Help Options win $50,000! Vote before June 23rd!

Help Options win $50,000 to expand our Family Resource Programs in two of our fastest growing communities! We’ve submitted an Envision Community Grant application and would love your support to help us get to the top 10! You can show your support by casting your vote for us on Volinspire.

We want to strengthen the Clayton & Cloverdale communities by investing in our families!

The services provided by Family Resource Programs (FRPs) are aimed at engaging families in pursuing well-being for themselves and their children. In contrast to the traditional service delivery approach, FRPs embrace empowerment practices where service providers see themselves as catalysts or facilitators rather than as experts, and clients are seen as participants rather than as recipients. As such, in a family resource environment, there is a non-hierarchical and participatory approach to family support. FRPs have deep roots in the community and are an integral resource for building networks of support for participants and their families.

 Why is this Important?

Currently, many families have voiced their concerns with having to come to the program well before opening time, as they are worried they will not get in to the program. Families have expressed their frustration when the program has to close its doors because attendance has reached the maximum occupancy limit.

One mom in particular expressed her anxiety about getting her two children ready in the morning, and feels overwhelmed getting to the program before opening to secure a spot for the drop-in. We hate to turn families away and the need for programming only seems to increase each month. We routinely have to close the doors 5 or 10 minutes after opening as families have taken to lining up well before 10 am to secure a spot.

 What will this grant do?

Our project will significantly increase family access to their local FRP as well as provide additional community-developed workshops. Since a major role of the RFP is to refer to other relevant community resources, a bottle-neck with FRP’s is also a bottle-next to other services.

 Specifically, we plan to:

  •  Increase the Options FRP drop-in schedule from 2 days a week to three
  • Provide a variety of additional parenting programs through Alexandra Neighbourhood House
  • Provide on-site and locally coordinated pre/postnatal, child development and immunization services through the Cloverdale Health Unit
  • On-site Library outreach programming; 
  • Coordination with the local Strong Start, kindergartens, Community School Partnership programming and businesses
  • Visits and workshops by Options Child Care services
  • Provide community-driven events like summer picnics, block parties, etc.

Parents, caregivers, and grandparents overwhelmingly support the service delivery model of FRPs. Among the characteristics that participants said they value were the FRP’s accepting, non-judgmental and friendly atmosphere. They equally valued the friendships and networks they developed in these programs. Participants linked their experience of this positive environment and the relationships developed to a number of beneficial outcomes for themselves and their children. These included school readiness and the development of pro-social skills in children, enhanced parenting skills, decreased levels of stress in parents and caregivers, and more positive family interactions at home. These are exciting findings for researchers, the FRP community, funders, and policy-makers.

What’s the Impact?

Embedding supports and services in the heart of growing neighbourhoods will help strengthen families’ ties to the neighbourhood and to others in the community. This project will also build capacity in the community of local service providers through partnerships. Through concerted engagement with community members, local businesses and residents, the neighbourhood will be strengthened to care for its youngest members.

For Children

The impact of FRP’s is concrete and lasting. For example, a Chicago Longitudinal Study traces the scholastic and social development of participating children in one of the 25 Child-Parent Center programs and the contributions of family and school practices to children’s behaviour. This study found that compared to peers who attended other early childhood programs without the family support and involvement component, an adult who participated as a young child in a Chicago Child-Parent Center was 40% less likely to have been placed in a special education program, 40% less likely to have been held back a grade, 29% more likely to have graduated from high school, 33% less likely to have been arrested, and 51% less likely to have been a victim of child maltreatment (Reynolds, 2000). And this is just the impact on the children.

For Parents

Parenting outcomes have been widely assessed in the family support evaluation literature. Findings include the following: increased knowledge of child development, changes in child-rearing attitudes and behaviour (e.g. use of more positive control and disciplining techniques), improved problem-solving abilities, sense of control, self-esteem and coping (Brady and Coffman, 1997b; Comer and Fraser, 1998); more consistent parenting, increased satisfaction with the parenting role (Pancer, Nelson, Dearing, Dearing, Hayward, and Peters, 2003); and increased parenting knowledge and skills (Brady and Coffman, 1997a). Brady and Coffman (1997a) point out that, generally, programs seek to improve child development through parenting programs and call for the need to look at the relationship between parent and child outcomes. We do know from the Canadian National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth that positive parenting practices are linked with better outcomes for children (Willms, 2002).

Envision Financial, a division of First West Credit Union is aiming to enhance our communities for children and families by giving away a $50,000 grant towards a community-focused project, program or initiative. This grant is one of three that First West is distributing to support organizations in the regions it serves—$150,000 distributed in support of Canada 150.


About the Neighbourhoods

Clayton Heights is a relatively new neighbourhood (over 20,000 people) that has recently sprung into being as the result of high density rental, townhouse, carriage house and small lot detached housing development. The area has been successfully marketed as a walk-able, family oriented, affordable community.  Young families from across the Lower Mainland have moved to the Surrey neighbourhood despite the lack of amenity infrastructure. 

 This rapid and exponential growth has undermined the reliability of typical data systems such as EDI vulnerability rates, school district student population projections, etc. However Surrey planning department using housing unit build-out counts, estimates that there are 2,800 children 0-6 yrs living in the immediate East Clayton Heights neighbourhood and as many as 5,800 Surrey children 0-6 living within a 5 kilometre radius of Clayton Hall, which is envisioned to be a central place for young children and families to connect with each other and to services. An additional 1,600 young children are expected in future new units in West Clayton.

Fraser Health birthrates found that 967 babies were born in 2016 just in the Cloverdale area (5,766 babies in Surrey overall).

Kindergarten entry numbers in the 6 Clayton Heights schools have been over 435 per year for the past 3 years and are expected to increase to more than 470 - 500 over the next 5 years. Two more elementary schools are planned.  Breastfeeding and immunization clinics offered by the Cloverdale Health Unit are over-subscribed and the family resource program offered at Cloverdale Recreation Centre is now turning away children and families at most sessions.  Reports from Langley and South Surrey indicate that Clayton Heights families who have access to car transportation (public transit is not well developed), are travelling to other neighbourhoods for service and placing significant strain on those Early Years services.

Development of a new recreation/library community hub is underway, but still several years away. 

In the meantime, early support of children and families critical to creating strong, resilient community. Moreover, supports need to be within their community in order to foster connection to their new home and neighbourhood.


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The more votes we get, the better our chances of winning $50,000 to improve services to young families in our community!

On behalf of the children, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!!!!