Blue Sky says house manager being trained for group home

Gary Kean
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The operators of the Blue Sky Family Care group home in Corner Brook say a house manager will be at the site within the next two weeks.

The group home on Cossitt Place has become a bone of contention for many of the other residents living in the area since it opened in early June.

The neighbours, who have presented a petition with about 150 names on it to Corner Brook city council, say the operators of the home have inadequate control of the youth living there.

The city has said there is nothing it can do about the situation. The neighbours have also complained to the police and to the Department of Child, Youth and Family Services, the latter of which issued the contract to Blue Sky to operate the home.

Caitie Burke, Blue Sky’s director of programming, confirmed for The Western Star this week that a house manager has been hired and said her presence should help address any issues arising at the home.

The house manager is not yet actually at the home, though. She is in the process of going through about three weeks of training in Gander for the position.

That in-house training, said Burke, includes a course called Therapeutic Crisis Intervention and another called Children and Residential Experiences.

Both training programs are standard for any Blue Sky staff, said Burke. The house manager will also do additional management training.

Burke said the woman hired for the job already has experience doing this type of work.

“She has extensive training working with children who have challenging behaviours and she is very adept at meeting their specialized needs,” said Burke. “Her primary responsibility is the overall management of the home. She will ensure all the programs are implemented properly to meet the individual goals of the children and youth.”

The Western Star requested an interview with the house manager, but Burke said she would not be made available as she has yet to start work at the home.

The home in Corner Brook will have a staff of between eight and 10 people, including the house manager and a program manager. Burke said all will have done the in-house training provided by Blue Sky and all will have had some previous experience dealing with children and youth.

Burke said Blue Sky had hoped to have a house manager at the site earlier, but hopes her presence will help alleviate some of the tensions between the home and residents in the area.

“Due to circumstances that were out of our control, we couldn’t get her to start when we opened the home, but it was always our intent to put a house manager in there,” she said.

Organizations: Corner Brook city council, Department of Child, Youth and Family Services

Geographic location: Blue Sky, Corner Brook, Western Star Gander

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Recent comments

  • Thinking of the kids
    July 10, 2014 - 19:19

    Where is the focus on the children, residents? They are FOSTER KIDS who have had a lot of upheaval in their lives. The are not criminals. They need our support. I can take in foster kids into my home and not have to tell any of my neighbours about it. When I am at work, I can have other people (paid staff) come into my home and take care of those children. How is this any different than what is happening here? I think people are getting upset with it being called a "group home." This is a classic case of "Not in my backyard." So sad....

    • unreal
      July 11, 2014 - 08:57

      dear "thinking of the kids" this whole mess that our government has created is ALL about these children....yes these children are foster children but YES some of these children DO have criminal records... I guess you omitted to read that article published by the western star regarding a youth at cossitt place breaching probation and uttering threats.....yes most of you citizens are only reading into this what you what to read into it!!!!!!!!these children with the proper counselling and love and encouragement may be able to turn their lives around..... God I certainly hope so....but for now 4 or 5 of these teenage boys living under the same roof is NOT the council should NEVER have let this happen in our community and the NL government should be held accountable for all of the issues that are happening because of their " saving money " tactics....because at the end of the day it is these children who will suffer because of this mess!!!!! by the way I think Blue Sky is looking for placement of around 65 or more children and I am sure they would love to get a phone call from you offering to foster a child as you mentioned in YOUR home!!!!!! you wont even need a business permit.......

  • Point of view
    July 10, 2014 - 08:45

    Seems to me that this person sh have been in place when facility opened. The youth there sh be treated like any other kids in this neighborhood and they sh be told that residents want complete respect and will not tolerate them being on their property. These kids belong to the province and it has a responsibility to ensure these needs are met otherwise the tranquillity of the neighborhood may be at risk. I ALSO HOPE BLUE SKY LEARNED A VALUABLE LESSON HERE ON NEIGHBORHOOD PSYCHOLOGY and any other proposed homes on neighborhood streets sh be disclosed to the public first, I believe the City of Corner Brook sh ensure this happens.

  • george p b
    July 10, 2014 - 06:38

    house manager??? program manager??? employing 8-10 people? and this is NOT a business??? Give me a break......City council should admit their mistake & take appropriate action....Pender is not the Pope and he is not infallible..... "The home in Corner Brook will have a staff of between eight and 10 people, including the house manager and a program manager."