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Posted on: May 6, 2020

FAMILY RESOURCE NETWORK COMING TO COCHRANE

FCSS new ID.jpg

Cochrane and area has been recognized as a medium-sized community by the province and the Town of Cochrane has officially been designated a Family Resource Network (FRN) under Alberta Children’s Services (ACS).

The new FRN is providing support, resources, information and referrals for families with children birth to 18 in Cochrane and area.

The Town of Cochrane received news in November 2019 that ACS was changing their funding model and would no longer fund the Resource Centre, Parent Link Centre, or Home Visitation Program effective March 31, 2020. A province-wide FRN is the new model for delivering services for children ages zero to 18 under the province’s new well-being and resiliency model, “A Framework for Supporting Safe and Healthy Children and Families.”

Cochrane Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) is receiving funding for an FRN hub, and to provide child development and parent capacity-building programs. Services offered through the Cochrane FRN will include:

  • Essential needs programs for families with children birth to 18
  • Supportive counselling and referrals to other services
  • System navigation and advocacy
  • Early childhood development programs
  • Developmental screening
  • Parent education
  • Rural early childhood development programs

The Town did not receive funding for:

  • Home Visitation services
  • Support for families with children aged seven to 13
  • Support for at-risk youth and their families

Children’s Cottage, an agency located in Calgary, was awarded the Home Visitation contract for the Cochrane area; the Town’s request for funding to provide intensive support for families with children aged seven to 13 and youth was denied.

The Boys & Girls Club of Cochrane & Area is receiving funding to continue providing preventative programming for children and youth aged seven to 18.

The current COVID-19 response has delayed the official opening of the Cochrane and Area Family Resource Network. Keeping staff and residents safe is the top priority for the Town and the new FRN; although the doors are not open, staff are working hard to ensure residents have uninterrupted access to support, resources, information and referrals.

Staff can help with access to food, housing support, information on financial benefits, supportive counselling and individual parenting support. In addition, a variety of parent education programs and child development programs are being offered online. Programs and services can be accessed by calling 403-851-2250.


Background

Alberta Children’s Services established the province-wide FRN for delivering services for children ages zero to 18 under their new well-being and resiliency model, “A Framework for Supporting Safe and Healthy Children and Families.” An expression of interest was released November 2019 for organizations to apply for funding under the new model. The Town of Cochrane submitted an expression of interest for an FRN in Cochrane to provide a comprehensive continuum of services for families with children/youth birth to 18 years of age.

The Resource Centre has served Cochrane and area residents for over 20 years with services integral to meeting the social needs of our community. The Parent Link Centre served Cochrane and area families for 14 years, working to ensure that all families with young children have access to the developmental programs, parent education and support they need for their family to thrive.

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