The Centre awards $300,000 to support Innovation Initiatives
The Centre is pleased to announce the successful recipients of the innovation initiatives funding opportunity, which supports Ontario’s child and youth mental health agencies to implement new, evidence-informed or promising practices in their agency or service area.
The Centre received 28 submissions for the competition. A panel of peer reviewers (including youth and members of our Strategic Advisory Council) recommended the following six projects receive funding.
Project title: Evaluating alternatives to residential treatment programs
Lead agency: Carizon Family and Community Services
Project lead: Lesley Barraball, Director of Children’s Mental Health Services
Carizon Family and Community Services (in Waterloo region) recently closed its residential program, and replaced it with a new family-centered model of care to effectively serve both children and their families. The new model is both home- and community-based, includes flexible services and respite options, is individualized to meet the needs of each family, and includes service navigation to support the family throughout their journey. This project includes a two-year evaluation of this new service, which will determine whether the family-centered model meets the needs of both children and families, and enable essential process-related changes and improvements to the service.
Project title: Implementation of Integra therapeutic martial arts: Bringing together children’s mental health and education to address challenges with emotion regulation in the school setting
Lead agency: Child Development Institutes
Project lead: Marjory Phillips, Director of the Integra Program
Children and youth with neurodevelopmental disorders, including learning disabilities, are two to three times more likely to experience mental health challenges than their peers. They often experience challenges in regulating emotions, which can lead to disruptive behaviours in the classroom. The Integra Program developed two therapeutic group programs that incorporate mindfulness, cognitive behaviour therapy and martial arts to help children ages 9 to 18 address challenges with emotion regulation. This project will engage cross-sectoral partners to introduce both programs in the school setting, to guide effective and sustainable implementation more broadly across the service area.
Project title: Taking youth engagement to the next level in Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry
Lead agency: Cornwall Community Hospital
Project lead: Deena Shorkey, Director of Child and Youth Mental Health Services
Building on youth consultations undertaken in 2016, this project will focus on engaging youth as active partners in the co-activation, co-creation and co-evaluation of mental health and community development initiatives in Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry. In addition to fostering strong youth engagement and involvement across the organization and local child and youth mental health care system, the project will be an opportunity to test and adapt different approaches to youth engagement in rural areas in collaboration with francophone and Indigenous youth partners.
Project title: School-based kindergarten pilot project
Lead agency: Crossroads Children’s Centre
Project lead: Michael Hone, Executive Director
This project, a partnership between Crossroads Children’s Centre and the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board, introduces an innovative response to support children and families facing challenges with integrating into kindergarten classrooms (e.g., managing transitions, number of adult contact for each child, self-regulation skills, resilience). An evidence-informed approach which draws on attachment theory and strategies from Collaborative Problem Solving will be implemented locally, with the goal of generating guidelines for implementation and evaluation in schools across the province.
Project title: A systematic, evidence-based and collaborative approach to streamline the crisis continuum for child and youth mental health in Windsor-Essex county
Lead agency: Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare
Project lead: Terra Cadeau, Project Manager
In response to the barriers children and families face when trying to access mental health crisis services, this project will aim to collaboratively plan and design an evidence-informed service model to respond to children and youth experiencing a mental health crisis. An inter-agency team will collect and review evidence on current best practices, and plan for the implementation of an integrated service delivery model for child and youth mental health crisis services in Windsor-Essex county. Knowledge mobilization and change management plans will be created for all partner agencies to help implement and evaluate the new service delivery model.
Project title: Validation of a new standardized residential assessment tool
Lead agency: Kinark Child and Family Services
Project lead: Cynthia Weaver, Vice-President of Strategic Initiatives
This project will focus on administering and validating a new assessment tool developed by Kinark Child and Family Services to assess the alignment of child and youth mental health residential treatment programs with the nine critical success factors that characterize effective approaches to residential treatment. The tool will be used to assess residential programs in three service areas (York, Durham, and Haliburton/City of Kawartha Lakes/Peterborough). Results of the assessments will provide information on current alignment with best practices and potential service improvements, and facilitate consistent intensive residential treatment across all core service providers across service areas.
Stay tuned for updates as the projects progress!