Whytecliff was born from a deep need – to fill the gaps left by our traditional education system, and to ‘catch’ the underserved youth who might otherwise fall through these ‘cracks’. Because these youths’ lives came in all shapes and sizes, we learned to adapt our program to fit their diverse needs. It was clear right away that our uniquely ‘Agile’ person-centered approach worked wonders. Originally initiated in concert with a school district, our Langley campus opened in 1994, when Focus Foundation of BC (Whytecliff’s Parent Organization) won a Provincial Tender to offer a new program for adolescents in the Fraser Valley Region. Our Burnaby location was created in 2000, when Focus won a further contract to extend our successful Adolescent program to the Greater Vancouver Region.
Over the years we’ve evolved our programs, and expanded our focus towards working with more children, including kids with complex learning, personal and life challenges. We were also able to reach a broader range of children and families, and to open our doors to the wider public, so that any child who needs Whytecliff can attend our programs. We were pleased to be recognized by the BC Ministry of Education as dedicated schools and programs for children with Diverse Learning Needs, both sites being two of only fifteen such schools in the Province.
At Whytecliff, staff work in concert through embodying a shared vision, collaboratively developed to embrace the heart of what we stand for. As a living, learning organization, our vision statement provides: a galvanizing spark which breathes life into our work; the social glue which fuses our connective tissue; a sense of gravity which keeps our feet on the ground; and a ‘north star’ which orients our efforts and affirms our forward progress.
Vision: We are a safe, respectful and nurturing community, sensitive to each person and their uniqueness. Within this community, individuals have opportunities to build their resources, develop new skills, and discover their talents. These experiences encourage self-reflective behaviour and a strengthened relationship to family and the wider community. Living these principles inspires hope and leads to promising futures rich with dignity, purpose, and options.