About Shannon and Justin
It’s no surprise that Shannon and Justin chose to become parent therapists – they’re both used to being members of large families. Shannon grew up with three brothers and two sisters. While Justin’s original family was smaller, his parents ran a foster home for 13 years and Justin lived with children from all areas of Ontario. He also has a large extended family in England and Australia.
Shannon says she met Justin at the age of 17 and the two remained friends for a few years before they began dating. The couple opened their therapeutic foster home with Quinte Children’s Homes in 2002. “We wanted to provide a family-based environment for children that need it,” says Shannon. “We enjoy working with kids and their families.”
Shannon and Justin want the children in their care to experience an open, caring family. “We have a large extended family that we are close with,” says Shannon. “We expose the children to fun, family-based activities that foster positive self-image and improve confidence.” The group regularly celebrates holidays and special occasions with extended family.
Shannon would like the children she and Justin nurture to come away with a sense of belonging and a connection to a support system. “We hope that whatever behavioural issues they were experiencing are lessened or controlled through skills learned,” she says. “We also offer life skills training for youth wishing to transfer from a family-based home to independent living.”
The couple provides close supervision for high-risk youth while allowing them a level of independence within the home.“We offer structured, individualized programming, as well as family-based activities such as games, TV and movies,” says Shannon. They also involve the children in meaningful after-school activities and community programs.
Shannon and Justin live in a large 5-bedroom home at the end of a cul-de-sac in the east end of Belleville. The location offers lots of privacy while remaining close to the city. Two large living rooms on the main floor provide plenty of space for everybody to stretch out and relax. All of the bedrooms are large with big closets and plenty of natural light. “The home is open and bright with a lot of large windows in all of the rooms,” says Shannon. “We also have a large backyard with a play structure, sandbox and lots of trees and small wildlife.” The home is conveniently close to stores, coffee shops, churches, schools and public transit.
Shannon and Justin share their home with three boys, ages 12, 13 and 19. Shannon’s mother and sister live in the basement apartment.
The family has two dogs – a young chow cross named Rosie and the more mature August, a mixed breed lab.
The family enjoys outdoor activities, the YMCA, shopping, camping and visiting family. They also play and watch sports and enjoy video games, board games, movies, reading and nature hikes.
Education and Experience
Shannon, the home’s primary parent therapist, holds a Social Service Worker diploma from Loyalist College of A.A.T. She has worked in the social services field for more than a decade both in case management and on the front lines. She has also worked in developmental services with children living with multiple physical disabilities. Justin has a diploma in Broadcast Journalism from Loyalist College of A.A.T.
QCH Parent Therapists
All Quinte Children’s Homes parent therapists are current in First Aid/CPR and Therapeutic Crisis Intervention. To learn more about Shannon and Justin or to inquire about bed availability, please contact us at 613-968-8569.