Community Re-integration of Forensic Clients with Persistent, Chronic Mental Illnesses: A Retrospective Evaluation of Life Skills Training Programs Provided Through the House Next Door Society Residential Services

  • Author(s) / Creator(s)
  • Facilitating the re-integration of forensic clients with severe, persistent chronic mental illnesses (complex psychiatric conditions, developmental delay, traumatic brain injuries, cognitive disorders, chronic psychiatric conditions, and personality disorders) into the community requires specialized support, programming, and services. The House Next Door (HND) is a community-based, non-profit society aimed at meeting the needs of this specialized population and supporting their transition into the community. In existence since 1974, the staff and programs of HND have enabled upwards of approximately 3000 individuals to successfully re-enter society. HND operates several programs for the severe and persistently mentally ill, with their forensic community program being the largest. Despite its success in facilitating effective transition, and the reliance of both Alberta Health Services (AHS) and Alberta Health on the services offered through HND, a specific program evaluation of the forensic program has not been conducted. The purpose of this research project was to conduct a program evaluation with the aim of determining the efficacy of service delivery in support of this complex population. Interviews and focus groups were completed with AHS staff, HND 2 and 4 staff, and current residents and outreach clients of HND 2. Results indicate that HND 2 provides effective transitional services to the community, although increased funding would provide additional resources, such as more facilities and program, increased staffing, and additional staff training. While the current model is viewed as effective, there are concerns with safety of staff when working alone, and a broadly voiced desire for additional programming that could be implemented if funding were in place to allow the program to further expand.

  • Date created
  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Type of Item
  • DOI
  • License
    Attribution 3.0 International