Day Treatment Services
Day Treatment Services are offered to children and youth whose complex mental health needs cannot be addressed by the regular school system. The program is designed to meet the needs of children/youth and their families experiencing a variety of social, emotional, behavioural, and academic difficulties. These difficulties often include problems such as:
- anger management
- oppositional/defiant behaviour
- conduct disorder
- attention difficulties
- conflict with the law
- psychiatric difficulties
- family conflict
- learning disabilities
- school refusal/avoidance
Referrals must be made directly by parents, caregivers, or the child/youth’s legal guardian.
The York Centre offers treatment services designed to assist these children/youth to cope more effectively at school, home, and in the community. Children/youth admitted to the day treatment program attend each day Monday through Friday, for the entire day from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm (except on Wednesdays when the day ends at noon). The program mirrors the academic school year in that it begins in September and ends in June of each year.
Though academic programming is one element of the program, the York Centre's Day Treatment Service is not a school program. Rather, the service is a treatment program designed to therapeutically assist children/youth and their families in addressing the issues which led to their being referred to the program. As such, the goals for children/youth in the program typically include their being able to effectively reintegrate into the regular school system, function successfully at home, and cope effectively in the community.
Though school-related difficulties are typically what lead to the referral of a child/youth to Day Treatment Services, children/youth in the program are generally experiencing social, emotional, and behavioural difficulties at home and in the community as well. Thus, the active involvement of the child/youth's parent(s) in treatment is crucial to successful treatment outcomes. As such, all families in the program work with a Family/Social Worker to assist them in addressing problems the child/youth may be experiencing at home and/or in the community. The nature and specifics of issues discussed will vary from family to family but it is a requirement of the program that families be actively involved in treatment.
Children/youth typically remain in the Day Treatment program for an average of one year although this may vary depending on the needs of the child/youth. Planning for successful reintegration into the regular school system begins at the time that the child/youth is admitted to the program.
The Day Treatment Program is divided into two separate groups: the Children's Program and the Youth Program. The Children's Program serves 32 children ranging in age from 5 through 13 years. The children are divided by age into 4 groups. Each group has a Teacher and a Child and Youth Worker.
The Youth Program serves 24 adolescents between the ages of 13 and 19 years. The youth are divided into 4 groups with a Teacher and a Child and Youth Worker assigned to each group.
The specific components of the Day Treatment program are as follows:
Each child/youth in the Day Treatment program receives academic instruction for approximately half of each day. The academic programming is individualised for each child/youth based on his/her academic needs, strengths, and abilities. Children/youth receive academic credits from the York Region Public or Catholic School Board for the successful completion of courses.
Each child/youth in the Day Treatment program is assigned to a Child and Youth Worker who meets with the child/youth at least once per week to discuss issues with which the child/youth may be struggling. The Child and Youth Worker assists the child/youth in developing coping strategies to manage challenges they are facing at school, home, or in the community.
Children/youth in the Day Treatment program participate in a variety of treatment groups to support them in addressing the issues which have led to their placement in the program. These groups address topics such as: Social Skills, Anxiety, Separation/Divorce, Anger Management, Life Skills, and Problem Solving. Groups are structured according to the developmental stage of children/youth and the specific treatment needs of the children/youth in the program.
The York Centre offers a number of groups for parents to assist them in parenting their children/youth. It is recommended that parents participate in at least one of these groups over the course of their child’s placement in the Day Treatment program in order to best support the treatment of their child/youth and family.
These groups include:
- Parenting Your Anxious Child Group
The Parenting Your Anxious Child Group is designed to help parents develop a better understanding of anxiety and how it affects the day to day lives of their children. Through experiential learning, parents will learn techniques that will help them to feel better able to manage and help their children manage their anxiety in everyday situations.
- De-Escalating Crisis Situations in the Home
The De-Escalating Crisis Situations in the Home Group is designed to help parents deal with “crisis situations” which occur at home. Parents will learn to recognise the behavioural signs that indicate that a crisis may occur and how to respond in a manner which may diffuse the situation and allow for talking and planning with their child.
- COPE Group
The COPE Group provides an opportunity for parents to improve their child management knowledge and practices via lectures, videos, role-playing, discussions, and mutual support.
- Women’s Group
A small, self-growth group to facilitate members to gain insights into their emotional struggles and to develop coping strategies. An expressive art approach is used.
- Father’s Group
These group sessions present parent education materials and provide an opportunity for father’s to discuss current difficulties about their children/youth, search for practical solutions, and gain insight into their own feelings and behaviour.
- Triple P for Parents of Children 0 to 12
This program aims to:
- enhance knowledge, skills, confidence, self-sufficiency and resourcefulness of parents
- promote nurturing, safe, engaging, non-violent and low-conflict environments for children
- promote children’s social and emotional wellbeing
- four 2-hour group sessions
- three 15-30 minute one-on-one follow-up phone sessions
- one final group session
- Triple P for Parents of Teens
This is a multi-level system of family intervention for parents of children and adolescents who have or are at risk of developing behavioural problems.
The program is preventatively oriented and aims to:
- promote positive, caring relationships between parents and their teenagers
- help parents develop effective management strategies for dealing with a variety of adolescent behaviour problems and common developmental issues
- 5 group meetings
- 3 phone consultations
- Parent Advocacy and Support Group
The Parent Advocacy and Support Group provides an opportunity for parents of children/youth who are in service or are parents of former clients of The York Centre to actively support and learn from each other. They also work on special projects such as fund raising activities. They learn how to present their experiences with their children with mental health challenges to advocate for better understanding and stigma reduction.
Other groups are offered through the Day Treatment program depending upon the needs and interests of the parents of children/youth in the program.
Children/youth in the Day Treatment program are generally experiencing social, emotional, and behavioural difficulties not just at school but at home and in the community as well. Thus, the active involvement of the child/youth’s parent(s) in treatment is crucial to successful treatment outcomes. As such, all families in the program are assigned to a Family/Social Worker to assist them in addressing problems their child/youth may be experiencing at home and/or in the community. The nature and specifics of issues discussed will vary from family to family but it is a requirement of the program that families be actively involved in treatment.
There is often a waiting period between the time of referral to Day Treatment Services and the time at which the child/youth is formally admitted to the program. This waiting period can be quite stressful for families who are struggling on a daily basis to cope with the behavioural/emotional challenges of their child/youth. Thus, the York Centre also offers Family/Social Work services to families who are waiting for their child to be formally admitted to a Day Treatment placement. This period of treatment can be of great value to the child/youth and family both in helping them cope with immediate crises and in getting the treatment process started prior to the child/youth’s formal admission to the program.
Another stressful period for children/youth and families involved in the Day Treatment program can be at the time of the child/youth’s discharge from the program. Though the child/youth and family may have made considerable gains in treatment, losing the formal support of the Day Treatment placement and returning to the regular school system on a full time basis can be difficult for children/youth and families. Thus, the York Centre also provides follow-up support through its Family/Social Work Services to assist children/youth and families in maintaining gains which have been made in treatment.
Family/Social Workers offer a variety of services to families based on the identified needs of the child/youth and family. These services include Standard and Enhanced Triple P: ie. evidence-based Positive Parenting Programs to assist parents in developing effective parenting strategies. Family/Social Workers can also work with families experiencing difficulties with issues such as: separation/divorce; unresolved grief/loss; effective co-parenting; sibling conflict; domestic violence, substance abuse; or other issues or family dynamics with which families may be struggling.
Intensive Services are provided to children/youth and families in the Day Treatment program who require extra support in the home, community, or school beyond that provided by the normal range of services offered by the York Centre. Clients utilising this service are assigned an Intensive Services Worker who can provide support to the child/youth and family in a variety of ways including:
- weekly parenting support
- child management
- how to talk with your child/youth
- relationship building
- development of coping strategies for the child/youth and/or family members
- regular face-to-face support of the child/youth who is being reintegrated into school
- specific support for a child/youth to learn to successfully function in the community
Intensive Services can also be offered to children/youth and families who are waiting for admission to Day Treatment Services and those who have been recently discharged from Day Treatment.
The York Centre retains the services of a psychologist, a psychiatrist, and a Speech and Language Pathologist. These consultants are available to provide assessment, testing, and consultative services to children/youth in the Day Treatment program. Specific testing and assessment varies depending upon the needs of each child/youth.
The Summer Day Treatment program in July is a therapeutic and recreational program that focuses on building relationships, self esteem and social skills. This helps the children/youth new to treatment with the transition into the regular Day Treatment program in September. It provides them with a fun and relaxed opportunity to become acquainted with their peers and staff with whom they will be spending the next year. It also provides some children with the opportunity to consolidate their skills and strategies before leaving the Centre to return to regular school system.