The Whole Family Treatment program at the Vermilion Energy Family Centre opened its doors to the first family in June of 2015 as part of a pilot project funded by the Wood’s Homes Foundation. It is an intensive, short-term program for families from across Canada, many of whom have exhausted all of their resources, including those in the communities where they live. Families who come to the program are struggling with complex issues including mental illness, crisis management, parenting strategies, and child development.
We recognize the link between mental health and risk factors for living in poverty or becoming homeless. In 2013, we chose to commit $1 million to help create the Vermilion Energy Family Centre at the Bowness campus of Wood’s Homes because we believe that investing in the well-being of children and their families is a key factor in preventing the issues of homelessness and poverty from becoming an even greater societal problem.
While families are participating in treatment, the upper level of the Vermilion Energy Family Centre is a home-away-from home, a place where they can address difficult issues in a home-like setting. The lower level of the Vermilion Energy Family Centre provides clinical space for therapists and Family Support Counsellors to complete assessments and have skill building meetings with families.
We are proud of the groundbreaking role that the Vermilion Energy Family Centre is helping to play in delivering family-centred treatment. That role is important, because while whole family treatment is an option that is growing in other countries, such as Australia and the United States, there is only one similar program available in Canada.