Family Violence Initiative

COMPENDIUM OF PROMISING PRACTICES TO REDUCE VIOLENCE AND INCREASE SAFETY OF ABORIGINAL WOMEN IN CANADA – COMPENDIUM ANNEX: DETAILED PRACTICE DESCRIPTIONS

INTERACTIONS WITHIN COMMUNITIES

Healthy Relationships: Children and Youth

Program name:

Family Resource Centre; Family Treatment Program

Organization:

Shehatshiu Innu First Nation

Location:

Sheshatshiu, Newfoundland

Target Group:

Families

Contact Name:

Jack Penashue, Social Health Director

Phone:

709-497-8522 ext: 243

Email:

jpenashue@sifn.ca

Website:

N/A

Program Overview
History:

The Family Treatment Program began in 1996 as a 2 year pilot project funded by the Department of Health Canada. This project flew families to remote areas to live in the country under the guidance of Elders and staff for a period of 4-6 weeks. Families from Sheshatshiu and Natuashish were included. After the 2 years, program staff realized that they could not fill the need for both communities with one program, so the program was split into two. The current Family Treatment program in Sheshatshiu takes families to a remote area about 340 km from Sheshatshiu that can be reached by road (rather than flying in to save costs). The Family Resource Centre began in 2000, in response to a need for support for families, especially single parent families.

Program Description
Goals & Objectives:

To provide support and substance abuse treatment to families of Sheshatshiu.

Traditional/Indigenous ways:

The Family Treatment Program offers a 6 week cultural component with sessions that focus on Innu culture and traditional ways.

Components of program:

The Family Resource Centre provides family support to clients by Elders and support workers in the form of parental counselling and follow-up with clients after treatment. The centre has also provided training to other resource centres throughout Labrador. Trained staff and Elders work with the family to build on strengths and connect with their cultural identity. The program offers follow up care to help with the client family's transition back into the community.

Services/How they work:

Services are provided on site at the facility and off site out on the land.

Funding:

Funding is provided by the Department of Health Canada.

Relationships and Stakeholders
Involvement of Target Groups:

The planning for programs is a collaborative effort made by staff of the Family Resource Centre and the Family Treatment Program. There is also community consultation sought through radio call-ins and community conferences, which provide feedback and ideas for programming.

Partners:

Child, Youth and Family Services.

Other relationships:

N/A

Details of Program Evaluation
Evaluation:

An evaluation has been completed.

Highlights of Evaluation Findings:

The report noted that strengths of the program included the cultural component and being based within the community. It was also recommended that there was a need for more professional support in order to prevent staff burnout.

Program Outcomes
Measures of Success:

Clients are asked to participate in a debriefing session after their completion of the programming to help provide input into how to improve services.

Achievements:

Well received by the community. The programs are instrumental in helping to identify some of the strengths and challenges of families and the community as a whole. The program is able to make lasting, positive changes in the lives of clients.

Challenges:

Staff burnout and the frequent turnover rate of staff members is a challenge.

Things to Know to Replicate
Replication Advice:

The program is considered replicable. The challenge potential organizers would face would be to ensure that the program is culturally adapted for different groups and geography; and being able to identify, contact and include remote areas in other provinces that can be offered such a program.

Resources:

Adequate funding, properly trained staff and facility space for the programming would be necessary to ensure the program's success.

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