Wood's Homes Blog

The importance of play in child development

August 08, 2019

A one-year-old is exploring a basket filled with various swatches of fabric. A five-year-old is playing pretend restaurant with her aunt. An eight-year-old and her friend are working together to build a fort. What do all of these situations have in common? Yes, they are all examples of children playing, but they are also all examples of children engaging in powerful learning and developing their brain through play. Mr. Rogers said that “Play is the work of childhood”, and I wholeheartedly agree with this statement. Play is a means through which children can learn new concepts, work through emotions, develop social skills, gain an understanding of others and learn language.

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3 easy steps to developing your descriptive praise

July 25, 2019

I talk with parents quite often about how praising their child is one of the best ways to encourage positive behavior and build strong bonds. In my experience with families, and in becoming familiar with the outcomes that result from positive reinforcement, I’ve noticed a few key strategies that can help parents take their child-praising abilities to the next level.

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Inside the world of Wood's Homes

June 28, 2019

On June 25, we proudly hosted more than 50 people at our Annual General Meeting at our Inglewood campus. Filled with vibrant colours, great food (prepared by YCAP) and the smiling faces of our Board and committee members, partners, donors and friends, the event provided another opportunity to showcase our campus and to hear inspiring stories from across the agency.

Our very own Josh Groen, School Support Counsellor with Wood’s Homes’ William Taylor Learning Centre, spoke about the innovative ways he and his colleagues encourage renewed interest in learning and participation among the students there. He shared many stories of success… here’s what he had to say:

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Kinship Support Program: An introduction to what we do!

June 18, 2019

Wood’s Homes Kinship Support Program consists of two Kinship Support Workers (that’s us!) and our Program Manager, Camella Magulike. We are part of an interconnected group of services offered by Wood’s Homes’ Family Support Network to improve outcomes for children and families. The program began in 2015 and has grown a lot since then, from supporting 16 children placed in 13 kinship homes to supporting 66 children placed in 44 kinship homes in our 2018-2019 reporting period.

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Raising Boys To Become Good Fathers

June 14, 2019

Father’s Day can be a complicated occasion for many.  Many children have not had the benefit of a positive relationship with their fathers for varying reasons. It could be family dynamics, mental illness, substance use, separation and divorce, bereavement, immigration and migration (not to mention less than family-friendly work schedules in many male-dominated professions). The diversity of families today means that children may also have multiple Dads, or other father-figures (like Grandfathers, Brothers and Stepfathers) in their lives which we also celebrate.  

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Trauma-informed care in our everyday practice

June 12, 2019

At Wood’s Homes, We Never Say No, We Never Give Up, We Never Turn Anyone Away.

This motto is a large part of why we implement trauma-informed care into our everyday practice. Traumatic events are experienced by everyone and are part of being human. When children in particular are involved in such events, this can act as a host for other social and neuropsychiatric problems (Perry, 2006). The Wood’s Homes Supported Visitation and Transportation Program works primarily in collaboration with two programs at Wood’s Homes: The Family Support Network (FSN) and the Foster Care Network (FCN) in providing services to parents and children involved with the Alberta Children’s Services Forest Lawn site. We help to manage risk and safety while supporting access between biological families when the children have been removed from the home due to child protection concerns.

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Calming strategies from Starting Points students

June 06, 2019

Wood’s Homes has worked together with the Calgary Catholic School District since 2005 through the Starting Points program. Our School Support Counsellors work out of seven elementary classrooms in mainstream schools throughout the city, assisting with students who sometimes struggle to regulate their emotions in an educational setting. The goal is to teach kids the skills that will enable them to integrate back in to mainstream classrooms.

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The elephant in the room: Why talking about mental health in families is so hard

May 23, 2019

We like to think of home as where the heart is. In fact, I’ve written on that very topic in the past. But sometimes home can also be where the ‘hard’ is, and that is particularly true when adjusting or living with a family member who is experiencing a mental health issue. Part of what makes that experience so hard, is the perceived and very real threat of stigma that is attached to those labelled with a mental health issue.

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Children's Mental Health Day: An important reminder from our CEO

May 16, 2019

This year, Children’s Mental Health Day was on May 9 and once again, Wood’s Homes took the opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of paying attention to our mental health.

Many of us who have been in the business of caring for and helping children and their families for years would say we have come a long way with understanding and accepting our ‘mental health’ while many others would say we still have such a long way to go.

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The power and beauty of oral storytelling

April 24, 2019

It took a while for the boys to settle into their chairs. One was busy tinkering with the spoon in his teacup; another anxious to show anyone willing to listen, his magic deck of cards. A third was fidgeting with his ear buds.

And then the sweet grass was lit, marking the official start of our togetherness and some quiet.

These youth, along with a half-dozen others, are clients at Wood’s Homes. They were gathered recently in a circle that included special guest Elder John Crier, and Wood’s Homes’ Indigenous Liaison Tye Rhyno. They were here to listen to the Elder who had stories to share.

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