Family Services of Central Alberta

2013 Annual Report
Family Services
Central Alberta
“Where Family Comes First”
We are the leaders in providing programs and human
services that strengthen the health of families
in Central Alberta.
We are accountable to assist individuals and families
to maintain dignity, enhance autonomy
and strengthen relationships.
Infant Preschool Wellness Program (IPWP)
IPWP provides home visitation support, education and referrals to families with
children under the age of six. The families may be experiencing poverty, single
parenting, abuse or neglect, poor health or nutrition, developmental delays, social,
emotional, behavioural problems or family breakdown.
This is what parents had to say;
“To relax and keep my kids behaviours under control. I have learned so much and
so very thankful to all the wonderful ladies I have had throughout the program. I
have become a better person and got my family back and under control. I am so
happy and thankful for this wonderful program. Thank you for helping me through
this tough time.”
“Not everyone's child is the same and
it’s okay to try different things till you
find what works best for your child.
That it’s okay to have adult time, that
when I am happy and healthy my
child will be happy and healthy.”
Building Incredible Babies (BIB)
Outreach workers work with expectant teen/young mothers and their partners
in their own home or community to provide pregnancy and parenting
information as well as life skills, coaching, healthy eating habits and financial
literacy advice.
Expectant mothers are also supported with educational groups and with
coupons for healthy food such as eggs,
fruits, vegetables, milk and prenatal
What a parent said about our group;
“I like making new mommy friends
and learning new baby/child
information about nutrition and
eating. I also liked learning how to
make new foods.”
Village Gate Parent Link
Village Gate Parent Link Centre supports families with children birth to six years of
age to Play, Learn & Connect. All the programs offered are based on the philosophy
that play is a critical part of children’s learning; play allows children to develop and
enhance their skills in every area of development. Programs offered provide children
with a variety of play opportunities that develop and enhance their physical health &
well-being, social competence, emotional maturity, language & thinking skills,
communication skills & general knowledge.
Our centre has a toy lending library complete with parent resources and children’s
books available for borrowing. We offer many Learning opportunities for families in
the form of Parent Education programs such as Triple P parenting and Ages & Stages
Developmental Screens. As well, our
Parent Coaches are on site to answer
any parenting questions that come up.
Visit any of our programs to play &
connect with other parents in your
community and check out the many
resources we have to offer!
Healthy Families
The Healthy Families Program is designed to
promote positive parent-child relationships,
improve parenting knowledge and skills, foster
healthy child development and help to access
services and supports available in their
The Healthy Families Program provided support
to 170 parents/caregivers and 137 children
between the ages of 0-5 in 2013. Home Visitors
completed 2,019 home visits and made 1,925 referrals to community services and
supports throughout 2013.
“I enjoy seeing her every month, she gives very useful information and ideas for
“Home visitor is very knowledgeable and helps in a loving non-judgemental way.”
“It was nice to have support.”
“It was a great program to be involved in, as it made me feel comfortable with my
situation. Thank you so much.”
Family Orientated Program - Early Learning (FOP-EL)
FOP-EL is a program that began in September 2013. FOP-EL is a partnership
between Family Services of Central Alberta and Red Deer Public Schools. Outreach
workers have weekly/biweekly home visitation with parents and preschool children
(enrolled in pre-kindergarten with the public schools).
FOP-EL assists in supporting children and parents to ensure the best start in
FOP-EL also has parent education classes, with common issues or concerns that
parents encounter.
Active Parenting Canada (APC)
Active Parenting Canada (APC) became Family Services of Central Alberta’s
social enterprise in November 2013. Active Parenting has provided award
winning, video-based parenting classes for helping professionals since 1983.
Evidence-based programs cover topics including; parenting programs, step
parenting, divorce, school success, and character education.
APC continues to distribute materials to agencies, schools and programs across
We will be providing Facilitation training opportunities to organizations/agencies
across the country that wish to
provide the many Active Parenting
courses to families and caregivers in
their community.
Family Support
Family Support is a department that reflects the many community collaborative
opportunities that Family Services has been an integral part of as active members,
or community banker.
In 2013 FSCA supported such events as Kindergarten Here I Come, Early Years Fair &
the EC Map data as active members of the Red Deer Early Years Coalition.
The newest collaboration that we are involved in is the Oil & Gas Industry
community initiative. This provides FSCA an opportunity to be part of a group of
leaders looking at addressing the
many issues that families face when a
family member is employed in the Oil
& Gas field.
In addition to our usual Brief Solution Focused therapy with clients, Employee
Assistant Program work and Alberta Justice and educational programs, the
counselling department began a new contract in 2013. The Children’s Mental
Health Consultation is a partnership with Alberta Human Services. The intent of
this contract is to educate staff and provide
consultation and support to Parent Link Centres
and Home Visitation programs across Central
Alberta. This program is preventative in nature
and the objective of the services being provided is
to strengthen the capacity of staff, programs and
systems and to support the mental health needs
of young children and their families.
Our goal is to work with programs to raise
awareness of mental health concerns and
develop strategies to mitigate these concerns.
The focus long term is to raise resilient children.
Home Support
With the mission of assisting individuals and families to maintain dignity, enhance
autonomy and strengthen relationships, our Home Support Program continues providing
supportive services that allow vulnerable adults, the majority of which are seniors, to
remain in their own homes and communities maintaining good physical and mental health;
providing social engagement opportunities and encouraging personal independence. Our
services in Home Support are crucial to the survival of vulnerable populations, that is why
our program also extends to younger, middle age adults living with a chronic illness or
experiencing mental health challenges.
During the present year, 160 clients received services in Red Deer and Central Alberta;
seniors being the bulk of our client load at 70 to 80%. Our Home Support workers are very
dedicated individuals that provide our
clients with practical help, eliminating risks at
home while enhancing the clients’ emotional
well being by the social connection. In a recent
letter from one of our clients talking about her
Home Support worker, she states: “...not only
does she do a great job cleaning and bringing
her enthusiasm to my home.....she truly cares
about me!”
Adult Day Support Program
The Adult Day Support Program is an activity group for people with memory loss,
dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. The program is offered 3 days per week, providing
respite for the caregiver. This program is offered to those who are not in an
institution or a long term care facility.
Admission to ADSP is based on a supportive living assessment by Home Care. ADSP
is partially funded by Alberta Health Services,
and runs at our newly opened Park Plaza site.
This program is staffed with certified HCA
professionals and offers a valuable service to
those in the caregiver capacity for their aging
loved ones.
Realizing the growing statistics here in Central
Alberta, with both Alzheimer’s and Dementia,
we continue to advocate for 5 days a week for
this program.
Juke Box Mania (JBM)
JBM is our agency’s annual fundraising event, which occurs in March. JBM is best
described as a kind of “Name that Tune” game that challenges players to name
musical artists and song titles from every musical genre - in a fun, relaxed and
party-like atmosphere. JBM partners with local radio stations, numerous
community volunteers, and many local businesses to host this event.
JBM offers both silent and live auctions, drink specials, contests, and draws in
support of an amazing local Charity.
Grow Boys
This initiative/annual conference is an opportunity for fifth grade pre-teen boys in
Red Deer to explore the deeper meanings behind respect, understanding,
relationships and responsibility. Partnering with the Knights in Training leadership
program at the high school level, young men have a full day event that is facilitated
and run by their older peers who are positive role models in our community.
They work on many issues boys are facing today including:
the imperative to be happy, physical wellness, healthy
relationships, gender issues, self-esteem, and academic
The 2013 event saw 758 grade 5 boys from both
Public and Catholic divisions. Three local high
schools provided the 75 Knights in Training staff.
We assist this initiative by being the banker and
we also have 2 staff active on 2 separate
committees to plan and deliver this amazing
opportunity for local youth.
Communities ChooseWell
Communities ChooseWell is an energizing healthy eating and active living
initiative supported by Alberta Health and managed by the Alberta Recreation
and Parks Association.
The goal of Communities ChooseWell is to foster healthy Albertan citizens and
communities through education, community capacity building and partnerships
that support healthy eating, active living and social wellbeing.
For 2013, Family Services of Central Alberta
received awards in two categories:
#1 – Health Education and
#2 – Overall High Achiever.
This initiative brings funding dollars to our agency
in the form of seed grants.
We look forward to leading Red Deer in this
initiative for years to come.
Financial Literacy
Family Services offered a variety of financial literacy workshops in 2013. Workshops
ranged from one day to 10 sessions based on community and client needs. Workshops
were also offered to professionals working with clients in the area of money
management. Clients identified financial goals such as: following their budgets better,
saving for an emergency fund, becoming debt free, spending within their means, using
cash instead of credit, passing what I have learned onto my children and saving for a
Client Comment:
“Thank you! We had a wonderful
time and have received a lot of great
info on managing our money. We are
looking forward to being debt free
within the next year-year and a half.
This is a course that should be
available to everyone and also be in
the high school as a full semester
course. Keep up with this very
important program.”
The Father Involvement Program
The Supporting Father Involvement Program pilot project concluded in June 2013 after
3 years of funding. This pilot project encouraged active, hands on, positive relationships
between a father and his children and was designed to increase positive involvement of
fathers with their children. A total of ten groups were offered through the course of the
project each group being 12-16 weeks in length. The Fathers had the choice of a father’s
group or couples group where the mother of the children was also committed to the
program. Throughout the three years many families
expressed to us that the program was very useful and had
impacted their lives in a major way. There were several
“aha” moments that couples found significant and positively
changed their methods of interaction.
Client Comments:
“There is always good topics and discussion in the group
but more importantly it is always followed by a good talk
at home between me and my husband.”
“It has been reassuring to the fathers how important they
are and that they ARE doing a good job as dads.”
The Road Home
The Road Home pilot project was introduced in the fall of 2009. The project served
parents with at least one child 6 years of age or under. Qualifying families were those
that were struggling with housing related issues such as: immediate or imminent risk of
eviction, living in unsafe housing conditions, and/or spending too high of a proportion
of income on housing. Over 400 clients received support through one on one home
visitation and together set goals to reduce or eliminate the risks associated with
homelessness. 100% of families reported economics as a huge risk to homelessness at
the initial stages of their involvement with the project. At the end of the project nearly
70% reported seeing economics as a protective factor
which directly affected their ability to be in stable housing.
Client Comment:
“The Road Home has made a difference in our lives by
providing us with the support we needed to transition
between living in a shelter for women who have
undergone domestic violence and living on our own
and parenting as a single mother.”
Gifts for Grandparents
Six years ago, FSCA identified that there are many seniors who are isolated and/or do not have
family in Central Alberta to celebrate the Christmas season with. Although a small gesture,
Gifts for Grandparents was created to help seniors in our community enjoy a Merry Christmas.
Making Christmas brighter for over 500 “grandparents” was the theme of Gifts for Grandparents.
A total of 563 gift bags were delivered to isolated seniors just in time for Christmas.
Over 50 volunteers sorted gifts, packed and delivered bags to seniors.
The kick off for Gifts for Grandparents begins after Remembrance Day and runs through to the
middle of December each year. Donations were received from a variety of sources including
individuals, school groups and businesses and included: slippers, socks, toiletry items for men
and women, prepackaged cookies, crackers, jams, gifts cards for coffee shops and grocery
stores, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, books, and word puzzles.
Both the Public and Catholic Schools along with dayhomes and daycares throughout the city
contributed by decorating gift bags, making Christmas cards and Christmas decorations to add
to the bags. Hunting Hills Grad Committee contributed a cheque for $500 towards the
purchase of gift items.
Gifts for Grandparents is a success thanks to our community who contributes in the many
ways needed to make Christmas brighter for Grandparents!
Feed a Family
Feed a family was initiated by Newcap radio in 2009 and FSCA was approached to partner with
the radio station to feed as many families in the month of December as funds would allow.
At the end of November the radio stations began to advertise Feed a Family and businesses
who were purchasing radio ads, could sponsor as many families a day that they wished.
Individuals who wanted to donate contacted FSCA directly over the phone or in person.
Donors included individuals, Schools, Churches and businesses throughout Central Alberta. In
2013 Feed A Family was once again a huge success with the help of a team of FSCA staff and
volunteers and Co-op Staff during the month of December.
Individuals and families who were the recipient of a food
hamper sent thank you cards, family photos and child
drawn pictures as a way to express their thanks to the radio
station, businesses and individuals who donated cash
towards the purchase of a food hamper. To date, over 600
individuals and families have received a food hamper at
Christmas thanks to the support of Central Albertans.
Central Alberta Children’s Festival
The Central Alberta Children’s Festival has been inspiring children since 2006.
More than 50,000 participants have been engaged and entertained by local and
international performers. As a true community event, we see over 40 activity areas
provided by community groups from within our community and surrounding area.
Over 2600 school children from all over fill the park each year participating in activities
that keep their imaginations running and enhance their learning. The festival continually
strives to provide new and unique opportunities for the children of Central Alberta to
learn, play and be active.
Family Services of Central Alberta is
proud to be the main catalyst
behind the Children’s Festival and
through its partnerships with other
organizations, looks forward to
continue to remind everyone that
part of them will “Never Grow Up”
Volunteering at Family Services of Central Alberta
Volunteers include our Board of Directors under the leadership of Executive Director, Walter
Lidster. We appreciate their time and visions in the future of Family Services of Central Alberta.
Other volunteers have dedicated themselves to programs, events and generally helping out
and have contributed over 3500 hours. Of those hours, the top 20 volunteers had over 2050
hours. We are now seeing more volunteers sharing their time and skills at more than one
Our volunteer pool also consists of practicum students in Social Work, Counselling and Child
Development. Our agency is very appreciative of their energy and growing skills. These really
add to our ability to meet our mission. We are accountable to assist individuals and families to
maintain dignity, enhance autonomy and strengthen relationships.
Family Services of Central Alberta offers a variety of programs which may offer opportunities
for volunteer involvement. We value your time, consider your interests, and if needed, provide
training for the volunteer position that interests you. The Board of Directors of Family Services
of Central Alberta has adopted the Canadian Code of Volunteer Involvement, as part of their
commitment to supporting our community and volunteers.
Volunteers will require an interview, Criminal Record Check and Child Intervention Check and
asked to provide three references.
Family Services Legacy Fund
People choose to make charitable gifts for a variety of reasons, primarily of
which is a desire to support the work they believe in. Planned giving donors
have provided essential philanthropic support that has enabled us to ensure a
better tomorrow for individuals, families and communities of Central Alberta.
We are grateful to members of the Family Services Legacy for carrying out a vital
tradition of support. The Legacy Club recognizes and honors those who have
included Family Services of Central Alberta in their estate plans with a future gift
through a bequest, life insurance or trust arrangement; or have made an
outright gift to the Legacy Fund. Please do not hesitate to contact us about
joining the Family Services Legacy or to learn more about charitable gift
planning. We are grateful for the generosity of our supporters and friends so
that we may continue the important work of Family Services of Central Alberta
in all its settings. Contact Walter Lidster at [email protected] or 403-343-6400.
The staff and the Board of Directors continue to work on priorities that will ensure
that Family Services of Central Alberta is able to continue to meet the needs of
Central Alberta.
Responsible Governance
Monitoring quality
Managing risk
Fiscally responsible
Evaluation and succession planning of ED
Accountable to funders
Staff retention
Diversified funding sources
Sufficient space and comfort (buildings)
Program feasibility
Purposeful direction for agency
Quality Programming
Relevant to clients and our mission
Evidence based and outcome focused
Compliments other community services
Open to all who need services
Skilled and dedicated staff
Leaders in the community
Use of best practices, including risk management
Continuous learning
Growth and change as needed
Thanks &Appreciation
Program funding has been provided by Alberta Health Services
The Road Home Project is funded by the Government of Canada’s Homelessness
Partnering Strategy through the Community Action Program for Children.
Financial contribution from Community Action Program for Children, Public Health
Agency of Canada, in agreement with the province of Alberta and Family Services of
Central Alberta.
The Father Involvement Program is funded by the Norlien Foundation’s Alberta Family
Wellness Initiative with support from the Government of Alberta.
Family Services wished to acknowledge the City of Red Deer, Muttart Foundation,
Morguard, Bill Ramji and the generosity of various sponsors and donors who have
supported us throughout the year.