Monday, 13 August 2018 10:49

Barons-Eureka-Warner Community Support Services (FCSS) and Parent Link Centers

Written by  By Heather Cameron
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The Barons-Eureka-Warner Community Support Services (FCSS) and Parent Link Centers are in the process of planning their September programs, but nothing is yet finalized.


During the summer months, the Open Play, Stay and Play, and Infant Massage programs are running in Coaldale while the Kids Summer Program, for kids 6-10, operates in Raymond.
Parent Link Centres are located in Barnwell, Barons, Coaldale, Coalhurst, Milk River, Nobleford, Picture Butte, Raymond, Stirling, Taber, Vauxhall, and Warner.
Barons-Eureka-Warner FCSS have 16 municipalities that they cover and there are 14 Parent Link Centers within those municipalities. The service area includes:  Barnwell, Barons, Coaldale, Coalhurst, Lethbridge County, County of Warner, Coutts, Milk River, M.D. of Taber, Nobleford, Picture Butte, Stirling, Taber, Vauxhall and Warner.
“FCSS took on the Parent Link Contract about 10 years ago when the Parent Link Network came about,” DeBow said. “With FCSS and Parent Link having comparable outcome goals, it was a natural fit. Parent Link is a government initiative; today there are 56 Parent Link Centres across Alberta.”
Parent Link Centres, DeBow says, are funded by the Alberta Government and Alberta Children’s Services. Family and Community Support Services funding is provided by the Alberta Government while Community and Social Services and Municipal contributions.
“With support from Provincial and Municipal governments, all services are available at minimal or no cost to residents,” DeBow said. “This past fiscal year we offered services to approx. 2700 unique individuals.”
The centres are located in Barnwell, Barons, Coaldale, Coalhurst, Milk River, Nobleford, Picture Butte, Raymond, Stirling, Taber, Vauxhall and Warner.
 DeBow says that Parent Link Centres all offer Parent Education; Family Support; Early Childhood Development programs; Information and Referrals, and Developmental Screenings. Programs such as Stay & Play, Infant Massage, Triple P -Positive Parenting Program, Baby & Me, Daddy & Me, Gross Motor Development are also offered by the centres throughout the year.
On July 7, 2018, FCSS held a grand opening of a Natural Playground in Coaldale that consists of equipment built by mostly natural materials. The process was funded both locally and through grant applications.
“It’s a natural playground for the public open by the Coaldale Parent Link Center,” DeBow said.
DeBow said that the Natural Playground Grand Opening and Ribbon cutting went really well and there were lots of people in attendance.
“From the amount of children playing on it the day off and the frequent visitors throughout the week, I think it has been very well received by the community,” DeBow said.
Overall, Debow says that FCSS programs are popular in the communities they serve. DeBow says that Parent Link Centres and Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) work to enhance parenting skills and abilities through support and education. The organization also works to ensure that programs are accessible to local families.
“The programs are designed to bring quality parenting information, early childhood development information and support to families in their communities in a variety of ways.” DeBow said.
FCSS provides support to families through offering individual support, building support networks, distributing parenting information and resources, organizing and facilitating support groups, and offering short and longer-term educational programs
“We identify community needs to match what support services to offer and aim at developing strong, healthy families,” DeBow said.

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