In November 2019, Alberta Children’s Services Ministry released an ‘expression of interest’ for the new funding model for Family Resource Networks. This model includes parent link-type programming as well as other offerings for families of children and youth up to age 18.
Since its opening in 2017, the Blackfalds Parent Link Centre was operated by the Central Parkland Parent Link Network, facilitated through a Children’s Services Ministry grant held by Lacombe FCSS.
Through a collaborative effort, the Town of Blackfalds and Lacombe FCSS applied for different aspects of the ‘hub and spoke’ Family Resource Network funding to meet the needs of the provincially defined Network area, including the communities of Alix, Bentley, Blackfalds, Clive, College Heights, Gull Lake, Joffre, Lacombe, Mirror, Morning Side and Tees. At the beginning of April both agencies were notified that they were not successful in their applications.
The successful proponent has been announced as McMan Youth, Family and Community Services Association and will be offering Family Resource Network services to the area with a hub established in Lacombe.
The Town of Blackfalds FCSS has been in conversations with McMan to determine the opportunities for Blackfalds to collaborate and ensure the needs of Blackfalds families are met through this new model. With the COVID-19 pandemic affecting the Family Resource Network opening, timelines of future programming remain to be determined. Family & Community Support Services Manager Sue Bornn said, “It is important that we continue to support the needs of our community and we look forward to working with McMan to see how we can do that.”
McMan will be providing services in the spoke categories: Early Childhood Development, Child and Youth Development, Parent Education, Family Support and Home Visitation. The Lacombe and Area Family Resource Network can be followed on their Facebook page or they can be reached by phone at 1.877.994.5465.