Mayor Kennedy Stewart at the City of Vancouver has once again proclaimed Oct 4th-8th as Family Place Week. This honour means a lot to the five teams at the Family Place Partnership, who have directly witnessed the impact of the pandemic on families and have worked relentlessly to keep the facilities open.

Our goal is to support and strengthen families and build community, and we are more committed than ever to doing so. This week’s theme is how “Family Place Partnership Builds Stronger, Connected Communities.”  

Without a community, raising children can be hard. We aim to alleviate social isolation, build bridges across cultures, generations and social groups, and create a sense of belonging in our neighbourhood. The Family Place Partnership is committed to using its unique position in society to help the community connect.

It has been a challenging 18 months and we were extremely concerned about the closure of parent, infant and child facilities as the pandemic progressed. Knowing how vulnerable many individuals are when they become new parents or care for small children, it was vital that we stay open.

The Family Place Partnership adapted to the new environment to ensure young families continued to feel supported. Here are some of the popular new initiatives implemented across Vancouver’s Family Places:

  • Creative use of outside spaces for our ‘Outdoor Play’ program
  • Over 500 meal kits were distributed, and hot lunches were served to children in the community
  • Came together in public spaces for socially distanced outings
  • Hundreds of take-home art packages were distributed, along with accompanying fun  and educational videos
  • Provided occasional childcare to allow parents in need to run errands or take a break with a cup of coffee.
  • Hundreds of hours of one-on-one counselling sessions were accumulated, and a telephone outreach to local parents was arranged.
  • Organized Zoom Cooking Classes, Story Time & Circle Time

In addition to the general programming, we continue to offer our popular parenting courses, Nobody’s Perfect or Circle of Security, as well as one-on-one chats with our resident family resource workers. Registration is open!

As always, the Family Place program does not pass judgement and recognizes that parents are the experts of their children but may sometimes need help to build self-confidence. All our programs are based on this philosophy. 

The pandemic has forced us to get creative and adapt our facilities and services to safely help as many families as possible. The initial feedback from members has been encouraging, and we are eager to continuously improve the experience for families in our neighbourhood.

We’re proud to see families grow and flourish while attending Family Place in the early years.