What is a family resource program?
The centre is a HUGE positive. It provided:
- social experiences for myself and my children
- exposure to developmentally appropriate stimulation/experiences
- opportunities to learn from others’ experiences/knowledge about current issues in my parenting/child’s development
- an opportunity to get out of the house!! (making life happier for us all)
- taught us many songs/rhymes etc., that we use daily in our home
- a fathering program that gave my husband confidence to take our children out on his own and be able to provide safe, stimulating and bonding experiences
- Program participant
The term “family resource program” describes an innovative and cost-effective model of service delivery for children and their families. Family resource programming is currently offered in thousands of communities across Canada and engages over 400,000 families every year.
Participation at family resource programs is voluntary
and open to all families from diverse backgrounds and life circumstances. Family resource programs enhance
child and family well-being by reducing the isolation of parents with infants, toddlers and preschoolers, by providing information and resources that encourage healthy child development and positive parenting, and by being convenient access points to other community services.
Family resource programs deliver a range of services guided by principles that focus on building supportive relationships, facilitating growth, respecting diversity and furthering community development.
Family resource programs are known by many names (for example Parent Link Centre, Ontario Early Years Centre (OEYC), Community Action Programs for Children (CAPC), organisme communautaire à la famille). Regardless of their diverse names and funding auspices, family resource programs all work from the belief that parents have the greatest influence on their children’s development, that all families deserve support, and that all families are resourceful.
For more detail about the development of the family resource movement in Canada, see Chapter 3 of
Case Studies of Canadian Family Resource Programs
Although family resource programs offer programs that respond to the special needs of their individual communities, here are some programming components that are frequently made available:
- Community development
- Community outreach
- Counseling and mediation
- Drop-in programs for children and adults
- Early learning and care programs
- Educational upgrading
- Emergency or respite child care
- Employment assistance
- Family literacy
- Food and nutrition support
- Parent and caregiver support
- Parenting education
- Peer contact and mutual support
- Play and recreation
- Pre-natal and post-natal support, including breastfeeding
- Promotion of health and safety
- Referral to other resources and services
- Support for home-based child care providers
- Toy, book and DVD lending