S.T.A.R. Program


  S.T.A.R. Southwest Teens At Risk  

What is STAR?

STAR is a program for youth between the ages of 12-21 and their families that are involved with three or more of our partnering agencies. The STAR Program is designed to offer support to youth and families in coordinating between systems to assist youth and families in overcoming barriers to success. The STAR Program looks to assist families by bringing together a youth specific team to meet regularly to address concerns, safety and goals through the creation of youth specific action plans that see everyone on the team working together to support youth and families while keeping everyone on track and accountable.
The Southwest Teens at Risk (STAR) Program is modeled after the Selkirk Team for At Risk Teens (START) Program in Selkirk, Manitoba that has been providing services to at-risk youth and their families for over 15 years. The STAR Program began as a pilot program in September 2009 and in the spring of 2010 began offering services to at-risk youth and families in the catchment area of the Interlake School Division.

The STAR Program works with the following agencies and programs:

The Interlake School Division

Addictions Foundation of Manitoba


Family Services:

- Child & Family Services
- Children’s disABILITY Services
- Community Living & Disability Services
- Employment & Income Assistance
- Manitoba Housing

Interlake Eastern Regional Health Authority:

- Community Mental Health
- Crisis Services
- Community Public Health
- FASD Key Worker Program

Manitoba Justice:

- Probation Services
- Intensive Supervision and Support
- Victims Services

Private Counselling & Therapeutic Service Providers

STAR Area of Service & Clients

STAR works with youth between the ages of 12-21 residing in the catchment area of the Interlake School Division. Youth between the ages 12-21 that have or require the involvement of three or more of STAR’s partnering agencies can be referred to the STAR Program. Youth under the age of 12 or young adults over the age of 21 can be considered by the STAR Screening Committee for service as long as the meet other program requirements.

STAR Program Objectives & Goals

The STAR Program’s objectives are to coordinate interagency case planning for at-risk youth by utilizing community and family resources and supports to assist youth and families in making positive change. STAR’s case management approach is designed to ensure that all services relevant to a particular client are being accessed and that team members are working together in the most effective way possible to assist the client in reducing harm, overcoming barriers to success and reaching goals.

Youth Process through the Program

Youth can be referred to the STAR Program by a partnering agency, parent/guardian or they can refer themselves. A consent is signed by the legal guardian (or the youth if the youth is over 18) and submitted with the referral.

The STAR Screening Committee reviews the eligibility of the referral by asking “What can STAR do that is not being done by the involved agencies”. The STAR Screening Committee ultimately decides if a youth is screened in, deferred or declined.
Once screened in, the STAR Program Coordinator begins case managing by bringing together a team of representatives from the agencies currently involved with the youth. The team meets regularly to address concerns, safety planning and goals with the youth and family. Once interventions have been completed, harm reduction has been sustained, safety concerns have diminished, goals have been met and the youth demonstrates overall success for a period of six months the STAR Screening Committee will look at closing the file.

The STAR Program Coordinator

While the STAR Program Coordinator is responsible for managing referrals, case managing clients, liaising between team members, coordinating meetings and managing STAR Program administration and funding the STAR Program Coordinator can also be responsible for assisting youth, families and agencies with any number of tasks.
Whether its advocating with a youth or family for a service, assisting parents in finding an appropriate stabilization unit for their child, providing support to families and youth in remand, assisting youth in finding volunteer or employment opportunities or providing transportation to youth or families to appointments or assessments, the STAR Program Coordinator can provide support to assist in overcoming many barriers to success.
Additional STAR Funded Programs

The STAR Program is always looking at ways to provide youth and families in the Interlake with more resources and supports. Below are descriptions of some of the programs STAR currently funds.

Communicating & Coping with Your Teen Parent Workshop

This five-week workshop (each session is two hours) is taught by Bruce Somers of Lord Selkirk School Division who has over 20 years of experience in working with youth. The workshop is offered once a year for parents/guardians who are experiencing challenges with their teens by providing tools and skill development in areas regarding:
- Button pushing and ways to de-escalate conflict
- Natural consequences and limit setting
- Strategies to improve your teen’s decision making skills and problem-solving
- Strategies to improve communication and relationship between parent and teen
100% of parents who have completed this workshop would recommend it to others.

STAR Three C Parent Program

This program is a five to eight week one-to-one parenting program between a trained facilitator and parents who are looking to improve their relationship with their child. The program focuses on three areas:
- Strengthening your Connection with Your Child: Focus is on increasing positive interactions between parent and child and includes tips to improve connection
- Managing Conflict in your Home: Focus on understanding anger styles, looks at button-pushing, and increases skills for more effective conflict management
- Improving Communication with your Child: Focus is on communication tips, guidelines and practice along with self-care.

This one-to-one program allows parents to work at their own pace on areas of particular concern. Each section includes homework and tasks to be done at home to strengthen skills learned at each session.

Social Health Restoration

Social health refers to the quality of well-being of our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual self and the reciprocal impact of this within our social environment. The Social Health Restoration Program looks at proactively assisting an individual to restore a sense of maintainable wellness.

The program looks to address maladaptive coping skills while creating opportunities to address and honour the true source of pain and frustration. Focus will be on grief, loss, attachment, trauma and anger.

The 12 Session Program includes:

- One, 1.5 hour intake session
- Nine – 10 sessions of intensive one-to-one therapeutic supported work
- One to two sessions with participants and relevant close supports for continued success planning.

Throughout the process there will be advocacy and assistance in communicating needs and issues underlying presenting behaviour to the STAR team along with reports to the STAR team as needed.

Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT)

A scientifically based intervention designed to help parents to engage their treatment refusing substance abusing youth into treatment. Research shows that participants see a reduction in their own depression, anxiety and anger.

CRAFT emphasizes learning new skills to cope with old problems. Some of these components include safety planning, outlining the context in which substance abusing behaviour occurs, teaching participants how to use positive re-enforcers and how to let the substance user suffer the natural consequences for their using behaviour. The participant is taught how to use this information in a motivational way to increase the chance of the substance user entering treatment using an overall positive approach that steers away from confrontation.

- CRAFT is a culturally sensitive program that works the clients morals and beliefs to develop an appropriate treatment plan
- CRAFT looks to eliminate positive reinforcements for substance using behaviours
- CRAFT looks to enhance positive reinforcement for sober and non-using behaviour



Danelle Guenther, Program Coordinator at 204 791 4089

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