COCHRANE— Expanding the supports and services available to Cochrane families, Cochrane Council approved funding to transform the future Family Resource Network facility.
At their meeting on Monday (June 22) Cochrane council approved a plan to use $45,000 from the Parent Link Centre reserve fund to support renovations to the Family Resource Network. The Network is designed to replace the services provided by Parent Link which was discontinued in March.
The Parent Link Centre Reserves currently has $85,691.66 in its reserves. The funds approved by council are expected to fully cover the cost of renovations.
Cochrane Family and Community Support Services were awarded a contract to provide a Family Resource Network Hub in Cochrane by Alberta Children’s Services, said executive director Kim Krawec. The Network will provide a selection of services, programs and support for families and children from birth to 18 years of age.
“Services will no longer be fragmented within two facilities as they were in the past,” Krawec said. “Parents will be able to walk through the FRN (Family Resource Network) door and attended child development programs, access parenting support, basic needs support or even counselling.”
The new model will aid in removing barriers of access and ensure all families receive the support they need, she added.
Funding for the network has been confirmed for the next three years.
The new Family Resource Network will operate out of the facility formerly occupied by the Parent Link Centre, Krawec said. Renovations will be needed to ensure the space is functional and able to provide a range of family support services to the community.
Renovations to the building will create confidential office space staff and meeting space for educational and supportive programs. The current centre has two large playrooms and Krawec said they are hoping to remove an indoor playground to create the needed space.
The Renovations are expected to be completed by August allowing The Family Resource Network to officially launch in September if COVID-19 public health measures have been lifted.
Councillor Susan Flowers congratulated Krawec and her team for the new centre and the leadership they have shown during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I have no doubt great things are going to be happening,” Flowers said. “The timing is great to get the renovations done and get started back in September.”
Echoing Flowers sentiments Coun. Marni Fedeyko commended Cochrane Family and Community Support Services for their commitment to the community and the ability to adjust and adapt to the challenges created by COVID-19 and funding.
Fedyeko added that the organization has risen to the challenge with “dignity” and “grace” to ensure they can continue to offer a great service to the community.
“I only know that you are going to bring the best to our community to support our youth,” Fedeyko said.