About Us

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Wood’s Homes?

We are a Calgary-based, nationally recognized children’s mental health centre. We celebrated 100 years of service in 2014 and have a long history of helping children and their families with mild to severe emotional and behavioural mental health issues.

Who started Wood’s Homes?

In 1914, Reverend George Wood said “yes” to a soldier who asked him to care for his two motherless children so he could serve overseas.

Is Wood’s Homes non-denominational?

Yes.  Over the past few decades, Wood's Homes has become very diverse in response to recognizing and accepting families of various religious persuasions. We officially removed the word Christian from our formal name in 2007.

Who are the principle users of Wood's Homes programs?

Calgary children, teens, young adults and their families. However, we also work with clients from across Alberta and some from many different pockets of this country the Maritimes, Ontario, Saskatchewan, British Columbia and Nunavut. View a chart of our client numbers by Calgary quadrants, regions in Alberta and provinces in 2016.

Where do you operate your programs?

Our programs are located in Calgary, Lethbridge, Strathmore and Fort McMurray. In Calgary, we work on three large campuses in the communities of Bowness, Parkdale and Inglewood. Our Bowness and Parkdale campuses each host four live-in mental health treatment programs, but we also provide programs in various facilities throughout the city. Approx. 150 young people live with us at any given time. Our Inglewood campus is home to the EXIT Youth Hub, Foster Care and Home Connections programs.


What age groups do you work with?

The majority of our youth participating in our live-in treatment programs are 12 to 18-years-old; however we work with children from newborn to 25. We provide a live-in program for children under 12, and community-based therapeutic programs for young people 18 to 24-years old, as well as for caregivers and parents. Anyone over 18 can also access our no-charge, walk-in counselling services at Eastside Family Centre in northeast Calgary or call our 24/7 crisis line.

Do the young people you work with have criminal histories?

Sometimes. Many of these young people are simply experiencing tough times and they have come to us with backgrounds of abuse, neglect and trauma. The youth in residence are not in secure treatment - they have the freedom to walk off campus, but we are still their home.

What is the size of Wood's Homes

We are one of the largest child- and family-serving agencies in the province of Alberta, working on three large campuses in Calgary (Bowness, Parkdale and Inglewood) and in several community homes scattered throughout the city. We also provide services in Lethbridge, Strathmore and Fort McMurray. We have 500 staff and proudly work with 100+ volunteers. Our 2017 annual operating budget is approximately $32 million. Providing 44 programs and services, we work with approximately 20,000 children and their families every year, some from across Canada.

What are the primary sources of income?

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How is Wood's Homes governed?

 Wood’s Homes is an independent, non-profit, community-owned and governed agency.

Wood’s Homes has three Boards of Directors:

    1. Wood’s Homes Society (PropertyCo)
    2. Wood’s Homes (OpCo)
    3. Wood’s Homes Foundation

The Boards of Directors are supported by multiple Board committees that include community advisory members with significant professional credentials and experience in the sector.

Our Chief Executive Officer is Dr. Jane Matheson.

Does the Alberta government cover costs of out-of-province youth coming into your care?

No. Youth from outside the province are here under independent contract. Their respective governments pay for their treatment and their education costs as well.

What is the cost of live-in treatment at Wood's Homes?

The cost varies depending on the program or service, but it is approximately $450-500 a day. This is approximately one-third the cost of hospital-based treatment programs.

How does Wood's Homes measure success?

Wood’s Homes established a Research Department in 2001 to investigate program effectiveness and determine the need to revise, update or terminate programs. We have established a strong reputation for our work in developing frameworks for successful treatment outcomes. 

Outcome measures include:

  • Measurement of mental health improvement and reduction in risk issues
  • Sustained quantitative evaluations while a child is in care
  • Parent/caregiver satisfaction assessments
  • Family capacity measurement and improvement

Results are reported to an Advisory Committee of professional practitioners, the Governing Board (bi-annually) and to our funders.

In April 2017, Dr. Angelique Jenney was named the Wood's Homes Research Chair in Children's Mental Health. The Chair, in partnership with the University of Calgary, is the first of its kind in Canada because it is based in the community.


There appears to be many agencies doing similar work – is this duplication of services efficient?

It is true there is similar work being carried out, but each agency specializes in meeting different needs of the community. These specialized services fill vital gaps in the social support system. The diversity and immediate response ensures that very difficult and often complicated social needs are addressed with minimal bureaucratic delay.

How is Wood’s Homes different from Hull Services?

Hull Services offers confined programs (secure services) and programs for children and teens. 

What changing trends does Wood’s Homes foresee?

Wood’s Homes has maintained its commitment to providing services to meet the changing needs of our communities.

We know that:

  • Children are coming into care at increasingly younger ages with more complex and mysterious mental health conditions.
  • Mental illness is increasingly threatening the lives of our children. The suicide rate for youth in Canada is the third highest in the industrialized world with suicide being one of the leading causes of death in youth ages 15 to 24.
  • It is estimated that 10-20% of Canadian youth are affected by a mental illness or disorder the single most disabling group of disorders.
  • Societal awareness of mental health problems, and the stigma associated with it, is increasing.

Does Wood’s Homes have partnerships with other agencies and institutions?

Partnerships are vital to the success of our programs. We have partnerships with many groups including the Calgary Board of Education, Calgary Homeless Foundation, Family and Community Support Services, Alberta Health Services, United Way, ALIGN, Calgary John Howard Society, Horizon Housing, the University of Calgary and many others.

Wood’s Homes is engaged in multiple levels of advocacy. This includes ongoing liaison with government, community groups and organizations including ALIGN, the Child Welfare League of Canada, the Association of Fundraising Professionals, the Calgary Foundation, Propellus, the Calgary Chamber of Voluntary Organizations among others.