A therapeutic facility consisting of a network of strongly supported foster homes serving Southern Ontario
The Nairn Program seeks to provide specialized foster placement for children between the ages of 1-18. We are able to serve children with a wide range of need areas, such as sexually, physically or emotionally abused, behavioural difficulties, physically or mentally disabled, etc. Many of these children are commonly described as "emotionally disturbed" and often referred to as "hard-to-serve" by their care providers.
Philosophy and Model of Care
The central role that parent-child attachment relationship plays in children’s development has long been supported by empirical evidence.
True growth achieved through Attachment quality relationships with trusting, caring adults.
Proper emotional interaction between parent and child is essential to the formation of attachment.
The foster family is the primarily change agent. How foster parents interact with their children at emotional moments determine the level of security they will develop.
Attachment-focused (not consequence driven) with attention given to emotional coaching.
Model of care “Impact Parenting” (emotionally responsive). Parents own emotional awareness and their ability to manage their own feelings and those of others will have a major influence on their children’s sense of security.
Specialized Foster Homes
The basic unit of the Nairn model is the Specialized Foster Home. In its provision of care and treatment the foster family functions as a milieu for care and treatment. In addition to meeting the child's basic need for care and nurturance, our family environments have developing levels of the following vital care components: personal problem orientation, active recreation orientation, autonomy, practical orientation, clarity, support, order and organizational involvement, control and expressiveness. To support these environmental components, foster parents receive specific child care skills through regular In-Service training and professional supervision.
Impact Families – The Nairn Advantage
At Nairn Family Homes, our most valued asset is our team of foster families. We work hard to meet their needs that enable them to do an excellent job. If we keep them doing what they do well, we will succeed. When they succeed, the children thrive. We know that great foster parents are not hired, they are developed. For over 40 years, Nairn Family Homes has given priority to perfecting the art of developing outstanding foster families.
- We carefully select them
- Treat them respectfully
- Train them extensively
- Support them ‘strongly’
- Supervise carefully, based on Attachment principles
When we do a good job at this, it rolls out to the children being cared for. The placing agency is happy when their children do well. The Ministry applauds us for our contribution to the work of caring and protecting our generation of children in the province of Ontario.
Our homes are in four basic areas:
Chatham - Windsor area
London and area (office in Parkhill)
Kitchener - Waterloo area (office in Kitchener)
Toronto and area (office in Grimsby)
Goals and Objectives
At Nairn we hold to the singular goal that each child will be guided to 'maturity' where he or she is able to make 'right choices' leading to a productive, emotionally stable life within social norms, accepting self and others. This goal focuses on three areas:
That each child will demonstrate a high level of self-control while enjoying him/herself. That each child will be able to manage his/her behaviour well, with tolerance and patience, functioning in socially acceptable ways over reasonable lengths of time.
That each child will be able to make right choices accepting authority, rules, and structures.
That each child will evidence a life characterized by constant growth towards higher levels of maturity over time.
It is our objective that each child will receive the opportunity for integration in the natural setting of a family home. Within this naturalizing process, the child will maintain his/her autonomy, but will be given the chance of benefitting from this most basic environmental requirement which is crucial in the growth and development of children.
These objectives are best achieved when our foster families are most conducive to the development of attachment relationships where children feel safe and secure in the home environment.
Most of our child population is successfully placed in community school placements. Our Foster Parents and Supervisors are particularly skilled in their ability to guide and support school teachers and principals in their work with our often difficult children. School placements are supported by our Educational Consultant who is very knowledgeable in navigating the system for best results.
Special emphasis is given to assessments (psychological/psychiatric) and personality behavioural studies. With the use of proven scientific testing instruments, accurate clinical descriptions are developed in order to sharpen the focus of each child's Plan of Care.
Where the child's treatment needs require specialized therapy, the service may be provided internally by our professional staff, or a referral may be made to credible clinicians (eg. Art Therapist) within the community of the foster family.
A very vital part of the Nairn program is the intense training support which our foster parents receive. Every two weeks, foster parents and professional staff meet in each geographical area for a three-hour session which as a threefold focus:
Professional Development: Child psychology, behaviour management, counseling skills
Personal Growth: Self-understanding
Community-building: Mutual support group
The focus of our training curriculum are our methods that enhance our Impact Goals:
1. Influence behaviours
2. Increase verbalization
3. Instigate child’s ability to negotiate the meeting of needs
4. Introduce attachments
5. Impact self-regulating ability
Training Topics for foster parents (Link to list of training topics in Families page)
Training is also available on-site for private and public agencies (Link to training topics in Referral page)
Each of our specialized foster families is closely supported by a Nairn Supervisor. While foster parents remain the key agent in the model, supervisors who are clinically trained perform a crucial role as Case Managers, providing counseling and direction to the family and child. Supervisors are in turn supported by the Executive Director.
This level of professional input ensures that our foster families experience the strong support for which we are known. Strong support of foster parent/child relational constructs (Eg. Attachment, relational frustration, communication, anger responses) include:
- one-to-one child support
- 24 hr on call supervision
- extensive assessment, psychological and other testing
- prevention through planning
- documentation system
- behaviour management tools that support Attachment
- volunteer driver program
Additional consultation is provided by other clinicians who are retained by Nairn on a fee for service basis.