The first meeting of the Group Living Services Family Advisory Committee was held last week, and it was a great success!

While family involvement has always been an integral part of a participant’s treatment program, the agency decided to take the next step to establish a structured family advisory committee. The goal was for the family members to provide input and feedback on how the Ranch may be able to improve.

Karl Mack, director of child and youth care worker development, and one of the staff leads on the committee said, “It was an absolutely delightful experience. The families were open and honest with us because we approached them with respect and acceptance. We had a robust and meaningful discussion.”

Elder Julia from Saulteaux First Nation was there for prayers and blessings.

The families were made up of parents, grandparents, and siblings of Ranch Ehrlo participants. They expressed their appreciation of the Ranch’s Group Living Services and specialized education program and felt reassured that the agency will work with the participants to help them succeed.

“We want to use the committee’s feedback for our quality improvement so we can see where we need to grow,” said Karl.

Ryan Labatt, director of quality improvement at the agency agreed. He said the Ranch staff explained that they were there to listen to the families and understand their concerns.

“We were honoured to be in their presence, and we wanted to hear what they had to say. I feel like we did that; now we just need to act on it,” said Ryan.

There were family members on the committee representing participants in Regina, Pilot Butte, Corman Park, Buckland, and Prince Albert. Ranch Ehrlo would like to eventually have families from across Canada whose youth are in programming at the Ranch.

Ranch Ehrlo Society staff are looking forward to the next Family Advisory Committee meeting in a few months. There will be quarterly meetings to continue this important work.