This is a new facility which has been developed as a result of the long term placement needs of young people who are spending several months and sometimes years in our Kicking Horse Lodge facility. The living environment is more normalized than our Kicking Horse Lodge facility and will have fewer young people and fewer transitions. The facility is a state of the art structure with good sight lines, for support and supervision. It is designed to offer a very open environment or it can be sectioned off into contained spaces. The décor is therapeutic in both materials and color and shall optimize opportunities to maintain a calm and soothing environment even in situation of crisis.
The facility is an eight (8) bedroom home, sectioned in two (2), four (4) bedroom pods. The home can be operated as one eight-bed component or two four-bed components, depending on the needs of the population of young people in the program. Oak Hill is pleased to offer Edmonton Area Child and Family Services four (4) beds in this facility.
The building design is supported with a staff compliment of 2 staff for four young people (ratio of 1 staff to 2 children). Young people do well in environments that provide the right support. Children with high attachment needs and/or complex trauma require continuous support and a staff compliment that are well skilled in providing support to young people to co-regulate and teach self regulation.. This is a key factor in supporting the therapeutic development of children with these types of needs. In order to create first order of change a child must feel safe in the environment they are placed in. Calm soothing environments provide low level of stimulation allowing children to function at the level of their baseline arousal and support their natural development.
Children with complex trauma and attachment needs require more than an environment that promotes this first order of change. They require learning and teaching environment that enhances social, emotional, cognitive, moral, and physical development. This is referred to as the second order of change. Clinical support and program activities will be designed in a manner that lowers their baseline level of arousal and enhances the child’s development. The program staff and program clinician will work collaboratively in the design of individual and group programming that optimize the child’s treatment and developmental needs.