ROCK response to HCDSB
As lead agency for child and youth mental health for the Region of Halton, ROCK Reach Out Centre for Kids, we are appalled by the actions of some members of the HCDSB Board of Trustees leadership. It is irresponsible and ignorant of you to continue to allow a rhetoric and narrative that prevents equal access to representation, resources and an affirming space for all 2SLGBTQ+ youth, families and staff within your system. 72.5% of your school community told you that they do not feel safe in your schools. In your last two meetings, some of you have chosen to deny their requests to make this better.
The position reflected by some members of the HCDSB Board of Trustees fuels homophobia, biphobia and transphobia. These actions and beliefs directly contribute to the marginalization, trauma and discrimination faced by members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community. We call upon these members of the HCDSB leadership to evolve and stop excluding some and privileging others. It is outdated, it is bigotry, and it is dangerous to the mental health and well-being of the 2SLGBTQ+ community.
We acknowledge that Tara Hambly, the Halton elementary schools’ president of the OECTA, said in an email to the Star, that ensuring safe spaces in all schools for students is consistent with “faith values and our role as Catholic teachers.”
We acknowledge that The Halton chapter of the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association (OECTA) posted a statement on Twitter in support of flying the pride flag saying, it is “just one progressive step we can take as a board to show the LGBTQ community that we are allies and welcome and accept everyone in our school communities.” OECTA also said that gesture of acceptance also extends to staff and all members of the HCDSB community.
We must do better. ROCK will continue to advocate and demand better from our HCDSB system. We want members of the 2SLGBTQ+ HCDSB community to know that we see you and we support you. The 24/7 crisis line is 905-878-9785. Our online live chat with Quinn and other direct supports can be accessed at www.rockonline.ca.
ROCK Reach Out Centre for Kids
ROCK is pleased to announce the outcome of our recent Accreditation, an external review process completed by Accreditation Canada that evaluates the services and supports provided by health care organizations against national standards of excellence. In December 2020, ROCK became Accredited with Exemplary Standing in its first full Qmentum cycle, after demonstrating 100% compliance with the required practices that enhance client safety and minimize risk. For additional information about Accreditation Canada and the Accreditation process, please visit https://accreditation.ca/.
Achieving Exemplary Standing is a testament to ROCK’s dedication and commitment to high quality and safe services for our clients and their families. To the ROCK staff, students, volunteers, Board of Directors, partners, and the clients and families who participated and supported all the hard work that resulted in this accomplishment – thank you!
We look forward to continuing our work together in supporting the Halton community.For more information, please see ROCK’s Quality & Client Safety Plans at https://rockonline.ca/quality-improvement-client-safety-plans/.
We are so pleased to announce that our online learning module "Understanding Youth Mental Health and Addictions" is now available! This comprehensive and interactive mental health resource was created by youth for youth and aims to provide solutions for maintaining positive mental health through shared personal experiences.
We have put together some resources and suggestions to help support children, youth, and families at this time of uncertainty. We will be updating them regularly, so please check back for new content. To access them, please click here for the Resources for Families guide, and click for Part 1 and Part 2 of the Resources Kit for Families, ages 0-6.
With the impact of COVID-19 on our community, our funders have reviewed various funded programs here at ROCK to be more responsive to community needs. Recognizing the increase in mental health needs of children and families arising from the various impacts of the pandemic, mental health services to children in child care and before and after school programs from the Reach Out Centre for Kids will be realigned and enhanced to better meet the needs of children and families. Occupational therapy services will also be realigned from the Reach Out Centre for Kids to ErinoakKids Centre for Treatment and Development to provide more consistent services for children from child care through school years.
As a result of these changes, the Child and Family Outreach Support Program (CFOSP) at the Reach Out Centre for Kids will no longer be available. Resource Consultants already assigned to child care centres will support all children in child care programs, including social emotional needs. Where more intensive supports are needed, Resource Consultants will refer children through ASN (Access and System Navigation), the centralized access point at the Reach Out Centre for Kids. Through ASN, children and their families can access services in the child and youth mental health system (www.rockonline.ca or by calling 289-266-0036). This will take effect as of October 1, 2020.
Commencing in January 2021, ErinoakKids Centre for Treatment and Development will be assuming occupational therapy supports for child care. ErinoakKids is the children’s treatment centre in Halton and has the leadership for school-based health services. This realignment provides a continuum of services for children from birth to school years. This new model of service delivery for occupational therapy will be class-wide consultation and building capacity of the educator in the classroom, similar to how speech and language services are provided through ErinoakKids. Between October 2020 and the beginning of January 2021, requests for occupational therapy consults can be directed to the Resource Consultant working with the child care centre, while processes are being developed.
These changes are intended to make services easy to navigate and support seamless services for children and families.
As child care reopens across the province, we will continue to work together with community partners to best support children and families in Halton.
ROCK Senior Leadership