Believe in the power of change

young teen boys high five outside

By Caleb Thompson, Practicum Student at Wood’s Homes Phoenix program

As human beings, our brains are always trying to fit new information into the pre-existing categories in our minds. Our mental schemas help us better understand people and things and we use a variety of cognitive shortcuts to save mental energy for more important processes. This is normal and beneficial for everyday functioning, but it can also often be the root of stereotypes and prejudices. Instead of taking the time to get to know and understand people as the complex individuals they are, we immediately lump them into familiar categories and close the book. I think we all catch ourselves doing this more often than we’d like to admit. Thankfully, as an informed society we have begun to challenge many of our stereotypes and assumptions surrounding race, religion, gender and sexual orientation. We hold each other accountable and try to make sure that we do not make broad, sweeping generalizations about these populations. But what about the assumptions we make about populations that have done things which we find difficult to overlook?

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Being a Houseparent for ‘Next Steps’

parent shadow

By Lisa Woodard, Wood’s Homes Houseparent (Strathmore, AB)

“What is a houseparent and why would you do this?” “How do you manage to have a social life?” “Aren’t you worried about your safety?”

As a houseparent for the past two years, these are a few of the questions I was frequently asked. I was always surprised and sometimes taken back that ‘outsiders’ saw my chosen profession as a ‘death sentence’, or so to speak.  So, with that in mind, I thought I’d write a blog based on a few misconceptions, and add a bit of the heart and soul that goes into being a houseparent.

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Wood’s Homes 2016 Research Symposium

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By Athena Elton, Wood’s Homes Research Department

The Wood’s Homes Research Department has been measuring program outcomes by collecting and analysing data since 2001. With a staff complement of four, the department works to expand the body of knowledge in child, youth, family and community well-being. It is committed to developing innovative methods for monitoring treatment effectiveness and agency functioning.

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