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Lifeskills Program



Homestead Life Skills Group Home began as Homestead Life Skills Group Home in 1981, and was the foundation of Betamarsh Inc. The program changed in 2001 to address the need for a program more focused on life skills and treatment for adolescents. It is considered a stepping-stone for those participants who will continue on to the After Saratoga Program, or as an alternative for those who will be discharged at the age of 18.

Statement of Philosophy


Our life skills treatment program supports independent living skills for youth to be successful in their future. Homestead Life Skills Group Home is for 13 - 18 year old male or female participants. This program was developed to fill the gap for those who need a focus on both life skills and treatment, as well as for those who will not be supported financially past their 18th birthday, and are not appropriate for foster care.

Role and Mandate


The staff provide a supportive therapeutic setting for adolescents. Each participant is thoroughly assessed academically, psychologically, as well as life skills and employment options. Individual and group therapy is available, as well as weekly life skill sessions by certified Life Skill Coaches.

Treatment Approach


Six participants live together in a group milieu. It is a staff model group home with 24 hour staff coverage. The adolescents practice life skills on a daily basis with; menu planning, grocery shopping, cooking, budgeting, laundry in the community, and personal budgeting from the weekly pay cheque they receive for chores. The setting is in the country, in a large farm home. There is a farm program with horses, dogs, cats, sheep and chickens that the youth assist with as part of their chores and responsibilities. The Homestead Life Skills Group Home supports positive, ongoing family contact with biological families and where appropriate the extended family. The staff, with support from the placing agency, will assist in facilitating positive family contact. Each youth is assigned a Primary Worker and a Life Skills Coach to support and monitor the progress of the participantís individual program.

Treatment Programs Available


  • Individual Art and Play Therapy with a Certified Art and Play Therapist
  • Group therapy which addresses issues and clientís needs in a therapeutic group format
  • Life Skills assessments and individual weekly sessions with the Life Skills Coach to address the recommendation from the assessment
  • Weekly House Meetings to develop leadership skills, assertive skills, self-esteem, communication and social skills, problem solving and decision making
  • Psychological assessments and individual treatment programs that follow the psychological assessment recommendations as well as regular consultations with a registered Clinical Psychologist
  • Workshops and training programs to enhance their life skills, academic needs, employment skills and personal growth
  • Participants are taught how, when and where to access community and social agencies to help address their needs, particularly when they live independently
  • Staff provide support when they apply for their Social Insurance Card, Health Card, Driverís License, scholarships, post secondary applications, Ontario Disability Pension, job applications, etc...
  • Independent meal night program - participants plan, budget, shop and cook the meal for the group one night a month.
  • Community involvement is encouraged and supported: Church, recreational activities, dances, plays, movies, YMCA, support their employment when ready.
  • Farm program to earn monies for future education or indpendent living and valuable work skills

Stephen Bidwell

Program Manager

Cell: 519-524-0040

Fax: 519-524-6537

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