Keeping Kids, Families and our Staff Safe: Kinark Child and Family Services’ Vaccine Policy

The safety and wellbeing of Kinark’s clients and their families, and our staff, is Kinark’s top priority.  The risks of the current COVID-19 pandemic have meant we have had to make a number of changes to our services and processes to keep everyone as safe as possible.

Vaccination against COVID-19 has proven to be one of the most effective public health measures available to protect people, communities and our health services. Public health evidence has shown that that COVID-19 vaccines are very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death.

We want you to know that as of November 15, following best advice from public health experts, all of the staff working at Kinark, our volunteers, students and contractors will have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19, unless they have an approved medical or human rights exemption.  In order to protect you, we will continue to wear personal protective equipment, like masks and gloves, and continue to deeply clean all of our sites.

We encourage everyone who is eligible to be vaccinated to get vaccinated.  The COVID-19 vaccines approved by Health Canada have been proven safe to use and effective. They are available in your community and they are free.  Sign up for your vaccine through the provincial booking system.

For more information about COVID-19 vaccines, visit the Ontario government’s COVID-19 website here.

Kinark has re-opened select in-person services and continues to provide virtual services during the COVID-19 pandemic

The safety and wellbeing of clients, staff and the community remain a top priority. Kinark follows the advice and guidelines provided by Public Health Ontario, by the provincial Ministry of Health and by Health Canada. Additionally, we are closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation in Ontario and adjusting service delivery as needed.

Kinark has re-opened select in-person services while also continuing to provide services virtually.

Kinark is excited about all the services and supports we provide virtually. These virtual services remain in place as we have resumed in-person services.

Some of our clients are best served, and prefer to receive their services, in-person. Our careful and planful approach to re-opening in-person services at Kinark sites has positioned us to meet the needs of our clients and their families while also meeting all Public Health requirements for infection prevention and control.

Kinark’s Infection, Prevention and Control Measures:

For those critical services that we continue to provide in-person, our priority is to ensure we have an environment conducive for therapeutic relationships as well as one that decreases risk of exposure or transmission of COVID-19. We are doing this by applying several important practices outlined below.

Screening, Monitoring and Tracking

  • Kinark staff, clients, their families/guardians, and visitors will be asked to self-screen for symptoms of COVID-19 before attending any appointment at a Kinark site and you will be required to complete a COVID-19 screening tool at your point of entry. You will be asked to provide contact information so that you could be contacted should an exposure to COVID-19 have occurred.
  • Anyone who indicates they have symptoms or have travelled outside of Canada or been exposed to COVID-19 within the last 14 days will not be allowed to enter a Kinark office and will be directed to seek COVID-19 testing.
    • Clients/caregivers are required to confirm they have received a negative test before entering a Kinark site if they initially triggered the assessment tool (symptoms, travel and/or exposure).
    • To further reduce risk to clients, families, and visitors, any Kinark staff exhibiting symptoms, or who have travelled outside of Canada, or been exposed to COVID-19, are required to self-isolate at home until a negative COVID-19 test result has been provided.

Handwashing/Cleaning and Disinfecting surfaces

  • All persons who enter a Kinark location will be asked to disinfect their hands with available hand sanitizers. All products used by Kinark meet Health Canada guidelines.
  • All high touch surfaces are disinfected regularly, and any equipment or surfaces used during appointments are disinfected before and after each appointment.
  • Rooms, high touch surfaces and the Kinark office sites are thoroughly cleaned each day.

Face masks, face shields and other barriers

  • All persons who enter a Kinark facility/office will be asked to wear a mask. Masks will be worn during all assessment and treatment meetings.
  • ll persons who enter Syl Apps Youth Centre and Live-in Treatment sites will be asked to wear a mask and a face shield or goggles.
  • Children eight (8) years of age and older, and all adults, will be required to wear a mask, all others will be encouraged to do so.
  • Staff will be wearing surgical masks, and some will be wearing face shields or goggles.
  • Arrows on floors or walls provide direction through corridors to decrease interactions with others.

Appointments/bookings and entering the premises

  • You will receive self-assessment information when your appointment is booked as well as information on what to do when you arrive at the Kinark location.
  • Most locations will require you to call in when you arrive so you can be escorted directly to your appointment space.

These practices and procedures are based on current evidence and advice from public health (https://www.publichealthontario.ca/), the Government of Ontario’s framework Enhancing Public Health and Workplace Safety Measures in the Provincewide Shutdown, and infection control experts. We continue to learn more about COVID-19, and will review these practices as new information becomes available.

If you have concerns about risks, any of the infection prevention and control procedures Kinark has put in place, or would like to discuss other options for receiving service, please contact your Kinark worker.

Syl Apps Youth Centre and Live-In Treatment Sites

Kinark’s Live-In Treatment and Syl Apps Youth Centre services are by definition in-person and are being delivered using enhanced health and safety/infection prevention and control measures.

These sites include:

  • Syl Apps Youth Centre
  • Vanier Residential Program
  • Gorham Residential Program
  • Lansdowne Residential Program
  • Grove Residential Program

At this time, clients at Syl Apps Youth Centre are only able to visit with their families virtually.  Kinark is exploring other possible visiting options aligned with accepted infection prevention and control guidelines.

Clients at our Live-in Treatment locations are able to have essential visits with their family members subject to a number of infection prevention and control measures.

Central Intake remains open

Central Intake remains open from 9 am to 5 pm for inquiries and new referrals for service

Sites open by appointment only

  • All Kinark office sites

It can be very difficult to feel like you are staying up to date about COVID-19 when information is changing so quickly. We recommend that you visit  The Public Health Agency of Canada’s website for up to date information you can trust.