Nestled inside the walls of the Sylvan Lake Community Centre lies a team of determined individuals known as the Sylvan Lake Family and Community SupportServices (FCSS).
In part one of this ongoing series the many programs offered through FCSS were examined – this week offers an introduction and information regardingprograms offered specifically for families and parents.
Parenting is easily one of the most difficult jobs in the world – navigating that world alone can be even more difficult, thankfully FCSS is available to assist.Whether it be the organization’s Home Visitation Program for parents of children ages 0-5 0r one of their many parenting programs offered through the ParentSupport and Resource Centre – FCSS is constantly adapting their programs to ensure families in the community have the best possible access to tools to adopthealthy lifestyles and improve their quality of life.
Kim Olsen with the FCSS Parent Support & Resource Centre said the Centre aims to offer support and parent education to parents and caregivers with childrenaged 0-17. This is provided through one on one support, referrals and/or parent education sessions.
Programs offered include: Kids Have Stress Too; Active Parenting; Co-operative Parenting and Divorce; 1-2-3 Magic; Triple P; Triple P – Stepping Stones(parenting children with disabilities); Self-Empowerment; You’re Not Alone (support group for single parents); Navigating Parenthood (support group for newparents); Newcomers to Sylvan Lake (opportunity to meet other parents in the community). In addition they also have a Resource and Toy Lending Librarieswhich, like the majority of their programs, is free to access.
“Parenting can be challenging at times and unfortunately our children do not come with handbooks,” said Olsen adding their one on one parenting supportand parent education sessions are all well utilized and can be extremely helpful. “The Centre is a great place for parents/caregivers to go in order to gain moreparenting knowledge as well as access resources in a supportive and confidential environment.
“Our Resource and Toy Lending Libraries have many books as well as toys and games for parents to borrow free of charge. This provides parents theopportunity to try out different toys as well as being able to access parenting resources and materials from our extensive library.”
In addition, Leanne Lyon, with the FCSS the free home visitation program explained thanks to a partnership between the organization and the Town of SylvanLake the program is free and available to families with a new baby. Home visits begin after the birth of the baby, or during the third trimester of pregnancy.
“Healthy Families believes that the most significant individual in a child’s life are their parents/caregivers,” explained Lyon. “Home Visitors meet with familiesregularly for an hour weekly, bi-weekly or monthly to support parents/caregivers by providing information on child development, positive parenting, parent-child relations as well as connecting parents to many resources and supports within the community.”
She added families can self-refer or referrals can come from community agencies.
***Stay tuned for a closer look of Seniors Support Services offered through FCSS in next week’s Sylvan Lake News***