Safe spaces are important for youth, especially when they need a temporary place to stay.
At Ranch Ehrlo, our emergency receiving services help youth on a short-term basis get their footing while the Ministry of Social Services develops a longer term service plan.
While the services aren’t part of Ranch Ehrlo's residential treatment intake, they are helpful and important.
“There are a variety of reasons people come here and staff are set up around the clock,” Shayne Logan, who manages the services in Pilot Butte, explained. “This is a place for immediate placement while looking for long-term placement, which could be a return to home, or living with another family member, or another group home, or some kind of variation of that. Supports are looked at to ensure the right placement.”
There are 12 beds available at Pilot Butte and youth stay on average for about 10 days. The longest they stay is usually 30 days.
Even though their stays are brief, staff work diligently to keep youth engaged.
Shayne said staff get them to and from school, as well as initiate a number of activities, which include participating in cultural programs, like picking sweetgrass and sage and doing crafts and projects.
“This is not just a sit-around place,” Shayne said. “They get to be as busy as they want and as involved as they want. They get to be safe and have their own room and know that it’ll be there. Staff are there to look after them.”
With COVID-19, operations haven’t changed too much, only now staff and youth are taking extra precautions to ensure health and safety.
For example, everyone is wearing personal protective equipment, there is lots of hand sanitizer available, and surfaces are being cleaned frequently.
When youth come into the home, they fill out a COVID-19 questionnaire.
“Youth and staff have really embraced these changes,” Shayne said. “Staff understand the importance of staying open and having open beds for the kids. So far, everything has worked very well.”
Ranch Ehrlo also operates a six-bed emergency receiving home on Buckland campus outside of Prince Albert.