Secure Care at The Wood Street Centre
The Wood Street Centre provides a secure treatment program for youth who are in the care of the Minister of Community Services and are suffering from an emotional and/or behavioural disorder, who require confinement in order to remedy or alleviate the disorder and who refuse or are unable to consent to treatment.
The Wood Street Centre is in Truro, Nova Scotia and operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The average age of young people who access the program is between the ages of 12 and 18. However, some may be younger than 12, depending on individual circumstances.
As many as 140 young people may pass through the program each year.
The Wood Street Centre has 20 beds, with 10 beds located on two living units, classrooms, indoor and outdoor recreational area, clinical, administrative and meeting spaces.
Youth admitted to the Wood Street Centre present with a wide range of complex behavioural and/or emotional challenges that are addressed through individualized treatment plans. The treatment plans are developed in response to social, behavioural, and emotional histories provided by the youth's care-giver network in the community, the youth, and observations made by members of the interdisciplinary team.
The interdisciplinary team includes youth workers, social workers, teachers, registered nurse, psychologist, clinical director, unit supervisor, and coordinator of Youth Services along with a consulting psychiatrist and medical doctor. The team provides stabilization and treatment services. These services may include psycho-educational (social and emotional learning) youth programming, case management, classroom education, individual treatment plans, counselling and/or therapy.
The interdisciplinary team discusses the youth's progress at weekly meetings and treatment plans are revised as the needs of the youth change. The youth may also be referred for psychological, psycho-educational or psychiatric assessment in instances where further clarification of the youth's needs is required. There is a weekly medical clinic with a consulting family physician and a weekly mental health clinic with a consulting psychiatrist.
All residents participate in a structured daily routine that includes school, recreation, chores and both individual and group programming to explore individual issues and learn skills including decision-making and self management.
Psycho-educational programming provides youth with an opportunity to learn new skills, practice and receive feedback from staff along with incorporating the new skills into their daily routines. Daily programming provides the opportunity to observe youth interacting with peers, staff and visitors.
The therapeutic approach chosen for a youth is determined by his/her cognitive ability level, emotional maturity, and individual needs as identified through Accountability Case Management (ACM). Youth may require a concrete and repetitive approach for skill development, opportunity to develop insight into behaviours, or benefit from the stabilizing effect of a structured environment with clear and consistent expectations for behaviour. The overall goal of the program is to assist youth to change in order to self manage and monitor their own behaviour and maintain these changes in the community.
All referrals must go through the local district office of the Department of Community Services. The Wood Street Centre will only serve children and youth in the care of the Minister of Community Services. If parents, police or other professionals believe there are grounds to apply for a child who is in need of protection for abuse or neglect, they must contact the local child welfare district office.
Attempts to make referrals directly to the centre will be redirected to the local child welfare district office closest to the location of the child.
In order to ensure the necessary criteria are met before admission, a secure-care risk conferencing process has been established that involves child welfare caseworkers.
Nova Scotia Department of Community Services
Wood Street Centre
225 Wood Street
Truro, Nova Scotia B2N 7H8