Family Services Of Greater Vancouver. Serving a High Needs Population in a Harm Reduction model. Jennifer Hanrahan Senior Manager of Youth Services

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1 Family Services Of Greater Vancouver Serving a High Needs Population in a Harm Reduction model Jennifer Hanrahan Senior Manager of Youth Services

2 Serving a High Needs Population in a Harm Reduction Model When asked How do we operate a Harm Reduction Model that serves high needs youth? the staff offered the following: Allow for Client Autonomy Building Relationships Youth Specific Strategies Provide Opportunities for youth Have expectations of youth allow them to showcase their potential Structure Understanding & Empathetic Realistic Knowledgeable Staff Staff Communication, Staff Support & Team Morale Networking & Relationships with other service providers Do not Isolate your work Provide a Continuum of Services Provide a Safe Space Strengths Based non-clinical & solution Focused Trauma Informed Practice Varied Staff Model Experience based staff (peer) & Educated Staff

3 Family Serving a High Services Needs Population Youth Detox in a Harm Program Reduction Model Definition of Harm Reduction A narrower definition of harm reduction focuses on those policies, programs and interventions that seek to reduce or minimize the adverse health and social consequences of drug use without requiring an individual to discontinue drug use. This definition recognizes that many drug users are unwilling or unable to abstain from drug use at any given time and that there is a need to provide them with options that minimize the harms caused by their continued drug use to themselves, to others, and to the community, including overdose, infections, spread of communicable diseases, and contaminated litter. This approach does not exclude discontinuing drug use in the longer term and can serve as a bridge to treatment and rehabilitation services. Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse

4 Serving a High Needs Population in A Harm Reduction Model Programs Youth Focus Directions Youth Services Centre Family Services Youth Detox Walden Safehouse

5 Serving a High Needs Population in A Harm Reduction Model Directions Youth Services Centre Directions provides Vancouver s homeless youth and youth atrisk with a single entry point to access the tools, support and guidance they so desperately need to go about making health, positive changes in their lives. Directions is a low barrier resources, accessible to all youth regardless of their circumstances. Please see:

6 Serving a High Needs Population in A Harm Reduction Model Family Services Youth Detox Youth Detox provides voluntary detoxification services for highrisk youth between 16 and 21 years of age, who do not have a safe or supportive home and who are struggling with substance misuse problems. Clients under the age of 16 are provided service during afterhours and when beds are not available in other detox programs.

7 Serving a High Needs Population in A Harm Reduction Model Walden Safe House Safe House is a voluntary seven-day co-ed residential program for youth aged years who are absent from home and street-involved or in danger of becoming so. The program has access to support services for assistance in finding accommodations, education, and work. It provides referrals for addiction issues, pregnancy, legal problems, medical concerns/care cards, and advocacy with the Ministry of Children and Family Development and issues relating to income assistance. Safe House is open for self-referrals from youth 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and it serves youth from all over the Lower Mainland.

8 Directions Youth Services Centre 24 Hours Seven Days a Week 365 Days a Year Day Resource Monday to Friday- 8am to 4pm Dusk to Dawn Peer Counselling Program 4pm to midnight - 7 days a week After-hours Crisis & Addictions Response Program Midnight to 8 am 7 days a week / Weekends & Holidays Housing Workers Transition to Independence Workers ONYX Worker - Specialized to work with Sexual Exploitation Street Youth Job Action - Pre-Employment Program City Wide Outreach Workers British Columbia Centre for Disease Control- Street Nurse Community Health Clinic- Physician and Nurse practitioner

9 Directions Youth Services Centre Client Centered Practice: what is the client telling us that they want? Client Intake Brief provides some minor assessment on Source of Income, Housing & Health Strengths Based Approach: survival mechanisms Client Guidelines: signing onto the rules Good Neighbourhood Policy: signing onto to policy with map 24 Hour Cooling Off Period Client Restrictions unwanted behaviour vs. unwanted person Youth Advisory Committee- structured mechanism to provide feedback on programming, staff, management & suggest ideas Relationship building Using a Peer based Model as an entry point into services Specialized services for specific needs Relationship with key service providers, including Police, Ministry of Child and Family Development, Income Assistance

10 Directions Youth Services Centre

11 Directions Youth Services Centre Our Assessment of a young person s situation: Source of Income? employment or social assistance Housing? not just couch surfing or survival sex Health? addictions mental health issues

12 Directions Youth Services Centre Our client-centred work focuses on: Interest Do they know what they are interested in? Do they know how to get it? Eligibility Programs have varying age mandates, start dates, criteria for entry (e.g. Not using drugs for a window of time, red-cards ) Opportunity Is there space? Is there a bed at the inn? Now?

13 Directions Youth Services Centre A Ba Staff Dynamics Synergy and Playfulness Balance of fresh and seasoned Communication Comfort that we can err, in a supportive and encouraging environment, without losing face or sleep (a positive spin) Youth Dynamics Energy level and state of mind Familiarity of staff, How are we viewed? (nice vs competent) Currency of site expectations (Understanding, Motivation, or Competency) Level of a youth s self awareness of, and utilization of, strategies developed to address sore points or weak spots

14 Directions Youth Services Centre A Ba Volume Saturation How many bums are in the seats How familiar are they with each other? How do they get along? Volume influences our ability to respond on our terms & the degree to which outside, street stuff may influence tone over the course of the shift. Issue Saturation Typical Hunger Physical exhaustion Physical Health Drugged / Detoxing Mental Health Welfare Day / Post Welfare Day Issues Topics of conversations (Slurs ) Theft of Belongings Atypical Profound Trauma and/or Losses Assaults Legitimate & Urgent Safety Issues

15 Directions Youth Services Centre Success means: a youth returned to a safe place in their home community a referral to youth detox for addiction treatment a placement in stable housing a stable job with consistent hours participation in an employment or training program creating hope for the future a relationship is developing Example - Kale

16 Directions Youth Services Centre Our Day With Michaelle Jean

17 Family Services Youth Detox Intakes are 24 hours a day 7 days a week 365 days a year The emphasis on voluntary admission respects the youth's need to retain control and the right to contribute to his/her personal planning. The youth detox program will not detain youth against their will This community-based program adheres to a harm reduction approach as the primary service delivery model. The focus is on reducing problem behaviours in order to reduce and/or eliminate the harm created by substance abuse. Total abstinence is supported and encouraged, which for some, is a necessary and achievable end.

18 Family Services Youth Detox

19 Walden Safe House Walden Safe House is a self referral program for homeless youth between the ages of Youth who access this resource chose to access and are not court ordered to be here. There is no forced curfew for youth who access this resource. There is a 9 am return time to maintain their bed. The return time allows for a check in between staff and the client and caters to youth who are street entrenched and not use to sleeping indoors or having a curfew. Some of the clients who access Walden may use "soft street" drugs during their stay. Clients are discouraged to return to the resource under the influence and can not allow their use to interfere with their service plan. In a rare case where a youth return to the resource under the influence (depending on the situation) they may be referred to access a detox bed or asked to go to their room ( staff checking on them every fifteen minutes).

20 Working with High Needs Clients in a Harm Reduction Model Highlights of what works for us: Outreach Meeting young people literally where they are at introducing them to services Peer Staff Model Youth understand that the staff understand them entry point into services build a trusting relationship and meet basic needs Specialized workers Youth Review Integrated Case Management Provide Opportunities (Scholarships, employment) Street Youth Job Action Pre-Employment/Harm Reduction work- Cannot work under the influence Arts, Media, Music reinforcing strengths, building self-esteem, developing skills Life-skill Development Community Involvement Corporations that care (SAP, EA) Community awareness In Our Shoes Campaign; itunes; 5 Days of Homelessness Strengths based - Non-Judgemental & Welcoming Availability of services Staff Training Constant and Consistent

21 Working with High Needs Clients in a Harm Reduction Model Highlights of what works for us: Low barrier does not mean no barrier.

22 To the Future We are currently in a temporary Location: December 2013 move back to 1134 Burrard The Youth Services Centre will have two floors. The Housing Provider Kettle Friendship Society will have 1 floor. Above will be 11 Stories of Social Housing with designated youth age (16 to 18) & older youth (19 to 24) units. Thanks to BC Housing, The Ministry of Children and Family Housing & Terra Housing.

23 Working with High Needs Clients in a Harm Reduction Model "It is much easier to believe in yourself when other people believe in you." recipient of FSGV youth services

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