Child & Youth
The Child and Youth Program (CYP) is a support service for school-aged children who have been diagnosed with an intellectual disability. Children must reside in Kenora of the surrounding area, which includes accessible First Nations Communities, to be eligible for CYP support.
The CYP offers support to families with children between the ages 6 and 18 who have been identified as having an intellectual disability. CYP staff understand that there are transition periods for children aged 6-18, which are often challenging times for children and for their families. Part of CYP support is providing direct support to individual students 1:1 or in small groups in the community, home, or centre to augment goals to enhance students' participation in daily activities. This support is provided by trained community support workers. Furthermore, beginning school and becoming an adult are major milestones in a person's life and they can be intimidating for everyone involved. The CYP offers flexible support to children and to their families during the transition years and all the years in between.
The CYP recognizes that each family is unique and tailors its support plans to consider the strengths and the needs of all family members. Our goal is to provide support and to advocate for inclusion within the community and within school environments. To achieve this goal, CYP staff are dedicated to enhancing children's skills, knowledge, and abilities, while working to promote awareness within the community. This includes making resources available to the public, in addition to collaborating and partnering with other community service providers and professionals. The CYP maintains strong relationships with the area's Public and Catholic school boards to provide continuous advocacy for students and for families over the duration of a child's time in school. Advocacy within the schools can include accompanying family members to I.P.R.C. meetings, in addition to supporting students within classroom settings. The CYP aims to assist individuals and their families in making the transition into adulthood as smooth as possible.
Transitioning into adulthood can be especially challenging for people who have been diagnosed with an intellectual disability. To best support people as they get older and more independent, staff focus their efforts on working closer with the individual rather than working closely with family members. Among many challenges, individuals transfer out of the CYP service model into an adult service model, which can be disruptive. CYP staff anticipate this as one of the factors that can present challenges to people as they approach adulthood, so it is considered and planned for with individuals and family members as an individual approaches his or her 18th birthday.