Sheway: Supporting Choice and Self-Determination
Maria Burglehaus, MSc, RDN
Monica Stokl, BScN, RN, BEd
In Canada’s poorest neighbourhood, the women at Sheway access services in a way that supports self-determination and choice. The program aims to enhance resilience and well-being of women during pregnancy and in the post-natal period with support from a multidisplinary team and comprehensive services where no appointment is necessary. Sheway reduces isolation, promotes mutual support, and provides practical supports including meals and clothing. Women are supported to have positive early parenting experiences and receive support until their children are 18 months of age. The program objectives have evolved in response to an increasing number of clients and changing needs of the community. The 1999 formal evaluation documented that Sheway helps women better access pre- and postnatal care, improve their housing and nutrition, and retain custody of their children.