The “CATS Program” (Constructive Alternatives to Teen Suspension) is a 3 day, structured psycho-educational program for youth.
It is intended as introduction to counselling services for students that have been caught violating the drug and alcohol policy of the Richmond School District (SD #38). Students are usually only referred to CATS once however exceptions have been made in the past.
There are two ways students can be referred to the program:
Violation of the drug and alcohol policy within the Richmond School District (SD #38);
Attendance supported by the school administration, school counsellors as well as the parents and student for a more therapeutic intervention.
The focus of the program is three-fold:
For students to learn how to make thoughtful, process-oriented decisions;
To better understand their own level of use or misuse of drugs, alcohol, gambling or other addictive behaviours;
Learn skills and increase their knowledge base with regards to coping and addictive behaviours;
To begin building a relationship with Youth and Family Counsellor and RASS staff.
The program is based on a 3-day schedule and runs from 830am-12pm three days a week at Richmond Addiction Services.
Depending on the reasons for attendance, the student may or may not be allowed back in the school during the CATS program.
Following the 3 days of mandatory attendance at the Program, students will receive at least one follow-up counselling session or three follow-up counselling sessions based on assessed need. These follow-up sessions can be completed at Richmond Addiction Services, the student’s school or in the community. These follow-up sessions are also a mandatory part of the Program.
A Parent Package is also sent home with students to further explain the Program and outline services and supports that are available to their family. CATS facilitator will reach out personally to all parents during the CATS program to invite them in or outreach to them to offer information about our program and answer any questions they may have.
Feel free to contact RASS anytime with any questions or feedback as we are always working to offer the best programming for families living in Richmond.