Jake's Story

The ECHO Residential Treatment Program (ECHO) is for adolescent males (ages 13-17) who have engaged in sexually harmful behaviour. Jake* was an ECHO client. We thank Jake for allowing us to share his story about how ECHO helped him.

Jake arrived as an ECHO client when he was 14-years-old. Jake, who had lived in a series of different living arrangements since the age of 8, was referred to ECHO because he had engaged in sexually inappropriate behaviour with a peer. Jake faced other challenges, too, including impulsivity, difficulty socializing, as well as engaging in property damage and self-harm behaviours. Overall, Jake struggled to control his emotions, and this impacted him both at home and at school.

At first, Jake’s counsellor had a hard time finding the right away to approach helping Jake, mainly because it was hard for Jake to form meaningful relationships with other people. For the first month of treatment, Jake insisted that he didn’t need help, and he refused to attend his sessions. Eventually, however, Jake’s counsellor was able to use playing a game to draw Jake out of his shell and they began to build a trusting relationship together.

Over the course of the next year and a half, Jake worked with a team of people who helped support his success at ECHO and at school. Before leaving ECHO, Jake completed his sex-offense specific work, and in the process he gained empathy and insight into how his behaviours affect other people. He began taking responsibility for his actions. Jake also gained a number of practical life skills, such as learning how to grocery shop. Throughout his time at ECHO, Jake’s confidence, independence and self-awareness also grew, and this once shy and withdrawn young man now describes himself as a “social butterfly".

Another positive outcome for Jake was that he began to re-establish a relationship with his family. He began to have regular weekly visits with his mother, including his first overnight visit in 7 years, and upon leaving ECHO he had a much more meaningful connection to his family and access to a large support network.

Jake’s success in the ECHO program highlights the importance of fostering each child’s unique strengths and tailoring their treatment accordingly. This is PCC’s commitment to all children, youth and families who seek our help. Today, we celebrate Jake’s successes and wish him well in the future.

* Name has been changed.

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