Centre Vital For Children
The Children’s Centre Thunder Bay provides a variety of children’s mental health, child development and parenting services to infants, children, youth and their families living in City and District of Thunder Bay. The purpose of our work is to address children’s social, emotional, behavioral, developmental and mental health needs in the context of the child’s family, learning environment (child care program or school) and larger community. Many of the children, parents and families who come to the Centre are experiencing significant and often complex difficulties which impact their functioning across environments. We work with both individual children, parents, families and other professionals to address problems, strengthen functioning and improve their quality of life.
Children’s Centre achieves its mission and purpose by providing a range of programs and services which meet the changing needs of our community. Their services range from public education, rapid access services and out-patient counseling through to intensive in-home, school-based and residential services. Their Public Education and Prevention services provide quality education sessions that aim to increase knowledge, prevent difficulties and strengthen the capacity of caregivers to parent children. Their Rapid Access services works to ensure clients are seen as quickly as possible. It provides short-term intervention to ensure children and families are stabilized and supported. This program offers a number of rapid access services including: Crisis Coverage System: immediate response/support and help to determine if further services are required; Intake Screening: a screening process to field all general service inquiries and referrals for services within the specified hours of operation; Walk-in Counselling: provides weekly single-session counselling services to children, youth and adults on a first come, first serve basis; Brief Services: short term counselling for children, parents and families.
These critical services provide help to numerous local people in need; people like Brayden and his family. Brayden, five years old, was involved in services at the Children’s Centre to help manage his anxiety and trauma. He had difficulty separating from parents and was hyper vigilant. He was very quiet when he began therapy and had a hard time expressing his emotions. Through therapy Brayden was able to discuss his anxiety, and through his play come up with solutions to his anxiety. He completed services and with his mother’s help, wrote a thank you letter to the Children’s Centre counsellor that helped him. Brayden is now able to sleep on his own, separate from parents, go on outings and is actively playing hockey. He is able to assert his needs, wishes and feelings to others; all things he was not able to do on his own before. In his letter Brayden wrote “I am thankful that I was able to have you come in my life when I needed it the most, you helped me overcome my fears & anxieties and taught me that how to manage my scared feelings. I have also learnt that in every bad situation, there is good that can come out of it - the good was being able to meet with you. Me and my parents will never forget you and how you helped me. Even with little slips I am more confident in myself and that is starting to show to all those around me. You taught me that I can overcome my fears.”
The United Way of Thunder Bay is addressing social issues in our community and investing in 3 critical areas: Moving people from poverty to possibility; Fostering a strong community; Helping kids to be all they can be. Your donations are strategically invested in 63 vital programs that strengthen our community and make a real impact in the lives of our friends, families and neighbours, each and every day. By donating to the 2014 United Way campaign you can give children like Brayden the support they need to gain valuable life skills for dealing with difficult and life changing situations through Children’s Centre’s therapy and counselling and 62 other local programs in our community. To learn more about programs supported by the United Way and how you can make a difference by giving, please go to www.uwaytbay.ca or call 623-6420 today.