Many communities across British Columbia are experiencing economic challenges that are impacting families and children at-risk. Two Northern BC agencies are working to combat these challenges with great success. The Kitimat Child Development Centre and the Kitimat Hospice Palliative Care Association are providing timely tools and resources to strengthen the effectiveness of community services in the area.
A comprehensive multi-service agency, Kitimat Child Development Centre Association (The Centre) provides health, education and social service support to children, youth and families. For the second year in a row, a grant from the Envision Financial Community Endowment Fund has helped support family programming and mental health training in Kitimat. The Centre has received over $8,000 in funding since 2013.
The Centre is actively working to strengthen the community it serves with family booster sessions; reinforcing the parenting and child development skills acquired in the Strengthening Families program. In addition, The Centre has increased service provider training to better meet the demands for social and health services in the North with hands-on training to better recognize risk factors and create stronger prevention strategies.
“The training focus is on recognizing mental health issues,” explains Margaret Warcup, Executive Director of Kitimat Child Development Centre Association. “Service providers are taught proactive skills to identify stress and address mental health challenges," adds Warcup. “These prevention strategies help to strengthen us and our colleagues, allow us to refer clients to more appropriate resources and foster partnership in our community.”
The Kitimat Hospice Palliative Care Association provides grief support and bereavement, education and workshops, a newsletter and a public lending library. Thanks in part of a $2,200 grant from the Envision Financial Community Endowment Fund, the Kitimat Hospice has been able to renew its lending library with current information from Canadian sources. “Palliative care has changed tremendously over the last 20 years,” explains Joneen Flaherty, Treasurer of the Kitimat Hospice Palliative Care Association. “This area continues to change as more is known and understood about the wishes of dying Canadians.”
“Both of these Kitimat charities do such wonderful community work,” says Wendy Kraft, manager of Envision Financial’s Snow Valley branch. “We are so pleased with the partnership that brings Envision Financial and the First West Foundation face-to-face through funding, with Kitimat Child Development Centre and Kitimat Hospice Palliative Care Association. These agencies are definitely creating good things in our community.”