Storey Homes provides a broad spectrum of treatment services in both day treatment and residential settings. The client population is typically school aged (5-18) and has complex needs, cognitive impairments and challenging behaviours.
Our family model group and foster care residences operate as mixed modality homes. We provide safe, supportive and nurturing environments with a focus on skill development and healthy living within a healthy home setting and living experience. The children and youth in our homes also benefit from the support and services of Residential Care Workers, academic day treatment supports, clinical services, life skills development, community and recreational resources.
All Storey Homes Foster Care and Group Care (mixed modality) programs are licensed annually by the Ministry (MCYS) and many Children’s Aid Society (CAS) reviews have stated that Storey Homes programs surpass licensing standards and deliver exceptional quality of care to its children and youth.
Storey Homes utilizes a strength based approached to all service plans (Plan of Cares) and utilizes evidence based resources to: assess (CAFAS), to establish a therapeutic relationship and methods of intervention in times of crisis (TCI), to teach a young person’s new skills (CPS) and a collaborative process where the adults work alongside the clients we serve, solving problems together.
Referrals are made through child protection agencies and First Nations Communities and different programs with different levels of resources are available.
Receiving Assessment Program
The receiving and assessment program is a mixed modality program: Care Providers with Residential Care Workers to provide support and relief. Under the direction of the home’s Supervisor, the individual residences provide support, stabilization, assessment and utilizes therapeutic alliances to create a stable and safe living environment. Storey Homes Care Providers/Residential Care Workers become facilitators within the process of helping the young person feel safe, identify strengths, areas of challenges and barriers when contemplating goals and outcomes in their lives.
A Receiving and Assessment program provides intermediate intervention, usually for a 3 to 6 months’ period for youth having difficulties in their current placement or waiting for an assessment to determine the best program and resources required to meet their needs. Some youth may require more supervision then in regular foster care due to complex needs or challenging behaviours therefore a Receiving and Assessment program can begin to look at the underlying reasons for the behaviours and determine the level of services required for long term planning and growth.
Mixed Modality Group and Foster Care Programs
The mixed modality programs (Care Providers supported by Residential Care Workers to provide relief and support) attempt to capture much of the traditional family values/atmosphere while providing the necessary structure and consistency required to supervise and teach young people who have complex needs, challenging behaviours and trauma based behaviours.
Placement matching between the young person and the Care Providers, as well as with the other young people living in the home is important to meet client’s needs by establishing common routines, rules, boundaries and opportunities to normalize the living environment. By establishing consistency, supervision and managing a highly-structured environment, children and youth often demonstrate the capacity to work through their issues and a willingness to overcome many of their challenges.
Foster Care licensed programs work with smaller numbers of children within a family setting. Supports available to foster homes are less then in Group Care licensed programs, due to the group size and needs. Support includes assisting with supervision, teaching social/coping/life skills and delivering recreational programs. Each home has its own “flavour” and dynamics, promoting external or internal programs to support a young person’s growth and development by considering their interests, strengths and aspirations.
Upon admission, if it is identified that a young person is not registered for school or will be out of school for an extended period of time, written documentation from the school or the placing agency is required to identify why the student is not in school. Then, Storey Homes Care Providers will contact the child’s school directly and formally request school work be provided so that an easier transition back into the classroom can take place to prevent the child from falling behind academically. All attempts will be made to have the home lessons graded by the school’s teacher in order for the student’s work to be recognized for credits and report cards.
Safe School Program
In some areas (such as Toronto), the licensed homes have access to Safe School Programs for students not able to attend regular schools/classrooms.
Alternative Academic Programs
The Care Providers will work with the Referring agency and the local school board to provide academic resources for students who are not able to attend regular school. All attempts and outcomes will be documented in the young person’s Plan of Care Report.
Storey Homes utilizes certified trainers to train workers and to oversee the implementation of evidence based tools and resources.
Assessments are used for:
- Setting baseline profiles
- Evaluating risk levels
- Determine strengths
- Determine resources required to develop attainable goals
- To describe our client population in standardized terms using instruments that are accepted and used in our sector and in the children’s mental health sector
- To support the residential team (Care Providers/employees/volunteers/students) to develop more individualized service plans (Plan of Cares)
- To become outcome data driven in future resource and program decisions
- To incorporate standardized and credible outcome data in the plan of care for each young person served
- To establish measurable treatment goals
- To evaluate progress and provide feedback
Program Theoretical Framework
Storey Homes’ residential programs are based on a foundation of family based care in mixed modality settings (live-in care providers with built in support staff), evidence based assessments, life skills development, and recreational programming, all offered to support successful treatment plans. Storey Homes provide healthy, safe, supportive and nurturing environments with a focus placed on personal growth and skill development within a therapeutic milieu. The goal for our clients and their families is to develop the ability to better understand and manage their lives in a meaningful and productive manner. This is accomplished through role modeling, recognized intervention strategies and teaching within a mainstream setting. Treatment planning within Storey Homes balances normalization with the treatment needs of each individual child. This is achieved through a collaborative approach using a multi-disciplinary team including professionals and community caregivers. Accountability of program performance is an integral part of the process in ensuring the child and his/her family’s needs are being addressed.
Program Clinical Methodology
Storey Homes Clinical Methodology is reflective of a “systemic process” in which children and their families are part of the treatment team. This involves acquiring knowledge, developing skills and receiving support as the individual learns to take responsibility and control of their personal challenges. The professional staff resource, the referring agency and the community based team are assigned the role of facilitators in this process.
Goal setting and treatment will be developed within the regular reviews with family, community team members and referring agency case workers. Where the goal is for a young person to be reunified with his/her family of origin, Storey Homes will enter into a shared parental partnership with the parent(s) to assist in goal setting and encourage the development of a positive adult-child relationship.
Collaborative Problem Solving Approach
Our Clinical Methodology is based on The Collaborative Problem Solving approach (CPS), an evidence-based model and framework designed and developed by Dr. Ross Greene and Dr. Albon and described in their book: Treating Explosive Kids: The Collaborative Problem Solving Approach. As applied to challenging kids, the model sets forth two major tenets: first, that these challenges are best understood as the byproduct of lagging cognitive skills (rather than, for example, as attention-seeking, manipulative, limit-testing, or a sign of poor motivation); and second, that these challenges are best addressed by teaching children the skills they lack (rather than through reward and punishment programs and intensive imposition of adult will).
We are focusing the majority of our clinical resources on training all our Live-in Care-providers and Residential Care Workers so that they can incorporate CPS procedures and method of engagement as part of the daily program. Therefore, the young person is introduced to and benefits from the Collaborative Problem-Solving approach throughout his/her placement with Storey Homes.
CPS is a strengths-based, neurobiologically-grounded approach that provides concrete guideposts to operationalize trauma-informed care and empower youth and family voice.
CPS is about teaching complex thinking skills and teaching self-regulation in a supportive manner. This means that prior to focusing on the teaching of cognitive skills one must first identify the skills that are lagging in each individual child or adolescent. The precise skills that may be involved can be found on the Thinking Skills Inventory.
We have partnered with Crossroads Children’s Centre in providing Storey Homes with initial and ongoing training and support. Jessica House from Crossroads Children’s Mental Health Centre has been contracted as our CPS Coach and will provide guidance to build capacity within our agency to deliver CPS clinical treatment.
Storey Homes utilizes evidence base therapeutic resources and assessment tools to identify young people’s base line behaviours, strengths, levels of risks and to measure progress as the placement progresses.
CAFAS as an Outcome Assessment and Measurement Instrument
The CAFAS assessment tool is the gold standard for assessing a youth’s day-to-day functioning across critical life domains and for determining whether a youth’s functioning improves over time. Data is collected from multiple sources (multi-rater) in order to obtain objective “360 degree feedback”.
Backed by over 20 years of research supporting its validity and sensitivity to detecting change in functioning, CAFAS has been utilized across mental health agencies in Ontario since 2000. To date, there are over 110 mental health agencies utilizing CAFAS as a standardized outcome assessment instrument.
Widely used to inform decisions about level of care, type and intensity of treatment, placement, and need for referral.
Storey Homes’ Registered Social Worker is a certified CAFAS Trainer, which allows all Storey Homes’ Supervisors in charge of case management, to be trained as Raters.
CAFAS items (problem behaviors, strengths, and goals) are behaviorally descriptive and anchored, resulting in high credibility.
- Identifies levels of risks and priorities for risk reduction;
- Can help determine intensity of services needed;
- Agency tracking, quality improvement;
- Accountability to referring agency;
- Computer version offers an electronic data collection and data management tool;
- Decide on the current priorities for treatment;
- Advocate which ancillary resources to use (respite, med clinic, groups);
- Decide which collaterals to involve (court, school, mental health);
- It also targets strengths and goals for each young person;
- It engages the principal adults in the young person’s life: CAS worker, parent, teacher;
- Ensure integrity of data because the item endorsement determines the score not the individual clinician. This also helps to maintain reliability and reduce information variance.
CAFAS utilizes 10 subcategories to assess each young person: school, behaviour towards others, family/home, community, moods/emotions, substance abuse, self-harm, thinking, Care Providers: basic needs and Care Providers: social support.
CAFAS is completed within 30 days of being admitted (baseline score is identified as T1) and re-assessed every 6 months (known as T3, T4, etc…) until the month of discharge (known as T14). At Storey Homes’, we will follow our case management time lines for each young person’s Plan of Care to complete each assessment and to share the results with the young person and referring agency.
Therapeutic Crisis Intervention (TCI)
Therapeutic relationships, the adult’s response to challenging behaviours, behavioural support techniques, intervention techniques and safety techniques are all taught with the TCI model of prevention and intervention.
The objective of TCI Training is to train Care Providers, employees, on-call workers and Supervisors to help young people develop new responses to their environment that will enable them to achieve a higher level of social and emotional maturity.
The techniques presented in this training program are designed to provide the skills, knowledge and confidence direct care workers need in order to deal with children and young people in crisis and to be in control of the situation in order to bring about change and growth.
The main competencies that are taught in TCI training are:
- Competency 1: Prevent and/or de-escalate a potential crisis with a young person.
- Competency 2: Safely and therapeutically manage a crisis.
- Competency 3: Be able to help young people improve their coping strategies.
Storey Homes is committed to the TCI model as an organizational system to help the children and youth in its care, in reducing aggressive behaviours by using an environmental and cognitive-behavioural approach to maintaining control when there is imminent risk of harm, while using evidence-based strategies and techniques. Trainers will follow the TCI guidelines as trainers, and maintain their own qualifications as required by Cornell University.
Recreation in the Community
Each child is expected to become involved in one recreational activity per season, and is encouraged to participate in other recreational and athletic activities that are appropriate for the child’s age, aptitudes, and interests. Children and youth at Storey Homes also have the opportunity to attend camp during the summer months. They are encouraged to participate in outdoor and indoor activities during the winter months.
Storey Homes provides recreational programming during summer holiday, Christmas and Easter vacation, and March and Winter break such as: Wonderland, Toronto Zoo, Science Centre, theatres, hiking, beach swim/picnics, and public skating. All activities are well organized and supervised by trained care providers. The purpose of recreational activity is to build on the young person’s self worth, develop positive peer relationships and to have fun.
Recreation in House
Daily activities and resources to assist young people with healthy social skills are provided by the Care Provider. Such skills include: to play and interact with their peers; to accept the role of an authority figure (Care Provider, teacher, supervisor, leader); to have positive work habits, specifically learning…to start activities on time and stay focused, to conform to rules and regulations, especially safety rules, to pay attention to details and the quality of work or play. The homes are equipped with movies, computers/games, play stations, board games etc… The children participate in family outings such as, movies, dinner, clothing shopping, and theatre plays.
Storey Homes provides life skills programming to meet developmental needs of the youth in our care. The youth are provided with the opportunity to successfully learn ways to deal with others while utilizing newly learned skills. Many of the life skills programming include social skills, sex education, educational planning, money management, job search, personal care (hygiene, cooking, laundry, health care) and future planning. The life skills programs are delivered by either Care Providers, Residential Care Workers and/or other members of the team that have training in the subject matter. Youth are encouraged think independently, process their own areas of strengths and areas in need of work, and assist with the development of new strategies for meeting their long term goals.