2013 Annual Report Family Services of Central Alberta “Where Family Comes First” VISION We are the leaders in providing programs and human services that strengthen the health of families in Central Alberta. MISSION 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 vitamins. 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 community. 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. Testimonials; “I enjoy seeing her every month, she gives very useful information and ideas for parenting.” “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 kindergarten. 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 Canada. 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. Counselling 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 challenges. 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 house. 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” www.centralalbertachildrensfestival.ca 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 event. 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. STRATEGIC PRIORITIES 2012 - 2015 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 Sustainability 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.
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