“Children are the future of the world, let’s start with the children.”
So says the website of Family Centre, a non-profit organization which provides a comprehensive range of services to children, youth and families in Southwestern Alberta.
The centre’s mission is to empower children and families through programs, resources and connections, continually striving to achieve the vision of “Healthy Children! Healthy Families! Healthy Communities!”
Family Centre in Lethbridge is celebrating 25 years of working to support parents through its varied programs and resources. It opened its doors for the first time Sept. 1, 1994, starting out with five full-time and three part-time positions in additon to 25 volunteers. Family Centre resulted from the merger of two organizations, Parent’s Place and the Family and Community Development Program in order to “enhance the capacity to provide services to children and familys,” in the words of then-executive director Barb Cunningham.
The joining of the two organizations created a place “where families can play together, meet other parents to make friends and share the joys and challenges of parenthood,” says Family Centre’s program guide.
A tremendous amount of growth has taken place during these past 25 years. Family Centre now operates three locations in Lethbridge, serving more than 5,000 people each year.
“This is a milestone worth celebrating,” says present executive director Peter Imhof. “We are excited to celebrate this steady growth with the launch of our latest resiliency program, ‘Better Balance.’ This new program will highlight the importance of personal well-being, so that we all get to enjoy a healthy community with health families that support healthy children.”
Family Centre offers an assortment of early childhood education and youth programs, in addition to a wide range of family support and parent education programs, including cooking classes.
The lineup of parent education programs includes Parents Working Together, a group program designed to strengthen couple and family relationships, which are essential in today’s changing world. Parenting is not always easy, but parents working together can lighten the load. This is a low cost program, which runs Tuesday evenings and includes free childcare. For more information, call Alannah at 403-320-4232, ext. 214.
Family Centre locations include Family Centre Downtown, at Melcor Centre, Suite 225, 200 – 4 Ave. S. (phone 403-320-4232); Family Centre West, operating at Coalbanks Elementary School, #10, 230 Coalbanks Blvd. West (phone 403-359-8092); and Family Centre North, located at Interfaith Food Bank, 1103 3 Ave. N. (phone 403-320-8138).
For more information about Family Centre and its programs and resources, go online to http://www.famcentre.ca.