On April 29, Portage Atlantic welcomed New Brunswick’s Child and Youth Advocate, Norman J. Bossé, Q.C., along with by Annette Bourque, Clinical Director of the Child and Youth Advocate Office, to its addiction rehabilitation centre for youth. New Brunswick Public Safety has recently changed its strategy in the handling of young offenders in that all those sentenced to open custody are now being sent to Portage Atlantic.
Portage Atlantic has welcomed Open Custody clients for several years, but the program has now been expanded from two beds to fourteen. The youth benefit from the therapeutic community residential program (TCR), and are provided with a range of services, both on and off-site, to address their specific needs and those of their families.
The Child and Youth Advocate’s visit was an opportunity for him to better understand the Portage Atlantic program. He was pleased to learn about the therapeutic community approach
, which is based on individual case management and delivered in a positive peer culture environment that is both psychologically and physically secure.
“Rehabilitate rather than punish” is a philosophy shared by both the Youth Criminal Justice System and Portage Atlantic, and Portage is pleased to be collaborating with the ministry to help these youth take back control of their lives.