The John Howard Society has been active in prevention services in Sault Ste. Marie for 50 years. We have 18 staff, plus volunteers and students. Volunteers and students are trained to assist in client services and administrative functions. In 2016/17, 1,400 hours were contributed by volunteers. Due to our mandate of dealing with the risk factors that can lead to crime, many of our services are open to all members of the community; including youth in schools, offenders, the unemployed and high risk individuals: by virtue of housing issues, low education and no support systems. We also provide training to employers/employees to assist them in communication skills and conflict resolution in their businesses.
The best way to reduce crime and keep a community safe, is to prevent young people from dropping out of school, help families in trouble, improve the way people manage problems in life, rehabilitate offenders and keep people employed. The John Howard Society believes our range of services help people in all of these areas.
Board of Directors
Rebecca Langille Rowe
Suzanne Lajambe – Executive Director
POLICY ON CLIENT CONFIDENTIALITY
The Society recognizes that maintaining confidentiality with respect to information about clients is essential to the counselling process and to professionalism in the delivery of service. The Society also recognizes that the disclosure of information is necessary at times. Disclosure of information about clients must be governed by policies defining the situations and circumstances in which disclosure is permissible.
Accordingly, the Society shall ensure that confidentiality of information about clients is maintained in the following ways:
i) All information about a client is kept confidential within the Society,
except when it has been determined that:
a) a danger to the community or to the individual exists,
b) failure to disclose the information will cause greater harm than the disclosure of the information,
c) there is a legal responsibility to disclose the information,
d) a public refutation of a statement made by, or on behalf of, a client is required to protect the integrity of the agency, or
e) the client has given permission to disclose information;
ii) Disclosure of information without the client’s permission must be authorized by the Executive Director or his/her clearly defined designate;
iii) No more information than necessary is disclosed when the above exemptions are invoked;
iv) Consent for disclosure of information may be given by a client who is twelve years or older. If the client is under the age of twelve, the consent of the client’s parent or legal guardian shall be obtained;
v) When obtaining permission from the client to disclose information, the client must be told what information will be shared, with whom and to what purpose. Consent for disclosure should be in writing unless written permission is impossible or impractical and action is required that demands disclosure of information. In such situations, verbal permission should be obtained and noted in the client file;
vi) When information is to be shared with other bodies or individuals and confidentiality is not assured by these bodies or individuals, the client must be cautioned;
vii) If information is received about a client from a third party, the third party shall be advised of the limits of confidentiality when there is reason to believe that they expect levels of confidentiality that cannot be guaranteed;
viii) No agreement with another agency, either verbal or in writing, shall restrict the application of the policy on confidentiality.
Our Strategic Plan was developed in 2015 and will see us through to 2020 and has four priorities.
1. Filling the Gap in Services Directly and Through Partners
2. Developing Restorative Options for Youth
3. Leading the Community to a Restorative Culture
4. Growing JHS for Sustainability
The last three years saw us more than double in size with new programs in housing and bail support services. Within the next few years the community will see us more as we expand our partnerships and increase our outreach services throughout the community. We were excited in 2018 as we planned a successful year of “paying it forward” to a community which has afforded us many positive outcomes.
Here’s our accomplishments in our first few years of the plan:
• Neighbourhood Resource Centre – JHS provides service 5 days/week and sits on all active committees
• Renovated and Expanded office space in our current location – to increase staff and group space for expanded services and partnerships with other organizations
• Increased Access for counselling – partnerships with AFS, CMHA, APH and SAH to provide single session walk-in service weekly
• Hired seven interns to increase supports in the community hubs and to clients facing homelessness
• Nine schools have been designated as Restorative Schools in the Algoma District School Board
• JHS staff are in all hubs weekly, working with the volunteers and staff to promote restorative approaches and offering social skills training to volunteers and residents helping them with communication/employment skills
• Expanded our Bail Verification and Supervision Program to the east as far as Elliot Lake, as well as increased mental health/addiction services for those who are facing challenges while awaiting trial
• Staff have participated in professional development (i.e. Restorative Justice, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, Human Trafficking /Sex Trade Workers, Mental Health First Aid, OrgCode Training in homelessness prevention)
• All staff have trained in at least two programs to ensure future sustainability
• Expanded partnership with District of Sault Ste. Marie Social Services Administration Board to enhance services in the shelters and the community for those at risk of homelessness
Partnerships continued to be our focus in 2017/18! Many services have flourished due to dedicated Staff, Board involvement, Volunteers and many partnerships within our community. Hard work and passion keeps us ticking. We might be small but everyone who works with us know we fill big shoes when it comes to service to those most in need. 50 years and more to come.
- Neighbourhood Resource Centre – JHS provides service 5 days/week including 2 evenings/week
- Renovated and Expanded office space in our current location – to increase staff and group space for expanded services
- Increased Assessment to treatment – partnerships with AFS, CMHA, APH and SAH to provide single session walk-in service
- Hired two additional interns to increase supports in hubs and with clients in the office
- Nine schools have been designated as Restorative Schools in the Algoma District School Board as of 2016
- A new proposal is being considered for 2017 to expand Restorative Approaches training to Parents of Youth
- JHS staff are now in all hubs monthly, working with the volunteers and staff to promote restorative approaches.
- Began a new pilot program with the Police to expand our service in Bail support through a Restorative approach
- Many staff have participated in professional development in 2015/16 (i.e. Restorative Justice, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, Human Trafficking / Sex Trade Workers, Mental Health First Aid, OrgCode Training in homelessness prevention)
- All staff have trained in at least two programs for back up and future sustainability
- Partnership developed with DSSAB, EDC to research the development of a social enterprise
Partnerships continued to be our focus in 2017/18! Many services have flourished due to dedicated Staff, Board involvement, Volunteers and many partnerships within our community. Fifty (50) years of service which improves each year through hard work and passion.