STRIDE - In need of caregivers
Therapeutic Foster Parents can have an incredible impact on the lives of complex youth who are in the Children Services system. Trained Therapeutic Foster Parents can provide the support and guidance needed to see these youth successfully transition out of care. With the care of a loving, trauma informed home these youth can remain in a family home rather than entering into group care. Without trained, supportive caregivers these youth could end up homeless, incarcerated or worse. Therapeutic Foster parents can change the trajectory of a child’s life and future.
Launched in 2022 STRIDE is a Therapeutic family based, culturally safe, short-term out-of-home placement program intended to support children with complex trauma-impacted care needs.
Therapeutic Caregivers will provide the daily experiences that help youth grow into healthy adulthood. Rooted in culture, values and belief systems, Therapeutic Caregivers will identify youth’s strengths, encourage them in their challenges, cultivate specific experiences, and help them to build meaningful connections with people and communities who accept and value them.
If you have room in your home and in your heart and are interested in becoming a Therapeutic Caregiver, or have questions, please contact the Program Manager below or call Carlie Burnett at 403 829-8082 or message below.
Enviros Therapeutic Foster Caregivers are provided with a substantially higher per diem to care for complex youth. They are also provided with much more support and training and will have access to a therapist, family coach and youth connector and will be a crucial part of the youth team and journey. These supports offer the home a structured, supportive and collaborative process in order to parent the youth.
Why Become a Caregiver with STRIDE?
When you become a caregiver with Enviros and the Stride program you are provided extensive support and resources. Our Caregiver Support Model is extensive and is designed with you in mind.
Caregivers receive all the pre-service and in-service training that foster parents receive, additional training specialized for their unique role as Caregivers, and customized training to develop specific skill and expertise. Members of the Caregivers’ personal community (children,
extended family, close friends, cultural connections, etc.) will have the opportunity to receive training designed to help them better understand the Stride program and Caregiver role, the impacts of trauma, and how they can be supportive. Details of the training plan are described in a
We know that junior program staff improve through direct experience, observation of skilled coworkers, and the reflective supervision that helps them integrate knowledge with on- the-ground application. Yet Caregivers typically have few if any opportunities for real-time, observation-based feedback. Stride will provide opportunities for Caregivers to gain hands-on
experience through a practicum-like training phase.
A coach approach will guide the support style offered by Caregiving Coaches. Coaching is a communication process that encourages and supports the development and application of knowledge, skills, and abilities. It is growth-oriented and strength-based with a focus on solution- based thinking. This approach is centered on openness, collaboration, and support of others. It
models the respectful and trust-building approach Stride encourages Caregivers to adopt with the youth in their home. It engenders the atmosphere of learning and collaboration that will help Caregivers and Coaches give and receive honest feedback that will inspire continuous improvement. Developing good feedback habits and routines will allow for the collaborative discovery of what went wrong and what could be done differently next time when issues do arise.
Our approach is centered on openness, collaboration, and support of others. Itmodels the respectful and trust-building approach Stride encourages Caregivers to adopt with the youth in their home. It engenders the atmosphere of learning and collaboration that will help Caregivers and Coaches give and receive honest feedback that will inspire continuous improvement. Developing good feedback habits and routines will allow for the collaborative discovery of what went wrong and what could be done differently next time when issues do arise.
Coaches will meet with Caregivers weekly to discuss the youth’s progress, review the Future Quest, discuss how the Circle is functioning, and address any emerging concerns. These meetings are focused on the youth and provide an opportunity for solution-finding, celebration, and recalibrating efforts based on the previous week. Coaches identify additional training needs, opportunities for support, and provide a compassionate ear for Caregivers. Skill-building and customized training may be part of these sessions. Circle members, including cultural supports and biological family, may be invited. Generally, youth will not be part of these meetings to allow Caregivers to fully express their concerns without fear of interrupting their relationship with the youth.
Regular program meetings bring together Caregivers and Team members for relationship building, training, mutual support, and cultural learning. Members of youth’s Circles may be invited as appropriate.
The Caregiver role blends professional and personal elements uniquely as Caregivers navigate their lives in concert with the care they provide. Caregivers will be encouraged to embrace the role they play and recognize that there are others who are also striving to help high- needs youth in the same way. We want them to feel not only part of a team, but part of a movement. We will encourage Caregivers to form mutually supportive bonds with one another from the early days of on-boarding. If there are opportunities for connection with Caregivers in the city and the province, we will encourage that also. We will set up WhatsApp groups, include opportunities for social connection at training events, arrange to attend cultural events together, explore community resources, etc. to encourage peer connection. As the program matures, opportunities for mentorship from more experienced Caregivers will be established.
Caregivers will have access to Indigenous healing teachings and ceremony as a routine aspect of their involvement with Stride but also on an individual basis as needed. In addition, western-influenced self-care and supports for wellness will be integrated into program trainings and activities. Stride’s therapist will be available to Caregivers who require short-term support to address issues arising from their caregiving role such as debriefing a violent episode, coping with a youth’s suicide attempt, or support for parenting in the context of caregiving.
The Stride program provides 24-hour on-call and crisis support for youth and Caregivers. On-call provides a safety net and support system for times of great need. Sometimes these situations can be averted through prior planning and individualized supports. Regular Check-ins and Coaching Sessions will help alert the Team to emerging issues requiring one-to-one support. The Circle may identify additional supports that are required to support the Future Quest. Caregivers may need additional respite for a hospital stay. Cultural people may advise support for the youth to attend ceremony. Specialized clinical consultation or services may be required. The capacity of the program to respond nimbly in these situations supports youth and Caregivers and may serve to stabilize the placement when it is threatened.