After 15 years, Golden Prairie Parent Link Centre is contemplating its future.
Last month the Kneehill Regional Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) received notification the Alberta Government’s Ministry of Children’s Services has adopted changes based on the New “Well Being and Resiliency Framework.” This means the Children’s Services funding for this program will be terminated on March 31, 2020.
While there is the possibility to apply for grant funding under the new framework, the program may look very different.
The Golden Prairie Link Centre has the goal of empowering parents and caregivers to give children the best possible start in life through education, early childhood development and care, information and referrals, development screening, and partnerships with family support providers.
Kneehill Regional FCSS Director Shelley Jackson-Berry explains there are about 48 Parent Link contracts in the province. Kneehill FCSS holds the contract for the area, including Kneehill County and Starland County as well as the towns and villages within, Drumheller and Hanna.
“The impact for that is bigger than just Three Hills or Drumheller, it’s the whole area,” said Jackson-Berry. “When Golden Link Parent Centres began they assigned a geographical area they need to cover. So we worked with our community people and organizations and we have the contract to administer the program in the entire area.”
She said overall the funding was pulled for about 300 prevention and early intervention programs under this funding framework. The Drumheller and Area Early Childhood Development Coalition noted on its Facebook page this is the same funding program it relies on.
“It’s affecting home visitation, family resources worker programs,” said Jackson-Berry. She adds there may be an opportunity under a new funding program, however, the parameters are different.
“They have created a new opportunity and have posted an Expression of Interest. They have kind of put us into geographical areas of interest again,” explains Jackson-Berry. “We could apply for $350,000 up to $500,000, but we would need to cover ages 0-18, and have home visitation. It is a wider age range. Parent Link was really focused on 0-6 so we would need to extend our age range.”