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Child and Youth Support and Counselling
Child & Youth Support

You cannot teach a man anything. You can only help him discover it within himself. Galileo Galilei

The services provided to children or youth in the Child and Youth Support Program can look different from family to family, depending on your family and your child or youth’s needs and goals. The role played by the Child and Youth Support worker can best be described as that of a mentor.

As a mentor, the Child and Youth Support worker will be involved with your child or youth in activities either at the Golden Family Center or in the community. A mentor is a role model, who can work with your child or youth on problem solving, skill-building, and conflict resolution. For youth, the worker can also help explore educational or vocational opportunities.

The relationship that develops between a mentor and a child or youth is important and building this relationship will take some time. Over time, the mentor becomes a person whom your child or youth begins to trust and with whom they can share thoughts or experiences if they so choose. We usually follow the child or youth’s lead about what they want to talk about and when. The worker will also introduce topics of conversation and will provide guidance to your child or youth.

Support activities sometimes take place at the Golden Family Center, but they often occur around town or in nature – depending on your child or youth’s interests. These activities can include inside activities (artwork, crafts, resume writing, visiting the Youth Centre, the library, etc.) or outside activities (walks, hikes, cross-country skiing, camp fires, etc.).

Support activities can also happen in groups, when there are a number of children or youth who are dealing with similar issues and who are ready to be in a group setting.

How we work

  • Your Child and Youth Support Program worker will work with your family and your child or youth to identify issues and concerns as well as strengths and resources, and to help you determine your support work goals.
  • Using your goals as a starting point, you and your support worker or counsellor together with your child or youth will develop a plan of change. Implementing this plan typically involves working in blocks of time that are 12-18 sessions long (spread over 3 to 6 months). At times the work can happen relatively quickly and other times there may be a need or desire for an extension. A review session at the end of a block of service will help you determine whether an extension is recommended or not.
  • When working with youth, it is considered best practice to work with the young person and his or her family together, involving everyone in the change process. When certain conditions are met though, youth aged 12/13-18 seeking counselling or support services have a right to confidentiality. For more information, please visit our page Confidentiality.
  • Youth (12/13-18) are generally in control of their own support work process, determining what level of involvement their parents will have and what information will be shared between their parents and their support worker.

Practical things you need to know:

  • We strongly try to make a schedule that works for your family and your child or youth. We do not need to meet every week, unless it seems like an appropriate arrangement. Meetings can follow a regular schedule or can happen as needed, as long as we get some notice so we can fit clients in. We are not always available right away, but we will try our best to see you or your child or youth as soon as we can.
  • If you know you need to cancel an appointment, please let us know. If we do not have notice of a cancel, we will be waiting and/or worrying about your child! It is Golden Family Center policy to close a client file if a client does not attend a scheduled meeting 3 times in a row without giving notice or cancelling. We will let you know when this happens. Clients can always come back and start-up service again at a later time.
  • We really like to acknowledge and celebrate all kinds of changes – including taking a break or ending service. Please let us know if your family or child or youth are done for the moment and want a break. You will not hurt our feelings.
  • We generally approach our work with a client-centered philosophy. We believe change happens at a pace that respects what is appropriate for a client. We do not push clients to make changes beyond what they are ready for.
  • We are very happy to have periodic progress meetings with parents if you are interested in discussing the progress you are seeing in the home or if you are experiencing other challenges.