Wellkin (formerly OECYC) delivers family mental health care with a focus on children and youth living in Oxford and Elgin counties. Our programs and services support the needs of each individual while the agency maintains a well-rounded approach that include screening, assessment, treatment, and education. The supports and services have no costs attached and a health card isn’t required to access Wellkin. We aim to engage and support families/caregivers and peers in delivering care to kids while being responsive to their unique life and family circumstances. We wish that everyone accessing our services will achieve stability through active participation in treatment plans designed to address safe, healthy, and manageable outcomes.
Oxford Child & Youth Centre officially opened its doors in October of 1987 and was initially located in just one location, on the corner of Dundas and Clarke Street in Woodstock, Ontario. We provided a wide range of services for children (0-18 years of age) and their families who resided within Oxford County.
As of January 1, 2009 the Ministry of Children and Youth Services selected the agency to assume mental health service delivery for children and families in Elgin County as well, at which point we welcomed a St. Thomas office into our support network. In February of 2009, we proudly reintroduced ourselves to both communities as Oxford-Elgin Child & Youth Centre (OECYC).
Today, Wellkin – renamed in 2018 to reflect our focus on family and wellness – continues to deliver child and youth mental health care in four locations across Oxford and Elgin county, including its original Woodstock and St. Thomas locations, plus a satellite office in Tillsonburg at 1 Library Lane and in Ingersoll at the Fusion Centre (Thames Centre), 122 Thames Street. Our agency is a non-profit and registered charity, governed by a volunteer twelve member Board of Directors.
Modelled off of youth engagement best practices and aligned with the quality standards for youth engagement, the Youth Engagement Advisory (YEA) is a group of youth (aged 13-25) who work alongside Wellkin’s youth engagement facilitators.
Learn more about the YEA’s role and successes here:
What is “youth engagement?” Read more here:
Wellkin strives to have a positive impact on youth by: improving youth well-being and empowerment; building leadership and life skills; and building mentorship opportunities and relationships among its members and within the community. The YEA Committee provides a venue for youth to regularly connect with one another building a sense of belongingness and social connectedness, and provides youth the with the space to determine and lead projects they feel are most important in reducing stigma and improving mental wellness and mental health services for children, youth and families in our community. We embed evaluation as part of our work to continually look for ways to improve youth engagement at Wellkin.
Board of Directors
These are the officers in our organization.
These are the directors in our organization.
Caring, healthy communities
for children and families.
Wellkin improves the mental health and quality of life for children, youth and families by delivering a continuum of effective services.
Clients Come First
We believe in a client-centred empowering approach to
meeting the needs of the individuals we serve.
Our services are available to all.
We value dignity in relationships.
Accountability & Integrity
We are responsible for our actions, words and services.
We value open communications and collaboration.
We commit to on-going learning and capacity building.
Wellkin Child & Youth Mental Wellness believes that every child is a unique individual whose needs are preferably met in the context of the family and the community in which the child lives.
- In the provision of a range of interventions and services by qualified and competent staff with emphasis on the strengths of individuals and families.
- In working cooperatively and collaboratively with other community resources toward the provision of optimal services emphasizing continuity of care.
- In being responsive and accountable to the changing needs of families and community by seeking direction from them in the planning, development and delivery of high quality, efficient and effective services.
- That multidisciplinary consultation; collaboration; continuous learning; and the incorporation of best practices are integral to providing effective services.
- Diversity including differences in culture, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, and physical ability.
We Are Committed
- To removing barriers to access and to providing services without discrimination.
Philosophy of Treatment
A framework of knowledge informs the clinical approaches utilized at Wellkin. The theoretic foundation of our approach incorporates both a development perspective, which posts that behaviour results from the complex interaction of a number of factors (genetic, early history, recent events and current situation) and, general systems theory, which views a child as part of a family system which in turn is part of a larger ethno/racial/cultural community. The various theoretical frameworks as represented by the disciplines of our various staff further enhance our clinical practice. The methods used are informed by up-to-date empirical research and expert opinion on best practice approaches. Interventions are based on goals jointly developed with the child and family, taking into accounts both the challenges and the strengths of the child and family. The complexity of family systems and client needs define the breadth of multidisciplinary consultation and collaboration with internal and external services and resources.
Principles of Service
Wellkin Child & Youth Mental Wellness is an approved Children’s Mental Health Centre operating under the auspices of the Child and Family Services Act.As such, Wellkin strives at all times to adhere to the principles of service identified by, and included within, the Child and Family Services Act.
Children and their parents should have an opportunity to participate in decisions affecting their interests and to express their concerns about the services they are receiving.
- Decisions affecting the interests and rights of children and their parents are made according to clear, consistent criteria and are subject to procedural safeguards.
- Where possible the appropriate, service will be decentralized and available in a child/family’s community.
- Services will be available by direct referral from families.
- Services to children and families will, wherever possible, be provided in a way which respects cultural, religious and other major differences.
- Service will be based on the least restrictive or disruptive course of action that is available and appropriate for each situation.
- Services will seek to maximize the strengths of families, to help them cope with current or potential problems.
- Service will be based on the need to maintain family relationships and continuity of care for children. In this regard services will be provided to support the autonomy and integrity of the family unit.
- Services will be provided to families drawing upon the family and community resources.
- Client records will be open to clients as provided under the Child and Family Services Act and the Person Health Information Protection Act.
- Clients will be advised of the existence of the Centre’s complaint procedure as part of the initial intake interview.
- Wellkin Child & Youth Mental Wellness supports and endorses the philosophy of accreditation and in so doing will at all times strive to attain and maintain Children’s Mental Health Ontario’s (CMHO) accreditation and its inherent standards.
Wellkin Child & Youth Mental Wellness will undertake to provide:
- Mental Health Treatment Services – assessment, referral, counselling and follow-up.
- Primary and secondary prevention services;
- Consultative and educational services.
- Services will be provided by qualified professionals representing a variety of relevant disciplines. Services will be provided that reflect:
- A multidisciplinary approach;
- Flexibility and tailoring of services to meet the individual needs of the child and his/her family;
- A variety of theoretical orientations suitable to the child’s/family’s needs;
- Sufficient intensity and duration to resolve serious problems.
Efforts will be made to assist in the coordination of services to children and families where more than one service provider is involved.
Wellkin Child & Youth Mental Wellness will participate with appropriate community organizations, consumer groups and other service providers to evaluate, plan, coordinate and develop services to children and families.
- Priority will be given those children/families in most urgent need.
- Services will be provided in a manner which maximizes the continuity of the client/therapist relationship.
- Services will be provided in a manner which affirms normal patterns of living, including normal needs, processes, relationships and rhythms of life.
- Services will be offered in a manner that treats all clients and families with respect.
- Services will be based on the belief that families know themselves better than anyone else knows them.
- Access to services will not be limited due to physical disabilities, lack of transportation or any other physical barrier.
Ensuring children, youth and families have access to core services.
Wellkin was identified as 1 of 33 lead agencies within the province. As a lead agency, we will ensure core child and youth mental health services are available in both the Oxford and Elgin community.
Every child and young person deserves support to reach their full potential. Wellkin, along with the community, need them to realize that potential. Children and young people deserve a mental health system that delivers services and supports that respond quickly and comprehensively to their needs, as close to home as possible.
As a lead agency, Wellkin along with their respective community will support children, youth and families to get mental health services that are accessible, responsive and meet their needs. Strengthening the community-based system for delivering mental health services brings people and organizations closer together locally and benefits everyone. It is important that all children and youth requiring mental health supports, and their families know what mental health services are available in their communities; and how to access the mental health services and supports that meet their needs.