The participants in the Ment to Matter program, a mentorship program run through FCSS’s Youth Services department, gather to pose for a picture at their year-end party in May. Programs through Youth Services saw nearly 300 new participants in 2018. File Photo

Participants in Sylvan Lake FCSS programs increased in 2018

Kelly Smith, manager of FCSS, says participants increased from 2017 in nearly all programs

The programs run through Sylvan Lake’s FCSS department saw in increase in participation between 2017 and 2018.

According to Kelly Smith, manager of FCSS in Sylvan Lake, the programs at FCSS saw a nearly 30 per cent increase in 2018.

Smith said there were a total of 4,025 participants in the programs offered through FCSS last year.

That represents roughly 27 per cent of the town’s population using the programs through FCSS.

In particular, programs run through Youth Services, such as Ment to Matter, saw particularly good numbers in 2018.

“Unique participants mostly outnumbered carry over participants, with one of the exceptions being Youth Services. Its statistics represent that there was a higher number of carry over participants from 2017 thereby indicating that Youth Services and its programs were heavily attended by return children and youth in 2018. It also indicates that 297 new children/youth took part in 2018,” said Smith.

Those who took part in programs through Youth Services counted for 1,120 participants. Those who participated in these programs attended for a total of 9,128 times.

According to the numbers presented to Council at a recent meeting, programming through Lakeview Parent Link had a total of 1,572 participants and 4,564 visits.

“What this tells us is that people in the community are using our programs and finding them useful,” said Smith.

Overall core programs through FCSS saw an attendance increase of 28.7 per cent from 2017 to 2018.

During the year, staff at FCSS monitored the number of “indirect participants” who are affected by those who use the programs offered.

According to Smith, the indirect participants are those like family members, neighbours and friends who are affected by those who utilize FCSS.

“By including indirect participants, we are able to better represent the far-reaching positive effects of FCSS and Lakeview Parent Link programs,” said Smith.

An estimated 20 per cent of Sylvan Lake’s population, approximately 2,918 people, are noted to be indirect participants.

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