Each Youville Centre student is paired with a front-line worker in our Intensive Treatment Support Program. Front-line staff in this department have either Child and Youth Worker, Social Service Worker, or Social Worker qualifications.

Intensive Treatment

Intensive treatment is a term used to describe services that treat mental health and addiction challenges. Front line Intensive Treatment Support staff provides support and guidance for students to navigate their way through psychological, emotional, behavioral, social, educational and everyday living concerns. They also provide students with links to other community agencies and resources in the social services sector as needed. The Intensive Treatment Support Program provides trauma-informed, research based, and evidenced informed services; using collaborative problem solving in their daily work with clients.

Part of this program involves the creation of Individual Treatment Plans (ITPs) for each young mom. An ITP is a plan that speaks to the goals and actions a student intends to take in order to address her life challenges. ITPs are created with the student’s IEP (Individual Education Plan) and their child’s developmental support plan in mind.

Treatment Plans are developed collaboratively with our clients in multi-disciplinary meetings  which include Intensive Treatment Support staff, M.F. McHugh teachers, and Registered Early Childhood Educators. These integrated plans of care, which include treatment, educational, and child development goals are monitored closely by Intensive Treatment Support staff and reviewed on a regular basis using a multi-disciplinary approach.

Front line Intensive Treatment Support staff, in conjunction with mental health and addiction counselors, provide vital, timely assistance to students in managing critical and/or life-threatening situations.

Counselling statistics indicate that most of our clients are typically challenged with; depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), alcohol and drug dependency, eating disorders, low self-esteem, domestic violence, physical, sexual and emotional abuse, grief and loss, fractured relationships with partners and family, anger and stress management and other trauma-related issues. Individual, group and couples’ counselling is provided for our clients to help them heal past traumas and rebuild their lives to enable them to provide a healthy, stable environment for themselves and their children. Mental health and addiction counsellors at Youville Centre use an eclectic approach to treatment tailored to meet the individual needs of each client.

Approaches used in our mental health and addiction counselling program include, but are not limited to:

  • motivational interviewing,
  • solution focused therapy
  • cognitive behaviour therapy
  • guided self-change
  • commitment acceptance therapy
  • schema therapy.

Our mental health and addiction counsellors also offer programs and services that are trauma-specific designed to focus directly on the impact of trauma and facilitate trauma recovery.

Assessment tools and approaches used in this program include:

  • Child and Youth Needs and Strengths — Pregnant and Parenting Youth (CANS-PPY)
  • GAIN Short Screener (GAIN-SS)
  • Parent Stress Index
  • Thinking Skills Inventory
  • Beck Depression Inventory
  • Drug Taking History
  • Collaborative Problem Solving (CPS)

Partners we work with in this program include:

  • City of Ottawa — Learning Earning and Parenting Program (LEAP)
  • Ontario Works
  • Canada Revenue Agency (Child Tax benefits)
  • Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP)
  • Family Information Centre
  • Ottawa Rape Crisis Centre
  • Mental Health Mobile Crisis Unit
  • Crossroads Children’s Centre
  • Children’s Aid Society
  • Ottawa Public Health
  • Women and family shelters
  • Community of Practice

Parent-Child Attachment Counselling

Also available to our young moms in the Intensive Treatment Support Program is one-on-one parent-child attachment counselling with a professional trained in an evidence informed program based on attachment enhancing play therapy.

Research shows that treatment programs involving both mother and child can positively affect children’s cognitive development and mothers’ levels of depression. Youville Centre’s parent-child attachment counselling program focuses specifically on the mother and child together as a whole, or what we refer to as the mother-child dyad.  Parent-child attachment counselling is play-based and provides our young mothers with skills to respond to their child’s cues and sustain strong, positive parent-child interactions. The program also provides our young mothers with information on child development, positive parenting and behavioural strategies. Our attachment counsellor works closely with our addictions and mental health counsellors to ensure that both members of the mother-child dyad’s mental health needs are monitored and served.

To read about this program in more detail, click here to read our most recent annual report.