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Our History ~~~ Our Mission

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Our History ~~~ Our Mission
A Community Working Together
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Munchkin Mansion
Youth Programs
Collective Cooking and Garden Group
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Family Ties-Carrefour Famille New Carlisle is a community resource whose aim is to support anglophone families in New Carlisle. Already in operation 10 years we offer an array of services to improve the well-being of families and children.  The actions follow three main lines, developement of parenting skills, support of the learning experiences of children, and support for families. Our intervention has allowed the creation of a social atmosphere where families can develop mutual help and fellowship.
 
MISSION
 
The mission of Family Ties New Carlisle is to improve the well-being of anglophone families of New Carlisle.
 
HISTORY
 
In the fall of 1994, the CLSC Chaleurs applied to the Gaspesie-Iles-de-la-Madeleine Public Heath department for financial support under a Concerted Action Program. The intervenors of the CLSC and other organizations realized that they needed support adapted to their conditions. The aim was to prepare the children for school develop parenting skills and support the families. When the grant from Public Heath was received, the CLSC and other community groups set up a Daycare Centre, Munchkin Mansion named by the parents. It became a meeting place for the families.
 
In September 1995, Munchkin Mansion hired a full time animator. She was supported in her work by the mothers of the children who were enrolled. The main purpose was to allow parents to develop their skills by becoming involved. All the parents agreed to give a half-day of their time to help with the animation. In return they benefit from three half days of respite as their children take part four half days a week. By making the parents responsible for a group of children, we also involve them in an active project. Contrary to other programs where the parents are relating only to their own child, Munchkin Mansion generates an attitude of participation and sharing instead of a passive attitude.
 
Noting the positive results of this intervention, the CLSC Chaleurs submitted a new request for financial support within the Concerted Action Program. The Public Health Department gave a second grant, which assured the continuation of activities for 1996-1997. The results of this second year of activities proved to be even more positive than the first. To assure the continuation of the project, the Public Health Department decided to grand, as an exception, a third year of financing still under the Concerted Action Program. At the same time, the project obtained a three year recurring grant from the Quebec Family Secretariat through the Family Fund. The Munchkin Mansion was part of a group of 27 projects accepted in a total of 300 applications. In June 1997 the CLSC Chaleurs won the Andre-Tetreault prize given by the Ferderation of Quebec CLSC. This prize recognizes the excellence of the Munchkin Mansion project, which is a increasingly making an impact on the New Carlisle community.
 
Aiming to have the community take charge of the project, a temporary committee applied for incorporation leading to the formation of Family Ties. The group was given its charter in November 1996 becoming a legally corporate non-profit organization. In September 1997, the founding meeting elected its first board of directors made up mostly of participating parents and other people from the community. In May 1998, the organization acquired the building in which activities had been carried on since 1995. The real estate project will help strengthen some services and allow us to add new family activities. In May 2000 Family Ties won another prize, called Hommage Benevole-Quebec, given by the Government of Quebec to recognize the exceptional participation of volunteers within our community organization. We continue to work with our public and community partners. We have the services of three and one half employees, two and one half paid by the organization, and one by a government project. Finally, our organization is the only English group reconized and subsidized by the Regie Regional Gaspesie-Iles-de-la-Madeleine through the program of aid to community organizations. Also, we are the only English organization receiving a grant from Centraide Gaspesie (United Way Gaspesie)
 
The Problem and the Community Characteristics
 
In order to explain the origin of our organization, we must describe the problem observed in 1994. It's this report, which prompted the community and the intervenors to form a resource for families.
 
In 1994, in Bonaventure MRC (16 municipalities for a total population of 20,000 habitants) the population had a high incidence of poverty, unemployment and psychosocial risks. Some English families of New Carlisle are among the poorest in the whole region.
 
The following gives some of the social-economic characteristics of the New Carlisle population:
  • 61% of the total population of New Carlisle is Anglophone, 938 habitants on a population of 1538 habitants.
  • 55.8% are unilingual English
  • 18.6% of families are single parents (2nd highest in the MRC)
  • 68.5% of the women with children under 6 years of age are unemployed (the highest rate)
  • 46.2% of the population are unemployed
  • 48.1% of the population don't have a high school leaving certificate
  • 24.1% of families are considered to be very poor (2nd highest)
  • 28.2% of the families are tenants (2nd highest)

       The average revenue of families is among the lowest at          $34,154 (11th)

        The average cost of rent is $677.00, the 2nd highest rate.

 

These figures show the economic poverty in New Carlilse, especially among the women. This situation particularly affects the unilingual English majorities who have difficulty entering the job market in a region that is mostly francophone. Besides the poverty, New Carlilse's English community has no structure able to provide support for low-income familie in difficulty. Some children live in a family and social atmosphere with little stimulation. Besides individual poverty, there's a collective poverty, which bankrupts the community.

 

The organization in the Health and Social Services network(CLSC, Youth Centre, and Rehabilitation Centre) agree that the New Carlisle Enlgish community is one of the most deprived in the whole territory. The effects on the development and health of the children are numerous: slow development, language troubles, learning problems, problems adapting, psychological distress, etc. At New Carlisle High School about 61% of pupils need special education as soon as they begin school.

 

This economic uncertainty and the difficult social conditions also increase the risk of child neglect. It's agreed that something has to be done to reduce the risk of negligence. This concern is even greater because New Carlisle anglophones are a closed society and families seldom use the services of the Health and Social Services network.

 

Also, the traditional intervention toward negligent families doesn't always produce the desired results. Only 25% of abusive families significantly improve their behavior as parents. These interventions,sometimes only partial, don't affect the parents` behavior as much as the influence of many sources in the community. The use of a systmatic approach is the key because the physical and socio-economic environment in which a person lives determines his or her behavior. A new structure must replace the deficient one, the determing factors of health being the target.

 

By promoting community involvement with the help of professional resources, the group decided to unite their efforts to prevent child neglect problems.

 

Several success factors are essential to assure the effectiveness of such intervention:

  • taking into consideration the global environment of these youngsters and their families
  • the recognition of the fundemental role of parents and re-enforcing their abilities
  • community participation and the use of its resources
  • use of different intervention strategies

The context just described in that of 1994. Following the report, the community and the public partners began to establish a structure of support for families. After that, the events followed as described in this history.

TARGET GROUP

Family Ties is for New Carlisle anglophone families targeting mainly those in difficulty (economic, social, etc.). We also support young people who wish to develop initiatives to create a network of social and academic support.

 

DESCRIPTION OF ACTIVITIES

During the past ten years several types of activites were developed wiht the cooperation of participating parents, volunteers, social clubs and public and community partners (CLSC, Rehabilitation Centre, CASA, School Board). Family Ties organizes more than 25 activities. Besides the stimulating workshops there are the following programs:

Family Ties Community Tree
 

     
General Assembly of Members
     
     
Administrative Council
     
 
Director
     
Coordinators
 
     
Programs and services
     
 
Munchkin Mansion
Daycare
 
Parents
Programs
 
Youth Programs
Other Services
Children
8-10 children between
18 months and 4 years
old
 
Parents
6-8 parents who have
children in daycare
and who are involved
Collective Cooking
7 participants volunteering
with the everyday
activities of Family Ties.
 
Youth Council
8 Students, Grades 8-11
meet twice a week.
Student Volunteer
8 Students grades 7-8
Trading Post
Clothing, Shoes, Coats etc.
Daycare Service
4 days a week
From 8:45am-11:30am
 
Parent Involvement
Half day/week parents
help the animator by
supervising and stimulating
the children.
Ladies Night
All parents involved
in daycare and cooking
meet 4-6 times per year
to participate in
an activity.
Homework Program
10 children grades 1-3
2 times a week for 1
hour per time.
Buddies
40-45 students from
grades1-5 and 6-11.
Library
Service of the Library
Daily Routine
  1. Circle Time
  2. Music
  3. Arts and Crafts
  4. Free Play
  5. Story Time
  6. Chores and Snacks
  7. Outdoor Play
Fine and Gros Motor Activites
 
 
Parent Workshops
Once a month a workshop
is given on topics of interest.
 
Dance
Every Wednesday at
the local school. There
are three categories
grades 1-3, 4-6, and 7-11.
HIPE(Science Program)
Every Thursday students
in grades 2-6 come to do
hands-on experiments
Born To Read
Service offered to
Anglophone:
Bag full of books for new borns.
Fun in the Gym
Once or twice a month
the children will visit
the local school's
gym to exercise
 
Parent Week
Several times per year parents
invited to share their skills
and abilities with children.
 
Drama
Every Monday students
from grades 6-11. They make
up their own skits, learn and
practice them. When completed they
perform a public presentation.
ATWL
Around The World Literature
Tuesday's after school grades 2-5
 this program will be given
 in 3-week units. Understanding
a different culture completely in each unit.
 
Outings/Special Activities
Monthly parents and
children take part in a field
trip or special activity
 
Fundraising
Parents raise money
in order to have activities
and buy equipment
       

INNOVATION
 
Our organization is an innovator in several ways. First, the formula for the workshops prompts the mothers to be involved in their children's development. They get together to provide services. With workshops supervised by the animator for 40 weeks, the mothers benefit from support in developing parenting skills, a more intense experience than other, similar projects.
 
The diversity of our services is an innovative strength. Our approach takes into account the globality of the families and recommends intervention intergrated to the level of action. This permits intervention for the young people at different levels of their development, as much for academic abilities as for their social structures. (Youth Council). We also meet the essential needs for the well-being of the families. (Collective kitchen and garden, clothing exchange).
 
Our availability and our flexibility are also strengths. Children with intellectual handicaps, slow development or behavior problems take part in our services and benefit from services adapted to their needs. Whether it's by individual intervention, the support of professionals, or building an access ramp, we always look for ways to reduce the differences. Also, we show flexibility in allowing parents and children to use our services. For example, through our stimulating workshops are for children 2 to 5 we accept younger children (18 months) in order to make our services more widely available according to the parents' situation.
 
We are also innovators because we hope to include the mothers' partners in our activities. So they take part in group activities, help fix up the playground, make articles to sell for fund raising and occasionally baby-sit when the mothers are at a meeting.
 
Finally, we believe our intervention is innovative because it has created a network of mutual help in our community and because it has allowed families to improve their parental situation while providing a solid base for future development of the next generation.

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