Making new residents feel at home

Making new residents feel at home

Posted by on Dec 28, 2012 in Our blog |

Making new residents feel at home

Recently, the Ranch Ehrlo Society implemented a new intake process for all new residents who come to stay at the agency.


“The purpose of the new intake process is to help young people coming to live at the Ranch transition as smoothly as possible,” commented Linda Meyer, vice-president of clinical services. “Coming to the Ranch might be a bit scary so we just want to let residents know what they might expect. Our goal is to ensure all new residents feel safe and warmly welcomed.”

Some of the major changes and additions to the new intake process are listed below:

Pre-Intake Letter

A pre-intake letter was developed that will be sent to the referral agency.  Included with this letter is the Welcome to the Ranch orientation video and the Ranch Ehrlo resident handbook, so that this information can be reviewed with the youth and family prior to the admission meeting. Reviewing this information prior to the admission meeting helps answer questions that the new residents and their parents/guardians may have about Ranch Ehrlo’s programs and services. The intent is to help make the admission meeting a positive experience. The youth and family are also encouraged to visit our web site, which also has information about our programs and services as well as a virtual tour of the Pilot Butte campus.

Resident handbook

The resident handbook was updated, complete with information about the agency and its programs, the treatment process, guidelines for resident behaviour and family involvement, an outline of the agency’s and resident’s responsibilities, and new images to give new residents a sense of the agency.

Intake Package

The Intake Package was reduced in size:

– Some forms were removed entirely and other forms were combined

– The full policies that were previously included for review with the resident and family were removed from the package, with the information within the resident handbook (which contains an abridged version of those full polices) being used in place of the full policy version

–  The resident handbook is now to be reviewed within a seven-day period of admission, giving the resident time to settling into the program before sitting down with a worker to review this information

–  The Welcome to the Ranch Orientation Video was developed, in part, for use within the intake meeting, giving the resident and families important information in a fun and non-threatening format

Welcome to the Ranch orientation video

Ranch Ehrlo has also just released a brand new orientation video for new residents. The video features former Ranch youth as actors and the narrator. The five minute video highlights treatment services available at Ranch Ehrlo, our unique schools, recreational activities, family involvement, and home life in the residential units. The original video was shot in English and translated to Cree, Dene, and Inuktitut.

Virtual Tour

A virtual tour of all aspects of our Pilot Butte campus is anticipated to launch next week on our main website.

Fidget Baskets

Fidget baskets were assembled to use during intake meeting. Items include: fidgets, little toys to play with, silly putty, play dough, crayons, and paper.

Welcome package

An intake welcome package was also introduced. This package contains a sports bag, pillow, blanket, hygiene bag, hygiene items, paper, a pen, envelopes, a journal, a photo album, and an informational card supplied by the Advocate for Children and Youth. In addition to all new residents being provided with a welcome package, all current residents were also provided one.

Credit Where Credit is Due

A very special thanks needs to go to Jane Powell Showchuk, director of special projects who took the lead on the redesign of the intake and admission process.  Jane developed a working committee in partnership with Karrie Derbyshire, director of programs.  Together Jane and Karrie worked with the clinical team, who were instrumental in coming up with many of these ideas during a brainstorming session at one of their clinical team meetings held last year. 

Many other employees contributed significantly to the project. This includes credit for the orientation video concept going to Julie Francella; credit for the creative video script and overall video development and management going to Trudy Bosch; credit to Nick Crighton for helping locate translators for the Cree, Dene, and Inuktuk versions of the orientation video; credit for organizing the purchase and distribution of the welcome packages going to Justin Waldrop; and a special thanks to Cheryl Gosselin, Michele Foraie, and Monica Gohm for assembling the new intake packages.  The clinical team, program directors, and unit managers all worked to review and provide feedback to help ensure the process would meet the original goals.

Finally, it is important to note that the late Dr. Geoff Pawson, Ranch Ehrlo Society’s founder and past CEO, inspired this entire project about a year and a half ago, as he wanted to ensure that our intake process was as warm and welcoming as possible and completely aligned with our philosophy.

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