Residential Services Treatment Philosophy
The following beliefs serve as the basis for all programming at Kennedy House:
- Each person is special and unique.
- Safety and structure are the foundations for program development.
- It is difficult to change.
- People desire to do well and succeed.
- People have needs.
- Emotions are not to be judged.
- All behaviour has a purpose.
- People usually do the best they can with the resources available to them.
- The family is an important factor in treatment.
- Behaviour is a symptom.
Humane Environment: Youth are viewed as the agency’s most important resource. It is the responsibility of the agency to provide a healthy, therapeutic, and non-judgmental environment within which change may take place. The uniqueness of each individual youth is recognized and valued. The basic rights to food, shelter, education, recreation, health care and counselling provided in a safe environment are fundamental.
Environment: The least restrictive environment should be provided to all youth. Kennedy House attempts to ensure this philosophy while maintaining the ability to provide any needed structure as determined by the treatment needs.
Group treatment is a secondary method of providing treatment services within the agency. Behaviour is oftentimes seen as a symptom rather than the problem and resistance to change is considered, at times, to be a healthy response to an unhealthy situation. We believe that youth behaviours exist for particular reasons and determining the purpose of the behaviour is essential in the treatment process.
Systems Approach: We believe in a systemic approach to the treatment of youth. In this view, individual behaviours are given meaning in consideration of the context in which they occur. That context includes the individual personality, the family of origin, the community and the greater culture of which a person is a member. Treatment plans and service delivery reflect the systemic approach.
Neutrality: All treatment activities proceed from a stance that respects the inherent value and potential of every person. A position of therapeutic neutrality is consistent with the systemic approach and provides the basis to maintain positive regard for people recognizing that they are more than just their behaviours.
Family Perspective: The agency views the family unit as a system and intervenes in ways to keep the system intact and reinforce the positive influence of the parents. All services are co-ordinated with and cognizant of the family role and importance.
Individual Treatment Planning is essential to the identification and delivery of services for youth while they are with Kennedy House. Every attempt is made to individualize the client’s treatment program and permit the youth in residential programs to work at an individual pace.
Diversity & Cultural Competency: All programs, services and personnel honour and respect the diversity of the youth and families served. Emphasis on diversity awareness and education is encouraged as an ongoing process and included as part of the mandatory staff training. The Kennedy House treatment approach is consistent with the Child Welfare League of America in defining cultural competence as the “ability of individuals and systems to respond respectfully and effectively to people of all cultures, classes, races, ethnic backgrounds, sexual orientations, and faiths and religions, in a manner that recognizes, affirms and values the worth of individuals, families and communities, and protects and preserves the dignity of each.”
Case Management: A seamless case management system has been developed to provide the assessment, treatment planning, co-ordination, monitoring and evaluation of services. An initial assessment assists the case manager in determining the most appropriate services for the youth. The assessment takes into account all pertinent factors involving the youth’s history while identifying the general treatment needs. The supervisors and prime worker serve as the primary advocate for the youth.