McMillan House has a Mother-Child suite which is a private, child friendly area in the lower level. It is available for use by residents and their children.
Gender Responsive Community
McMillan House focuses on employment readiness as an important part of every resident’s transition plan, but also acknowledges that women returning to their home communities have complex gender based issues that often make positive transition “a difficult road to walk”. We know that the aftermath of childhood physical and/or sexual abuse leaves a high percentage of women coming out of prison vulnerable to relapse. We also know that many women have children in care and need support to gain the skills and confidence to assume their motherhood role. Based on this knowledge, McMillan House has been set up as a Gender Responsive therapeutic community that focuses on healing and growth.
Supportive Staff Role
The Case Manager assists residents in their search for employment, appropriate social services, community programs and spiritual resources. Workers offer advice and council on issues that residents face in their return to the community and help develop strategies to overcome barriers. Residents work on personal areas of growth and development, gaining skills and confidence for a brighter future. The Case Manager makes referrals and contacts with programs such as housing, resume preparation, job leads, donations, addictions, parenting programs and spiritual/cultural growth; relevant community resources women can continue to utilize once they have moved out.
Levels leading to increased independence
Each woman works through McMillan House’s four levels, and advancing through each level is able to earn an extended curfew. This level system recognizes individuality, and assists our residents with achieving their long term goals by breaking them down into smaller steps. The levels also address areas of need, promote growth and self-awareness, teach life skills, assist in addressing the correctional plan and recognize how each resident is contributing to the Home in a positive manner. The Case Manager works one-on-one with each resident as she moves through the levels to reach her individual goals.
Women with Children
Family reunification following a period of incarceration comes with unique challenges and requires gender-responsive support that McMillan House provides. Separation from children is considered to be among the most damaging aspects of imprisonment for women. Geographical distance, strained relationships with other family members and the high level of stress that accompanies a visit for children to a correctional facility can exacerbate the difficulties families face. Women who have children in the care of others require strong supports to gain the skills and confidence to assume their motherhood role.
Women who begin the reunification process gradually, while residing in a supported environment, experience greater success with respect to family relationships. McMillan House has a Mother-Child Suite to allow for supervised visits. Having staff on site while visitation occurs provides an additional resource to ensure the safety of children during visits
The Mother-Child Suite, in the McMillan House basement, doubles as a second living room for residents to have family visits and a private area for residents with children. Children can come for day visits or stay overnight. The suite can be secluded from the rest of the house with its own washroom, basic kitchen necessities and sleeping/living area.
McMillan House staff assess women’s growth with their children and provide encouragement and guidance, which in turn can build confidence. Women have the opportunity to identify specific goals they wish to achieve (for example, understanding the impact of mother-child separations, bonding, positive discipline, encouraging good behaviour, etc.), and can work towards reaching these goals with their children
In addition to individuals on Day Parole, Full Parole, Statutory Release, and Probation, appropriate referrals will be accepted from provincial agencies such as, the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, Provincial Alternative Support Services, and Manitoba Family Services & Housing etc. All referrals are screened by the House Manager and/or Case Manager, and overseen by the Executive Director.
Standard Parole Referrals
Women who would like to reside at McMillan House should work through their institutional Parole Officer or Case Worker, who will contact Winnipeg Parole. In preparation for the Parole Board Hearing, the House Manager will review the case and parole staff will subsequently document the outcome of that review in their community strategy report.
When a potential resident is identified an information package is sent to begin orientation. Women are asked to complete and return an assessment questionnaire so staff can get to know her better, in her own words. Acceptance is always pending bed space.
McMillan House will also review provincial applicants who have a funding source (ie. Drug Court and Provincial Alternative Support Services, WRHA Special Contracts).
Interested women can ask their Case Worker to contact United Church Halfway Homes to set up a meeting to discuss tenancy at McMillan House. Acceptance is always pending bed space.