New Programs and Initiatives
By Katherine Halpenny
WoodGreen Launches Homeward Bound Program
In 2002 alone, more than 2,700 single mothers and their children were forced to live in Toronto’s shelter system. Research clearly shows that families experiencing homelessness need a number of essential supports in order to maintain a stable home and achieve financial independence. The Homeward Bound program provides these supports through employment training, transitional housing, on-site child care, one-on-one counselling for the mothers and their children, and many other vital services, all under one roof. The program’s primary goal is to support 32 women and their children to move into independent housing and to have employment with family sustaining incomes within 3 years.
All of the women at Homeward Bound will receive basic computer training through the International Computer Driving Licence program to prepare them for employment in a variety of areas including office administration and information technology. Upon completion, each woman will be given the opportunity to attend one of Seneca College’s computer studies diploma programs. WoodGreen also provides other essential skills that Homeward Bound participants will need to become more self-sufficient. Through career preparation training, participants gain skills in communication, workplace culture and alternate dispute resolution. Through their life skills training the women learn more effective parenting skills, a better understanding of housing and tenancy issues, and how to create and manage a family budget.
On October 14th, 2004, WoodGreen Community Services and their private and public sector partners officially launched Homeward Bound, an innovative new program designed to help women and their children transition from shelter life to economic self-sufficiency. Many members of the community including the Counselling Foundation of Canada took part in the celebration, and witnessed the true spirit of the program through personal stories recounted by two of the women participants. In his remarks, The Counselling Foundation President & Chairman, Donald Lawson congratulated WoodGreen on creating a program that so effectively provided the foundation for career and life transformation that is at the core of the Foundation’s mission. Numerous community leaders were also in attendance to learn more about this ground-breaking model for supporting the development of families.
WoodGreen Community Services is a non-profit organization which supports 37,000 individuals and families each year to become more self-sufficient and to live independently in Toronto’s east end. The organization does this through a number of essential services, including affordable housing solutions, employment training, quality child care, after-school programs, help for new immigrants, supports for individuals with mental health or developmental challenges, and care for seniors, because everyone deserves the essentials of life.
For more information on WoodGreen Community Services, please visit www.woodgreen.org.
Katherine Halpenny is the Director of Marketing & Fund Development for WoodGreen Community Services. She can be reached through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Myers Briggs Type Indicator® and Strong® go On-line in Canada
It seems that there is a faster more efficient solution to everything these days. Often that means changing from paper to on-line delivery. This trend continues with Psychometrics Canada offering two of the worlds top assessment tools through their on-line test administration system, CareerID.com.
“Each customer will have their own website that has their organization’s look and feel. This is where their client can log in and complete the MBTI,” says Psychometrics’ Director of Business Development, Mark Fitzsimmons. “Counsellors can then generate the specific report they need. It is instant feedback that they can print off or email back to the test taker.”
Counsellors and HR professionals wanted to be able to generate reports instantly and even have clients’ complete assessments from home. The on-line system was developed two years ago to enable the company to offer on-line access to their own assessments. Quickly they saw that the application could be expanded to host other publisher’s materials as well.
“We have been picking up assessments from around the world, and will be launching them soon as well. The MBTI and Strong are what customers have been asking for so they have been our top priority. French language MBTI products will be available in 2005, we’re still working on translations and field testing,” says Fitzsimmons.
Scheduled to be available by the end of October, Psychometrics has already begun taking advanced orders for websites. “It is really an exciting time. We have been working towards a Canadian solution to get the MBTI and Strong on-line for our customers for many years. Finally, we can say its available!”
Psychometrics Canada Ltd. is one example of a Canadian firm providing systems for counsellors to administer assessment tools on-line. High demand tests available in French and English include the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®, Strong Interest Inventory®, Work Personality Index, Career Values Scale, and the Career Interest Profiler. More information is available at www.CareerID.com.