The Fort Saskatchewan Families First Society (FSFFS) may see some cuts next year.
The local charitable organization was informed on Nov.4 their contracts with Alberta's Ministry of Children's Services will be discontinued at the end of March.
"That impacts the contract programs that we offer through our Parent Link Center contract, as well as our Early Childhood Development and Home Visitation contracts," said Heather Boonstra, executive director at the FSFFS. "The Ministry of Children's Services has adopted a new framework called the Well-Being and Resiliency Framework and we knew that about a year ago. We just didn't expect that to cause our contracts to end."
All three of these contracts are directly linked to many of the drop-in programs offered by the organization as well as parent education opportunities like Triple P, Handle with Care and Kids Have Stress Too.
Despite this bad news, there is still a chance the FSFFS will be able to continue to offer the vital programming.
“The ministry has invited interested parties to apply to be service providers under a new model and we most definitely will be submitting a proposal. We believe that Families First is really well positioned to continue the good work we are already doing, within this new framework,” explained Boonstra.
While working on their proposal and waiting on a reply, the FSFFS will continue to provide its existing programming and have confirmed they stay open even if they aren't approved. Even though a lot of their programs are effected by the change, they still offer other opportunities for their clients.
According to Boonstra, the community has been very supportive. She recommends writing a letter to the local MLA or sending the FSFFS testimonials, which will go a long way in their upcoming proposal.
Families First will continue to offer the programs up to and including Mar.31.