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FAQs


Naturally, you have questions about the program. The ‘Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page may have an answer for you. We encourage you to browse the various pages of the website as it contains lots of useful and detailed information. If you prefer, please give us a call at (705) 386-2376 ext.201 and we’ll do our best to answer your questions.

Do you have a program for youth who are not in custody?
Yes. Wendigo Lake Expeditions operates the REACH per diem program for behaviourally challenging male youth who are not in custody. A referral can be made to this program by parents/guardians, Children's Aid Societies or other case manager.

Can I refer my son to the open custody Project D.A.R.E. program?
The only person who can refer a youth to the Project D.A.R.E. open custody program is a probation officer. If your son has been charged under the Youth Criminal Justice Act and is likely to be sentenced to open custody, you may wish to speak to his Probation Officer about making a referral. If you are seeking a placement for a young person not in custody, you may wish to make a referral to our REACH per diem program for behaviourally challenging boys.

Can I visit my son?
We welcome visits from parents, extended family, and professionals involved with our students. We only ask that you call ahead so that we can confirm the student will be on site at the time of the visit. Students spend about forty percent of their time on wilderness expedition. Your child can make and receive phone calls from approved family members and can send and receive mail.

Is the program safe?
Wendigo Lake Expeditions works very hard to optimize the safety of every activity, and we seek to adhere to adventure program safety standards and industry best practices. There are inherent risks in adventure activities, as there are in most activities of daily life such as riding in a car or participating in school sports. There is substantial evidence that youth-at-risk engage in activities in the community which place them at substantially higher immediate and long term risk, than is posed by participation in a licensed and accredited adventure therapy program. Wendigo Lake Expeditions is continuously monitored and reviewed annually by the Ministry of Children and Youth Services for compliance with licensing regulations and standards.

What is the cost of the REACH program and how does it compare to other programs?
The Ministry of Child and Youth Services has established a regulated rate of $286/day for publicly-funded child welfare agency placements in the REACH program. We currently offer private-pay clients this same preferred rate.. Comparable high quality wilderness therapy programs in the United States typically charge in the $400 /day range.

Is there a fee for the Project DARE open custody program?
No. All open custody programs are government funded.

What should I look for to assess the quality of a program?
Determining which program is the best option for your child requires careful investigation. Service providers range from superb professionals to unsafe. Here are some questions you should ask to help you determine the quality of the program:
• Is the operator licensed by the provincial/state government?
• Is the operator accredited by a recognized industry association?
• How many years has the operator been in continuous service?
• Does the operator provide qualified teachers for its academic program?
• Does the operator belong to provincial/state/national industry or professional organizations?
• Will the operator certify that they carry current liability insurance?
• Does the on-site management team have extensive experience?
• Are front-line staff experienced and well trained?
• Can the program provide references from past clients/referral agents?
• Does the program have a program design, curriculum, policies and procedures and risk management standards that are available for your review?
• Is the facility and equipment in good repair?
• Is there 24-hour close supervision of students?
• What is the staffing ratio?
• What is the capacity of the operator to respond to emergencies – i.e., back-up staffing, satellite phones, emergency response plans, staff training for emergencies?
• Does the program have a clearly articulated program design?
• Does the program participate in independent professional research?
• Does the program give you a sense of being open and honest?

The above questions will help you determine that a program has credibility. That does not mean the program is 'right' for your child's needs. It is important that both the program operator and the parent are completely honest with each other in exchanging information about the child and program, in order to arrive at an informed decision that the program and the child's needs are a match.