Group Care Treatment Program

Information for young people and their families

Knowles Centre offers five different programs for the young people it serves.  For some clients, we provide a Group Care Treatment Program.  That means you will live with other clients of Knowles Centre and may stay with us for a few months or for a year or more. 

Here are some frequently asked questions about life at Knowles Centre:

Knowles Centre grounds
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Why do I have to go to Knowles Centre?  Am I being sent there for punishment?

We all face problems in life that make it hard to live at home or go to school from time to time.  These problems can often be overcome with help from friends, family or caring adults.  But sometimes more help is needed.  Knowles Centre provides a safe place for you to live while you (and your family) receive the support and work out the problems you are facing.

Knowles Centre is a treatment centre, not a jail or detention centre.  Our goal is to help you find your strengths and become the best person you can be.


Treatment unit bedroom
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Where will I live?

You will live with other clients in a treatment unit located on Knowles Centre’s grounds at 2065 Henderson Highway or in a neighborhood close by.  There are separate units for boys and girls.

You will have your own bedroom where you will sleep and keep your things.  The living room, kitchen and bathrooms are shared by everyone.

One or more staff members will be in the unit at all times.  They are there to ensure your safety and well being.  Most of all, the staff will help you work out problems and have some fun.


What can I bring from home?

Treatment unit livingroom
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Knowles Centre will make sure you have everything you need to be comfortable.  However, you may bring some things from home. 

  • Clothing, portable stereo, a few books or CDs, bicycle, photos, etc.  You will be responsible for keeping your things safe and in good working order.

There are some things that should not be brought to Knowles Centre:

  • Pets, cell phones, cigarettes, drugs, weapons or any thing that could harm you or someone else, or anything of personal value that could not be replaced if it was lost.


What if I want to buy something new?

Knowles Centre will pay for your new clothes, shoes, haircuts, medicine, transportation, and other necessities.  You will receive a weekly allowance you can use to buy special or extra things for yourself.


Who will make my food?  What will I eat?  What if I don’t like the food?

Each unit has a kitchen where you will help to make some of your own meals and snacks.  On school days, lunch is prepared in our central kitchen and you will eat in the dining room or in your unit.  Snacks are available between meals if you are hungry.  You will never be asked to pay for your food.

Treatment unit kitchen
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Some of the meals at Knowles Centre include:

  • Breakfast: Toast and cereal, bacon and eggs, pancakes, juice, milk, and more.
  • Lunch: Soup and sandwiches, hamburgers, hotdogs, fries, perogies, pasta, pizza, juice, milk, and more.
  • Dinner: Beef, chicken, pork, fish, potatoes, rice, pasta, bread, vegetables, casseroles, salad, milk, juice, and more.
  • Snacks: Fruit, yogurt, cake, cookies, ice cream, cheese and crackers, and more.

Food prepared and served the same way you might find it at your own home.  Most clients enjoy all the meals, but if there is something you don’t like, you can usually fill your plate with other foods being served during that meal.


John G. Stewart School
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Where will I go to school?

Most clients living in Group Care attend John G. Stewart School.  It is located on the grounds at Knowles Centre.  At John G. Stewart School, you will have a chance to catch up on lessons that you might have missed in the past.

Some clients return to a school in your community or an alternative learning program.

Staff at Knowles Centre work closely with your school to help you do as well as possible.


Will I be able to visit my family?

When it is possible, we encourage you to stay in touch with your family through phone calls and visits home from time to time.  Your family can also visit you at Knowles Centre and stay in the special family suite for a few days.  Staff at Knowles Centre can help you to make arrangements.


Trained therapists help clients and their families be the best they can be
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What will happen in my therapy sessions?

At Knowles Centre, we want everyone to be the best they can be.  But we know that some problems from the past get in the way of your future.  We are here to help.

You will meet with a trained therapist alone or sometimes with members of your family.  Together, you will identify the problems you are facing in life and help you work out a plan to fix them.  You will continue to meet with your therapist weekly as you work towards a better way of life.


What can I do for fun?

Mountain biking is a favorite activity
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Recreation is an important part of life at Knowles Centre.  All clients are encouraged to take part in favorite pastimes and to try new activities.  Staff from your unit will help you plan and take part in activities as a group or on your own.

Clients living in an on-site unit on the Knowles Centre grounds may also take part in activities that are planned and supervised by a Recreation Coordinator.

Moose Recreation Room
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Some of the favorite activities at Knowles Centre include:

  • Playing basketball, baseball, hockey, football, skateboarding, swimming
  • Learning new arts and crafts, cooking and baking, board and card games
  • Going to movies, sporting events, concerts, horseback riding, camping, shopping
  • Watching TV or movies, playing pool and video games, or hanging out with friends in the Manitoba Moose Recreation Room
Knowles Centre camp at Big Whiteshell Lake
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Did I hear something about camping?

Yes, Knowles Centre has its own camp located in the Whiteshell Provincial Park.  Each summer, you have a chance to stay at the camp for a week or so.  You will sleep in a modern cabin and eat in the dining hall.  Best of all, you will have lots of fun, swim in the lake, paddle a canoe, cast for fish, sit around a campfire, and learn more about nature and the beautiful world around you.


Is there anything for Aboriginal clients?

Sacred fire at Knowles Centre
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The Biimautaziiwin Program at Knowles Centre can help you explore Aboriginal culture. 
Sweat Lodge at Knowles Centre
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You can take part in healing circles, sweat lodge ceremonies, traditional crafts and storytelling.  The program is led by the Knowles Centre’s Aboriginal Cultural Coordinator with help from elders, traditional healers, and First Nations community members.  From time to time, you might also go on journeys to learn more about Aboriginal culture.

All clients are invited to take part in the Biimautaziiwin Program.  Participation in the program is optional.


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