Wood's Homes Blog

Celebration of Connection and Coming of Age

June 20, 2023

Every culture and religion has unique rites of passage and ways to celebrate youth coming of age, and at the Learning Centers, ours is focused on graduation.

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Be curious! How a Learning Mindset Keeps Me Growing

March 17, 2023

I hold a BFA, MSW, and BEd., My brother has often joked that I won’t be happy until I have more letters after my name than in my name – Not an easy feat, considering the length of my name! Ironically, I’ve never been enamored with academia; I simply love learning, and I enjoy being in an environment where I can share this passion with others

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Best Field Trip Ever!

March 09, 2023

“Best Field Trip Ever!” 

 That was what the boys were shouting while we rode the giant cheese wagon back to the school. The full-size school bus for 5 students and 4 adults was the icing on the cake for the first field trip that our Starting Points (partnership program between CSSD and Woods Homes) class - or any Starting Points class - had ever taken. Of course, the kids all sat at the very back.

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Let the job tour begin!

February 15, 2023

As a Youth Employment Counsellor (YEC) in the LEAD program, working with clients with high levels of anxiety / job stress is a common occurrence. Every client requires different levels of support, and I meet them at their location to provide individualized support. Some clients simply need a ride to get around instead of taking long routes on city transit or walking in sometimes tough weather. Some need a kind and supportive voice to provide a little encouragement and motivation. And some clients need step-by-step guidance and support throughout the process. One such client, Trudy*, was connected to LEAD through the mental health clinician at the Hub.

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My journey with mental illness: Mental health support is life-changing

October 07, 2022

October 2-8 is Mental Illness Awareness Week. This week is dedicated to educating and informing Canadians about the reality of mental illness. Take part, learn more about mental illness, and discover resources and support.


Mental health is a lifelong journey. Our mental health can change throughout our lives, and we may find ourselves with unexpected symptoms of mental illness.

Living with mental illness can be isolating and make it hard to find help to manage the symptoms. There are many resources for mental health help but finding the right type of support or treatment can also be difficult.

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Introducing our Director of Philanthropy and Community: Bryan Goehringer

April 14, 2022

Please join us in welcoming our new Director of the Wood’s Homes Foundation: Bryan Goehringer!

Bryan comes to Wood’s Homes as Director of Philanthropy and Community, reporting to our CEO, Bjorn Johansson. He will work with our Foundation Board, Investment Committee and New Initiatives Committee, as well as oversee Wood’s Homes Fundraising and Community Engagement.

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How to change your own mind

March 11, 2022

Happy Social Work Week!

There are a lot of social workers here at Wood’s Homes – over 70 of us, in fact. With so many of us walking through so many doors of the so many programs and services throughout the day (and night), it is no surprise that social work values are reflected in our agency values. So, too, does social work practice influence our collective practice.

Reflective practice is a cornerstone of social work practice. In short, reflective practice is an iterative process whereby the individual reflects on their work (and the work of their team), critically evaluates it (the good, the bad, and the ugly), and incorporates the subsequent learnings into their future work.

Reflective practice is the underpinning of good post-crisis work, good supervision, good leadership and good clinical work. However, reflective practice can also be painful. If you aren’t intentional (and sometimes even if you are), your inner defender can squash the process…or you can get sucked into a shame hole. Over time, though, it pays off in spades.

In considering our agency’s safety journey over the last couple years, the pain and pay-off of reflective practice is clear. It hurt to look in the mirror – especially at first. Nevertheless, over time, it became easier. The processes and opportunities for reflective practice took hold and propelled us forward.

Look how far we’ve come.

So, in the spirit of social work week, consider your own reflective practice. For inspiration, please enjoy Josh Golding’s account of his own reflective journey and his tips on the very difficult task of changing your own mind.

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Driving Change Together

November 26, 2021

It's National Addictions Awareness Week.

This year’s theme, Driving Change Together, encourages everyone to reassess the way they think about substance use.

Through Wood’s Homes, I was able to connect with a group of people my age who wanted a future free from addiction and felt excited about process of Driving Change Together.

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The Power of Peer Mentorship

November 25, 2021

Who is the expert in the field of addictions?

It has been a dream to lead an Addictions Program that recognizes past clients of the program as experts. The Addictions Peer Mentor role allows for lived experience to be front and centre. Their involvement in the work of addictions is critical to evidence-informed activities.

Having an Addictions Peer Mentor is empowering because they deeply understand the youth we serve. They apply an alternative approach to addictions and act as a confidant who motivates our clients and inspires change.

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We need others to help us see what we don’t see

April 30, 2021

In her TedXWomen’s talk ‘A Realistic Vision for World Peace’, Jody Williams reframes the concept of peace as human security – sustainable, with justice, equity and “freedom from fear”. And in order to achieve peace, we must take action. For rarely is there “hope without endeavour” or “hope of change, unless we take action to make it so”.

I found her vision of peace reminiscent of our vision at Wood’s Homes: A world that values and nurtures the mental health of all people and when needed, ensures quality, timely help for all. I’ve observed that all of us instinctively want to "reclaim the meaning of peace" and carry a vision of a more sustainable and more equitable world, and know that we must work to make our vision a reality.

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