Wood's Homes Blog

I am more than my FASD

May 14, 2020

The following is a testimonial written by a volunteer at Wood’s Homes FASD Program. This volunteer shares personal stories, and experience on volunteering in a virtual setting.

I’ll start by saying that I’ve never fit so perfectly well with something before. It honestly feels as though Woods Homes and its FASD community in particular has my back even though I haven’t been a part of it for very long. It’s been less than three months. I’m finally with people (of all ages) who have the same condition as me, so I’m no longer like a square peg in a round hole... not that I really minded being ‘different’ that much. Admittedly, my ego most likely enjoyed being different because it meant being “special.” There are times when being different doesn’t feel good.

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Wood’s Homes Heroes: Sobeys Inc. and their Team

April 29, 2020

This week, we send a special “thank you” to Sobeys Inc.! Sobeys Inc. is a generous donor to the Youth in Culinary Arts Program (YCAP), which provides hands-on culinary training to vulnerable and at-risk youth in Calgary. There are many different scenarios that bring a young person to Wood’s Homes for help. Young people who join YCAP often face multiple barriers and lack employability skills due to mental health issues, trauma and a multitude of other challenges. In 2019, because of the support of donors like Sobeys Inc., YCAP was able to help 56 young men and women develop life skills, discover their talents, and build a network of support.

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My volunteer journey at Wood’s Homes

April 24, 2020

I first heard about Wood’s Homes six years ago. My initial knowledge of Wood’s Homes came from a more personal level. A family member had a mental health crisis and needed immediate help. We walked into Eastside Family Centre and that was the beginning of my journey at Wood’s Homes.

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My experience as a youth mentor volunteer and an advocate for Wood’s Homes

April 22, 2020

There is an innate bond that seems to occur among all members of Wood’s Homes. I have had the great privilege of experiencing this connection as a volunteer for roughly one year, during which I’ve gained an unprecedented admiration for the work done at Wood’s.

For those who are unfamiliar, Wood’s Homes could be described as a community of individuals, bonded by the common goal of helping families succeed. Volunteers within this community are provided the opportunity to be involved in a variety of programs geared toward supporting families with their mental health wellness. What I find most commendable about Wood’s Homes programs is that they are geared toward learning and development, striving to not only provide supports, but to also teach the community how to continue utilizing those supports at home!

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Community Therapist Volunteers at Eastside Family Centre

April 20, 2020

I started out as a practicum student in Counselling Psychology at Wood’s Homes Eastside Family Centre back in September of 2014. After completing my degree, I stayed on as a Community Therapist Volunteer.

Although my personal and professional schedules in the past six years have been sporadic at times, resulting in long breaks from volunteering, it feels as though I never really leave Wood’s Homes. Walking into the backroom, greeting everyone and settling into a chair for the shift has been a steadying and meaningful presence in my own life, and hopefully, in the lives of my colleagues and clients.

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Youth Housing First in Lethbridge

April 16, 2020

Imagine you’re 19-years-old, dealing with depression, anxiety and addiction, have physical health issues and no family support. Now, imagine trying to deal with all of this while sleeping at a shelter, couch surfing or even worse, living on the streets. You have no home – no safe place.

This is something we see on a regular basis and where Housing First comes in.

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Our agency-wide COVID-19 response

April 08, 2020

As a result of the COVID-19 crisis, across Wood’s Homes, we have made changes to the way we care for the young people staying with us on each of our campuses, as well as community programs. We have implemented strict and highly detailed cleaning procedures in all on-campus facilities, and our nursing staff (now working a 7-day rotation) are in constant contact with Alberta Health Services to gather and provide the most up-to-date information to all staff – more than 500 working together so clients feel safe and treatment goes uninterrupted.

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The U12 Program: How we’re providing care and support for young clients amidst big change

March 31, 2020

As the COVID-19 crisis continues to re-shape how we go about our lives, we at Wood’s Homes are doing everything we can for those in our care. Our trained mental health counsellors remain available through our crisis line, text, eTherapy and LiveChat services. Our addictions counsellor is available by phone for those who now have limited face-to-face supports. Our school support counsellors have been re-deployed to programs caring for clients throughout the day as our learning centres are closed.

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A new normal

March 24, 2020

Creating a new normal is exactly how parents respond to the unique parenting needs of children and youth with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, our FASD Support Program team sent the following message to all families currently in the program...

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William Taylor Learning Centre: More than just a school

March 11, 2020

There’s a box in a corner of the school’s front office that contains stuffed animals. They were brought in last September, one by one over a period of time, by a struggling young student at Wood’s Homes William Taylor Learning Centre. Stuffed toys don’t usually show up in Grades 7-12, but for this student they meant comfort and security. They were something to cling to in times of loneliness, upset and unfamiliarity: An attachment to something . . .  anything.

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