R.E.A.C.H. Program Values
The program encourages students to focus on five core values that we believe are fundamental to successfully reaching one’s potential:
Taking personal responsibility for behavioural choices and future goals.
Making positive change is hard work and effort means pushing yourself beyond what you think you can do.
Our thoughts become our actions.
We exist inter-dependently (family, school, town) and our choices directly impact upon the lives of others. We are accountable to, and responsible for, each other.
Positive change will only be sustained if our choices are motivated by our internal values and integrity rather than the expectations of others.
Project D.A.R.E. has a dedicated direct service team that equates to greater than a 1:1 staff:student ratio. A program supervisor works directly with the students and provides supervision/mentorship to the direct service team composed of fully-qualified teachers and full time instructors. The direct service team is backed up by management and support staff (administration, nurse, awake-night and security, maintenance, stores and food services).
Licensing, Accreditation and Accountability
We welcome external evaluation and scrutiny of our programs. Students and parents have access to a formal complaint resolution process. The Ministry of Children and Youth Services conducts an on-site licensing review of our residential program every year with mandatory file reviews and interviews with students and staff. The independent Office of the Child and Youth Advocate has jurisdiction to listen to any concerns of a youth, surrounding issues related to youth’s rights under the Child and Family Services Act. Our program has a legislated obligation to report any serious occurrence to the Ministry of Children and Youth Services. Youth also have a right to contact the Custody Review Board. In addition, we voluntarily submit to the accreditation standards of the Association for Experiential Education (AEE) and Ontario Camps Association (OCA) and participate in numerous ad-hoc and ongoing research projects.
Project D.A.R.E. Admission Process
Any youth Probation Officer in Ontario may refer a youth to the Project D.A.R.E. program for a minimum placement term of two months. A referral often starts with a phone call from the Probation Officer so that specific questions they have about the program can be answered. Based on a general description of the young person, an initial indication can be given about whether the D.A.R.E. program appears to be appropriate to his needs. The next step is for the Probation Officer to submit by fax a completed referral. WLE typically responds within three working days, determining whether we recommend proceeding to an admissions interview with the youth. A Project D.A.R.E. representative often travels to the young person’s home community to conduct an admissions interview. In some cases, a telephone or web-based video interview may be an option. The admissions interview provides the young person and parent/guardian with an orientation to the program and further assesses the young person’s capacity to do well in the program. Many young people are initially opposed to the thought of coming to the Project D.A.R.E. program, but we have found that in most cases the young person will voluntarily attend once they have had an opportunity to weigh their options and consider their future. Once an offer of admission has been extended, the young person will need to have a medical assessment and parental consent form completed.
Does it work?
Evidence-based Practice: Research by the Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Research Center (OBHRC), to which Wendigo Lake Expeditions contributes data on an ongoing basis, has demonstrated that participants who enter programs with clinical levels of mental health related issues consistently graduate with sub-clinical mental health scores after program completion.
Is it Safe?
Based on years of incident data collected from leading wilderness therapy programs, a young person in the community is twice as likely to visit an emergency room as a youth participating in a licensed and accredited adventure therapy program. It should be noted that the average young person in a community setting does not demonstrate as many high-risk behaviours as those of a typical young person involved in the youth justice system. No young person is completely safe whether they continue living in their home or participate in Project D.A.R.E. Our program is accredited by the Association for Experiential Education and seeks to provide industry-leading levels of care, supervision and risk-management.
Do you have spots available?
To find out whether we have a current placement available, please call Program Supervisor Derek Scott at (705)386-2376 extension 218. Derek will be able to update you on our current placement availability. If we are full, he can let you know when we expect a placement to come available. In Derek’s absence, press ‘0’ and any of our other management staff will be able to assist you.
For more information or
to make a referral, contact:
Derek Scott, Supervisor
Phone: (705)386-2376 ext. 218
Email: [email protected]