Theories to Support the Work

Both Covenant House Toronto and Vancouver invest in training their staff on specific theoretical perspectives and use those theories in their work with youth. They are considered to be very important case management tools to assist in providing support to the residents.

What we’ve tried to do is provide a consistent language for the staff to use when they’re talking about the youth, working with the youth and framing their plans.” — John Harvey, Director of Program Services, Covenant House Vancouver 

This begins the moment a youth walks through the doors of the crisis/shelter program for the first time.

The theories and approaches summarized here are some of the key theories used by one or both Covenant House locations in Canada. They are really the tip of the iceberg and a great many skills and theoretical perspectives are integrated into the work. Links to further reading are provided for those agencies that wish to delve deeper into understanding how they work.

The theories included are:

  • Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
  • Attachment Theory
  • Stages of Change
  • Resiliency Theory
  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Trauma-Informed Care 

All these theories are constantly interwoven with what we do. They are utilized and made applicable by the young person, by the situation that presents itself.” — Julie Neubauer, Transitional Housing Manager, Covenant House Toronto