Parental Support

Parental Support

Parental support services help children live with or maintain positive relationships with their parents, family members, and community supports. Parental support workers help parents build and incorporate positive parenting skills into their day-to-day parenting and household routines, and emphasize the importance of play, school, and community involvement.

The Family Centre strongly supports keeping children with their immediate family, when it is safe to do so. If that is not possible, we make every effort to ensure they are placed with a relative and/or have regular and ongoing access to the people they love. We believe keeping children in their community and schools is critical for reducing the trauma and change they experience. We also help families connect to community resources so they can be supported in times of need, now and in the future.

Who can access this service?

  • Parental support is only for those families residing in east or north central Edmonton that have been identified through Alberta Children’s Services as requiring intervention
  • All referrals come through Edmonton and Area Child and Family Services Authority (Region 6), East or North Central Neighbourhood Centre
  • Families living outside of east or north central Edmonton are not eligible. Please check with your local Neighbourhood Centre about other options for your area

How does the program work?

Families are matched with a family intervention generalist, who supports them the entire time they are involved with parental support services. Family intervention generalists work with families, The Family Centre resources, and community members and organizations to meet the family’s long-term objectives, as agreed upon with Child and Family Services.

In general, parental support services help children return to their parents, or for those who have been removed, maintain positive relationships with each other. This is facilitated through three main activities: supported visits, in-home support, and transportation.

Supported visits:

Supported visits are court ordered and intended for parents whose children are in care. The goal of these visits is to work towards family reunification. Visit lengths and locations are negotiated between the caseworker, the family intervention generalist, and the family. Visits may involve:

  • Teaching positive parenting skills and role modeling
  • Coaching parents
  • Connecting family to community resources

In-home support:

  • Helps parents build positive parenting skills through teaching moments, modelling, and information
  • Assesses a family’s need for other programs (e.g., developmental progress and relevant community or therapy programs)
  • Supervises and cares for children
  • Provides temporary respite for parents who require a break (e.g., to take time to themselves, attend a workshop, recover from stress or illness)
  • Helps maintain and teach household routines, including cleaning, meal preparation/planning, grocery shopping, and errands
  • Offers emotional support to families
  • Reinforces techniques taught by other professionals working with the family
  • Connects the family to other services at The Family Centre and in the community


  • Provides driving services so children can remain at their current school (e.g., if they now live away from their home community and can no longer walk or take a yellow bus)
  • Transports children and other family members to and from appointments, community activities, and visits with parents and family members

How can I access this service?

To discuss a referral or find out more about this program, please contact:

Rachelle Smeding
Phone: 780-917-8202

How much does it cost?

  • There is no cost to participating families.
  • Parental support is funded by The City of Edmonton, Family and Community Support Services (FCSS), United Way of the Capital Region, and Edmonton Region Child and Family Services.