Dean, Faculty of Community Services and Professor, Child & Youth Care , Toronto Metropolitan University
Room: Commonwealth Ballroom
Despite very significant efforts and considerable success on the part of residential service providers to improve their internal work and practices, there continue to be multiple barriers in flowing the knowledge, wisdom and practice competencies of residential settings to the community at large. The Corona Virus pandemic has resulted in major changes related to how individuals, their families, and communities interact with and relate to helping services, health care, education, and crisis intervention resources. Increased needs for attention and service have given rise to innovation and creative ways of engagement between those able to help and those needing that help (often the same people). Residential service providers have largely been on the outside of these shifting dynamics and relationships, preferring instead to turn inward and to focus on the needs of their residential clients during the pandemic. This separation and disconnection has unfolded despite the obvious connections between mental health needs, trauma, and alienation in community on the one hand, and mental health expertise, trauma-informed care, and relational practices within residential settings on the other hand. In this keynote, Dr. Gharabaghi will reflect on the opportunity presenting itself to residential service providers to expand their relevance and impact to be inclusive of communities and informal ways of sharing the accumulated wisdom and competencies of the residential services sector.