What is it?
Youth Healing Services contributes to the protection, rehabilitation and well-being (physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually) of youth in its care, by providing programs that offer safety, security, and treatment.
Who is it for?
Youth Healing Services provides support for youth at risk. Most youth receiving services from YHS are referred through the Youth Protection Act (ordered or voluntary measures) and a few of them come under the Youth Criminal Justice Act (open custody).
Where is it offered?
YHS operates three facilities around the clock, seven days a week. Youth from all communities in Eeyou Istchee can be referred to these facilities.
- The Upaachikush Group Home (Mistissini) has eight beds, with one emergency bed.
- The Weespou Group Home (Chisasibi) has eight beds, with one emergency bed.
- The Youth Healing Services Centre (Mistissini) has a total of 26 beds: of these, ten are for girls and ten for boys, four are for youth in closed custody, and two for intense supervision.
How does it work?
When a new youth is referred, the Youth Protection worker and the YHS intake advisor have admission meeting. Shortly after this first meeting, the youth, his/her parents or guardians, and YHS staff meet to develop a healing path plan with clear goals and objectives.
The Cree School Board provides a teacher for youth at the Youth Healing Services Center in Mistissini to prepare them for returning to school; this program does not offer complete schooling and does not pass youth to the next grade level, but does give them a better chance of success once they return to school. The youth at Upaachikush and Weesapou Group Homes attend the local public schools.
YHS runs a number of programs to support youth, including the Bush Program, a holistic land-based program, which teaches cultural and traditional Cree life skills at camps for inland and coastal communities. Cree elders participate in guiding the program’s development and working with youth to share traditional knowledge.
How long does it last?
Youth remain in YHS for so long as is necessary to ensure their safety and well-being.
How can one get this service?
All placements in Youth Healing Services are referred from Youth Protection Services, and youth come from all nine Cree communities. Most youth are placed in Youth Healing under the Youth Protection Act (ordered or voluntary measures), although a few of them are under the Youth Criminal Justice Act (open custody).