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HomeBridge Youth Society Fiscal Year April 1, 2016 - March 31, 2017

All youth and their families living in Health, Safety and Harmony


Letter From The Chair All Youth and Their Families Living in Health, Safety and Harmony This is our vision for the future state of Youth Care Services in Nova Scotia. The forces of change are always in the air and often competing for our time and attention while we continue to advance towards our vision for HomeBridge Youth Society.

These facilities are located in your communities. The young people live where you live. Thank-you to our neighbours for embracing us. You make a difference in these children’s lives by allowing us to provide a stable home base in a typical community neighbourhood.

How do we navigate the changes that come at us in our everyday lives and the lives of the Youth we have in our care? A famous actor once said “I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sail to always reach my destination.” It is our job to keep the Youth safe and provide an environment for them to navigate the winds of change in their lives. Whether their challenges are behavioral, emotional, mental health related or external forces beyond their control, it is our duty to assist them as they navigate the winds so they can move forward in their lives and grow.

We can’t provide these services alone and a huge thank-you goes out to our expert partners, the Nova Scotia Departments of Community Services and Education. In addition, we would like to express our sincere appreciation and gratitude to our long standing benefactor St. Paul’s Home Board for their continued collaboration and support in providing our services to youth in Nova Scotia. Donors, Sponsors, Corporate and Individuals, thank-you for your support, it means everything to the youth and their growth on many fronts while in our care.

We accomplish this by having the best Youth Care Workers, Management and support staff in the industry. HomeBridge employees care about the youth and their challenges. We provide six homes including the Reigh Allen Centre in Halifax Regional Municipality with up to 40 youth in our facilities at any given time. During the last 12 months our programs saw 170 admissions (including youth who were in need of our services more than once throughout the year). Bridges for Learning and supplemental programming provide additional areas for our Youth to foster a sense of learning and belonging.

I am honoured to be associated with HomeBridge and look forward to what the future holds.


Respectfully, Deanna Severeyns, CPA, CA Board Chair




Executive Director’s Report Thanks to our caregivers many of us have fond, early memories of being nurtured, feeling loved and a sense of belonging. This stable context influenced every interpretation and perspective we assigned to experiences, as we began our journey through adolescence and into adulthood. Imagine for a moment if those earliest memories of experiences connected firmly in our brains were traumatic and encircled with uncertainty and fear. How would our current realities and circumstances be different? Having a capable caregiver in our lives is as necessary as any other essential need to survive and thrive. Blaming parents was not an uncommon result in assessment-processes in the early stages of many professions in this industry. How many generations does one go back to find the final allocation of blame? Was it your parents, their parents, or their parents? Which generation was “patient-zero” and to what end is that a useful exercise, as we are still left with the question of how best to move forward? Effective caregivers do not default to allocating blame nor do effective leaders. Fear, hesitations and excuses will need to become characteristics that are eliminated, if we are going to come together to stop severe neglect and abuse of children and the weakening of Nova Scotia’s essential resource; our families. To simply blame young people for their behaviour or caregivers for what can be interpreted as bad decision-making, protects no one. Such an approach cements guilt and shame within those we wish to serve. It impedes their confidence and self-awareness needed to evolve with mastery over their relational well-being and the ability to make wise choices rather than reactionary ones.

Thankfully, at HomeBridge, our approach to caring permeates those who are involved with our vision and mandate. All of the many layers of support we receive from those who are cornerstone entities supporting our services, understand that fear, hesitation and excuses are not the pathway to change. As our supporters, you too embrace courage, competence and the relentless pursuit of caring about Nova Scotia’s greatest resource; healthy families. The next several years are going to be a time of great change as a result of all the transformations to our system. We all will need to be prepared to work together to enhance the services N.S. families need. If you are in a position to speak up to encourage and promote collaborative interactions then do it. If you are in a position where you can motivate others to get involved and help directly or indirectly, then take a deep breath and do it. The HomeBridge Community needs to and wants to expand its reach to those who are struggling and provide services wherever and whenever they are needed. I ask of you this, notice today if you blame someone for how you are feeling or if you are not sure if you should do something, or if something/someone frightens you. Notice what is going on for you in that moment and you will get a brief glimpse of what it is like to be a young person at HomeBridge, everyday. This needs to change. Do not disregard this discomfort, embrace it and use it as momentum to make a difference. Ernie Hilton, MSc. CYCA Executive Director

If you are in a position to speak up to encourage and promote collaborative interactions then do it. If you are in a position where you can motivate others to get involved and help directly or indirectly, then take a deep breath and do it.


HomeBridge Youth Society Board Of Directors

Deanna Severeyns, CPA, CA Board Chair Chief Administrative Officer, Stewart McKelvey

Peter Wong, CPA, CA Vice-Chair Chief Financial Officer, Hercules SLR Inc. & Stellar Industrial Sales Ltd.

Carissa Bordeleau, CPA, CA Treasurer Manager, Deloitte

Members at Large

Michelle McCann Lawyer

Johneen Kelly Social Worker, IWK Youth Forensic Services

Jennifer Palov Director, Executive Services, Bell

Peter Mancini Q.C. Past Service Delivery Director, NS Legal Aid

Dr. Herb Orlik Psychiatrist, IWK Health Centre, Dept. of Psychiatry

Angela Kelly Account Manager, C100 & 101.3 VIRGIN Radio

Steve Foran President, Gratitude at Work

Tanya Ozard Broker/Realtor, Oceancrest Realty Inc.

This has been a safer place than home. -HomeBridge Youth



HomeBridge Youth Society

Vision All youth and their families living in health, safety and harmony

Mandate Using an inter-disciplinary approach to youth care HomeBridge provides youth with experiences of stabilization, emergency placement, therapeutic programming, educational opportunities and longer-term residential interventions. This mandate is achieved through a collaboration with stakeholders, a community orientation, a commitment to youth education, continued professional development, implementation of current evidence based interventions and therapeutic programming.

HomeBridge Youth Occupancy Statistics Individual Youth Served 2016/2017 -101 Total

Individual Youth per Department of Community Services Region or Child Welfare Agency Residing in Facilities - 101 Total

9% 57%


Total Female (43)


Total Male (58)

109 individual youth were served during 2016/2017, however there were 170 total youth admissions to all facilities, which includes a number of youth who had multiple admissions and were served by more than one HomeBridge facility.

6% 45%


Central Region (46 Individuals) Western Region (25 Individuals) Mi'Kmaw Family and Children Services (15 Individuals) Northern Region (9 Individuals) Eastern Region (6 Individuals)




Our Facilities Hawthorne House Part of the HomeBridge Community since 1979 Owned by HomeBridge Youth Society Operating Costs Covered by the Department of Community Services Mandate: Hawthorne House is located in Dartmouth and serves six youth under 18 years of age.

Hawthorne House Team

Johnson House Part of the HomeBridge Community since 1981 Owned by the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Operating Costs Covered by the Department of Community Services Mandate: Johnson House is located in Dartmouth and serves four youth under 18 years of age.

Johnson House Team

Jubien House Part of the HomeBridge Community since 1982 Owned by St. Paul’s Home Board Operating Costs Covered by the Department of Community Services Mandate: Jubien House is located in Halifax and serves six youth under 18 years of age.

Jubien House Team

My favourite experience at HomeBridge has been making friends and being cared about. - Homebridge Youth



Sullivan House Part of the HomeBridge Community since 1993 Owned by St. Paul’s Home Board Operating Costs Covered by the Department of Community Services Mandate: Sullivan House is located in Halifax and serves six youth under 18 years of age.

Sullivan House Team

Reigh Allen Centre Part of the HomeBridge Community since 1998 Owned by the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Operating Costs Covered by the Department of Community Services

Mandate: The Reigh Allen Centre is located in Dartmouth and is licensed as an emergency crisis and stabilization center. It provides service to male and female youth under 18 years of age who are in need of a stabilization, respite, or short-term placement. The center utilizes a inter-disciplinary approach to create opportunities for behavioral changes within a safe environment allowing young people to experience themselves differently.

Specialist Beds Program Part of the HomeBridge Community since 2009 Located in the Reigh Allen Centre Operating Costs Covered by the Department of Community Services Mandate: A separate two-bed programming unit designed to serve youth under 18 years of age living under exceptional circumstances.

Reigh Allen Centre Team

Cogswell House Part of the HomeBridge Community since 2003 Owned by St. Paul’s Home Board Operating Costs Covered by the Department of Community Services Mandate: Cogswell House is located in Middle Sackville and serves four youth under 18 years of age.

Cogswell House Team


Our Facilities Bridges For Learning The Bridges for Learning (BFL) program continues to provide educational services for youth in care. Since the program’s inception in 2005, the team has made connections with over 400 youth and their community schools. During the 2016-2017 academic year, the program received 32 applications, consistent with the 2015-2016 academic year. BFL frequently operated at full capacity throughout this school year, while new applications were reviewed and triaged for placement as seats became available. The team continues to focus on the individual academic, social, and emotional needs of the students. The high school students endeavour to complete their studies through correspondence courses, allowing their educational plan to transition with them. It is unfortunate that many of the students experience a transient lifestyle, which results in their care plans moving around the province; however, the correspondence courses permit the educational plan to move with each student making academic success more attainable. The high school students’ educational plans are guided and supported by the Teacher and Youth Care Specialist in the classroom. All students are given the opportunity to obtain credits in English, Math, Art and Com/Pal, Learning Strategies, and this year, Global Geography was also offered. As some students return to BFL for a second year, it is important to expand the opportunities available to them in order to gain many of their core credits toward high school completion. The junior high students continue to receive work packages from their respective community schools. The BFL Team, in collaboration with each student's community school, provides the necessary support and guidance to help them experience academic success.

The BFL outcome-monitored and evidence-based reporting system maintains its effectiveness in assessing the students’ progress on a daily basis. This reporting system provides instant access to all HomeBridge facilities, and is used as an effective communication tool to streamline information. Beyond the daily assessment, this tracking system measures academic work completion, which assists in determining whether the student has reached necessary outcomes for credit attainment. In addition to BFL’s strong focus on academics, the program also provides students with many additional opportunities and experiences that create a well-rounded, and care focused environment. HomeBridge’s Psychologist supports the Youth Care Specialist with the social and emotional curriculum, which is an integral part of learning for students. It provides them with the tools to manage their emotions, helps them acquire good decisionmaking skills, and assistance in resolving conflict. Students also continue to take advantage of the spin bike that is part of the classroom. The stationary bike has proven to be an effective tool for selfregulation of behaviours. Students often come off the bike more centered and ready to re-engage in their academic work. Not only does the physical outlet help students self-regulate, but it also contributes positively to their physical and mental health, and allows them to have fun.

BFL is more one-on-one. In a regular school they just teach everyone the same way. I find it easier learning on a one-on-one basis. -BFL student



The Expressions Program of the Arts continues to be a popular addition to the program as well. Students are provided with weekly learning opportunities in Music and Art. Both saw great participation this year. The students seemed very engaged and used their music and artistic creations as a means to express themselves. The partnership fostered between BFL and the Youth Employability Project (YEP) continued to grow this year. This is the second year that YEP has been facilitating workshops in the classroom, and the students continue to benefit greatly. YEP’s Youth Navigators completed a structured program with the students aimed at employability skills. During the 12-week program, students received support in resume writing, interview skills, and exploring educational and vocational interests. Guest speakers and potential employers also joined the group sessions to provide real life context to the students’ learning.

education system. It is a huge responsibility, but also an honour to have the opportunity to be part of their learning. The BFL students continue to show great strength, perseverance and courage in their academic goals and aspirations. The amount of barriers that must be overcome in order for these young people to achieve their goals is almost insurmountable and far beyond what anyone should ever experience. The success of the program is tangible and rewarding when the students who move on have advanced their educational journey.

In addition to the in-class lessons, students are encouraged to visit the Centre for Entrepreneurship Education and Development (CEED), and have been invited to participate in focus groups to help shape future programs. They are also invited to pursue volunteer experience, obtaining certifications, or seek employment through the assistance of YEP. This program has been incredibly valuable because not only do the students experience the feeling of success related to employability skills, but they also gain academic credits for the work they do with the YEP program. Thanks to a partnership with the IWK Choices program HomeBridge has regular access to a Clinical Social Worker who facilitates the Making Changes group with the students. This group focuses on helping youth overcome the ambivalence associated with their substance use, identify their own values and hopes with respect to their lives, and provide them with skills to cope with stressors without the use of substances. The facilitator uses activities and material from various evidencebased programs that research has shown to be effective in helping people change. Fortunately, the Department of Education has been funding the Bridges for Learning program since 2006 This funding has allowed HomeBridge to provide a valuable service to a marginalized population that has struggled in the mainstream

BFL Team




Bridges For Learning Child Welfare Agency Referrals September 2016 - June 2017

Age and Gender of BFL Applicants September 2016 - June 2017 8

8 Number of Referrals

7 6

6 5



4 3



































lif tm ax o C Q uth um u ee be n rl s S an C ac d ol kv ch ill e e M ste M r FC S K Y G a in ra rm gs n G vil ou uy le th sb Fe o r Lu ro ry ne ug nb h Sy urg dn ey



DCS Agencies

Referrals/ Accepted/ Admitted September 2016 - May 2017

BFL Applicants from Junior High and Senior High School September 2016 - June 2017

Total Referrals (32)

Total Accepted (31)



32 Students Junior High (13) Senior High (19)

Total Admitted (28)









Community Schools connected to Bridges for Learning 2016 - 2017

Dartmouth High School, Millwood High School, Sackville High School, Citadel High School, Southdale - North Woodside School, Bicentennial Junior High School, Cunard Junior High School, Bible Hill Junior High School



In the Community It is important for the youth we serve to live in a residential setting where they can experience the sense of belonging and connectedness that comes with being part of a community. As a result of the circumstances that bring them to be in care, many of the young people come to us feeling very hurt and rejected by society in general. We work hard to help them build their self-worth and teach them to be generous, responsible community members. This however this does not happen over night and we take our responsibility to be good neighbours very seriously. We work hard to keep the lines of communication open and to be contributing members of the community. Every year we produce a Report to the Community and hand deliver it to our neighbours to keep them informed about the happenings in and around the HomeBridge Community. This is an important part of our neighbourhood relations strategy as we really value the opportunity to connect with members of the community and to hear their feedback. We also do a Community Clean Up every year in one of the neighbourhoods that surround our long-term facilities. This year was our ninth such clean up and it was concentrated on the area of Middle Sackville surrounding Cogswell House including Sackville Heights Junior High School and the trailer park off Sackville Drive. We find great value in this initiative as it allows us to help the young people show their appreciation for the acceptance and support shown by our neighbours. Our employees and youth spend the day making the community cleaner and greener and building positive relationships with those in the neighbourhood.

I want the neighbours to know that I’m actually respectful and not what people assume. -HomeBridge Youth

Community Clean Up

We might seem a little angry at first but we really are nice.� -HomeBridge Youth Community Clean Up




Expressions Program of the Arts

“Inspiring the Mind and Building a Foundation for the Future” This program had another successful year engaging youth in music, art, photography and circus skills. This year’s theme was “Inspiring the Mind and Building a Foundation for the Future”. With the support and direction of the facilitators, the focus was on building creative foundations in the participants. By providing safe spaces for each young person to be curious, creative, and playful, the facilitators create an environment where the participants can truly express themselves. This is fundamental when promoting growth and learning through the arts. The program sets youth up to experience success which helps to increase their self-confidence and engage them in the learning process. The positive results of this program impact every aspect of their lives. This year, Music Therapy programming offered group and individual learning opportunities where youth were invited to participate in a variety of musical activities centered around the overall theme. Group activities such as music games (i.e. musical jeopardy, musical shaker, musical Scattergories), song writing, and jamming provided opportunities to engage with peers in a positive way. Music sharing activities also allowed youth to express their individual tastes, share their favourite artists, and engage in song lyric discussion. This set the stage for great conversations about feelings and emotions through music. Many youth learned to play instruments including guitar, keyboard, drums, and bass. Some also took the opportunity to improve their singing through vocal lessons or learn to create beats on a drum machine. This inspiration to learn resulted in focused attention, skill mastering and openness. Some youth even recorded their own compositions. Music is a great tool to inspire youth to express themselves and be creative in a positive and meaningful way. These experiences help the young people work on both personal and interpersonal skills and develop individual and social foundations for the future. Art sessions incorporated this year’s theme by encouraging the young people to focus on the process of creating art without an emphasis on the outcome. By providing a safe, positive space for the youth to explore various artistic mediums, their creativity was able to flourish. They experimented with everything from traditional paper and watercolors to plaster and clay. The facilitator taught them to elevate ordinary objects into works of art by wood burning a design on a box, making a beautiful mosaic from paper squares or simply filling a bottle with colorful layers of salt. Participants were amazed to learn how distressed inks react with water, how to etch a print on styrofoam and how to create silhouettes on a canvas by rolling paper tubes. By providing creative and engaging art ideas to try, the facilitator inspired the youth to make impressive creations. Having pride in the end result and being able to keep their works of art encourages the youth to keep coming back for more. The increased confidence and willingness to try new things will serve those who participated well in all areas of their lives.



The Expressions Team




Photography sessions provided participants with the fundamentals of digital photograph as well as an opportunity to build upon any skills they already had. They also learned and expanded their understanding of macro and night photography. The young people learned both through theory and practical, hands on application of the techniques. They enjoyed a variety of field trips to historic sites, skate parks and areas with impressive cityscapes both during the day and after dark to try their hand at capturing images. The Circus Circle program often attracts even reluctant participants because it is fun, physical and looks “cool”. The benefits however run much deeper. While learning to juggle or walk the tightrope the young people are improving their hand eye coordination and concentration. They also learn a great deal about commitment and dedication through this program as it takes time and effort to build the skills required whether you are riding the unicycle or trying to master flips and tricks with the diablo. The facilitator not only guides youth through the techniques involved in developing these circus skills, but also teaches them important life lessons. Youth learn that it is ok to make mistakes as long as they keep trying and that anything is possible with hard work and practice. These are messages that they can apply to many facets of their lives.


Photo taken by youth

Circus Circle

The Expressions facilitators enjoyed watching the participants experience many firsts, discover new talents, and grow and develop throughout the year. This program would not be possible without the support of our donors. We would like to take this opportunity to thank them for funding the program and making many meaningful experiences possible.

I learned that I am good at stuff. – even stuff I haven’t tried before. -HomeBridge Youth

A Special Thank You to Our Expressions Donors Clearwater Fine Foods Ltd., Investors Group, Canadian Progress Club Halifax Cornwallis, Gratitude at Work, 100 Men Who Give A Damn! Halifax




Therapeutic Programming The purpose of this programming is to enhance the daily living skills of the youth we serve. We implement this through a unique blend of Activity Based Therapeutic Life Skill Development enriched with Service Learning opportunities. Program planning remains deeply rooted in HomeBridge’s Care Planning Framework, which includes Mastery, Generosity, Belonging, and Independence. In addition to our long running programs listed below, we also focused on “Mindfulness” this year. Many of our programs, such as, Music Therapy, Heartmath, Tai Chi and aromatherapy already support the premise without categorizing it as a separate program. These programs are ingrained in our culture and are well accepted by the youth. Our goal continues to be to provide youth with healthy alternatives as a way to cope and enhance their lives in hope that they will continue to search out healthy living choices in their future. Recently however, we have also been providing the youth with more formal information on mindfulness and ways to incorporate it in their everyday life. During the summer we were fortunate to have many sunny days that the youth could spend at the beach or enjoying other outdoor activities. It was a season of first experiences for many youth. Some had never been to McNab’s Island to become familiar with its uniqueness and learn about its history. Some youth had their first adventure of playing in the mud and riding the waves at Tidal Bore Rafting Resort. Whatever the event, it helped brighten their summer and broaden their horizons; giving them a break from their present situation and the opportunity to make positive connections with others. These experiences are made possible by those who support our annual online fundraising auction. The abundance of sun also helped us develop our first ever herbal bee garden in partnership with The Crossing Christian Church. Through this project the youth learned the environmental impact bees have on our food supply as well as the usefulness of the herbs in cooking. With guidance and support from members of the Crossing they nurtured the garden and discovered the positive impact fresh herbs have on cooking. Over the last five years we have been fortunate to have our youth-run farmer’s markets funded by the Youth Development Initiative and have both Dempsey Corner Orchard’s and the Dartmouth Senior’s Service Center partner with us on this venture. This program is based on the premise of operating a business for a week. The benefit is definitely two fold; the youth gain valuable employability skills, plus the feeling of empowerment of being involved in a Service Learning program that provides seniors with fresh produce at low-cost. Pre-employment programs, like this, are invaluable to the future of the youth we serve as some find themselves in a situation where they have to support themselves much earlier than is ideal. Youth who are not yet ready to independently volunteer or succeed at a work placement have the opportunity to discover some of the strengths and challenges they might face in the workforce during this guided and supported short-term experience. For some youth, the farmers market experience could positively shape their whole ideology of their employability. On top of experience, they finish with a detailed report card of their performance and suggestions for future development, which may be more valuable than the spending money they earned during the venture. Another venture that builds both life and employability skills is affectionately known as “Food Fridays” in the HomeBridge Community. This cooking program offers the youth the opportunity to learn about nutrition, meal planning, food handling and cooking skills while engaging them in a Service Learning project that earns money through the sale of lunch on Fridays. This money is then donated to a worthy cause selected by the young people. Last year they donated over $300 to Hope for Wildlife. When they delivered the donation, they were so impressed by the wildlife rehabilitation center that they were inspired to do more. The “Give a Hoot” project in partnership with Hope for Wildlife was then launched at this year’s Annual Holiday Coffee House. The youth came up with a plan to continue to raise money for the cause by hand sewing owl ornaments and selling them during the event. Through the sale of their owls and homemade dog treats the youth were able to donate another $100. The holiday event also included youth performances, a craft sale and a competition between facilities to create a unique version of a holiday tree.




In addition to the youth’s great efforts and generosity toward Hope for Wildlife; they expanded their good will to include adopting a family through Shelter Nova Scotia for the holidays as well. They budgeted and shopped for a “wish-list” of grocery items to benefit a group of formerly homeless men who are now sharing an apartment through the shelter. The package was topped off with homemade soup the youth prepared and individual care packages for each of the men. ALATEEN also continues to be a valuable program offered to the young people. The facilitators provide them with education and coping skills for dealing with alcohol misuse in their environments. The youth appreciate their dedication and look forward to attending sessions on a biweekly basis. These programs offered in the HomeBridge Community are to assist the youth in developing skills to enhance their lives both now and in the future. Please see below for a more complete list of the structured programs offered.


kes a

Farmer’s Market

Mindfulness for Teen Anxiety The Stress Reduction Workbook for Teens The Anxiety Workbook for Teens The Anger Workbook for Teens Entrepreneurial and Service Learning YWCA Discovering Life Skills What Have I Done? A Victim Empathy Program for Young People Shubenacadie Wildlife Park ART Aggression Replacement Training MAPSTARS Conflict Resolution – Bully Prevention Program The Six Pillars of Character Development (trustworthiness, responsibility, respect, fairness, caring and citizenship) Drug and Alcohol Awareness Smoking Cessation Healthy Relationships I like when we go out and Sexual Health do things like swimming Cultural Awareness and movies. I also like Caring for Your Body (hygiene/puberty) when we bake.” Discovering Food (Nutrition and Culinary Skills) -HomeBridge Youth Self-esteem Recreation and Leisure Development Communication Skills Assertiveness Peer Pressure Understanding Your Emotions Circus Skills Development (unicycling, juggling, tight rope, flower sticks etc) Visual Arts Music Yoga Aromatherapy Tai Chi HeartMath

Respectfully Submitted Shelley Teal HomeBridge Youth Program Coordinator Dr T.C.M., Dr. A.C., R. AC



Recreation Program A Summer Recreation Program was piloted in 2015 and proved to be such a success that it has since become a regular part of HomeBridge’s therapeutic programming. It has also been expanded to include a week of recreational outings during March Break. This is an innovative program that uses creative and effective approaches to engage youth in physical and emotional wellbeing activities through recreation and leisure. It was implemented to enhance HomeBridge’s support of the development of resiliency in the vulnerable youth we work with.


In order to effectively measure the sought outcomes of this program the Recreation Programmer kept updated statistics of youth participation and engagement in the recreation and leisure programs as well as observations noted by the Youth Care Teams. This data showed that the majority of youth did participate in the outings and activities offered and there was a noticeable decline in substance use and other high risk behaviours. It was also noted that they experienced success and had fun participating in age appropriate activities.


The majority of youth residing in our facilities have had minimal opportunities to engage in physical activities and other programs related to wellness. The goal of this program is to provide opportunities for these young people to have experiences that contribute to their physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. To continue to provide best practice for the youth it is essential to capitalize on resources that specialize in decreasing high risk behaviours. Providing opportunities for at-risk youth to participate in recreation and leisure activities has proven to be an effective and relational solution to engage them in physical activities and other experiences that contribute to overall wellness. Funding for the Summer and March Break Recreation Programs was secured through a Mental Health and Addictions Grant from the Department of Health and Wellness, Home Depot’s Orange Door Campaign (Dartmouth Crossing location) and our involvement with the 5km Zombie Trail Run. This allowed us to utilize an experienced Youth Care Worker as Recreation Programmer during the program. The focus of this position is to work with our Youth Care Teams to plan and execute outings that engage the young people, and keep them active and involved in positive and age appropriate activities. The program’s budget also covers the rental of a van for these outings, as well as the cost of registration and/or admission for the activities.





young people

52 280



It +extra hours

of activities

I can’t pick a favourite experience because there’s been a lot, but there are great people and I feel safe and cared for. -HomeBridge Youth

These activities included rock climbing, surfing, hiking, tidal bore rafting, swimming, skiing, miniature golf, gokarting, visits to the zoo and several trips to amusement parks. For many of the young people this was their first time trying some of these activities or even traveling to the locations. It is through these programs where we experience the youth as being authentic, taking appropriate risks and allowing themselves to be vulnerable, all the while having fun. In total 52 young people took part in the program and 280 extra hours of activities were added.





a VI

HomeBridge Youth Society Average Length of Stay in Residential Care - Long Term Homes 400



Sullivan (Females)




250 200




Johnson (Females) 202

Hawthorne (Males) Jubien (Males) Cogswell (Males)

100 50 0

Average Length of Stay Requiring Emergency Stabilization at the Reigh Allen Centre 25



Youth Care Workers listen and care and help me figure stuff out.


20 15

-HomeBridge Youth

10 5 0

Reigh Allen Centre Females

Reigh Allen Centre Males

Facility Placements of Youth from Outside the Central Region 40 total individuals

Reigh Allen Centre (17)



Long Term Facilities (23)



Advanced Training for Best Practice At HomeBridge we strive for best practice in everything we do, especially our work with youth and families. This involves researching the latest practices for therapeutic interventions and programming and a constant commitment to professional development for all employees. This year employees have been involved in the following educational opportunities to keep our knowledge current and to be the best professionals we can be:

External Training 2016 Maritime Living Works Trainers Conference Association of Fundraising Professionals What Donors Want Cape Breton University Learning from Knowledge Keepers of Mi'kma'ki Certificate via Distance Carla Anglehart, Governance and Leadership Consultant Board Governance Policy Review and Training Chartered Professional Accountants of Nova Scotia NFPO Disclosure and Presentation – From Standard to Words Cultivating Emotional Intelligence for Impactful Leadership Presence Who You Are Is How You Lead: Unleashing Leadership Excellence Compass Pharmacies / Moffat’s PharmaChoice Medication Awareness Training Crisis and Trauma Institute Addictions and Mental Illness Critical Incident Group Debriefing Crisis Prevention Institute Non Violent Crisis Intervention Recertification for Trainers Department of Community Services Parent Resources for Information, Development and Education Internet Child Exploitation Human Resource Association of Nova Scotia Provincial HRANS Conference 2016 Annual Law Seminar Human Rights in the Workplace Elevate 2016 (virtual Human Resource Conference) IWK Health Centre Learning Disabilities Motivational Interviewing Jack Phelan Developmental Stages of Supervision Nova Scotia Criminal Justice Society Human Trafficking




External Training continued Restorative Options for Youth in Care Restorative Circles Saint Mary’s University Executive & Professional Development Leadership Skills for the New Manager Developing Managerial Effectiveness St. John’s Ambulance First Aid Recertification for Trainers Traincan – the Source for Food Safety Basic Food Safety in Canada Youth Project Issues Pertaining to Transgender Persons

Internal Training Applied Suicide Intervention Skills


Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety Basic fire safety WHMIS Introduction to Occupational Health and Safety for new employees Responsibilities of the Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee Mental Health First Aid Non Violent Crisis Intervention - Trauma Informed Care Non Violent Crisis Intervention, Enhanced Verbal Skills: Applications of Life Space Crisis, and Advanced Physical Techniques Safety Oriented First Aid Student Advisor Training HomeBridge continues to use communication technology to make consulting, mentoring and learning opportunities possible with experts who are not local, with minimal expense. Skype is being utilized to make this possible. Whether it is one-on-one consults, or meetings with experts in the field of Child and Youth Care from around the globe, or group training that would typically require flights and accommodations for the facilitator, this technology has had a very positive impact on our growth and development.

I appreciate all the wonderful staff here and all the effort they put into making this house a home for anyone who walks through the door. I've grown, I've learned, I've seen and I will continue" -HomeBridge Youth

Maintenance & Housekeeping Team


Abbey, Jessica Alamin, Yesir Aucoin, Matthew Baksh, Marcus Belliveau, Dawn Best, David Biddulph, Sarah Boucher, Allan Boudreau, Michael Boutlier, Ryan Bowers, Andrea Boyce, Jaime Brewer, Maggie Bugbee, Liz Bulger, Maryann Campbell, Lauren Carter, David Carver, Tara Chisholm, Alana Clark, Colleen Close, Melissa Colledge, Kari Colley, Raylene Crooks, Melissa Cruickshanks, Darlene Dacey, Keira Dakin, Heidi Davies, Angela Davis, Leslie Delaney, Jennifer Dixon, Nike Downie, Evelyn Driscoll, Theresa Dube, James Durnford, Conrad Edwards, Jacqueline

HomeBridge Youth Society Employee List 2016-2017

Interdisciplinary Support Team


Kitchen Team

Evans, Haley Faubert, Jeremy Fiamelli, Lauren Field, Paige Findlay, Brittany Foran, Kevin Fournier, Tina Fraser, Katrina Frost-Goyetche, Melanie Gallant, Lisa Garcia, Zach Gass, Amanda Graves, Sarah Grcic, Andrew Grcic, Diana Gribbin, Clare Harding, Melissa Hatfield, Carissa Higgins, Kim Hilton, Ernie Hines, Judy Horne, Tara Hume-MacFarlane, Susan Jordan, Alice Kaulbach, Jenna Kelbert, Irina Kelly, Jillian Kozera, Kenzie LaFosse, Michelle Landry, Olivia Langille, Edward LeBlanc, Alex Leedham, Liz Leil, Kelley Leger, Andrew Lethbridge, Carol

Llewellyn, Jasmin MacCormick, Roddy MacDonald, Aaron MacDonald, Brennagh MacDonald, Cat MacDougall, Joanne MacEachern, Christina MacFarlane, Bill MacInnis, Greg MacNutt, Matt Macsween, Natasha Marmulak, Troy Marshall, Leigh Matthews, Jason McGregor, Robyn McLeod, Todd McPhee, Patrick Meade, Ruth Misiner, Russel Moore, Caroline Morin, Lisa Mouchayleh, Christina Murphy, Jan Nadeau, Danielle Nicolaou, Kimberley Nogler, Darrell Nordin, Jillian O'Brien, Trish O'Handley, Darren Owen, Susan Palmer, Jacqueline Parfitt, Lindsay Parsons, Lynn Pulsifer, Bernie Pye, Hayley Pyke, Janet


Maintenance & Housekeeping Team

Rankin, Holly Rathwell, Jim Richey, Michael Ross, Lisa Sala, Lisa Scallion, Kelly Scholten, David Selim-Omar, Aziza Sellon, Ashley Shaw, Tanya Smith, Devin Smith, Jennifer Smith, Jody Smith, John Sponagle, Darryl Stevens, Renee Stevenson, Marian Stundon, Waddell Swim, Emma Taylor, Meghan Teal, Shelley Theunissen, Shane Thompson, Patsy Toczko, Bethany Tompkins, Alicia Veniott, Karla Vissers-Bowes, Cherie White, Amber White, Sabrina Whitman, Cecilia Wilson, John Wood, Ryan Woodford, Jackie Zinck, Dylan

Service Delivery Report This has been a year of change, connection and growth within our Service Delivery Department. It is my privilege to be able to share with you a few of our highlights over the past year.

Change HomeBridge is no stranger to change and this past year we have experienced and embraced changes on many levels. The Youth Care Teams continue to welcome new Youth Care Workers and say goodbye to others. Some have transitioned into management positions and managers too have moved to new roles and embraced the opportunity to supervise different programs in the HomeBridge Community. As these changes occurred we continued to work collaboratively with our community partners to ensure the youth we serve reside in a safe, therapeutic environment unaffected by the changes.

Connection We are grateful for our community partners and the opportunities that are created by us working together. Our annual walkabouts in the communities that surround each of our facilities allowed us the opportunity to connect with many of our neighbours to better explain the services we offer the youth and answer any inquiries they may have. This is very important to us as connectedness to community is a core focus of our therapeutic approach. Halifax Regional Police and the RCMP have been a valuable resource over the past year. Our relationship with their Community Liaison Officers is especially helpful as they work hard to build positive relationships with the youth and provide invaluable consult for the Youth Care Teams.

Of course, we continue to work closely with our partners at the Department of Community Services to build a strong working relationship and explore new opportunities for the youth as their child; youth and family supports transformation continues to unfold. As you will see detailed later in this Annual Report, our employees are also connected to a number of Boards and Committees that further support the continuum of care and HomeBridge’s vision.

Growth The Service Delivery Department is constantly seeking out opportunities for growth and in the past year we have added several new components to our practice. We have implemented an enhancement to HomeBridge’s framework for intervention planning, using the latest research from Dr. Leon Fulcher and Dr. Thom Garfat called “Outcomes That Matter for Children & Youth in Out-of-Home Care”. A learning component is also now a regular part of each of our team meetings. All Youth Care Supervisors have an experienced and trusted Mentor to advise them. We have enhanced our new employee training, debriefing team, service delivery meetings, and the roles within our service delivery team. Training and development opportunities for all employees also continues to be a focus. These are just some our current initiatives as we continue to learn, celebrate, connect, and grow together. Respectfully submitted Lynn Parsons Service Delivery Manager

We continue to be grateful to St. Paul’s Home Board who own three of the buildings that house our programs. We were honoured this year to be included in a meeting with other beneficiaries of their support, Phoenix youth Programs and Regional Independent Students Association, to explore a vision for working together in the future.



Health and Addictions Support takesMental a Village HomeBridge continues to benefit from support and expertise from CHOICES, the IWK’s Community Mental Health and Addictions Services Program. A Clinical Social Worker is seconded to HomeBridge 80% of his time. Acting in the role of Mental Health and Addictions Counselor, he provides guidance to both the youth we serve and our Youth Care Teams as they develop intervention strategies together to help decrease the severity of substance misuse. This includes facilitating a new program in Bridges for Learning called “Making Changes”. The program is designed to help the students overcome the ambivalence associated with their substance use, identify their own values and hopes with respect to their lives, and provide them with skills to help them better cope with stressors without the use of substances. The Clinical Social Worker also chairs a Concurrent Disorder Committee which is comprised of representatives from all areas of the HomeBridge Community. Through presentations, discussions and training opportunities, Committee members have gained a greater understanding of the issues relating to youth substance use, mental health and concurrent disorders. The Committee provides a supportive environment for translating this knowledge to actual practice. Through this process, Committee members have a role in shaping our responses to the youth by sharing their learnings with their individual teams and by taking a lead role in care planning. This community partnership, now in its fourth year, is part of the IWK Health Centre’s outreach strategy. It has added to the expertise in the HomeBridge Community and has helped us greatly in our efforts to provide the best services possible for youth-in-care.

There’s always someone to remind me to do the things I need to do. -HomeBridge Youth

I like to play board games with staff. I like watching TV with them too. -HomeBridge Youth



Sharing Our Skills and Knowledge We believe very strongly in the old proverb “it takes a village to raise a child”. Sharing our knowledge and expertise outside of the HomeBridge Community is important to us because we want our village to be as big as possible. HomeBridge offered placements to 13 students looking to gain some front line experience in human services this year. Each student was matched with a HomeBridge Student Field Advisor to guide them on their educational journey and ensure that their individual learning objectives were met. We are very happy to be part of this professional development process as we gain just as much as the students who are with us while they put their classroom theory into practice. The students came from the following educational institutions and programs: Nova Scotia Community College, Waterfront Campus Nova Scotia Community College, Truro Campus Mount Saint Vincent University, Child and Youth Study Carleton University, Bachelor of Social Work Saint Mary’s University, Commerce HomeBridge employees also contributed their time and talents by sitting on the following Boards and Committees outside of the organization: Relational Child and Youth Care Practice Journal Board Curriculum Advisory Committee: NSCC Child and Youth Care Curriculum Advisory Board: Holland College Child & Youth Care Worker Program International Child & Youth Care Network Board (CYC-Net) Nova Scotia Council for the Family Board Gordon Foundation for Children and Youth Board New Start Board of Directors

Memberships Project Management Institute, Nova Scotia Chapter Association of Fundraising Professionals, Nova Scotia Chapter CPA Canada (Chartered Professional Accountants) CPANS (Chartered Professional Accountants of Nova Scotia) Nova Scotia Child and Youth Care Workers Association The Canadian Psychology Association (CPA) The Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA) The Human Resources Association of Nova Scotia Nova Scotia Association of Social Workers Nova Scotia Trafficking Elimination Partnership (NSTEP)




It takes a Village Statistically youth-in-care are behind their peers when it comes to education and cultural and recreational experiences. We strive to offer as many positive opportunities as possible to broaden the experience of the young people in the HomeBridge Community and thanks to the support of the community we are making great strides in this area. This year we had the privilege of partnering with some incredible organizations to put on events that not only raised money, but also awareness about the work we do.






This year marked the fifth and final Ha Ha’s for HomeBridge. Thanks to our partners Premiere Entertainment Group (who put on Halifax Comedy Fest) and the Mic Mac Amateur Aquatic Club, this comedy night fundraiser was a big success. These community minded partners donated both the venue and the talented comedians for this event which meant that every cent from ticket sales went directly to creating positive experiences for the youth. This event created a lot of big belly laughs for our guests and raised well over $20,000 in the five years, proving that laughter really is the best medicine. HomeBridge was also very fortunate to once again be included in Home Depot Canada’s “Orange Door Project”. This campaign has a goal of providing vulnerable youth with the housing, support and hope they need to live safe, healthy and productive lives. Each store held a “paper door campaign” as part of this initiative and HomeBridge was the recipient of all funds raised by Home Depot Dartmouth Crossing. Their customers were able to purchase a paper door at the check-out during of the campaign. The team at Dartmouth Crossing were incredible champions for both the campaign and HomeBridge. We can’t thank them enough for this support. A new partnership this year also resulted in our very first Run for Youth. This event was made possible by the Bedford Running Room and offered participants a scenic 3K and 5K route to walk or run through Bedford’s Range Park. The fundraiser sent participants home with a finishing medal and their very own HomeBridge sneaker charm to commemorate the experience. Thank you to all of our community partners and supporters. The young people who live in the HomeBridge Community have a much richer experience thanks to your support.

Home Depot Canada’s “Orange Door Project”

Run for Youth


Our Benefactors and Supporters Cornerstone Partners Department of Community Services, St. Paul’s Home Board, Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal and Department of Education

Government Agency Support Department of Justice, Youth Development Initiative, Youth Employability Project, and the Department of Health and Wellness, Mental Health and Addictions

Expressions Program of the Arts Donors Clearwater Ltd, Investors Group, Canadian Progress Club Halifax-Cornwallis, Gratitude at Work, 100 Men Who Give a Damn! Halifax

Community Supporters Nova Scotia Community College, Halifax Regional Police, Tammy Campbell and Investors Group Colleagues, Community Justice Society, the IWK/Choices Program, Halifax Region Children’s Aid Foundation, Compass Pharmacies, Home Depot Dartmouth Crossing, The Crossing Christian Church, and Peace of Mind Heating Services.

Donations/Fundraising – Fiscal 2016/2017 Miscellaneous fundraisers (Peeler Golf Cards, Run for Youth) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $ 1,686 Youth Development Initiative (YDI) Farmer’s Market & Community Clean Up Grants . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $ 1,814 Ha Ha’s for HomeBridge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $ 3,514 Recreation Funding Grants/Orange Door Campaign . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . $ 6,043 General Donations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $ 7,066 Holidays of Hope (Including St. Paul’s Christmas for Youth) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $ 8,502 Online Auction 2016 ................................................................................................................ $ 10,473 Expressions Program of the Arts (corporate & individual donors) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $ 13,810 Bridges For Learning (Department of Education grant) .............................................................. . . $ 70,000

HomeBridge received/fundraised over $122,000 in fiscal 2016/2017




HomeBridge Youth Society Operating Income Statement UNAUDITED - For the year ended March 31, 2017


Total Expenses Net Income (loss)






Per diem (occupancy)




Miscellaneous Income




Investment income






















Repair & maintenance




Light, Power, Cable




Professional services fees




Household & cleaning supplies




Household furnishings
















Youth Life Skills Programming








Staff Training












Property Taxes




Psychological testing materials




Board development








$ -



Wages & benefits




For a copy of HomeBridge Youth Society's audited financial statements please contact Colleen Clark, CPA, CA HomeBridge Director of Finance at 902.466.1439 x 224 or Thank you to those who contributed to the Annual Report: Deanna Severeyns, Ernie Hilton, Lynn Parsons, Renee Stevens, Jackie Woodford, Colleen Clark, Carol Lethbridge, Kari Colledge, Shelley Teal, and Margaret Lawton.


HomeBridge Donor List - Fiscal 2016/2017 18 Dartmouth Air Cadets Squadron 311 Citizen Contact Centre A&W Advent Gift Bag Program (St. Peter's Parish church groups) AECON Atlantic All Points To Healing Valerie Allard Allure Hair Lounge Ambassatours Gray Line and Murphy's the Cable Wharf Anonymous Apricity Designs Deanna Archibald Arthur J. Gallagher Canada Balance Fitness Pat Bannerman Barry Barter Robert Bartlett Bedford Head Shoppe Bedford Running Room Sarah Biddulph Krista Blaikie Hughes Ashley Blisset Boston Pizza Robert & Patricia Boulton Majelline Bowes James Bowes Bowlin Farms Doggie Adventures BOYNECLARKE LLP Andy Brockamp (Right Handyman) Laura Browne Ian Burgess Burrito Jax Calendar Club Paula Campbell Lauren Campbell Tammy Campbell Cynthia Carroll David Carter Casey Rodgers Chisholm Penny Duggan Chatters Hair Salon Colleen & Lloyd Clark Clearwater Seafoods Limited Partnership Karen Clements Coast Tire Kari Colledge Amber Collins-Grimmer Colonial Honda Compass Pharmacies/Moffat's Pharmachoice Congregation of Notre Dame Visitation Province Centre Rufus Copage CPI Health Centre Melissa Crooks CUPE Local 4471 Dalcam Sanitation Solutions Inc. Dalhousie University Lynda d'Entremont Department of Justice, Adult Diversion Program Discount Car & Truck Rentals Dooly's Truro Dulux Paints Allan Dwyer Cindy Dyer Eastern Passage Education Centre Eastlink Enlighten Laser & Skin Care Clinic Fantasie Music Instruments Karen Findlay Flower Trends Florists Steve Foran Tina Fournier Steve Fowler


Melanie Frost-Goyetche Thom Garfat Debbie George Get Air Jennifer Giles Shirley Graham Nicholas Graham & Wanda McDonald William Greatorex Vanessa Greencorn Kimberly Hale Halifax Cornwallis Canadian Progress Club Halifax Region Children's Aid Foundation Halifax Transit Head Shoppe Chris Hilton Ernie Hilton Trudie Holland Home Depot (Dartmouth Crossing) Home Depot Canada Foundation Rose Hopkins Tara Horne Illusions Hair Salon Intact Foundation Intact Insurance Casualty Team Investors Group Investors Group Matching Gift Program IODE Mary Lawson Chapter Iris Booth Taegan Jordan Cabrini Kelly Karen Kirk Cindy Landry Kelly Lawrence Margaret Lawton Darlene Laybolt Robert Leger Andrew Leger Carol Lethbridge Christiane Lonergan Tracy MacKinnon Marie MacPhee Auly MacPhee Alexander MacRae June MacRae Maritime Travel Leigh Marshall Martock Michelle McCann Leanne McCarron McDonald's/LSNG Ent. Inc. Michelle McDuff Susan McWilliam Nickerson Ruth Meade Mental Health & Addictions Program Metro Karate Training Centre Corey Mitchell & Becca Caroline Moore Lisa Morin Thomas Munro Jan Murphy Chrystal Murphy Sara Napier (and family) Leslie Neate Nan Nichols Amanda Nicholson Kim Nicolaou Virginia Nogler Darrell Nogler & Kate White Northbridge Insurance Trish O'Brien Christine Oderkirk Darren O'Handley Tanya Ozard Caroline Palov

Jennifer Palov Lynn Parsons Peace of Mind Heating Lisa Peck Paula Perron Jena Power Prince George Hotel Alexandra Pulchny Beth Pye Janet Pyke RBC Foundation RBC Royal Bank - Main Branch Hollis Street RBC Tacoma Branch Dora Reade Doreen Redmond Erika Richards Claire Richardson Carla Rose Samantha Rudolph Sackville Animal Hospital Saint Mary's Alumni Association Dr. Matthias Scheffler Scotia Cloud Services Scotiabank Burnside Deanna Severeyns Shanti Hot Yoga Kelly Shaw Shelter Nova Scotia Douglas Shields Shubenacadie Provincial Wildlife Park Bonnie Smith Jennifer Smith Sobeys Inc. St. Paul's Home Renee Stevens Anne Sweeney Symphony Nova Scotia Carla Taylor The Basement Hair Studio The Big Yes The Crosby Family The Head Shoppe The Orb Factory The Printing House, Branch #054 The Right Touch Massage & Acupuncture Therapy The Shoe Box Project The Vault The Westin Nova Scotia Patsy Thompson Tim Horton's Michele Trider Unleashed Potential Patricia Vardy VIA Rail Canada Karen Vissers Cherie Vissers-Bowes Volunteer Committee of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia (CPSNS) Ward 5 Neighbourhood Centre Weldon & McInnis Amber White Nate White-Nogler Linda Wilson Salyne Wilson Jackie Woodford Wendy Woodford Linda Woodford Debi Woodford David Woodford Karen Woods-Kirby Helen Wright Zig Zag Hair Studio Kelley Zinck


Homebridge Annual Report 2017  
Homebridge Annual Report 2017