Infant, Child, Youth and Family Mental Health Services
Yorktown Family Services serves West Toronto, one of the poorest and traditionally under-served communities in the province. High levels of immigration to the area have resulted in one of the highest concentrations of new Canadians in Ontario – 55% of our clients come from countries other than Canada and 50% speak a language other than English in their homes. The majority of our clients are youth with 60% between thirteen and eighteen years of age and 30% are between 6 and 12 years old. More than half (65%) of the children we serve live in single parent families (45% are from single parent mother-led families).
Clients are referred to Yorktown Family Services by a number of community organizations including: The Children’s Aid Societies, schools, doctors, hospitals, probation officers, and other Community Service Agencies. Clients come to Yorktown Family Services with a range of presenting issues: behavioural, emotional, psychiatric, social, substance use and trauma.
Violence Against Women Services
We serve all women, 16 years of age and over, with or without children, that have experienced abuse. Over 75% of the women receiving service are visible minorities, immigrants, refugees and women without status.
Violence limits women’s opportunities, undermines women’s capabilities, jeopardizes their physical, psychological and economic security, and their power. Yet the intersections between violence and poverty are all too often ignored in poverty reduction planning. Women’s economic independence and security is necessary for the elimination of woman abuse. Many women living in abusive relationships are very aware of the choice they make: poverty or abuse.
Statistics point to the inextricable link between violence and poverty and reflect an over-representation of women who are seniors, women with disabilities, Aboriginal women, and immigrant and visible minority women. These factors compound the multiple barriers women face when leaving abusive relationships and when trying to lift themselves out of poverty. The statistics are overwhelming; women who leave a partner to raise children on their own are more than five times likely to live in poverty than if they stay with their partner. As a result, there is evidence showing abused women sometimes stay in abusive relationships because they know that leaving will plunge them and their children into poverty. We support women and assist them to address the multiple challenges they face when they make the decision to leave lives of abuse.
Each client receives an orientation to the Centre, which highlights the information covered by the Client Information’s package, following intake. This package is available to the client and the client is encouraged to read it. It includes a section entitled “Things you Need To Know” which summarizes the client’s rights and responsibilities and the complaint process. The client is invited to ask any questions he/she may have about the process.
In the event of a complaint that is specific to a Centre worker, student, or volunteer, clients are encouraged to discuss the problem directly with the person against whom the complaint is directed. If the client is uncomfortable with this, he/she is always welcome to contact the Director of Service or the Executive Director. In these cases, the Director of Service or Executive Director will present the problem to the front line worker. In any event, the front line worker will make every effort to resolve the issue with the client.
Should resolution be unattainable, the client or front line worker may call a meeting at the earliest time possible, but not beyond 10 working days. Participants will include: the front line worker, the client, the Director of Service, the Executive Director, and any persons the client feels would be supportive.
Should resolution still be unattainable, the Executive Director will call a meeting including the involved parties and representation from the Board of Directors.
Should the client still be unhappy with the response, he/she is directed to write a letter to the Ministry of Children and Youth Services outlining his/her concerns.
Any feedback regarding the Centre overall or about a specific program (outside of clinical services) is forwarded directly to the Executive Director. He/she reviews the feedback and determines the most appropriate response. Any feedback specific to clinical programs should be directed to the Director of Service.
A summary of the meeting including the issue and outcome will be placed in a client complaint file (maintained by the Executive Director) and as appropriate, in the personnel and/or client file.