Craigwood: Best Residential Experience

Deciding to live in a treatment residence like Craigwood is never the first preference for a young person. But sometimes, circumstances leave little other choice.

When this happens, our goal is to offer a temporary place of opportunity that provides the best conditions for you to acquire the skills and attitudes that can lead to family reunification, extended family placement, or a successful move to independence.

Our “Best Residential Experience” is a protocol or guideline that Craigwood developed to define the conditions we strive for in support of that goal. The elements described here are the result of Craigwood’s own study of available research, literature and best practices, as well as our personal experience and what we know has worked.

Elements of the Best Residential Experience

1. Youth and family-centred

All efforts of support are driven by the defined needs and expressed hopes of the youth and family.

2. Youth and family are fully engaged

The youth and family are active participants in the treatment process to the full extent possible.

3. Action oriented

Once good goals are identified, the youth, family, clinician and primary worker develop specific actions that will achieve the goals in the agreed time.

4. Transition supports

Transition supports are provided at the front and back end of service: on admission to the residential program and as the youth returns to home (or alternate living arrangement), community and school.

5. Strong educational experience

Linkages to a positive and productive educational experience will be sustained through schools in the community or through the classes held on the Craigwood residential campus.

6. Positive residential culture

The residential culture engendered by staff and by youth will promote respect for others, safety, shared responsibility, problem solving and fun.

7. Well-kept physical plant

Our facilities are maintained in a way that promotes pride in the buildings, grounds and surroundings, with staff and youth all contributing to their upkeep.

8. Resilient staff

We will attract, and retain staff as our chief asset, nurturing aspects such as a good selection process, comprehensive training, staff development, staff wellness and satisfactory compensation.

9. Excellent communication

Our communication strategies will promote clarity of purpose to maximize team work, shared decision-making and excellent continuity among staff, teachers and managers.

10. Best of practices

We will keep current and utilize the best of what literature, research and emerging research recommend as the best of practices for youth and families with complex mental health needs.

11. Monitoring

Our monitoring system will ensure that these elements of the best residential experience are in place in each Craigwood program.