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Group Homes for Children and Youth with Disabilities

Facilities that provide an alternative living environment for children and youth with developmental disabilities, sensory impairments, physical disabilities or multiple disabilities who are in need of personal services, supervision and/or assistance essential for self-protection or sustaining the activities of daily living and who are unable to live with their own or a foster family. Residents often attend on-grounds schools or public schools and also receive services that focus on the development of self-help, self-care, socialization, prevocational and independent living skills. Group homes for children with disabilities are generally licensed by the province and may be distinguished according to the level of service residents require. Service levels depend on the self-care skills residents possess, their limitations in the areas of physical coordination and mobility, and the presence and extent of behaviour problems including disruptive or self-injurious behaviour.

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Group Homes for Dependent Children

Facilities that provide an alternative living environment for children and youth who have been neglected, abused or abandoned or have had contact with the juvenile justice system, who are unable to live with their own family or a foster family and who would benefit from a professionally supervised, structured group environment. In some situations, particularly with older youth, a group home is the only option available. Group homes for dependent children are generally licensed by the province.

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Therapeutic Foster Homes

Agency-supervised private family homes in which foster parents have been trained to provide individualized, structured services in a safe, nurturing family living environment for children and adolescents with significant emotional or behavioural problems who require a higher level of care than is found in a conventional foster home but do not require placement in a more restrictive setting. Therapeutic foster parents receive special training in mental health issues, behaviour management and parenting techniques; and implement the in-home portion of the treatment plan with close supervision and support. They serve as integral members of the team of professionals providing services for the child, get the child to therapy and other treatment appointments, write daily notes about interventions and attend treatment team meetings. Therapeutic foster care is considered the least restrictive out-of-home placement for children with severe emotional disorders.

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The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.


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