Feedback from the 2018 Survey
1. Because the organization does not provide outpatient services, it engages the outpatient therapists of the individual girls to provide training to staff on the needs of each girls to provide training to staff on the needs of each girl and interventions that may be helpful in meeting those needs.
2. Staff members have lively, genuine, spontaneous communication style led by their leadership that embraces the person served and outreach to youth on the street in need of services. The coordination of services with the ministry and other community resources is enhanced by this communication style that is professional and engaging. Adept communication has been instrumental in Anika Youth Services establishing long-term relationships within the service delivery community and with the persons served and their families.
3. A youth interviewed said “I’ve finally found somewhere where I feel like I’m wanted and not judged by my choices and now what I call my forever home.” The connection and comfort that the youth feel with staff were expressed many times with several youth in the homes. The youth know most of staff members and seem to view them as extended family. Graduates of the program often visit and participate in various festivities.
4. The organizations’ staff members are talented, committed, and enthusiastic about providing services to teenage girls who often are street entrenched, involved with the criminal justice system, and exhibiting behaviours that would render them ineligible for other group homes. In this supportive environment, youth are linked to the services they need to pursue for healthier lifestyles so they can successfully integrate into the community. It was apparent that this strength-based approach helps these youth thrive and develop and enhances their goals for improved quality of life.
5. The organization’s group homes are attractive, safe, and comfortable and located in well-maintained communities. Arts and crafts created by the youth decorate the walls of the homes. Each home houses no more than two youth who have their own well-appointed bedrooms. The decorations in each bedroom are selected by the occupant and reflect the teenager’s interests and creativity.
6. Families are involved whenever it is appropriate for the well-being of the youth. In meeting with several family members, their gratitude for the caring, supportive staff and the quality of services provided by Anika Youth Services was apparent. They noted the positive changes they have seen since their youth entered the program, describing their earlier episodes of violence and antisocial behaviour that no longer takes place during visits with the family. They also spoke about the assistance that staff have provided them, helping them understand more about the youth’s issues and linking the youth services and resources to meet the youth’s needs.
7. Anika Youth Services demonstrates exemplary outreach efforts to girls who are AWOL from their home. The organization serves a population they is often street entrenched. Some girls, who seem to be in the pre-contemplative or contemplative stages of change, sometimes leave the group home and return to the streets or other living arrangements. The organization provides outreach services to these girls rather than discharging them to keep the relationship it has with the girls and to hopefully eventually get them to return home. It notifies the local assertive community treatment team so that it can also reach out to the girls to provide additional support, including medications, if needed. The ministry supports this approach by continuing to pay for the bed to keep it available for the girls should they decide to return.