Who Are We
Family Connections is a parent-child coalition made up of early childhood service providers, public agencies, and community stakeholders. The coalition has broad representation from the community. Service providers, public agencies and individuals who make up Family Connections represent constituents in Selkirk, St. Andrews, and St. Clements.
Members of Family Connections are engaged in providing a broad range of services including pre- and post-natal care, adult retraining, family literacy, public school, crisis intervention, nutrition education, and community development. The unique advantage that the coalition provides is a vision of A Web of Best Practices, a distributed approach to a southeast Interlake early childhood development program.
Originally, Family Connections was known as the Southeast Interlake Early Childhood Development Coalition.
Progress to Date
Family Connections began meeting formally on September 17, 2001. In the fall of 2001, a proposal entitled “The Web of Best Practices” was submitted, and on January 24, 2002 we received approval for partial funding. In February 2002, the Coalition submitted the second Web of Best Practices, and again partial funding was granted. Immediately following each approval, projects got underway.
Current programs that receive funding from Family Connections are:
· Babytime at the Library
· Birth Certificate Program
· Circle of Security/Triple P
· Facilitating Participation
· Family Connections Coordinator
· Family Connections website
· Family Programs at Ruth Hooker School
· Get Set Learn After School
· Happy Tots
· Healthy Parenting
· Kindergarten Readiness Program (the new PREP School)
· Materials That Matter
· Parenting Children on the Autism Spectrum
· Parenting/Nutrition in the Family
· Red Run - Imagination Library
· Rhyme at Night
· Stroller Fitness for Baby and Me
· STEPS (Sharing, Teaching, Entertaining, Playing, Singing)
· Storytime at the Library
These components were supported as a result of the group’s collaborative decision-making approaches. All members of the coalition are committed to the goals of the Web of Best Practices, and have continued to meet regularly in order to ensure that the best decisions and actions are taken.
The mission of the coalition is to assess community needs in early childhood development, learn from and expand on exemplary practices currently in place, and to do so in a process that builds capacity and sustainability. Through their discussions, the coalition has formulated a vision of a parent-child centre that can be characterized as a web of exemplary practices. This distributed approach is intended to be facilitative of current best practices, to have multiple access points and locations as a major structural component, and to endorse a collaborative mechanism for action- and decision-making. In addition, membership in the coalition has recognized the need for leadership development, and as such has promoted participation in provincial and/or regional committees and workshops.
The overarching goals of The Web are fourfold:
1. To improve the skill and commitment to parenting among parent and primary care givers of children aged 0 to 5 years.
2. To enhance the nutritional knowledge and practices of parents and primary caregivers of children, those not yet born to 5 years of age.
3. To increase opportunities for and accessibility of adult literacy and family literacy, particularly for those families with children under 6 years of age.
4. To use methods by which individuals, institutions, and parents develop a voice, a sense of efficacy, and a commitment to the continuous improvement of the community in which children spend the critical first five years.
The following organizations are partners in the Family Connections Parent-Child Coalition.