News Local

Rebound marks 20 years of helping Northumberland children

By Valerie MacDonald, Northumberland Today

Rebound Child & Youth Services executive director Carol Beauchamp (L) and its community relations representative, Rachel Edwards, reviewed highlights of the past 20 years of the Northumberland organization during a discussion Monday, Nov. 6, 2017 at their offices, 700 D'Arcy St., Cobourg.All services are free.VALERIE MACDONALD/NORTHUMBERLAND TODAY/POSTMEDIA NETWORK

Rebound Child & Youth Services executive director Carol Beauchamp (L) and its community relations representative, Rachel Edwards, reviewed highlights of the past 20 years of the Northumberland organization during a discussion Monday, Nov. 6, 2017 at their offices, 700 D'Arcy St., Cobourg.All services are free.VALERIE MACDONALD/NORTHUMBERLAND TODAY/POSTMEDIA NETWORK

COBOURG -- As Rebound Child & Youth Services staff and volunteers, plus long-time supporters, prepare for a 20-year celebration Friday night, it's very apparent that the welfare of children and young people really is what drives this organization.

Services co-ordinator Rosemary Orendt has been part of the Cobourg-based, non-profit agency since its inception and she recalls how it all began by offering youth programs focusing on life skills and making good choices.

The target age for this programming was for those 11/12 to age 17, she said during a recent interview at Rebound's offices at 700 D'Arcy St., Cobourg. From here, Rebound's work with partners and other agencies, and volunteers, grew to help those ages 4 - 18 all across Northumberland.

Back then, and still now, the organization works with the young who are "struggling with interactions with other kids, with parents"¦and struggling to stay within the boundaries of societal norms," Orendt explains.

From this early direction, Rebound then responded to a request from a Crown attorney who suggested it would be a "good fit" to take part in the Justice Diversion Program under Section 6 of the Youth Criminal Justice Act which empowers police officers to identify youthful offenders who could benefit from programming rather than the formal court system.

For example, she said, an officer might catch a young shoplifter who has take unusual things and this could point to the kid living in poverty and needing financial support, housing and even medication. Rebound "looks at the youth holistically" to meet those needs, as well as providing programming and an apology letter to the victim from the accused youngster who is prepared to be accountable for his or her actions.

The next step in the 20-year-old history of Rebound was the introduction of READbound, a tutoring program to address the issues surrounding literacy, Rebound Child & Youth Services executive director Carol Beauchamp explained.

Often kids will act out and be disrespectful "rather than look stupid" so READbound helps those ages four to 18, and involves trained volunteers working with youngsters at various locations throughout the county.

This programming also helps those who are at risk of engaging in criminal behaviour, Beauchamp said.

The next step taken by Rebound was creation of Youth Outreach under 18 Responsive Services (YOUR) that provides a "rapid response" of needed support services for those 12 to 18.

Sometimes acting out is linked to mental health, and the Youth Mental Health Court Worker Program geared to aid those 12 to 17 in conflict with the law, is another program to support youth, she said.

The second most recent program is On-TRAC. It's about transforming relationships with one-on-one and group counselling involving social skill building for those 12 to 18.

And just this past year, a Positive Parenting Program was established in Northumberland County with Rebound matching up services from 10 partner agencies for those with those who have parenting concern. It is free and caregivers can choose the support they want.

"Triple P aims to make raising children and teenagers easier," states a brochure about it.

Volunteers are an "incredible part" of the partnerships to help children and young people and at this time there are 70 who do everything from tutor literacy to teaching guitar and helping with homework.

Often, young people just make poor choices and things can be turned around with the right kind of help.

"We provide a safe and caring space for families and youth," Beauchamp said.

While not a hang out, the office space provides a familiar and non-judgemental place where young kids and teens can get the hand up they need.

vmacdonald@postmedia.com

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