The Ma famille, ma communauté program aims to avoid placing a child or adolescent in a housing resource or minimize the consequences of such a placement when it is unavoidable. Housing resources are foster families or rehabilitation centres for youth experiencing adjustment problems.
Families whose child is likely to:
be placed in a housing resource;
be moved from one housing resource to another housing resource;
return home after a placement.
Ma famille, ma communauté aims to create a support network around the child and the child’s family made up of significant people in their community who are involved and open to collaborating for the wellbeing of the child and the child’s family.
The objective of Ma famille, ma communauté is to:
ensure with the family and community representatives (family, social circle, caseworkers, teacher, doctor, etc.) that any decision about the child’s living environment:
is made in the child’s interest;
ensures the child’s safety.
All the measures and alternatives that ensure the youth is protected and develops in his or her own environment are always considered before any decision is made.
allow families to be accompanied and supported in their environment;
develop a lasting social network to ensure the wellbeing and development of the child in his or her community.
Therefore, this program aspires to:
reduce the number of children who are placed;
favour placements located near the family home;
favour placements that keep all the members of a sibling group together;
reduce the length of placements;
reduce the number of placements from one housing resource to another;
increase the number of successful family reunifications.
Team decision making
The central element of the Ma famille, ma communauté program is the team decision meeting (TDM). It brings together several people from the community (family, friends, social circle, caseworker, teacher, doctor, etc.) concerned with the child or adolescent’s situation and the youth’s family. The goal of the TDM is to work as a group to find the best solution to improve the family’s situation. Any decision is made in the interest of the youth to ensure his or her safety and development. The parents, the youth, if he or she is 14 years old or older, and people from the community participate in this meeting. They are invited to take an important role by giving their opinion and offering solutions.
The Ma famille, ma communauté program relies on four interdependent strategies.
Community partnership aims to:
strengthen collaboration between community members or organizations to create an environment conducive to maintaining the children in their living environment;
involve individuals and organizations in supporting and accompanying vulnerable families.
Team decision making allows partners to mobilize to hold decisions making meetings (TDM) and ensure that the family is doing well.
Recruitment and support of foster families invites the community to contribute to finding people willing to accommodate the children in their social circle, with the support of a network of partners involved with the family.
Self-assessment is part of a continuous improvement process to assess the results achieved with children and families.