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City of Hamilton - Public Health Services

Child & Adolescent Services

Who We Are:

We are an outpatient Children's Mental Health Centre funded by The Ministry of Children and Youth Services.  Our staff includes Child and Youth Workers, Clinical Therapists, Psychometrists (specialists in psychological testing), Marriage and Family Therapists, a Psychological Associate and Social Workers. Together, we have a wide variety of skills and experience.

What We Do:

We offer family therapy, individual counselling, play therapy, psychotherapy, psychological testing and consultation to community agencies and facilities. Our Forensic Unit offers services for those in trouble with the law (assessments for fire setters, sex offenders, Young Offenders and post dispositional treatment for Young Offenders). We also offer specialized treatment services for trauma and dissociation.

Youth Criminal Justice Act Section 34 Assessments
Fire Play/Setting Risk Assessment
Assessment & Treatment for Youth Who Have Sexually Offended
Complex Trauma Services
Solution Oriented Family Therapy 
Assessment and Treatment Services for Sibling Sexual Abuse

Our Philosophy:

The programs at Child and Adolescent Services are designed to meet the unique needs of our clients. Our staff start with the basic premise that all families have strengths and resources. Our goal is to identify these unique strengths and resources, and to support families who are working towards a positive future. We believe in the uniqueness of individuals and their right to discreet, confidential services.

Our Values:

  • We value each person as an important and unique individual as perceived by self and others.
  • The family is the natural place of the child while affirming the child's need and right to interact with the community and to be safe in all environments.
  • Respect the rights of others to hold values and beliefs different from those we hold ourselves.
  • Treatment, research and prevention which utilizes several disciplines and partnerships within the community and beyond.
  • Good morale and the contributions of all staff and others involved with clients.
  • Child and Adolescent Services' strategic involvement in the community (planning).
  • Clients have the right to be involved in planning their services and have rights to information where appropriate.

Our Training Program:

Training Program in Family Therapy

Child and Adoelscent Services is recognized as a training facility by many universities and professional orginizations.  It is designed for those working towards clinical membership with the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapists (AAMFT), Master's of Social Work and other Master's Level counseling programs requiring a field placement or clinical experience.  Interns gain clinical experience and training through direct client contact, a thorough orientation, bi-weekly discussions of assigned readings and weekly supervision by trained Couple and Family Therapists and Approved Supervisors with the AAMFT. 

Participants in this program come from varied backgrounds, educational and clinical experience.  We strongly encourage those with some direct clinical experience and some knowledge of family and child development, and a willingness to see clients on their own within the first month to join this rich and rewarding experience. 

Every week, interns will have either dyadic or group supervision and training.  During this time there will be case presentations and there will also be discussion of assigned readings related to family and post-modern approaches to therapy. This provides the opportunity to explore how theory informs practice and how practice informs our clinical models. 

As part of the training program, interns will also have the opportunity to participate in Quick Access Services (Walk-in/single session), Solution Oriented Family Therapy Team and all staff and in-services meetings. 

Words from past interns:

"I felt respected and part of the team.  I was given freedom to explore different approaches to counseling and always felt comfortable going to my supervisor.  I was challenged but never pushed."

"Amazing preparation for my current work - thorough."

"Professional; and friendly atmosphere that stimulated learning"

"I really appreciate that I was allowed to take on some cases I found challenging such that I could grow as a therapist.  I always felt safe to show strengths and weaknesses in supervision and my supervisor encouraged me when I did well and gently challenged me to think differently if it would improve my quality of work."