Intensive Family Support

Intensive Family Support is an intensive, home-based program that supports families with youth (aged 12 to 18) who are at risk of out-of-home placement to foster care, a group home, or a correctional facility in response to a range of significant behavioural problems, including:

  • Oppositional, aggressive, violent or criminal behaviour
  • Failing classes, not going to school, or experiencing other school problems
  • Serious disrespect in the home and in the community
  • Running away from home
  • Using drugs and/or alcohol, or taking part in any other risky activities that could result in self-harm

This pragmatic, goal-oriented treatment program targets factors in a youth’s social network that contribute to his or her antisocial behaviour and works to achieve positive outcomes in the family, with peers and at school or work.

We offer parents the skills and resources to deal on their own with the difficulties that arise when raising teenagers, and give youth the skills to cope with family, peer, school and neighbourhood problems. Therapists accomplish this, in part, in two ways:

  • By engaging key people in the youth’s environment (family, school faculty, community members, etc.) and collaborating with family members to design the treatment plan

By mobilizing individual, family and community resources that support and maintain the long-term behavioural changes that occur during the Intensive Family Support treatment.

How to access the program

Families are referred to Intensive Family Support through the Ottawa Children’s Coordinated Access and Referral to Services (OCCARS) Committees. These committees are designed to provide recommendations and referrals to families, children and youth who have complex needs and are experiencing difficulties gaining access to support and services in the community.

You can also contact the intake department at Youth Services Bureau at 613-562-3004.

Please complete the following application for Intensive Family Support services: Mental Health Application Form

If you are already accessing YSB services, ask your contact person if Intensive Family Support might be helpful for your family. Family sessions are scheduled at times that are convenient for the family, including evenings and weekends. Emergency on-call services are also available as required through the 24/7 Crisis Line: contact them by dialing 613-260-2360 in Ottawa or toll-free at 1-877-377-7775.

For more information about Intensive Family Support, contact the program coordinator at the number or email address provided below:

 Michelle Earle

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