Families Canada represents hundreds of family support centres across Canada. Our members operate independently and refer to themselves by a variety of names. Some are small and have only one location. Others are very large and have dozens of ‘satellite’ sites across an entire region/municipality.
What all of our members have in common is a focus on providing social services to families with young children, with the ultimate goal of improving family and child wellness.
The vast majority of services that our members offer are free.
What are Family Support Centres?
Family support centres are community-based organizations working with children, families and caregivers to enhance strengths, to build capacities and to promote healthy development. Family support centres deliver a range of services guided by principles that focus on building supportive relationships, facilitating growth, respecting diversity and furthering community development.
Known by various titles and responsive to the needs of their resident communities, they include: family resource programs, family resource centres, military family resource centres, community centres, community health centres, aboriginal friendship centres, early years centres, parent-child centres, family service societies, family places, school boards, toy libraries, and more. Their services may be provided in partnership with other groups, in many different venues, and their funding may come from unique sources, but they share the same vision.
Family support centres aim to be welcoming and inclusive. The values of mutuality, democratic participation and responsiveness to local issues are cornerstones. They are in settings such as community centres, schools, church basements, storefronts or neighbourhood houses, where parents and others in the parenting role can spend time with their young children and with each other. By enhancing the capacity and confidence of parents and caregivers, as well as providing resources for children to thrive, family support practitioners endeavour to strengthen families and communities as a whole.
Family Support Centre Services
Family support centres deliver a range of services guided by principles, which focus on building supportive relationships, facilitating growth, respecting diversity, and furthering community development. Regardless of their diverse names, family support centres all work from the belief that parents have the greatest influence on their children’s development, that all families deserve support, and that all families are resourceful.
Although family resource programs offer programs that respond to the special needs of their individual communities, here are some programming components that are frequently made available: • child development • community development • community outreach • counselling and mediation • drop-in programs • early learning and care • educational upgrading • employment assistance • family literacy • food and nutrition support • parent and caregiver support • parent education • peer contact and mutual support • play and recreation • promotion of health and safety • referrals to other resources • toy, book and media lending.
Join Us on this Journey!
Your contributions support the creation of outstanding and meaningful resources to hundreds of thousands of families across Canada. Help us create a brighter future, today!