Open Doors for Lanark Children and Youth is introducing a new flow of service for families with children under 12 years of age accessing our talk-in services. We are excited to connect you with the Family Resource Team (FRT), who have a wealth of knowledge and strong experience working with both parents, caregivers and children. Open Doors recognizes the Family Resource Team as an exceptional resource to better serve families as they seek support.

This flow of service draws upon research identifying the importance of attachment and the power of healing that can be realized between a primary attachment figure and their child. An important concept in child development is “serve and return”; the “serve” being the child reaching out for an interaction and the “return” coming from the parent or caregiver who responds and reciprocates. These interactions help inform a child’s early brain development. We know from brain science that serve and return between a primary attachment figure and child stimulates healing and strengthens resilience.

When you call in for a session for your child under the age of 12:

  • An Administrative Coordinator will schedule a talk-in session for the parent/caregiver(s) -- without the child present -- with a worker from the Family Resource Team (FRT). Consent from both parents/caregivers is not required for this session since the child will not be present.

  • In your conversation, the FRT worker will assess your situation and provide relevant strategies based on your identified obstacles and strengths.

  • If you and the FRT worker feel that connection to a counsellor for your child would be the next best step, the FRT worker will arrange for this in a way that makes sense for you. The FRT worker will collaborate with the counsellor to ensure their understanding of your situation and your hopes for service.

  • For children under 12 years of age, consent must be granted by a parent/legal guardian. If a joint-custody arrangement is in place, both parents/legal guardians must agree to the referral in order for the child to be seen. The clinician will identify how best to obtain these consents prior to scheduling the session with your child.