FOR YOUTH

For youth ages 14-26 at-risk of or experiencing homelessness, a shelter is not always the best option. A better option would be a program in which people are in a supportive, safe, and comfortable environment.

 

This page includes important information about becoming a participant in the Host Homes: Click on each item of the list below to get redirected.

 

What can Host Homes, provide you with?

 

  • Basic needs (food, shelter, water...)

  • A private and safe room to sleep in

  • Access to amenities and laundry

  • A supportive adult in the home that can lend a listening ear or some advice.

With the stress of housing temporarily removed, you are able to focus on other needs and work towards more stable living situations. You meet with hosts and have the ability to choose whom you would like to live with. Giving you the choice to pick a family you feel comfortable with, making the environment that much more suitable for you.

Providing you with the opportunity to choose what you want to be working towards will encourage success. The program is designed with a focus on you: you set your own goals. The organization's role is to support you while the hosts' role is to provide basic needs and a listening ear.

 

Thought the program is designed to help you, as a guest in someone's home, it is important to know your rights and responsibilities

 
 

How to participate in the Host Homes?

 
Step 1.

Youth Referral & Intake

Step 2.

Matching Process

01

Youth Referral & Intake

Youth referral is the process of seeking help from a Host Homes provider. When you are matched with an organization, you will then have to fill an application form. This form will help determine your eligibility to participate. The form requires basic information about you, a professional and an adult reference.


Notes:

 

  • You will be asked what you would like to get out of the program (e.g.: educational/work goals)​

  • We are making sure that everyone uses inclusive language (e.g.: we include space for preferred name and various genders).

02

Matching Process

The matching process is the action of connecting a youth with a family. Prior to matching, you have the opportunity to meet with the hosts before you move in. 

 

A caseworker will introduce both of you and assists with the initial meeting. As you and the family become more comfortable, you may decide that you and the hosts are a good match and go over the living agreement.

 

Both you and the hosts get support from staff. 

Where are the Host Homes Providers located?

 

Click on the map in your province to get information about existing Host Homes Providers.

ALBERTA
 

Aura Host Homes Youth is the name of Boys and Girls Club of Calgary Program. The intake form aims to fully understand the young person to be sure that they are comfortable and have the best match possible. To do so, the form includes: who made the referral, the caseworker and emergency contact information, health and medical information including current medication, natural and professional support contacts, school/work information, traditions, hobbies, interests, how the youth can be incorporated in the home, history and experiences, no contact orders, family, and previous placements. 

 

Something to highlight about these forms is that they include questions about what is important to the young person to ensure a good match and comfortable transition into the Host Home.

Matching Process

Youth Referral and Intake

Young people have the opportunity to meet with Hosts before they move in. A caseworker introduces the two parties and assists with the initial meeting. As hosts and youth become more comfortable, they may decide they are a good match to live together and review a living agreement. Something to highlight about this program: is the support that both parties receive from staff, and then a process is followed to ensure the youth has a choice.

Calgary, AB

The Safe Coach is the name of FCSS. The process begins with an initial intake reviewing general demographic information. Then, a more extensive intake is used to asses the participant's expectations and match them with potential Host Home placements. To ensure the best support, this intake assessment asks young people about their strengths, how they cope with triggers, and what would be good for a potential host to know about them.

Matching Process

Youth Referral and Intake

The Host Homes program coordinator has a conversation with the youth about their needs and who the host home volunteers are before the young person decides if they want to meet the hosts. Something to highlight about this program is that because Cochrane is a rural community, the resource centre coordinator knows the hosts very well and can ensure a level of comfort for the youth.

Cochrane, AB

 
BRITISH COLUMBIA

Young people are able to refer themselves to this program. They must complete an agreement form to participate and meet with a social worker. Young people are expected to have ministry status. That means that child protection services have had to intervene with their guardians or they sign a voluntary youth services agreement which states that they are agreeing to the care of the organization. Something to highlight about this program is that all hosts are trained as foster parents, meaning that they are capable of working with and supporting youth in more ways than an untrained volunteer.

Matching Process

Youth Referral and Intake

Matches in this program come down to the availability of hosts. Although if multiple hosts were available, the location of the youth would be taken into consideration as well. Something to highlight: this program consists of a night by night basis, youth are continually choosing whether they would like to go back to the hosts home or enter a different program.

Kelowna, BC

 
ONTARIO

Youth who have been working with a case worker, social workers, guidance counselor, or community resource agencies can be referred to the Host Homes program by these individuals. The youth can also directly refer themselves to the program or have family or friends refer them.
 

A Bridging the Gap Transitional Youth Worker meets with the youth to complete a referral to determine suitability for the program and reviews the Host Home Expectations with prospective youth. The Host Provider is contacted to arrange a meet and greet. This provides an opportunity for both parties to ask questions.

Once a placement is agreed upon by both the youth and Host Provider a move-in date is set. Bridging the Gap staff is present during the move-in to ensure that the youth settles in.

In this process, Bridging the Gap staff are involved in every aspect to ensure a smooth transition to the Host Home.

Matching Process

Youth Referral and Intake

Young people are placed with Hosts in their community. Halton region consists of urban, suburban, and rural communities. Young people from these communities are then able to stay close to natural supports and maintain familiarity with their surroundings.

 

One thing to note about this matching process is that often, young people from rural communities are forced to move to more urban areas to receive services but with Host Homes in their communities, this is not the case.

Halton Region, ON

Referrals come from a variety of sources: the emergency shelter onsite, social service agencies or social workers, high school staff. Self-referrals are accepted. Staff arrange to meet with the referred youth to confirm suitability and explain the process. Intake form is completed and a time is scheduled for their first assessment, the YAP tool. 


Youth who are eligible, move on to the next assessment, the SPDAT. Much of the information is cross-referenced between the two assessments. After completing the assessments, program expectations are reviewed before moving into the matching process.

Matching Process

Youth Referral and Intake

Young people choose whom they would like to stay with based on available hosts, then the Host Home provider will be contacted to discuss the potential placement with staff. Once an agreement has been made, a time will be arranged where the Host Home provider and youth can meet, and staff will note the strengths and connections that each share. Once it has been established that all parties are interested, a living agreement contract will be reviewed and signed.


On the occasion that a placement is not available the same day, alternate plans will be made until the youth can be matched and placed with a Host Home. Within a day or two of placement, staff will meet with youth and develop a service plan to outline the needs and goals of the youth. 


Something to note: the organization ensures young people have shelter as soon as possible, even while the matching process is underway.

Kitchener, ON

Nigthstop Program is the Host Homes 360°kids Program. Young people are referred by someone they know (a teacher or other professional) to the Nightstop program. This referral helps the Nightstop team determine if the youth should go through the risk assessment or be directed to another program. Nightstop has a standardized risk assessment that consists of a set of questions to determine whether the young person can be placed with a host family. Some of the questions may be a bit personal and sensitive.

 

Additionally, to gain a better understanding of the youth, two references are contacted to ensure that both parties are a good fit.

Matching Process

Youth Referral and Intake

Due to the same night placement of the Nightstop program, hosts and young people are not able to meet before youth are placed in a home. The Nightstop staff has an extensive conversation with hosts to let them know about each young person seeking help and hosts decide if they are able to take the young person in that night. Staff also has a conversation with the young person about who is available to take them in for the night and what these families are like. Based on the location of the Host Homes, youth are placed with a family they would feel comfortable with that might live close to their school, workplace, or community.

 

Additionally, other considerations are made when placing a youth i.e. if there are pets in the home or other children in the home. Nightstop staff check-in with both hosts and young people each morning to see how the night went. Then, they determine whether another night in the same home would be good for both parties or if the young person should be placed with new hosts.


Something to note about the Canadian Nightstop Program is that a host profile book has been developed with photos and biographies of the host families. Young people are shown the profiles of available families and are actively engaged in the matching process. 

York Region, ON

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© Raising the Roof.(2018)

Content by Pamela Sariyannis. 

Design and Website by Yas Salame.

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This toolkit is an initiative

of Raising the Roof.

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