January 2021 Provider Spotlight
Mike Boutin is one of the most veteran providers in ICAN’s IPA, providing services to the youth we serve since he was an employee at HGS in 1998. Mike and his business partner, Chris Harris, started Community Support Services (CSS) a year later, and quickly became one of the most popular and widely used independent provider agencies in our network, and would remain as such until present day.
Mike has a background and degree in psychology and always wanted to help others, especially children. His experience right after college at Hillside Children’s residential facility brought Mike so much knowledge and most importantly the understanding that he wanted and needed to “get ahead” of the issues that youth were experiencing, so he set out to find a way to work more preventatively with kids to avoid the often-unnecessary placement. And ICAN certainly became the perfect fit, as he has spent more than 20 years as a full-time provider in our IPA providing an array of services from mentoring to behavioral management to group recreation.
Some of Mike’s most memorable moments over the years stem from their group recreation outings to explore and hike in the Adirondacks, with some kids who had never even seen a “real” mountain before. Mike’s favorite part of being a provider is not only helping kids reach their goals, but teaching them the basic life skills and coping skills that will serve them well for the rest of their lives. He loves being a part of the ICAN IPA because it is “like family” and everyone supports one another.
Mike has plans to “stay in this for the long haul” with ICAN and the work he does as a provider. He said he wants to continue the work that he and Chris started over 20 years ago to pay homage to Chris’s legacy and the wonderful impact that he made on the lives of so many.
Some Fun Facts about Mike:
He loves to ride his motorcycle – it is his stress relief and his favorite activity
He loves to ski (cross country and downhill) and to be outside and enjoy the outdoors as much as possible. In fact, Mike tries to weave that into the work he does with the kids as much as he can
During COVID, he feels that he explored every single park in the Mohawk Valley with the kids he works with!
Mike has owned Big Shot Photo Booths for just over 10 years and is still in business!