Targeted supports for Alberta youth and families
Family Resource Networks (FRNs) will deliver prevention and early intervention services and supports through a provincial network of community-based service providers.
These supports are targeted to families facing poverty or trauma who may need support and guidance to build healthy families and contribute to healthy communities, ultimately reducing the number of children who will come into provincial care. As Alberta faces both a pandemic and an economic contraction due to the oil price drop, support to families in need will be critical.
“Now, more than ever, we need to make sure that children and their families have targeted supports that promote child safety, well-being and development. Our new Family Resource Networks will provide programs, services and supports to build stronger, more resilient families and communities across the province.” Rebecca Schulz, Minister of Children’s Services
Networks will coordinate the delivery of prevention and early intervention services in all geographic areas and in various cultural communities across the province – either by delivering them directly or collaborating with other qualified service agencies or community partners. This approach allows for a flexible, responsive service model tailored to the unique needs of each community and reflective of the diverse cultural identities in Alberta. It also ensures no area of the province is neglected and that supports are both linked and consistent wherever a family lives or moves to.
“Early childhood development, parent education, and social connections have been cornerstone services for the agency for over 20 years and we are very excited to be able to provide services under the new Family Resource Network model. We look forward to the future!” Shari-Lynne Gidyk, executive director, Family Futures Resource Network (Edmonton)
“Aspen has been delivering best-in-class community-based services to children, youth and families for many years. We are extremely excited to have been selected as a partner to deliver these supports. We recognize that Alberta’s future rests with the children and youth of today.” Shirley Purves, chief executive officer, Aspen Family & Community Network Society (Calgary, Chestermere/Strathmore)
Supports and services will specifically focus on strengthening parenting and caregiving knowledge, social support, coping and problem-solving skills, access to other community supports and resources, improving child and youth development, building resiliency and fostering well-being. Examples include in-home visitation, parenting advice and coaching, parent support groups and early childhood development programs focusing on early literacy and play.
Children’s Services was able to continue the expression of interest process remotely to ensure that when the crisis of the pandemic subsides, successful service providers will be fully prepared to welcome families. Until that time, Family Resource Networks will be responsive and adaptable, identifying support services that can be delivered by phone or over the internet. A link to these resources will be provided to assist Albertans to locate services best suited to their needs.
In March 2019, Children’s Services released Well-being and Resiliency: A Framework for Supporting Safe and Healthy Children and Families. The framework provides a road map to enhancing, strengthening and promoting a consistent, provincewide approach to prevention and early intervention services and supports for Alberta’s children, youth and families.
In November 2019, the Ministry of Children’s Services invited prevention and early intervention service providers across the province to submit proposals for the delivery of services through a formal expression of interest.
More than 400 proposals were submitted by proponents across Alberta.
Proposals were assessed based on organizational capacity, partnerships and collaboration, service delivery plans, proposed budget and alignment to the Well-Being and Resiliency Framework and the miyo resource – which are based on leading brain science and cultural connection practice.
Realignment of prevention and early intervention contracts and grants into a transformed family resource program model will align with the Government of Alberta’s Well-Being and Resiliency Framework and other resources and, by reducing redundancies and targeting supports, will save $15 million in 2020-21.
Provincial Press Release April 7, 2020 @ 2:32 PM