MYS Guiding Principles

MYS Guiding Principles

Principles are fundamental beliefs. The MYS Guiding Principles are informed by our philosophical foundation and theoretical framework as well as the literature and research on trauma-informed practice and the Therapeutic Model of Care project team input. They provide a framework within which our Therapeutic Model of Care can be incorporated and guide the development of policies and procedures throughout the organization. 

The following principles reflect and apply to all activities and interactions with agency clients, employees, foster parents and volunteers.


Building awareness among staff and clients of the effects of trauma on the development and behaviour of those who have experienced it, as well as the practices or interventions that may facilitate healing, is a continuous process we have committed to. Staff training, consultation and supervision are key to ensuring trauma awareness guides all that we do. This knowledge is the foundation of our Therapeutic Model of Care.


Throughout the organization, employees, foster parents, volunteers and the people they serve, whether children, youth or adults, provide a sense of safety, structure, acceptance and security at all times. Our definition of safety expands beyond physical safety to encompass emotional and cultural safety. MYS strives to incorporate all facets of safety into every aspect of the services we deliver.


Our organizational operations and decisions are conducted with transparency with the goal of building and maintaining trust with clients and family members, among staff and others involved in the organization. We strive for consistency, predictable expectations and the establishment of clear interpersonal boundaries.


Each member of the MYS community recognizes the importance and value of their roles in the healing process of our clients and the health of the organization as a whole.  This collaboration contributes to trustworthiness and safety for all.  We recognize the importance of partnering, providing choice and equalizing power imbalances as much as possible to provide respectful and compassionate care.


We believe in the inherent value, the capabilities and resilience of our clients, their families, and the MYS community.  When possible, clients are included in making choices about their care and supported to transform those choices into action plans to heal and move forward in their lives.   MYS employees are empowered to do their work with adequate organizational support.


We believe healing happens in relationships and therefore place value on strong, positive relationships between clients and their families, communities and their caregivers. These relationships form the foundation of all therapeutic interventions. We also believe establishing and maintaining family and community connections, to the extent possible, is paramount to a complete understanding of a young person’s needs, identity, attachment and heritage.  Our hope is that these connections can promote a sense of belonging and provide a sense of permanency that will extend beyond our role.


We believe that resilience is an innate capacity within every one of us that is strengthened and supported by protective factors. As caregivers, our role is to help our clients to recognize their own resiliency and become more resilient by providing them with the supports and opportunities they need to grow and heal. MYS utilizes the Circle of Courage® as a framework for promoting resiliency.  We instill and nurture the values of belonging, mastery, independence and generosity through strength-based therapeutic interventions.


We appreciate and respect diversity.  We strive to respond respectfully and effectively to people of all cultures, classes, races, ethnic backgrounds, sexual orientations, genders and faiths and religions, in a manner that recognizes, affirms, and values the worth of individuals, families and communities, and protects and preserves the dignity of each. We acknowledge the importance of understanding how cultural context influences perception of and response to trauma, including historical or multigenerational trauma, and the recovery process.