Mutual Support Niagara

A Children's Residential Care
& Treatment Program

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About Mutual Support

Mutual Support is a non-profit corporation, operating four residential care and treatment programs as well as a small foster care program. Our programs are structured to provide a continuum of care so that every child placed at Mutual Support can receive nurturing care and treatment in either staffed or family based care residences, with a community-based specialized foster family, at our transitional youth residence, or through after-care supports.

What We Believe

We believe that it is our responsibility to provide an environment that fosters the best possible outcomes for the children and youth in our care. Mutual Support staff, house parents, foster parents, and clinicians provide safe and nurturing environments, the opportunity for each child to experience a secure attachment to a caregiver, programming that builds each child’s capacity to regulate their emotions, become resilient in the face of adversity, and integrate their trauma experiences safely.

Although residents may have coping strategies that are the result of chronic, early developmental trauma, we believe that kids will do well if they can.

We believe in the importance of fostering an atmosphere of acceptance and respect for all people groups. We teach the youth in our care to respect others’ rights, and to see diversity as opportunity to learn about others. We provide experiences for our residents to learn about and experience their own cultural backgrounds and religious/spiritual belief systems.

Our Programs

Family Based Care

Our Family Based Care residences have the unique feature of live-in house parents with shift-based child care support. These two residences provide family based care to children and youth who have often moved through the foster care system or adoption services because of their unique needs. These parent-model homes are a long term option, providing all of the desired qualities of a family home, with child care support added to greatly increase the likelihood of long term positive outcomes. These two residences are co-ed, for children and youth from 6-17.

Transitional Residence

Our transitional program is designed to assist youth as they move to their adult life, giving them the opportunity to take more responsibility for their own outcomes. Our professional staff facilitate the adoption of adaptive and pro-social interpersonal skills, healthy lifestyle and personal care habits, provide education on the negative outcomes associated with high risk lifestyles, and act as advocates as these youth begin to engage with their community in their own interests.

Latency-aged Residence

The latency aged program is for children that require a highly structured program. This caring, staff model environment provides for the unique aspects of each child’s social and trauma history, providing alternatives to the children’s current coping strategies, mitigating the extent of the child’s developmental disruption in an environment that is normalizing, active and creative.

Alternate Education Programming

In partnership with the District School Board of Niagara, Mutual Support operates two Alternate School classrooms at Port Colborne High School. Available to every resident of Mutual Support that requires a high level of support, each student has an Individual Education Plan (IEP) developed by the classroom teacher, and a behavioural support plan created jointly by the DSBN teachers and Mutual Support educational child care staff. Partial integration into public school programs can be facilitated while participating in the Alternate School Program.

Specialized Foster Care

Our small network of community-based specialized foster care providers are an integral part of our continuum of care. These dedicated and caring families are an ideal option for the children and youth that require a less intensive setting than our staffed or parent-model residences.

After Care Support

A turn-key, fee for service solution for children’s aid societies and other placing agencies, designed for youth that were formerly in a Mutual Support program, the goal of this program is to provide community-based support and advocacy on an agency’s behalf to adult clients. Building on the longstanding relationship already in place, Mutual Support can provide rapid deployment of regionally-based, professional, skilled workers to provide after-care to former residents of Mutual Support.

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