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Children's Health


In This Section:

Residential and Community: Programs and Services

  • Western Area Youth Services (WAYS)
  • Craigwood Youth Services
  • Learning Disabilities Association
  • Madame Vanier Children's Services
  • Child and Parent Resource Institute

Parenting Resources

  • CPRI
  • Child Reach
  • Bethesda Centre



One of the most common difficulties low-income parents face today is “assessment referrals” by school professionals. Parents who are low-income are very often told their children are ‘hyperactive’ or have “ADD” (Attention Deficit Disorder).

Testing for these conditions is free of charge and usually organized by the child’s school. Very often doctors will make these diagnoses and then tell you the child needs drugs. If you are not comfortable with giving your child drugs – then don’t do it.

There are alternatives you can try. Many professionals believe that allergies or inadequate nutrition are the cause. Research has demonstrated that often children react badly to sugar, caffeine, food colouring, wheat, etc.

If you are not comfortable with prescribed solutions, research alternative treatments, for example: holistic care, a different doctor, different food, chiropractic, etc. Don’t give up and don’t give in. Believe in yourself and your child. Read up on the information, search the internet, and find out the latest information so you can make an informed decision.

Sometimes children are troubled and need some help to deal with things like poverty, divorce, self-esteem, aggression and other problems. Unfortunately in London, as in most of Ontario, there is a severe lack of services for all children. You will have to work really hard to get your children the help they need. If your child is suicidal – get help immediately! The following is a list of agencies and organizations that can help in some areas.




Choosing a community program for your child or youth may be difficult for everyone involved, but it also may be of great help to your family situation. If your child or youth is coping with issues of abuse, aggression, suicide, drugs and alcohol, behavioural, emotional or developmental problems, seeking support through a community program may help everyone to cope better, and work with the issues. A residential program, where the child or youth lives at the treatment facility, may be an option for your family, if a child has complex needs. This choice is not a reflection on a parent’s ability to best parent their child, but an opportunity to gain additional support for the entire family. There has been a recent movement in services to providing in-home support to families, which is referred to as the ‘least intrusive method of intervention’ when it comes to treating children and youth. For residential programs, there may be a waiting list, but some programs offer services for your family and child or youth while you are waiting.

For a child or youth with complex needs to access support services in London, a parent, guardian or case manager must call The Community Services Coordination Network (CSCN) at 519-438-4783 Fax: 519-673-1509 Tall free #: 1-877-480-2726 email: info@cscn.on.ca. Participation in the CSCN process is required for children and adults with a developmental disability who are pursuing accommodation supports, and for children and adolescents seeking admission to a residential based treatment program. Single waiting lists for children’s residential programs and accommodation supports for adults with a developmental disability are being maintained across the five counties.

The following are some programs and services offering both residential and community based programs. If you are unclear of the CSCN process, or are wanting more information about options for your child or youth, call CSCN at 519-438-4783, or any of the programs listed below.


Western Area Youth Services (W.A.Y.S)

70 Riverside Drive, London, N6H 1B4

Tel: 519-432-2209

Fax: 519-432-2442

Crisis #: 519-433-0334

Email: ways@info.london.on.ca


WAYS provides residential programs and community services to youth ages 14-21, and their families. Entry into programs is voluntary. Common issues for youth who enter the programs include: conflict with the law; abuse of drugs and alcohol; emotional, physical and sexual abuse; psychiatric illness; problems in school or with peers; families who presently are unable to provide the support necessary for their child.

WAYS Residential Programs provide: basic needs; a safe, supportive environment; structured day programs; the teaching of life skills, job training; counselling; links to community resources. Admission to residential programs is through the CSCN, 519-438-4783.

WAYS Community Programs provide early intervention and short-term services to youth and their families. These include: assistance finding shelter, clothing, food, access to crisis counselling, advocacy, and links to community resources. Groups such as Anger Management, Drug and Alcohol Relapse Prevention, Adoptee Support, Young Father’s Support are offered – call WAYS to find out what is currently offered. Groups are FREE.


Craigwood Youth Services

520 Hamilton Road, London, N5Z 1S4

Tel: 519-432-2623

Fax: 519-432-8964

Crisis #: 519-433-0334

Craigwood provides both residential and community programs for youth ages 12-16, dealing with issues pertaining to emotional/mental health, drugs and alcohol, anger management, etc. Early intervention services, and family counselling also available. Entry into residential programs is arranged through CSCN: 519-438-4783.


Learning Disabilities Association

333 Horton Street East Unit 101, London, N6B 1L5

Tel: 519-438-6213

Fax: 519-438-0368

This organization offers a resource centre and tutoring for children with learning disabilities. There is usually a waiting list for tutors. Costs include membership and tutoring fees. The membership fee must be paid; however, the tutoring fees can be waived.


Madame Vanier Children's Services

871 Trafalgar Street, London, N5Z 1E6

Tel: 519-433-3101

Fax: 519-433-1302

Works with emotionally disturbed children and youth under 16 years old. Referrals are taken from parents, doctors, court, CAS, etc.


Child and Parent Resource Institute

600 Sanatorium Road, London, N6H 3W7

Tel: 519-858-2774

Fax: 519-858-3913

CPRI provides both live-in and live-out programs for children and youth, ages 0-18, with emotional, developmental or behavioural challenges. There are no costs for programs, however, live-in programs are arranged through CSCN. Parents can self-refer, calling Intake for an assessment or their child, and options for treatment. There is also a home visit program, for children aged 2-12. There will most likely be a waiting list for services, once an assessment is completed.



Strategic Parent Intervention Focus (SPIF)


Tel: 519-858-2774

Fax: 519-858-3913

CPRI runs a program for parents wanting to learn behaviour management strategies for their children’s behavioural and emotional challenges. There is no cost for this program, it runs for 4 weeks, 2 hours a week. SPIF is a voluntary program designed to help you cope with your child’s needs, and learn more about his or her specific challenges.


Child Reach

Parent/Child Resource Centre

265 Maitland Street, London, N6B 2Y3

Tel: 519-434-3644

Fax: 519-434-3288

Website: www.childreach.on.ca

Education, support and outreach offered to children and their families. Workshops for parents include: Overcoming Power Struggles, Creating Sibling Harmony, Your Spirited Child – call to find out what is currently available. There is a fee for workshops; however, subsidies are available for low-income families – just let them know that you need one.

There is a lack of children’s counselling services in London. Most of the services available for low-income children are full and bursting at the seams. Some private practices have a sliding fee scale, which you can negotiate.


Bethesda Centre

54 Riverview Ave

London, Ontario

Tel: 519-438-8371

Fax: 519-438-0032

Email: bethesdacentre@on.aibn.com


Support and education in a residential setting. Program includes prenatal and postnatal care, nutrition, parenting skills, life skills and continuing education. Fully licensed onsite day care for clients babies, as well as community children, two weeks and over day program for clients living in the community.


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