Mentorship program fills gaps

Mentorship program fills gaps

Posted by on Apr 5, 2018 in Whats-new | 0 comments

Ehrlo Sport Venture’s newest program has officially launched.

The mentorship program, born of a partnership between Ehrlo Sport Venture and The Regina Intersectoral Partnership (TRiP) pairs youth identified by TRiP as most in need of mentorship with a caring adult mentor provided by Sport Venture. The program kicked off just over a month ago and has been going full force ever since. To date, there are five mentors working with nine children and youth from the TRiP program.

“Mentorship for young people experiencing difficulty is a gap identified in many initiatives in our community,” said Lance Dudar, TRiP coordinator. “This program is providing a much-needed service to TRiP and the families we are involved with.”

“So far, the program has been meeting and exceeding all our expectations,” said Sport Venture manager Amanda McConnell. “The feedback from the first month has been tremendous! The mentors and the kids they have been paired with have all connected really well; the reports we’ve been getting have really showcased the impact that mentorship and this program have had, even in a short period of time.”

Mentors have been working with their mentees on things like self-esteem, cooperation, and social skills. They have reached out to other mentor/mentee pairings in the program, forming friendships and working on skills in a relationship-based setting.

“The program is so much more than just going to do a fun activity for a couple hours a week. The learning and mentorship that goes on during their time together plays an important role in the development of self-determination and pro-social skills building in the young people we are working with,” Amanda said.

While it is meant to be more than fun – it is fun!

“The kids have been reporting back on all the fun they’ve been having and how they look forward to their weekly time with their mentor,” Amanda continued. “Some of the activities they have done, the kids hadn’t done it in years, and some are brand new experiences or something they have always wanted to do!”


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Family Based Treatment Home Q&A

Family Based Treatment Home Q&A

Posted by on Feb 28, 2018 in Whats-new | 0 comments

You may have heard that we have recently expanded our Treatment Foster Care services. We now offer Emergency Foster Care, as well as a Family Based Treatment Home program (FBTH).

But what exactly is a Family Based Treatment Home? We sat down with director David Rivers to find out more about this exciting new program.

Question: In your own words, describe the program.
FBTH is a type of treatment foster home supported by in-home child and youth care workers. At Ranch Ehrlo, they have been referred to as “parented group homes.”

I started working as a childcare worker at Bosco Homes in a small group home that had two live-in house parents and a few childcare workers. It had a real family feel to it, but had more adult support and attention present for the children. Our FTBH’s will have a similar structure.

The FBTH’s we are considering will be home to four children aged 5 to 11 who need support with behavioural, emotional, and developmental challenges. Ranch Ehrlo will provide the house and vehicle, and contract the services of foster parents just as we do in our current program. We will also look after compensation for the child and youth care workers who will support the care and nurturing provided by the foster parents.

Question: Why was the program created? What need is it filling?
There is an increasing number of young children being referred to Ranch Ehrlo who do not need to live in a group home, but who cannot be safely cared for in a standard foster home. A family-based home is the balance between the two types of service approaches.

The whole idea of the FBTH is to give children ages six to 11 an opportunity to live in the most nurturing, supportive, family-based environment possible.

Question: What are you looking for in a staff (family) for the program?
Two adults without young children or with teenagers would likely be an ideal fit, but we are open to talking with anyone interested in our approach.

Some things for potential families to know:

  • This is typically a full-time job (which means not working outside the home) for one of the parents, though they could share, as long as one parent is always available for children in the program.
  • The most important qualification is a nurturing, caring disposition with a strong commitment to serve others. A background in human services and/or education would be an asset, but all foster parents will receive extensive training and support including PRIDE, CARE, and Therapeutic Crisis Intervention.
  • We plan to provide a five or six bedroom home or vehicle, but are open to talking to interested parents who may have other ideas, such as staying in their own homes.
  • We are looking to start with a family in the Regina area, but will eventually be looking for families in the Saskatoon and Prince Albert areas as well.

Question: How are families compensated?
We will apply the same “professionalized foster care” approach to the FBTH that we currently use in our other treatment foster care homes; families are helped with the legal and insurance processes for becoming incorporated businesses so that we are able to contract them to provide foster care services.

Question: Tell us a little more about the services and supports that Ranch Ehrlo will provide families in this program.
Foster parenting is wonderful, but it doesn’t involve “normal” or “traditional” working hours. Foster parenting is a way of life, but there is still time and opportunity for foster parents to re-energize and focus on themselves. All FTBH foster families are provided with 24/7 on call support, up to 18 days per year of respite care so they can vacation or take time away, and a range of clinical, residential, educational, and recreational supports.

If interested individuals have any other questions, who should they contact?
They can myself at or apply here.

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Back to the essence of hockey

Back to the essence of hockey

Posted by on Feb 6, 2018 in Whats-new | 0 comments

What better way to celebrate Hockey Day in Canada than playing on an outdoor rink?


Todd, courtesy of

Todd Strueby, born and raised in Lanigan, SK, is a retired professional hockey player and an Outdoor Hockey League (OHL) volunteer. Todd has a storied hockey history – for many years, he bounced around minor leagues and the International Hockey League, and even played a few games with the Edmonton Oilers.

He’s humble about his NHL experience, saying, “It was a long, long time ago and I only played a few games.”

“But,” he adds, “it was absolutely amazing.”

After his career
Todd remembers when the OHL began 25 years ago, and had the opportunity to meet OHL founder Russ Matthews.

OHL is a free hockey league run by Ehrlo Sport Venture for Regina youth who are unable to participate in traditional, organized sports. All equipment is provided, thereby eliminating the need for hard-to-afford equipment purchases.

“I’ve always respected the initiative,” Todd explained. “I thought, what a great opportunity to allow kids to play hockey the way I learned to play hockey. Just going out on the outdoor rink and getting a bunch of kids out there and a puck on the ice.”

However, at that time, Todd was quite busy – he coached his own kids’ minor hockey league teams and spent a few seasons in the late 2000s with the Regina Pats organization. All while keeping up with the game through participation in a rec league but he always intended to volunteer with the OHL.

OHL volunteering
25 years later, his kids are grown and his time is free to help with the homegrown hockey that the OHL represents. So last year, Todd began coaching at the Imperial Outdoor rink.

So far, he’s had a fantastic experience – his fellow volunteers, he says, make the experience even better. He enjoys having the opportunity to work with others who share his passion for hockey, including some who spent their younger years in the OHL and returned to the league as coaches.

“I think that’s how the OHL is so successful; the kids that go through the program come back and want to help out,” he said.

In the past two years, Todd has met countless youth who have helped him re-ignite his passion for hockey.

“This experience has rejuvenated my love for the game because these kids are there because they want to be there and they love hockey.”

But as any OHL volunteer or player knows, it’s about more than just hockey – the OHL brings out values like teamwork and cooperation. Todd recalls a particular youth who was very talented – perhaps the best in the OHL at that time – but rather than focus on his own talent, the youth was known for passing the puck to make sure all the players could be involved in the game, even the ones just learning to skate.

Todd’s team, like all in the OHL, gathers one night a week to practice. They run through basic skills like skating, passing, and shooting, and split into teams to play a game.

“No kid ever complains how cold it is.” He added, “It’s beautiful – whether it’s warm or cold, or the sun is shining or it’s dark at night, there is something about it which is pure.”

Hockey Day in Canada:
Join us to celebrate 25 years of the Outdoor Hockey League and see why we love hockey in Canada! At our Rosemont and Cathedral rinks, our OHL will be hosting Hockey Day in Canada in preparation for their appearance on Roger’s Hometown Hockey the following weekend.

Feb 10th at: Cathedral Rink (Leslie Park Outdoor Rink) 9am-3pm or Rosemont Rink (4th Ave and Minto Dr) 11am-4pm.

Everyone is invited to learn to play hockey or brush up on some drills. There will be free skates available to borrow, as well as hot chocolate and hot dogs for players and spectators.

Hockey Day in Canada



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The greatest game on earth

The greatest game on earth

Posted by on Jan 26, 2018 in Our blog | 0 comments

As the Outdoor Hockey League’s 25th season (OHL) starts, we sat down with long-time volunteer Rob “Chip” Nixon to hear about how he sees the league impacting the lives of those who, thanks to the OHL, get a chance to play “the greatest game on earth”.

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