About our work
This section of our website is dedicated to social workers, health care providers and others who are considering referring a client to Elizabeth House.
Elizabeth House is part of the Québec Health and Social Services network. It is a private rehabilitation centre offering specialized second-line assessment, intervention and support services to women who are experiencing significant difficulties dealing with their pregnancy, and to mothers and fathers who are experiencing significant difficulties in adjusting to their role as parents. Elizabeth House is the only resource of its kind mandated to serve the English-speaking population throughout Québec.
Elizabeth House offers both residential and external services, and works with all parents of children between the ages of 0-5 but primarily services the young mother, in particular the young mother under the age of 21. It offers residential programs to pregnant women and teens, and young mothers and their babies, and offers services to fathers through its external programs. Many of the fathers that Elizabeth House serves are the parents of babies admitted to the residential programs with their mothers.
The Elizabeth House residence and school are located in Montreal. The Residential Programs offer services to mothers-to be and mothers in difficulty from anywhere in Québec who require services in English. External Services are available to pregnant women, mothers, and families who live in Montreal or within 100 km of the greater Montreal area who want to receive services in English. For detailed descriptions of our specialized rehabilitation services and programs, click here.
For more detailed information regarding our services, click here.
Rehabilitation in the Elizabeth House Context
Rehabilitation services at Elizabeth House occur in a multitude of settings ranging from the highly structured residential program, to a daily education program, a transitional living experience, and support services in the community. It is through this continuum of services that Elizabeth House is best able to respond to its clients’ needs. An integrated treatment approach is used to identify and understand clients’ multi-dimensional needs, such as taking into consideration their cultural backgrounds, value systems, etc., and the impact of societal and family systems on their needs.
Elizabeth House is classified by the Ministry of Health and Social Services as a rehabilitation centre (RC). This signifies that our services are considered to be second line or specialized and therefore not “preventive” in nature. Preventive services are the responsibility of other community organizations and institutions, in particular, the local CSSSs.
The concept of “psychosocial rehabilitation”, which most closely approximates the type of rehabilitation offered at Elizabeth House, has been defined as “the process of facilitating an individual’s restoration to an optimal level of independent functioning in the community.…psychosocial rehabilitation invariably encourages persons to participate actively with others in the attainment of mental health and social competence goals….The process emphasizes the wholeness and wellness of the individual and seeks a comprehensive approach to the provision of vocational, residential, social/recreational, educational and personal adjustment services”. (Cnaan et al, “Psychosocial Rehabilitation Journal, Vol 11, No. 4”, April 1988, pg. 61).
While rehabilitation implies a return to a more optimal state of functioning, this does not necessarily always apply at Elizabeth House. Many of our clients are first-time parents and are therefore not coming from a previous functioning base (as a parent). They require support and intervention to attain an adequate level of parenting. Thus, rehabilitation at Elizabeth House may be considered as a form of psychosocial rehabilitation perhaps without the emphasis on “restoration” but more an emphasis on the development, attainment and maintenance of the necessary skills and attributes required to be a “good enough” parent.
About the Clients We Serve
Elizabeth House serves a client population with multiple challenging and complex needs.
Many of the clients we serve are likely to have experienced the following conditions or situations during their childhood or adult life:
- Separations from primary attachment figures and/or disruptions in care
- The absence of appropriately protective fathers or father figures
- Family disorganization/dysfunction
- Physical, sexual and/or psychological abuse
- Little or no consistent, useful guidance from significant adults
- Substance abuse
- Lack of or inadequate family support
- Social isolation
- Experiences with conjugal violence
- Mental health difficulties
- Oppositional thinking and behaviour
- Frequent moves and lack of stability in the community
- Lack of independent living skills
- Susceptibility to exploitation
Some clients require the services of Elizabeth House to help them transition to parenthood due to their young age and lack of independent living skills or experience.
For some clients the transition to parenthood is difficult because of factors such as intellectual disability, learning difficulties, or mental health problems or issues.
Some of our clients have had past experiences with Youth Protection or placement in foster and group homes; some continue to be involved with Youth Protection in their capacity as parents.
To read about the role of Elizabeth House in permanency planning, click here.
General Admission Criteria
The client must:
- Be pregnant and be experiencing significant difficulty in adjusting to pregnancy, or, be a parent (mother or father) of a child between the ages of 0 to 5 years and be experiencing significant difficulty in assuming the parental role;
- Be motivated to improve her/his parenting and independent living skills;
- Be prepared to work in collaboration with Elizabeth House and other service providers;
- Be able to effectively communicate in the English language;
- Require second-line services that cannot be provided on a first-line basis from another establishment or community organization;
- Have legal status to reside in Canada.
For admission criteria for specific programs, click here
For Residential Services:
Clients must be referred by a professional from the first line such as a social service professional from a hospital centre, a Centre de Réadaptation en Deficience Intellectuelle (CRDI), a Centre Jeunesse, or a Centre de santé et de services sociaux (CSSS). A psycho-social assessment outlining the client’s situation and service needs must accompany the request for services. Other pertinent assessments, such as psychological or medical reports, should be included if available.
For the Family Assistance Program:
Clients may refer themselves, or be referred by a health or social service professional. In the case of a self-referral, Elizabeth House will facilitate the connection to a first-line professional.
Request for services (Demande de service) forms for residential services and for the Family Assistance program can be obtained by contacting Alexa Savoie by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (514) 482-2488 ext 228.
For the Education Program:
The client must call the Education Program educator directly at (514) 483-7200 ext. 4265.
Assessment and Intake Process
The client’s needs and her motivation to participate in rehabilitation programs and activities are assessed as part of the intake process. Clients may invite an advocate, a helping professional, a family member and/or significant other to support them through the process. When appropriate, the father of the client’s child is encouraged to attend intake meetings.
For Residential Services
An intake meeting is scheduled upon receipt of the completed Request for Service and supporting documents. The meeting is chaired by the Director of Professional and Rehabilitation Services or the Clinical Program Manager. The client must attend as well as the referring professional. Other professionals may attend with the consent of the client.
Clients who are accepted attend a second, pre-admission meeting along with the referring professional to sign contracts related to treatment, rules regarding safety and security and the exchange of pertinent information with other health and social service professionals. The client’s admission to Elizabeth House is usually scheduled for a subsequent date.
For the Family Assistance Program
For self- referred clients, an intake meeting is scheduled with the client directly.
For clients who are referred by a social service professional, an intake meeting is scheduled upon receipt of the referral form; the referring professional must accompany the client to the meeting.
For the Education Program
An intake meeting is scheduled with the client and the client’s parent(s) or tutor if the client is a minor. The meeting is chaired by the Day Centre educator who oversees the client’s school registration, if the client is accepted.