Life Skills Help Improve Quality of Life, Independence

When Kevin first came to live with Jarid Banks and his family, the Banks couldn’t help but wonder where a nine-year-old could pick up such a shocking vocabulary. After seven years with the Banks family, however, foul language isn’t the only challenge Kevin has learned to manage.

A high level of care for kids who need it

Jarid is a foster parent (what we call a Parent Therapist) with Quinte Children’s Homes (QCH), a program that offers specialized care for foster kids who need additional support. QCH follows a different model of care that combines a clinical approach with a family environment.

“Kids come to QCH because they need a higher level of assistance,” Jarid explained. “We anticipate that the kids who live with us will have behaviour issues or negative attitudes, but Kevin is also developmentally delayed. That means he has significant disabilities and the added challenges of being unable to read or write.”

As a child Kevin was cared for by a relative, but over time they took less of a role in his life.

Jarid recalled that, when he first came to live with them, Kevin had a lot of physical and verbal aggression. “We even reached a point in 2008 where we felt his placement with us wasn’t working, and he moved in with a different QCH family. After a few months he returned to our home, but we were adamant that he needed to receive additional support from CAS.”

Extra support provides important life skills

With that extra support, Jarid says Kevin has been able learn important life skills that move him closer to a more independent lifestyle.

Kevin will likely always need someone to look after him,” Banks explained.

However, over the past few years he has taken significant steps forward. Where he once had 60 suspension days in the school year, this year he had just eight. He is better at managing his aggression and has learned that he’s good with his hands.

Kevin is participating in a co-op program through his school that’s been really phenomenal for him,” Jarid said. “Next year, he will follow a revised schedule that allows him to spend four days in a co-op placement with just one day in class.”

Because of his disabilities, Kevin will qualify for ongoing government support after he turns 18, and Jarid expects he will continue to live with them into adulthood. “He can continue with the same co-op school program until he’s 21, and hopefully find a job he enjoys.”

Jarid says that at some point in the future, Kevin may be able to live on his own. “I think there’s hope in certain areas. For now, he loves playing with Lego, I think he’ll do really well with the right job, and he enjoys fun activities. If he can maintain his anger issues, it should be a good lifestyle for him.”

Learn more about our Parent Therapist program

Quinte Children’s Homes specializes in the child-focused model of care that it takes to help youth like Kevin reach their highest potential. To learn more about our program and how you can get involved, please contact us directly or connect with us on Twitter.

* The photos and names in this story have been changed to protect the privacy of those involved.*