Building resilience in children and their families by actively engaging them in individual, family and peer group activities that draw on their strengths and talents, instill hope, and help them recognize that they can persevere and successfully manage life challenges well into the future. Children learn to take charge of their own wellness.
What does the Encompass Program include?
1. Education/School-based Learning
Children involved in the Encompass Program attend kidsLINK’s Section 23 School (Encompass Learning). The School is operated by kidsLINK, in partnership with the Waterloo Catholic District School Board.
2. After-School-based Programming
The Encompass Program uses a multidisciplinary child and family-centered wellness approach in its service delivery. Treatment approaches, methods, and techniques are determined by the treatment teams in consultation with the child and family and include various individual, family, and group therapy modalities. The team works closely with the family to ensure that diversity issues are considered in all aspects of the plan. The structured nature of the after school portion of the Encompass Program represents an important therapeutic component of the treatment for any child attending, however, the emphasis upon individual child and family needs allows for a considerable degree of program flexibility and responsiveness.
3. Home/Community-based Services
In the home/community based component of the program the family agrees to meet individually with the Home Integration Worker and/or the child once per week during the first six months of the program and then consistently, according to need thereafter. The full duration of the service is eighteen months.
Who does the Encompass Program serve?
1. Children who are experiencing effects of trauma and/or other mental health and learning issues at home and school
that are significant. Children with histories of violence or extreme aggression are not appropriate for the program.
2. Families who are struggling with complex needs of children and challenges at school and at home.
*Those involved in the program will be fully committed to participating in the service!
What services are offered?
- Section 23 School Placement
- Individual Education Plans and Treatment Plans
- Multidisciplinary Teams
- Parent Groups
- Children’s Groups
- Individual Child Counselling
- Home/Community-based Family Counselling
Note: Children with a history of severe repeated aggression, violence against others and/or repeated running or high-risk suicidal behaviour may not be suitable to the program. Extra precaution should be exercised to ensure a thorough risk assessment and safety plan is completed prior to admission for children at risk for hurting others or themselves.
**A Section 23 School addresses the needs of children with social, emotional or behavioural difficulties, who are also having academic difficulties in a typical school.