Not many people can predict the future – even if you are the CEO. This week’s blog, guest written by Ranch Ehrlo CEO herself, Andrea Brittin, looks at what she envisions for the agency over the next five years.Read More
From January 31 to February 4th five residents and two staff from Ranch Ehrlo’s Programs for People with Developmental Disabilities (PDD) visited the Yukon to participate in an invitational Special Olympic soccer tournament, where they took home both the gold medal and memories of a lifetime.
Unit manager Shaun Silzer and personal support leader Cam Huberdeau travelled with the residents for the five-day excursion.
Besides their incredible success in the tournament – their team won all five games and took the gold medal, there was plenty to write home about.
From beginning to end, the trip was full of firsts – for four of the five men, it was their first time on a plane.
“(On the first flight), from Regina to Vancouver there was a lot of nerves but after that it was fine,” Cam recalled.
While there, the team had the opportunity to witness the Northern Lights and participate in a dog sled tour.
“This was an amazing opportunity for our residents to be able to participate in a tournament with their team that they typically would not have,” said Shaun.
“For (our residents), it’s not just about the sport – it’s about being part of a team,” Cam said.
The five practice weekly with their team, and play once per week in a Co-Ed league in Regina.
Two, four, six, eight – this designation means we’re really great (to work for)!
For the eighth consecutive year, Ranch Ehrlo has been named one of Saskatchewan’s Top Employers! This special designation recognizes the Saskatchewan employers that lead their industries in offering exceptional places to work. We are proud to have received this honour and will continue to strive to offer our employees an above-average place to work at in 2019 and beyond.
We wanted to take this opportunity to look back at some of the reasons why:
The official reasons for our selection can be found here.Read More
The best place for a family to heal is at home. With that in mind, Ranch Ehrlo’s Family Treatment Program (FTP) has expanded outside the city of Regina.
The unique, innovative, and nationally recognized program was created in 2006 to address the need for intensive in-home service provision to families in need of clinical treatment. The program expanded several times over the years to allow more families to have access, but the latest growth has expanded the program that works to keep families together to the communities of Moose Jaw and Fort Qu’Appelle.
Due to demand from across the country, Ranch Ehrlo will be growing to allow six additional families to access the program in the neighbouring communities.
“The family program has a lot of strengths and a lot of history but one of the missing pieces for program development is delivering services in families’ own communities. Through this expansion, if we can get services to meet families’ needs right in their own community, that really is the next step for the Family Treatment Program,” FTP director Patti Petrucka explained.
She added, “Often families are hesitant to come to the program in Regina because they want to get away from the temptations of the cities or they don’t want to be in an urban setting. Many northern families feel safer in smaller communities.”
The expansion will allow the program to build relationships and partner with community organizations. Each community has vast services in place that are already assisting families, we simply hope to fill any identified gaps in the service continuum.
“I’m very excited about expanding in the Fort Qu’Appelle area as they have an incredible abundance of First Nations cultural components embedded within the community. There are also amazing supports and community agencies in place that we are excited about the opportunity to partner with,” she continued.
Families in the expanded communities can still take advantage of the many group classes offered to parents in Regina as well as access support services locally.
The expansion will include three new homes in each community. Currently, the agency is recruiting new staff, including a therapist and two and a half treatment workers in each community.
The Family Treatment Program delivers research-based best practices to keep children safe, strengthen families, and reduce the need for placing children into out of home care and to provide services to minimize the time that children are placed away from their families.Read More
Family involvement is a key part of all Ranch Ehrlo’s programs. That is especially true for our Treatment Foster Care (TFC) program which serves children and youth, between the ages of six to 15, whose special needs require individualized treatment within a family environment.
Family involvement is also one of the six CARE (Children And Residential Experiences: Creating Conditions for Change) principles which guide Ranch Ehrlo to improve services for children and families.
Eight-year-old Troy* has been with his foster parents since October. Troy has some cognitive delays that make verbal expression difficult for him, but when his grandfather passed away in December, foster mother Nadira Deschner knew that he was feeling deep sadness, even without his saying so.
The day of Troy’s grandfather’s funeral, Nadira and her husband held a small ceremony for Troy. They read the book The Invisible String, which talks about how families can remain connected no matter where they are. Nadira explained that although Troy’s grandfather was in heaven now, the invisible string that connects their hearts will always remain.
“The book helped him process that our hearts can still be connected with people (regardless of distance),” Nadira explained. “He lives very far away from his grandmother and siblings, but we can still have that heart connection even though we’re apart. And we explained that Grandpa is watching him from heaven now, but that connection can still remain.”
They played and sang some of Troy’s favourite music, before concluding with a balloon releasing ceremony.
“We explained with the balloons – some things you have to say goodbye to today. And everyone in your family will have to do that too because your grandpa has passed away. So, one of the things you’ll have to let go of and say goodbye to his grandpa’s hugs.”
The second balloon was representative of things Troy could hold onto – like the memories he shared with his grandpa.
“We said all those things will forever stay with you – and that’s the balloon you get to keep. And that balloon is still over his bed.”
Nadira says that Troy has been able to verbally express that he’s feeling sad due to missing his grandpa and has even asked for a hug.
“That feels like a huge success,” she said. “We can see the impact of (being part of the TFC program) in Troy’s life. He’s just been here for two and a half months and there have already been so many positive changes. It’s been so rewarding to see how he’s opened up relationally. His little heart is drinking in the love, and he’s finding things that bring him joy.”
“CARE training is wonderful. I loved it. For the most part, it gave the things I was already doing, language, which validates a lot of what we’re doing as foster parents.”
*names changedRead More