The Akoma Family Centre is a non-profit Child and Youth Caring Program, that provides a safe and nurturing environment for children age 5-10 with developmental and behavioural needs.
We have developed an innovative approach that blends Afri-Centric Trauma- Informed Care principles, with best practices in the Autism field. The main funding for the centre comes from the Department of Community Services (DCS). Additional funding comes from fundraising activities.
The main funding for the centre comes from the Department of Community Services (DCS). Additional funding comes from fundraising activities.
It's all about
Our environment is designed to protect children’s health, and support their need for fresh air, play, sensory stimulation, and proper nourishment. Only children in the care of the Department of Community Services can access our services. The children stay with us while their DCS Social Worker in collaboration with our Social Worker develop the best plan of care for the child to transition elsewhere. The children will either transition back home, to a foster home, adoption, or to another Child and Youth Caring Program. While this is occurring the children at the Akoma Family Centre receive:
- A safe structured environment which focuses on, consistency, social skills, routine therapeutic based programming, structured and unstructured play activities, and developmentally appropriate practice techniques.
- Individualized Care Plans to meet the child’s unique needs
- Continued access to their primary caregiver, school, or daycare placement if appropriate and possible.
- Medical and dental care.
- Care from qualified Youth Care Workers.
- Recreation and community-based activities.
- Social Work intervention.
- Supportive Counseling.
- Crisis counseling.
In 1921, the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children (NSHCC) was developed to provide care and education for orphaned and homeless African Nova Scotian children. The Old Home orphanage closed in 1978/79 when two new group home structures were developed. Youth who were at risk were placed at the group homes by child welfare social workers in the province.The Department of Community Services provided operational funding for the children at the NSHCC. In 2011, the NSHCC launched the Akoma Family Centre to provide care for siblings ages 0-19 who were in the care of the Minister of Community Services. The mandate of the Akoma Family Centre was changed again in 2016 when it provided care to children who have special needs.
In 2014, another entity under the auspices of the NSHCC was developed, Akoma Holdings Incorporated (AHI). The Akoma Holdings Incorporated acquired the assets from the NSHCC which includes 310 acres of property on which there are two child caring residential facilities, a renovated community centre, the Old Home which was the original orphanage, a Cottage, where the superintendent resided, and the recently acquired Watershed Association Development Enterprises (WADE) building. It should also be noted that in 1986, the NSHCC signed a long term (99+ years) lease with Nova Scotia Power enabling them to utilize a corridor of the property and a section that crosses through the property.
A brief description
Pronounced – Akuma – The word akoma represents the heart in the Ghana culture and denotes love, patience, compassion, endurance and charity.
In February 2011, the Board of Directors of the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children a residential care facility for children in the care of the Province took steps to deal with the shortage of short-term foster placements in Nova Scotia through the establishment of the Akoma Family Centre. The new residential program enabled brothers and sisters placed in foster care to stay together. The main funding for the Centre came from the Department of Community Services. Additional funding comes from fundraising initiatives such as the Annual Broadcast for Funds, grants and donations.
In 2014, the Akoma Family Centre and Akoma Holdings became incorporated with the assets of the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children being turned over to the newly established Akoma Holdings Incorporated (AHI). The AHI has responsibility for close to 320 acres of property and existing buildings on the property consisting of the Old Home, the cottage, the H.G. Bauld Centre, the Akoma Family Center residences and a community garden.
In January 2017, the mandate of the Akoma Family Centre changed again as they provided care for children with special needs. This change required additional training in trauma and autism for the staff. While at Akoma, individualized treatment plans are developed in response to social, behavioural and emotional histories provided by the child’s caregiver network (i.e., parents, educators, agency social workers, and youth workers) in the community, as well as through observations made by the Akoma Team upon admission.
As the Centre continues to move forward, it will continue to provide quality residential care from an Afrocentric perspective.
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