Transitional Group Care Program for
Pregnant & Parenting Aboriginal Teen Girls
The guiding philosophy of all Bent Arrow programs is based on the traditional values and beliefs of Aboriginal peoples. Esquao House is a brand new program that Bent Arrow began in July 2002. The Program is funded through Region 6 and offers transitional residential program for pregnant or parenting teens and their babies, who are in the care of child welfare (these girls must have "in care status").
The house is located in the west End of Edmonton and will be minimally staffed (only one staff on a time) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The staff consists of a supervisor, two youth, workers, and outreach worker and a full time Kokum (Grandmother), who does the overnights. All the staff of Esquao House are Aboriginal.
The Objective of Esquao House
The objective of this program is to provide a supportive learning environment for these young women as they prepare for parenthood and independence. It is our belief that children are gifts from the creator and their healthy development is the whole community.
Our goal is to support these young with whatever they need to promote the healthy development of their child.
The program will draw on existing resources from Bent Arrow and the community where supports will be accessed, nurtured and maintained by these young women and their children long after they become independent.
Supports such as Healthy Families, Health for Two, Terra Association, youth employment or education program, various parenting programs, collective kitchens and community health clinics are all programs that are currently offered and the staff at Esquao will assist and support the young women in those connections.
What Can Esquao House Offer?
Because this is transitional program, we are looking to place young women who already have the commitment and skills to be responsible handle the level of independence that this program will offer.
Budgeting, menu planning, meal preparation, health and safety and time management are some examples of life skills that we will offer "in house" on a daily basis. Planning for independence is the ultimate objective so the length of their stay will largely depend on the skills and knowledge they will need to acquire before a successful transition is possible.
Once transition is made, the outreach worker will follow-up on each youth at regular intervals and offer support as needed. Referrals for this program can be made through the Region 6 Authority Service & Placement Coordination Unit. While our priority is to work with Aboriginal youth, we are open to referrals for Non-Aboriginal youth as long as they meet the entrance criteria and they are open to the traditional and cultural aspect of our program.
The Placement Coordinator is Ted Shaw and he can be reached at (780) 427 - 1538.
For more information please contact: