The Family Reconnect Program (FRP) works with homeless and at-risk youth aged 14-24 interested in addressing and potentially resolving conflict with their families.
“Family” is defined by the youth and family members involved in the program. This may mean the “typical” family constellation of mother, father, and siblings but often for the youth in the program, it is a grandparent, cousin, neighbour, and/or family friend.
The program offers a wide range of services for youth and families who are experiencing profound conflict. These services are available to young people who are already homeless (16-24) or at-risk of having to leave home (14-24). The goal of the program is to address the root cause of the conflict and provide resources to youth and families while ensuring their safety.
Counselling is provided before a youth becomes homeless; while a youth is in the youth homelessness sector; or when/as they move home or into independent housing.
Another core component of the FRP is referrals to community agencies and services including: psychiatric and psychological assessments, housing, advocacy and accompaniment. These services take place as needed and for as long as youth and families are involved with the program.
The foundation of the Family Reconnect Program is that family is significant, whatever way one defines it.
Outcomes and “success” vary according to each youth, and their family involved with the FRP:
- For many young people, moving home is not an option. However, they can be supported by family members as they get established in an independent environment (supported housing, shared accommodation etc.)
- Some relationships with family members may improve so much that young people return home.
- For others, there may be no significant improvement with family members, but the counselling process will have helped the young people to move forward in their lives in a meaningful way.
On Wednesday April 13, 2011 The FRP and Family Matters report was profiled on CBC Radio One Metro Morning Listen Here
Matt Galloway spoke with Rachel Gray. She is the Director of National Initiatives for the Toronto charity, Eva’s Initiatives . And with Lisa, she is a student who was helped by the the Family Reconnect Program.