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Rose of Durham expanding services

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  • December 9, 2014

The Rose of Durham continues to bloom in new and different ways. What began in 1988 with parish-based pro-life activism to help young mothers through crisis pregnancies and the hardship of single motherhood is becoming a professional resource ready to help young mothers up to the age of 25.

An Ontario Trillium Foundation grant of $121,500 over three years is propelling the Durham Region Catholic agency on to the next level of professional care.

The agency will use the Trillium grant to hire a leader for group sessions where young mothers learn about what their babies need both physically and emotionally.

“Our focus is mainly on attachment — building secure attachment and building the dyadic relationship between mother and child,” said Rose of Durham executive director Janet Chappelle. “Some of (the young mothers) come from a background where they didn’t have strong role models, so they don’t really know what secure attachment looks like, because they may themselves be suffering from disorganized or unsecure attachment.”

By having someone with an early childhood education background lead those group sessions, Rose of Durham will free up time for existing staff to spend with mothers in one-on-one counselling.

What happens in one-to-one counselling at Rose of Durham “is really what our agency is all about — that’s the heart of what we do,” said Chappelle.

The increased focus on one-on-one counselling will help Rose of Durham complete a modernization and professionalization plan put in place five years ago.

Within the next year Rose of Durham hopes to be certified by Children’s Mental Health Ontario through the Canadian Centre for Accreditation.

As an accredited mental health agency, the Rose of Durham will have access to other streams of funding beyond the three-year duration of the Trillium grant.

Professionalizing the service Rose of Durham offers to communities from Pickering to Bowmanville and as far north as Port Perry doesn’t mean forgetting those grassroots, pro-life beginnings, said Chappelle.

“We’ve never lost sight of our values or why we’re here,” she said.

In 2013 the Rose of Durham served 630 young mothers and their babies. In 2008 that number was 428 and Chappelle sees no reason that demand for their services would not continue to grow.

Other Catholic Trillium grant recipients announced Nov. 25 include:

o Catholic Crosscultural Services picks up $110,300 to renovate its Scarborough location to include a multi-purpose community hub;
o The Inner-City Volunteers of the Society of Sharing will use $34,700 to hire a full time recruitment and training manager;
o Les Centres d’Accueil Héritage has $33,800 to buy a minibus to transport francophone seniors to community programs.

The Ontario Trillium Foundation distributes $110 million per year of provincial gambling money in grants to social service, environmental, cultural and recreational organizations. There were 266 grants across the province announced Nov. 25. The foundation bestows about 1,300 grants per year.

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