Judy Sharpe has retired at the executive director at One Kids Place three years ago. But when you talk to her about the Nipissing-Parry Sound children’s treatment centre you would never think she had left.
The satisfaction of helping build a successful treatment centre has resonated with Sharpe as the facility is about to celebrate its 10th anniversary later this week.
“There was ten plus years prior to that trying to bring a children’s treatment centre to the area for our kids and families so lots of culminating work through working with hospitals and health units and community care access centre’s and district health councils and LHIN’s and various ministry folks all coming together to create an organization called One Kids Place with the very clear mandate to provide services for children and families,” said Sharpe.
She believes the biggest hurdle was getting people to understand how significant the need was.
“There were lots of good services out there so lots of agencies thought they were providing great service but what families were telling us though was that yes, for this bit of service my child needs to you provide a good service, but I have to go find another service that is going to meet the other need that my child has and then my child has another need and I don’t know where to go there. Asking parents they said that was one of the most significant hurdles is understanding that we needed to bring those services together because of having a child with many needs and they don’t know where to go for a lot of the services," said Sharpe.
See related: More action in the hallways of One Kids Place
Denis Filiatrault has been the executive director for the past three years since Sharpe’s departure but he has been with the organization overall for more than a decade.
He believes One Kids Place which offers services such as speech pathology to autism services is a fine example of a community coming together.
“We are a service delivery system that really talks about the family and what the families needs are and what to do we need to ensure the greatest potential possible for our child and that is a significant shift in thinking for people,” said Filiatrault.
“We are talking about a holistic approach and it has been the most rewarding 10 to 15 years of my career is being part of an organization that wants to do more than the greater good.”
Filiatrault and Sharpe both agree that the people involved are a key to success but they also praise the architects for helping create such a comfortable and colorful environment.