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Wood’s Homes brings more youth services to Grande Prairie

Wood’s Homes, a children’s mental health centre in Alberta, is bringing its services to Grande Prairie. Youth who need a foster family or help to get out of group homes to become independent can get help through Home Fire Keepers, thanks to a partnership between the Wood’s Homes organization and the Alberta government.

Home Fire Keepers are caregivers for the program provided through Wood’s Homes to help kids aged 12 to 17 who may have been in live-in treatment care or group homes. Youth and Family Specialist Craig King says their goal is to connect the youth with their families and get them back into the community.

“70 per cent of children in the government’s care are Indigenous children, and they have been set up in a western world kind of setting where kids are not connected to their culture.”

King says they want to re-establish them and help those who can be independent get their independency and those who still need help find a family. King adds they are trying to give their guidance so the Indigenous youth can embrace their culture.

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According to King, their main focus right now is to connect with families willing to provide that safe space.

“We are looking for people who are aware of what we are doing and willing to buy into it and sign on to become Home Fire Keepers or therapeutic foster caregivers.”

The organization will train families interested in being Therapeutic Foster Caregivers. Qualifications include single-income families, people with social work backgrounds, and people with experience working with youth.

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