Adolescent Resource Centre (ARC)
The Adolescent Resource Centre (ARC) was established in 2016 as the WCJF’s response to the constant call for adolescent friendly spaces that address the wide and varied health needs of this particular population.
“The ARC provides the following services; individual and group counselling on contraceptive methods, screening and referrals for sexually transmitted infections (STI) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), mental health services to screen and treat for post-partum depression, counselling for victims of gender-based violence, and access to gynecologists and midwives.”
The WCJF opened and operated an adolescent clinic, Knowledge and Education for Youth (the KEY), on the property that houses the Administrative Office and the Kingston Centre in 1992. The services offered at the KEY included: individual counselling, group counselling, limited medical services, contraceptive counselling/commodities for the adolescent mothers, as well as training in peer counselling. In-school youths were the primary target population of the KEY.
Due to the cessation of the funding in 1998, the activities of the KEY were reduced, the name of the facility was changed to the Kingston Centre Counselling Clinic (KCCC), and the adolescent mothers attending the Kingston Centre became the sole recipients of the services that were offered. In 2014, the KCCC ceased to exist as a facility, and the activities were subsumed under the general activities of the Kingston Centre.
Although the WCJF discontinued the operation of its youth clinic, it remained acutely aware of the need for adolescent friendly spaces that address the wide and varied needs of this population. Adolescent mothers, in particular, have the specific need for spaces within which they can have their specific needs met outside of the rebuke and reproach of adults. On countless occasions, the adolescent mothers relate personal stories of the less than desirable treatment that is delivered to them as they visit the public clinics. Added to this is the fact that the young mothers often miss valuable class time to access the services provided at the public facilities. The opportunity that presented itself for the reopening of this unique space, was therefore wholeheartedly embraced, and maximally explored.