member spotlight Jasper Place

Building Strong Foundations for Early Childhood Parent & Caregiver Support

Families Canada is happy to launch the Member Spotlight series. Each month, we introduce and invite a Families Canada member to share their experiences, best practices, challenges and more in their work with families. We encourage our members to connect with each other and thrive together as we support and strengthen families across Canada.

Our Member Spotlight for January 2024 is Jasper Place Family Resource Centre in Edmonton, Alberta. Thank you, Adine Shuchuk, for sharing your organization with our members. 

About Adine

Hi Adine! Please tell us about yourself, your role and what motivated you to join Jasper Place.

Adine Shuchuk – Executive Director of Jasper Place Family Resource Centre 

I have been with the Centre for 31 years, since 1992. I began as an Early Childhood Educator in our Early Learning and Child Care Program and have had opportunity to experience every position in preparation for my current role. I chose JPFRC because of its reputation for quality services in the community and have stayed on for the many years because of the relationship based culture. Although we have grown over the years, from a team of 10 to a team of 55, it really feels like a family. We are dedicated to creating alignment in all of our practices. The intentional way we build relationships with children, parents and caregivers is the same way we strive to build relationships with team members and with community partners.

About Jasper Place 

Please tell us about Jasper Place and the needs or challenges in the community that Jasper is responding to. 

Jasper Place Family Resource Centre meets the needs of parents and caregivers from a wide variety of socio-economic backgrounds and lived experiences. We work to bring families together creating a community of vitality and reducing isolation. We are a ‘one stop’ space where parents and caregivers can come for current information about parenting and child development, services and connection to community resources. JPFRC holds a high image of children as mighty learners and citizens and advocate for young children to have a voice and place in our community. 

We offer:
High quality Early Learning and Child Care programs
– K
indergarten and Preschool Programming for children with special needs
Family Support Services
– Early Childhood Development and Parent Education Programs
– Information and supported referral services

Relationship with Families Canada

Can you tell us about your organization’s relationship with Families Canada? 

 Our relationship with FC is important to us as we want connection to the National scope of Family Resource Programs across Canada. FC has given us access to both quality information and resources that we can share with families as well as training for our team. 

Collaboration and Partnerships

How does your organization collaborate with other organizations or agencies to enhance your services and ability to support families? 

Jasper Place builds partnerships with other human serving organizations the same way we do with families: by taking the time to get to know one another and building authentic relationships. Many times, this is by collaborating to do ‘grass roots’ work like co-facilitating a parenting or early learning group, sharing spaces or training opportunities.  

One example of this is our 25+ year collaboration with The Centre for Family Literacy. Our partnerships share program facilitators, spaces for programs and information resources enabling both organizations to serve a wider number of families in a greater number of locations.

My experiences with Jasper Place Family Resource Centre were always great. I look forward to every session. It has been great opportunity to meet with other parents and get advice if I am struggling with something.

Challenges and Solutions

Every organization faces challenges. Can you discuss some challenges your organization has encountered and the strategies implemented to overcome them? How has the organization adapted and evolved to meet the changing needs of the community? 

As our community becomes more diverse in all ways, we are continuously working to ensure our programs and services are accessible and welcoming to all. We have a focus on intentional, ongoing learning, training, and review and reflection of current practices. This work takes openness to our implicit biases and a vulnerability to bringing these forward and examining them together for change. 

One way we have evolved is in co-creating inclusion and diversity statements that become the foundation for all services. 

My son keeps participating in the events, and he loves it so much! As immigrants, he learned vocabulary and language, play and communication skills.

Jasper Place Child and Family Resource Society. Outdoor image of teacher with young children.
Image courtesy Jasper Place Family Resource Centre

Measuring Success

How does your organization measure its success and impact on families and the community? 

 Our biggest measures of success come directly from stories that parents, caregivers and community partners share with us about the impact JPFRC has made for them. 

One question we ask that provides particularly meaningful data for us is, “How have your experiences with Jasper Place Family Resource Centre made a difference for you and your family?” 

Attending programs with Jasper Place Family Resource Centre offered me a connection to a supportive community. This was hugely helpful in my struggles with postpartum depression and anxiety.

Success Stories

Are there any particular cases or situations that stand out to you as examples of the organization’s success? 

One theme of success that stands out is that families come to us early in their parenting journey and stay connected with us, not only because they are in long-term need of supports but because they want to give back and give other families the same strength-based experiences they have had.  

We have a member of our team that began with us as a teen parent, participating in our family support services. Over the years, her children attended our Early Learning and Child Care program as she finished high school. She volunteered with us in one of our basic needs programs and has now been a vital full-time member of our team for the past 15 years! Her ability to bring her own lived experiences to building connection with other young parents is very powerful. 

I have been bringing my children to playgroup for the last 4 years. This environment has allowed me to make friends and feel comfortable in a supportive environment. It has also allowed my children to practice a variety of skills in a safe environment.

Jasper Place Child and Family Resource Society teacher with young boys
Image courtesy Jasper Place Family Resource Centre

Community Impact

How has your organization contributed to the overall well-being of the community it serves? 

Our mission statement is to partner with parents in promoting children’s healthy growth and development. In our 50+ years of serving families in west Edmonton, we are known as a touchstone in the community, a place for parents, caregivers and children to connect. We listen closely to community needs and have grown and changed and made partnerships over these years to meet these needs. 

One example of a long-time successful community program we call ‘Baby and You’. This program reaches out and connects with women and their families early in the prenatal period. The program is a combination of: providing information and resources to support a healthy pregnancy, groups for women and their families to connect with one another, and connection to other resources in the community. These families stay connected with one another and with JPFRC over years supporting one another and giving their children and their families the best possible start. 

The group has been a pivotal piece of my parenting journey.

Future Goals 

What are your organization’s future goals and how does your organization envision continuing to make a positive difference in the lives of families in the coming years? 

A future goal we have is to become a Centre of demonstration of excellence in Early Learning and Family Support. A Centre that supports professionals in the community to come together to grow and learn. This would have a greater impact in the lives of families as it would elevate the quality of services for families across the community.  

“I have community that supports me through my parenting. I feel much more confident as Mom that can handle challenges and provide quality care for my children.” 

“The Kids & Dads program has had a very positive impact on our family.  It has become something we look forward to every week.  It is a great opportunity to meet new families and to share, learn, & develop positive parenting techniques.” 

I am a mom of two little kids, and my days were not easy. I felt down, sad, and worried. These programs made me feel I was not alone. They gave me the help and support I needed.

Image courtesy Jasper Place Family Resource Centre

Connect with Jasper Place Family Resource Centre

Jasper Place Child and Family Resource Society
West Edmonton Family Resource Network Hub

Website: Jasper Place Family Resource Centre

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JasperPlaceFRC 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jasperplacefrc/

Connect with the Families Canada Community

We at Families Canada enjoy and are inspired by the good work that our members do. We are grateful to Adine for helping us kick-off this initiative.  

We would love to learn more about the work Families Canada members do with families all across Canada. Our whole community benefits from our shared experiences. We  invite you to share your story by getting in touch with our Membership Team at info@familiescanada.ca today.

Images courtesy of Jasper Place Family Resource Centre.