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Didsbury-based Family Resource Network welcomes new funding

Additional funding to the tune of $6.6 million over two years announced for groups like Mountain View Family Resource Network

DIDSBURY – The provincial government has announced plans to expand the Family Resource Network program with the addition of $6.6 million over two years.

The Family Resource Network program was initially introduced in 2020 “to provide guidance and supports to foster healthy families,” reads part of a press release issued recently by the ministry of Children and Family Services.

Officials with the Mountain View Family Resource Network (MVFRN), based in Didsbury, welcomed the announcement. It offers programs and services in Carstairs, Cremona, Didsbury, Olds as well as Sundre.

The organization said in response to a question about how much additional funding was anticipated locally that “Family Resource Networks have a provincial resource bank.”

Other Family Resource Networks throughout Alberta have the opportunity to “consult with these supports to help serve unique needs of their communities and families.”

These community-based programs might include initiatives such as rural multi-cultural supports, supports for teen and young parents, rapid access counselling services as well as support for deaf and hard of hearing children and families.

“With the increases announced by the province (last) week, MVFRN is pleased to see an increase in the provincial resource bank that will help serve the unique needs in Mountain View County (area),” reads part of the organization’s statement.

Further elaborating, the statement added that the provincial resource bank will be enhanced by:

• Offering support to provide culturally appropriate services to local Indigenous populations;

• Training to help us respond to the needs of sexual and gender diverse youth and families; and,

• Training to support families with more complex needs.

“We provide support in the areas of child and youth development and well-being, parent and caregiver capacity building and family and youth support for those families with unique needs or challenges,” reads part of the MVFRN statement, adding the organization is courtesy of support from accredited partners also able to provide in-home services for families with children up to the age of 18.

The Family Resource Network program effectively replaced the previous Parent Link initiative that had been cancelled by the provincial government.

Whereas the Parent Link programming was geared for younger children, Family Resource Networks are intended to be more all-encompassing and include adolescents aged 18 and under.

“By focusing on programs that improve the well-being of children and youth, caregiver capacity building and social connections, these networks reduce the number of children who come into government care and families that require child intervention services,” states a portion of the ministry’s press release.

Funding for Family Resource Networks in the provincial government’s 2024 budget was increased by $6.6 million over two years, bringing the total amount to nearly $67 million, which the government says will be spent helping “more families access free prevention and early intervention supports that will improve outcomes for families – like workshops for young parents and caregivers, in-home supports, as well as childhood development, mentorship, and life skills programming for children and youth.”

The networks are available to all Albertans at no cost and regardless of where they live.

There are 70 networks, including 35 in rural communities as well as another 18 that are specifically targeted to unique cultural and linguistic communities such as Indigenous, Francophone and multicultural communities.

In 2022-23, networks facilitated service to more than 48,600 children and youth, as well as 32,000 caregivers. Evaluation of the implementation and impact of the networks has shown participants experienced improved well-being, parenting knowledge, relationships and cultural connections, the government says.

Additionally, the increased funding for Family Resource Networks will continue to build on previous investments to strengthen each network’s ability to provide culturally appropriate services for Indigenous children, youth and families, address the needs of LGBTQ2+ and gender-diverse youth, as well as support families who are facing increased adversity and complexity by enhancing intensive services.

Family Resource Networks are described as collaborative, community-based partnerships that deliver programs and services intended to promote child and youth development, strengthen parent and caregiver capacity to meet their family needs, as well as to facilitate the establishment of stronger community connections and supports for families.

Regionally, the Mountain View Family Resource Network operates out of Didsbury Neighbourhood Place at 1606 - 14th Street and offers programs and services in Carstairs, Cremona, Didsbury, Olds as well as Sundre.

Visit, call 877-761-0033 or email [email protected] for more information.

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