By the numbers

By the numbers

Posted by on Aug 12, 2014 in Our blog |

Trudy Bosch

When the Ranch was founded in 1966 it started as a single residential unit for six troubled boys in Pilot Butte. Today, we operate residential, clinical, community, and educational programs across the province.

It’s hard to visualize the growth but we hope this chart can help.

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Learning to help build better families

Learning to help build better families

Posted by on Jul 30, 2014 in Whats-new |

Frontline staff and trainerFrontline staff and Family Program workers have learned how to build better families, and foster healthier homes.

Caseworkers, unit managers, therapists, and others spent three days learning about the Homebuilders program, the model of Ranch Ehrlo’s Intensive Family Preservation Services and Family Treatment Program.

The Homebuilders model was conceived in 1974 by the Behavioral Sciences Institute, now the Institute for Family Development. The model provides intensive, in-home crisis intervention, counselling and life-skills education for families who have children at imminent risk of placement outside of their home, or to assist families in reunification after having a child in care.

“It’s very important training because we believe that families are doing the best they can with what they know,” said David Gillock, Institute for Family Development trainer/consultant. “We hope that going into a family’s home and teaching them skills will help them do better and make the children safer.”

The Homebuilders model has been taught and applied to the practice of many agencies worldwide including those in the United States, Canada, Australia, England, and Singapore. Homebuilders was first introduced to Ranch Ehrlo Society in 2006, by Family Program director Patti Petrucka.

“It simply works, and it works wonderfully” said Patti.

“The statistics clearly indicate that families do really well if we follow the Homebuilders model and work closely within the parameters of family inclusion and family work,” she continued. “The outcomes have been absolutely remarkable.”

The 24-hour Homebuilders training spanned three days from July 28th until 31st. Staff learned how to engage families, increase safety in the home, how to teach skills to families, and how to implement cognitive and behavioural strategies.Homebuilders training

“It’s a lot of practical application of theoretical approaches,” explained David. “We look at evidence-based research, increasing cognitive awareness, changing how we think about things, and implementing behavioural interventions. “

“A lot of times families don’t recognize that they’re teaching their child to do wrong,” he said. “We teach parents the skills they need to be consistent and to follow through with what they say.”

Staff who participated in the Homebuilders training appreciated the learning opportunity and will apply the new skills to their work with families, said Patti.

“The staff absolutely love David and they love the training,” she said Wednesday morning. “They are all saying that yes they can use this, and that yes this is applicable.”

The Homebuilders model is individualized to meet the needs of each family, and can be applied to a variety of crisis situations, said David.

“Every family is different so we look at their culture, their values, and their beliefs. We do some engagement activities, get to know the family, and learn about their values, their goals, and their strengths. We then work with them individually to learn how we can build new skills to help them grow and do better.”

“Homebuilders really is focused on getting to know the family, understanding the family, and partnering with the family,” he concluded. “They are the experts of their situation; we’re merely the professionals there to help them build upon what they know.”

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Love makes the world go ‘round

Love makes the world go ‘round

Posted by on May 19, 2014 in Our blog |

Aandreas the storyteller of the Ranch, I have the opportunity to sit and talk to many people affiliated with the agency, from house moms and unit managers to Ranch youth and international volunteers.

The common factor in each of these discussions isn’t only the agency, but one small but very meaningful four letter word: love.

The word love keeps popping up in conversation, whether I’m talking to a staff, former youth, a family in our community services program, volunteer, or young adult with developmental disabilities. These people rarely elaborate on their love because it’s one of those universal feelings –something that we’re all expected to give, receive, and have. But sometimes people coming to the Ranch don’t understand that feeling and don’t know how to express it, that’s why we teach it. love

Love is something that Ranch Ehrlo is built upon. We help define love every day whether it’s in the confessions of a staff loving their job, a child loving their house mom, or a parent telling their child for the first time.

Just read the expressions of love that I’ve been lucky enough to experience with some of the wonderful people who make up this agency:

  • “Flo is my (house) mom and I love her so much. Everything she does – I appreciate,” Ranch youth
  • “The kids are great. I just love them,” war veteran and guest speaker Dennis Chisholm
  • “If I had a bad day I knew I could talk to someone – I was happy about that, I loved that,” former youth Emilio Bear
  • “One of the things I love about working at the Ranch is the programs evolve based on the needs of the kids,” vice-president of Education Corrina Hayden-Fidler
  • “This job teaches you how to give love, and right now, in this world, that’s something that we are missing,” international volunteer Nelson Martinez
  • Love  is something everyone could use a little more of,” Paper Crane project participants

What can I say? I love this place.

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Helping to build a legacy

Helping to build a legacy

Posted by on Apr 24, 2014 in Our blog |

Trudy Bosch

Principle 3: All staff in the agency are encouraged to assume leadership in their area, through the introduction of creative initiatives designed to be of benefit to children, families, or communities.

The statement above is part of the Ranch Ehrlo philosophy written in the 2004 book Go Forward with pride: A historical Review of the Ranch Ehrlo Society.

To facilitate interaction with youth, staff often have the opportunity to take charge of a particular program or activity in which they have an interest or to create a new program where none has existed.

This involvement not only stimulates leadership in the staff team it also has other benefits. Staff can express interests in a creative way, its helps staff build interest in their work, and helps create bonds with the youth and clients.

Many of our long standing programs were built this way, including the 3-mile run, skits for awards night, Sport Venture, Ehrlo Early Learning Centre, and the annual Winterfest.

The Winterfest has been a staple at the Ranch, usually taking place in February or March during a long cold winter and giving youth and staff the opportunity to have fun outside.

Events like smoosh races (a team of kids strapped into two 2x4s who need to move together in order to move forward), tug of war, and the bell kick have been a tradition over the years. Every year a group home will come up with new ideas to make the event fresh and fun. This year MacKay House in Regina created a giant Jenga game and Buckland created a kissing booth featuring Ranch horses Scotty and Rocky.

The combination of new and old helps sustain the lasting legacy of the Winterfest.

bell kick 2014 bell kick 1975

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Finding a home where you least expect it

Finding a home where you least expect it

Posted by on Mar 11, 2014 in Community, Then and now | 3 comments

“The most important thing in life is your family. Sometimes it’s the family you’re born into and sometimes it’s the one you make for yourself.” 

emilioNineteen-year-old Emilio Bear found a family, and a home at Ranch Ehrlo Society.

Emilio moved into one of the Ranch’s intake units when he was just 10 years old.

A childhood of revolving doors and packed-up boxes prepared Emilio for the move. He had been placed in 21 foster homes before the age of six, and was living at Saskatoon’s Red Willow House before moving to the Ranch.

“The Ranch was different from the other (group homes),” Emilio explained. “It felt like a home to me.”

Emilio unpacked his boxes in 2004 and made Ranch Ehrlo home for eight years.

“It was great,” he said. “I really enjoyed it.”

Emilio admits it wasn’t until discharge that he realized the magnitude of the Ranch’s influence in his life. His experiences and interactions with the staff and the youth helped mold him to become the man he is today, he said.finding a home at the Ranch

“The Ranch is a really, really good place to be. If it wasn’t for the Ranch I don’t know where I would be right now – I’d probably be in a jail, in a gang, or dead.”

“The Ranch gave me a lot of motivation,” he continued. “They taught me how to go after things and not to just sit around and wait for them to happen.”

Emilio’s time at the Ranch was made special by the people who surrounded him. The staff became mother and father figures, the youth became something like siblings, and the houses became homes.

“I really lucked out with the Ranch. I became really close to the people, and I made a lot of real relationships.”

“The staff were strict and they had expectations, but they had respect for me and they were always there for me,” he said. “If I had a bad day I knew I could talk to someone — I was happy about that, I loved that.”

Living in a house with nine other youth was sometimes a challenge he said, but there was never a dull moment.

The organization of weekly sports, games, crafts, and activities was appreciated by Emilio. He said the experience to play with other kids was a new experience for him, growing up without brothers and sisters of his own.

“Everything was planned so we knew exactly what we were going to do before we did it. Even if we thought we wouldn’t like it, everything always turned out being fun.”

Emilio’s time at the Ranch was highlighted by summer camp trips, high school football, and gatherings with friends.

As Emilio worked toward high school graduation, one of the biggest moves of his life was underway.

At 17 years old, Emilio began the process of moving into independent living through the Ranch’s Youth Transition Program.

“It was difficult,” he confessed. “I didn’t like it whatsoever. I had to grow up fast and learn a lot about myself.”

With perseverance and support from Ranch mentors, Emilio succeeded in completing his high school education and securing a place to live.

After achieving several tickets and attending post-secondary school, Emilio has completed his first-year apprentice for painting, has become certified to work on the oil rigs, and is now pursuing a career in construction.

“The Ranch taught me how to be myself,” said Emilio. “They really did care.”

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