How well connected families feel within the community is a critical component of a child’s wellbeing. Community Services’ programs empower parents to reinforce and reconnect each strand of their children’s safety net so they can succeed at home, in school and in the community. Accessible services are available to families where they live, work and go to school.
Never Too Late
The Program that Graduated
Started as an Innovative Community Initiative three years ago, Never Too Late has graduated into a successful Program providing academic, social and emotional support at no cost to adult students who want to complete their GED (General Education Development).
Engaging students in both the classroom and community based volunteer roles increases their self-confidence, builds their support network and increases the likelihood of gaining stable and secure employment.
In 2010, 21 students successfully completed their GED
School Support Program
A partnership that leads to success
Students in elementary, junior and senior high school may experience conflict with others due to bullying or clashes with their peer group that often get in the way of them having a successful school year.
Having trained School Support Workers who are easily accessible with a consistent presence allows for ongoing preventative and early intervention measures.
The Multicultural School Support Program assists immigrant and refugee families acclimatize to school systems. Gaining the trust of the students and their families is crucial to building cultural capacity and adaptability.
In 2010-2011, 6445 School Support hours of service were given to students and families in seven schools.
Families and Schools Together (F&ST)
There’s something about F&ST!
In 2010, the United Nations recognized F&ST as an evidence based family skills program and rated it #12 in the world out of 150 programs.
Families and Schools Together (F&ST) is a proven prevention program that is designed to reduce factors for children associated with school failure, juvenile delinquency and substance abuse in later adolescence. The program brings whole families together to participate in specific research-based activities aimed at enhancing family functioning and decreasing child problem behaviours that impact school performance.
FASTWORKS is a two year program that engages families in low cost, parent led community events.
Baby F&ST is an eight-week program offered twice a year in partnership with the Calgary Board of Education at the Louise Dean Centre. We work with new, young moms, their infants or toddlers and the child’s grandparents to promote healthy family relationships and prevent issues from arising. Baby F&ST is a three-generational group program where community professionals and volunteers help the parents build relationships with their families and strengthen their relationships with their babies.
166 families participated in F&ST programs in the 2010-11 reporting year.
Athletes Mentoring Program
Going for a Win-Win
Year after year, coaches want to be involved in the Athletes Mentoring Program because of the impact of mentoring on their players. While working to develop the school engagement of the children and youth who are at risk for school failure, we are simultaneously developing the community engagement of the athletes. There is an increase in the ability of the mentors to communicate positive values and attitudes, as well as an increase in their awareness of social issues and leadership skills.
This innovative approach of developing athletes as well as children and youth ensures a win-win for participants, parents, athletes and coaches.
Participant Profile: High risk students 9-14 years old from low income, immigrant and lone parent households.
54 youth and 75 volunteers participated in Athletes Mentoring Program in 2010.
Teen Parent Friend
A 30 year Partnership
We know that isolation of this very high risk group can result in a host of issues: mental health (depression, suicide), potential risk to the child and long term cost to our community. Mentorship absolutely ameliorates these factors, providing support to teen moms as they navigate this very challenging time in their lives.
Mentoring and coaching is provided by volunteers who provide a listening ear, encouragement and gentle guidance in support of the young parent achieving her goals.
Innovative Community Initiatives
Pathways into Communities
The Bowness Neighbourhood Leadership Initiative supports residents and community groups in taking a leadership role in improving the quality of life in their community. Residents have come forward with opportunities to meet neighbours and lessen isolation by offering craft nights, a community Facebook page, a community closet clothing exchange and a kite regatta.
An Aboriginal Outreach worker at CACY (Calgary Achievement Centre for Youth) connects with Aboriginal youth at risk of not completing their educational and employment goals.
In 2010, 802 Bowness residents talked about the volunteer skills they bring to their community.