2018 AGM highlights

2018 AGM highlights

Posted by on Sep 18, 2018 in Whats-new | 0 comments

Staff, stakeholders, and special guests, including Regina Mayor Michael Fougere, gathered together on Sept. 18th, to review and celebrate a year of excellence at Ranch Ehrlo Society.

Mayor Fougere

The Annual General Meeting was called to order by board vice-chair Greg Fieger. After welcoming everyone, he gave the board chair report, highlights of which included the many milestone and anniversaries celebrated over the course of the year.  Greg took the opportunity to thank the board, CEO and president Andrea Brittin, and the rest of the Ranch Ehrlo executive and staff.

“This past year has been another exciting one for Ranch Ehrlo,” said Andrea Brittin by way of beginning her CEO report. “We have tried to do what we can to respond to the evolving and ever growing needs in the community while staying true to our strategic vision and direction.”

Andrea Brittin

Highlights of her message included the operational review of the community vocational program to better suit the needs of the clients and the continued CARE (Children And Residential Experiences: Creating Conditions for Change) practice model roll-out across the Ranch.

This coming year is the lead-in to the agency’s recertification cycle. Ranch Ehrlo has been accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA) since 1977.  The designation helps the agency adhere to best practices and  strengthens our services. Fittingly, this year’s keynote speaker was Jennifer Murray, Ranch Ehrlo’s quality improvement consultant who is heading up the in-depth year long process.

Vice-president of finance and administration Lori Mann presented a review of the agency’s financial statements, noting that the agency has a lower surplus than was expected but like in many years, there are both opportunities and challenges in the coming year.

She finished her report by stating, “Overall, the agency continues to be in a strong financial position.”

Wanda Falkowsky and Richard Hazel

As a wrap-up, exiting board members Jamie Burrows, Wanda Falkowsky, Jaime Lavallee, and Richard Hazel were thanked for their contributions, while new members David Hedlund, Sheri Woods, Diana Adams, and Peter Hoffmann were welcomed to their positions.

The meeting concluded with Andrea sharing some of the most important numbers for the agency – statistics from our annual outcomes report which cite important successes such as our clients’ high satisfaction rates with our services.

“At the Ranch, our staff ARE our programs,” she stated. “Thank you (staff) for these outstanding outcomes – all of you should be proud!”

Click here to read the full Annual Report.

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Running with CARE

Running with CARE

Posted by on Sep 13, 2018 in Whats-new | 0 comments

When Todd* was admitted to Ranch Ehrlo, clinical caseworker Tandi van Tol set about discovering his strengths.

One of them, she learned, was running.

“I intentionally connected with him, and, being a runner myself, we went for a 5 km run together,” she explained.

“One of my goals as a caseworker is to intentionally build a safe and nurturing relationship with our youth,” Tandi continued, explaining that in her experience, one of the best ways to do so is through inclusiveness.

When an opportunity came up for Todd to participate in the Queen City Marathon held last weekend, Tandi approached him to ask if he would be interested and inquired if he had anyone in mind that he may like to run with.

“By providing an opportunity for him to make a decision about whether or not he would like to participate, and whether or not he would like to run with someone or not, was crucial in building his capacity for decision making and valuing the decision he had made,” Tandi explained.

runningTodd invited his cousin, who lives in his home community, to come down and run the race with him. She accepted, and their family drove down on race day to support them.

“Since one of our goals in residential care is to strengthen family relationships, this was the perfect opportunity to allow for this growth,” Tandi said. “Todd is very connected to his family and his community, and this opportunity allowed them to have a new experience together as a family.”

The two of them put up impressive times in the 5 k, both completing in under 30 minutes.

“Todd was quite emotional once he completed the race, and gave everyone a hug as they congratulated him,” Tandi said.

Afterward, he was able to enjoy lunch and spend more time with his family.

Tandi used several CARE principles in her interactions with Todd – competence centred, developmentally focused, relationship-based, and family involvement all played significant roles in helping this experience come together for him. CARE, Children And Residential Experience: Creating Conditions for Change, is a multi-level model used at The Ranch, developed by Cornell University.

Through CARE principles, children, youth, adults, families, and employees work together to achieve their full potential.

*name changed

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Powwow is a hit, three years in a row

Powwow is a hit, three years in a row

Posted by on Aug 31, 2018 in Whats-new | 0 comments

Ranch Ehrlo Society’s third annual powwow was the most successful yet!

Dancers from all over came to our Pilot Butte campus to take part in the one-day competitive event, with age groups ranging from tiny tot to Golden Age. Talent and dedication were on clear display as several drum groups performed and dancers entered the arena to vie for cash prizes. MC Howie Thompson returned for the third year with new arena director Jacob Stonechild. They kept everything running smoothly as well as ensuring spectators were entertained during breaks from the dancing.

Our family carnival was once again a hot spot for the younger crowd, with kids lining up to try their hand at classical fair games with a twist like flamingo ring toss. Each game was set up, manned, and taken down by one our group homes – great job!

Volunteers came out from all over the agency to help run the canteen and cook and serve the free hamburger supper and take care of the parking lot and grounds. Thank you!

And once again, thank you to our fantastic sponsors!

We hope to see you next year for what is fast becoming our favourite way to end summer at the Ranch!

 

 

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Everyone enjoys a summer break

Everyone enjoys a summer break

Posted by on Aug 4, 2018 in Our blog | 0 comments

Guest blog by Learning Centre program manager Michelle Schwabe

While the majority of educational programs take the summer off, Ranch Ehrlo’s vocational programs continue to support our youth and adult clients with skill development and job training.

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Routine is key at Learning Centre

Routine is key at Learning Centre

Posted by on Jul 30, 2018 in Whats-new | 0 comments

When clients and visitors alike enter the Ranch’s Learning Centre, the first thing they see is a visual representation of who is in the building that day.

This isn’t a security measure – at least not in the traditional sense. Rather, it’s a way to make those who attend the Learning Centre combat anxiety that may arise from being uncertain about what their day will hold. Most of the young adults at the Centre, a vocational program which serves young people with complex needs, have been diagnosed with autism, FASD, and other complex neurological disorders. These issues mean that routine, and general knowledge of what to expect in a day, is extremely important.

zones of regulation chartIn addition, staff provide visual supports to help clients learn routine with visual schedules, and to provide step-by-step instructions for certain tasks.

“Some use the visual supports to learn the routine and then go about their day; others highly rely on visual schedules and going over it every day to lessen anxieties,” explained Learning Centre manager Michelle Schwabe.

exercise roomIf clients are having a difficult day, they have two sensory rooms available  at their disposal. There is also an exercise room with basic equipment such as a treadmill available for clients to use.

But the success of the Learning Centre is much more than facilities, visual supports, and routines. The program is person-centered – meaning that each client’s individual needs and interests are taken into account when deciding the goals they will work toward and the ways they will accomplish them.

Michelle explained, “It’s all about what’s in the best interest of the person we’re supporting. What does a good or bad day look like for them? Then deciding how to facilitate a day that they would enjoy.”

All of this would be hollow without the staff, who are the heart and soul of the program.

“Our staff have a lot of heart. Watching them work with these guys, it’s an amazing thing.” Michelle said.

What a day looks like in the program
7 teachingsThe day-to-day routine at the Learning Centre is a standard one: in the morning, clients attend to various work responsibilities, from pick up and drop off recycling, to table-top tasks depending on their skill level. At lunch, some of the clients participate in the veggie plus program, cutting up fresh vegetables to add to everyone’s mid-day meal; learning both the life skill of preparing meals and the importance of healthy eating.

“These kinds of things are important because everyone needs a sense of purpose,” said Michelle. “Our guys like to help people so utilizing and developing daily functional living skills, is important. Learning household duties like laundry, and dishes, and healthy living, all those pieces that are so important to you and I, are also important to them.”

In the afternoon, clients attend various community outings – from gymnastics to music therapy, community inclusion activities are key.

“Being welcomed into the community is a huge component, because although they have developmental disabilities, they’re just as much contributing members of the community as you and me are. So teaching skills regarding socialization and being an appropriate, contributing member of society is very important,” Michelle said.

Learn more about the Learning Centre’s summer programming in Michelle’s upcoming blog.

 

 

 

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