Sometimes, as a parent, you need a helping hand, which is why Family Resource Networks (FRNs) were introduced by the Provincial government in April 2020.
In Airdrie and area, Community Links, located above the Salvation Army store on Main Street, provides the physical centre and is the anchor organization for the local FRN.
“Family Resource Networks provide supports and services to help Alberta families reach their fullest potential,” says Brenda Hume, executive director at Community Links.
A variety of services are available across the province for children and youth ages 0 to 18, and their families. Services provided through FRNs are available to all Albertans, free of charge, regardless of where they live.
“Children benefit from developing a solid foundation in their early years’” says Hume. “FRNs can help them build that foundation with programs focused on early development and learning, social and emotional support and community connections.”
Services offered include:
- Child and youth development and well-being supports, which promote a child’s social, physical, emotional, cognitive and spiritual well being in order to assist the child to reach their developmental potential. This is achieved through programs including parent and child programs, youth leadership and mentoring programs, and childhood developmental screenings and assessments.
- Caregiver capacity building supports, which promotes the development and strengthening of caregiver’s parenting skills and knowledge. This includes Home Visitation programs, Triple P parenting supports, Parent Coaching and educational workshops.
- Social connections and supports, which promote positive connection between infants, children, youth, parents, families, caregivers and communities. This includes community events, and connections to other resources.
FRN’s are based on a ‘hub and spoke’ service delivery model, with the ‘spokes’ within the Airdrie and Area FRN including Community Links, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Calgary and Area, and Closer to Home.
Community Links provides a variety of programs and services to support Early Childhood Development, including programs like Baby Babble and Wonderful Walkers. They also have programs to support Caregiver Capacity Building, including Parent Coach, Parenting Children with ADHD, Parenting through Divorce and Separation, and Pregnancy and Beyond.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Calgary and Area provide support through their Mentoring Program, which helps children and youth improve their social-emotional skills and resiliency.
Closer to Home Community Services Society provides supports in two key areas. Through Home Visitation, families are provided with information and support to improve their parenting skills and provide a safe, nurturing environment for their children. Through the Viewpoints Program, children and youth are provided with programs that promote them reaching their developmental potential, as well as opportunities to build positive, supportive relationships and learn skills like emotional self-regulation, decision making and planning ahead.
Together, the local agencies focus on:
- Strengthening parenting and caregiver knowledge;
- Enhancing social supports;
- Supporting coping and problem solving skills;
- Providing access to community supports and services;
- Improving child and youth development
- Building resiliency, and
- Fostering well-being.
“These services focus on the well-being of families and help build healthy, strong communities,” says Hume. “The agencies who are a part of the FRNs work to make sure infants, children and youth are safe and resilient, while supporting parents and caregivers.”
Your local Family Resource Network is here for you, please contact:
Community Links – 403-945-3900 or www.mycommunitylinks.ca
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Calgary and Area – 403-777-3535 or https://bbbscalgary.ca/familyresourcenetwork/
Closer to Home (Viewpoints) – 403-617-3152 or email@example.com
Closer to Home (Home Visitation) – 403-630-5112 or https://closertohome.com/
To find out more about Family Resource Networks, or to locate support in another community in Alberta, please visit: https://www.alberta.ca/family-resource-networks.aspx