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5850/5980 University Ave., Halifax, NS B3K 6R8

Youth Forensic Services

In Patient Services
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Secure Care Unit

The IWK Secure Care Unit (SCU) in Waterville is a three bed inpatient facility aimed at providing mental health care to adolescents that find themselves in trouble with the law. As such, it is the site of assessments and treatment of such individuals as usually requested by courts of law.

The SCU works in collaboration with the Department of Justice and is unique in that most of the youth it serves come from the judicial system. The hospital SCU is located inside the Nova Scotia Youth Centre (NSYC) to make the most efficient use of shared resources and services. The facilities are independently operated and managed such that young persons and forensic patients are always separated.

The multidisciplinary team consists of a forensic psychiatrist, a nurse practitioner, registered and licensed nurses, psychologist, social workers, and youth care workers. 

The unit provides 24-7 structured, individualized program care in a secure environment. 

Healthcare Services to Nova Scotia Youth Facility

The IWK works in partnership with the Department of Justice to provide essential health care services to young persons at the Nova Scotia Youth Facility (NSYF). The multidisciplinary team consists of registered nurses, psychologists and social workers. There is also a psychiatrist or nurse practitioner who hold weekly clinics onsite. 

The IWK provides the same spectrum of care that can be found in a community setting, while specializing in services that reflect the needs of the forensic and correctional populations. These include treatment of acute and chronic conditions, infectious disease prevention and control, medication management, suicide risk assessment, health education and discharge planning. Clinical services facilitate interventions to support young offenders with mental health and addiction issues. Interventions include mental health assessments, addictions counselling and individual/family therapy.  Youth can self-refer or be referred by family or Department of Justice staff. Participation is voluntary.