Our Vision and Mission

We believe thriving children create thriving communities. To that end, we focus on a community-wide response to childhood trauma that combines excellence in treatment, state-of-the-art education, and community oriented prevention initiatives aimed at reducing the incidence and impact of child maltreatment and promoting the safe and healthy development of children.

"Better": a not-to-be-missed theatrical experience!

It started with our Journeys of Change project winning a SpecKids Change Challenge grant.

It became a powerful stage play, created by students to tell the stories of their newcomer peers.

And on Tuesday, May 10 we share it with our community for one night only - the public premiere of "Better" on the Theatre Aquarius Stage at Dofasco Centre for the Arts.

What does it really mean to be a "welcoming community"? How are refugee and immigrant teens fitting in and starting over here in Hamilton? What do they want us to know about their daily lives, struggles, dreams, and experiences? Join us on May 10 and experience "Better", a compelling and original stage production created and performed by talented local youth who want Hamiltonians to be inspired by the stories of our newest young citizens.

These are the stories of Malik, Kensie, and others, whose experiences and journeys differ but have brought them together as they start new lives in Hamilton. "Better" shares their stories - from Haiti, Afghanistan, South Africa, Syria, and Iraq - providing a rare and personal glimpse inside one of Canada's most culturally diverse high schools on an ordinary day that turns out to be anything but ordinary.

School audiences from across the Hamilton area will see "Better" at the Sir John A. Macdonald theatre beginning April 29 (for booking inquiries contact us). Then, on May 10, the rest of Hamilton is invited to experience "Better" at an evening performance - all proceeds will support trauma services provided by our OASIS Program for newcomer children and youth.

Tickets for May 10 are $48 and on sale now at: Theatre Aquarius Box Office

We are tremendously proud of the remarkable young people at Sir John A. Macdonald secondary school who have embraced the vision behind this project and brought it to life. Some told their stories, some wrote the script, and others are now in rehearsals as cast and crew. With support from their teachers and administrators, and guidance from theatrical pros enlisted to advise them, they are honouring the newcomer experience in a humbling and inspiring way. We are indebted to all who have made this possible.

Please join us on May 10 for what promises to be a memorable evening celebrating what these amazing youth have to teach us.



Celebrating Volunteers

Volunteers are the roots of strong communities. And our volunteers make so much possible! We are grateful for the many contributions made by caring and committed individuals who share our belief that thriving children create thriving communities. This week is National Volunteer Week, a perfect time to say "thank you" to our volunteers and to celebrate all that they do to support our work. We appreciate you all!

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Partners in Prevention - free educational event for parents and caregivers

Partners in Prevention: a symposium for parents and caregivers about keeping young people safe from sexual harm...APRIL 11th, 1:00 to 7:00 p.m.

As a community, one of our best assets in preventing the sexual harm and exploitation of children is to help parents and caregivers be informed and aware. This event will bring together experts and professionals to share information and tips to support parents and those caring for young people in today's sexualized environment. Bring your questions, and together we'll explore this important topic as Partners in Prevention.

Special Guest: Dr. Janet Rosenzweig, author of The Sex-Wise Parent: the parent's guide to protecting your child, strengthening your family, and talking to kids about sex, abuse, and bullying.

See event flyer for list of workshops and more event information.

For the event flyer, click here

REGISTER NOW, space is limited for this free event. Call 905-527-5092 extension 2625 or register online - click here

In order to allow as many families as possible to participate, registration is limited to one per household (parents/caregivers may share a registration if one is unable to attend the full event). If you are interested in child care, or have dietary restrictions, please let us know when you register.

Presented by Thrive Child and Youth Trauma Services, this free educational event is made possible by a Parents Reaching Out (PRO) Regional/Provincial Grant from the Ontario Ministry of Education. Special thanks to our event partners:

Catholic Children's Aid Society of Hamilton
Children's Aid Society of Hamilton
Hamilton Police Service
Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board
Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board

An Evening with Sheldon Kennedy to Benefit THRIVE

Former NHL player and courageous child advocate, Sheldon Kennedy, will speak in Hamilton on Thursday, March 1 with partial proceeds to benefit THRIVE Child and Youth Services. We are delighted to welcome Mr. Kennedy to Hamilton, and to invite members of our community to attend this public event. The Lead Director of the Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre will be visiting Hamilton as the keynote speaker for the Picturing Wellness: From Adversity to Resilience conference taking place March 1 to 3 at the Hamilton Convention Centre. We thank conference organizers for opening Mr. Kennedy's keynote address to the public, and directing some of the proceeds from ticket sales to support the work of our organization.

To purchase tickets for Sheldon Kennedy's keynote on March 1st CLICK HERE

For information about the 3-day conference CLICK HEREsheldonkennedy

Refugee children and youth...OASIS Program readies to help

UPDATE: CBC Hamilton feature about THRIVE's OASIS Program focuses on mental health for arriving refugees - click here.

#WELCOME REFUGEES INFORMATION FAIR: Hamilton City Hall, Tuesday, March 1, 7 - 9 pm. - click here.

As Canadian communities prepare for the arrival of Syrian refugees, our OASIS Program team is busy making sure we are ready to assist as many young people as possible when they arrive in Hamilton with symptoms of trauma.  The OASIS Program is Hamilton's specialized treatment program for child and youth trauma among refugees and immigrants. Requests for this service are made by settlement services, schools, family doctors, and others who may identify a need for assessment and mental health supports within a newcomer family. We have been working with community partners to help them better understand and identify the signs of trauma, but many newcomer families will need time to address immediate needs (shelter, primary health, school registration) as a first priority. We have increased program capacity to help those newcomers who do need this support, and will continue to work with our partners in settlement, health, education, children's services, and government to enhance service levels appropriately. One-time funds from the Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services will help boost capacity until March 31, and a significant investment from the Hamilton Community Foundation's ABACUS granting program will support in-school classes to help newcomer students prepare for an unfamiliar learning environment. We welcome community assistance as we ready for what could be a substantial influx of children and youth needing our help throughout 2016 and beyond. Private sponsors wanting to connect newcomers to our OASIS Program may do so by calling Contact Hamilton at 905-570-8888. More information about the OASIS Program can be found on this web site (Programs and Services tab at top) or by scrolling down on this page to OASIS Program Brochure (on right).

Ontario will likely be a major point of entry for incoming refugees over the next few months and we need to ensure the health system is ready, willing and able to assist. Refugees typically face greater settlement and integration challenges than other newcomers. Many refugees have experienced prolonged periods in refugee camps, trauma, violence, and limited access to health care and education.

Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

Those wanting more in-depth information about the health needs of refugees might want to visit www.kidsnewtocanada.ca (Canadian Paediatric Society).

Strengthening children, youth, and families since 1976.

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