We help children heal from trauma and set them on the path to success in adulthood. Trauma may occur for many reasons and different children react differently to those experiences. Poverty, witnessing violence or coping with a mental health condition can greatly challenge a child's ability to grow and develop at a typical rate. Left untreated, the likelihood of difficulties into adulthood increases. We identify the sources of trauma and help a child cope and heal so they can look forward to a bright future.
Healthy relationships are essential to well-being. We help vulnerable children to develop and maintain healthy relationships within their families and and with their peers.
We want our children to be successful. Albert Bandura, the famous social psychologist identified a characteristic of people who achieve in life which he called "self-efficacy". This is a belief in oneself, that the goals you set for yourself can and will be achieved through persistence and effort. It is considered to be one of the most important characteristics that humans can develop.
Developing in children the self-confidence to set and achieve goals is fundamental to our approach. Whether it is math or reading, music or horse care, swimming or soccer we want children to develop skills. Through interaction with their environment and careful tutoring by our staff, children learn to develop many different skills. Our goal is a successful child filled with self confidence and a sense of personal efficacy.
Many of the children and families we serve have limited resources and are living below the poverty line. When we get involved with a child we often find that they require additional assistance.
This assistance can be in the form of a bed, transportation, equipment for recreation such as soccer. At times, there is a need to ensure ongoing safety and we may assist in special circumstances with a hydro or gas bill. At other times, a parent is unable to afford to take a parenting class. We assist with these situations.
Being in regular contact with these families we are able to assess their needs at a very specific level. Our counsellors and support workers are able to ascertain what is an actual need that will pay large dividends for the child. We call this fund the "Make a Difference Fund". You can support this service by donating here.
Above all, children need a safe, nurturing environment within which to grow and develop. This is the most fundamental requirement for helping them to develop into well adjusted adults who enjoy their lives and contribute to our communities.
We work with parents and other caregivers to ensure they have the resources and skills to meet the needs of the children in their care.This may take the form of in-home support by qualified professionals, respite services for parents or foster homes with a special needs child, parent education, family counselling or financial support or subsidies for special requirements.
The more stable the living environment for the child, the more likely they will meet their developmental milestones.
One of the strongest predictors of adult success and adjustment is success at school. We directly promote success in school in several of our programs and indirectly in all of them. A child spend a great deal of his or her time in school and develops the habits and skills that will help them earn a living and form relationships. The more successful a child is in school the more likely they will be later in life.
Many of our children have difficulty with school, whether as a result of a learning disability, early childhood trauma, or complex developmental conditions. By helping these children be more successful in school, we raise the likelihood of success later in life as well.
It takes funding to hire the professionals, maintain the facilities and fund the programs and services that make a difference in the lives of vulnerable children. Our efforts require that we work hard in this area so that no child is left with a lifelong legacy of poor adjustment in adulthood and reduced quality of life for our communities.
Working hard is an ethic at The Children's Foundation, however, we also want to work smarter. We keep on top of the latest research in the area of helping vulnerable children to grow and develop. We are also developing connections with research institutions to find answers to important questions.
We are committed to finding answers to these questions. We wish to work with others to conduct this research. If you work for a research institution and are interested, please contact us.