Children need stability to grow and develop, and The Family Centre strongly supports keeping families together. If a child comes in to care, they should remain closely connected with their parents. This helps family members maintain their bond with one another and reduces trauma for the child(ren).
The Family Centre’s unique reunification services offer families a safe home for children and youth that require a place to live while their parents develop positive parenting skills. Parents participate in their children’s daily activities with 24/7 support from staff members. They actively learn and practice new methods of parenting during both stressful and natural family moments.
This approach allows children in temporary care to be reunited quickly with their family while spending time with their parent(s) during the process. We empower parents to identify and address the urgent issues that brought their child(ren) into care. We are deeply focused on providing a safe and caring environment for families. Our goal is to promote long-term family stability, within the family unit as well as the broader community.
Who can attend?
- Family reunification is only for those families residing in north central or east neighbourhood centres in Edmonton that have been identified through Alberta Children’s Services
- All referrals come through Edmonton and Area Child and Family Services Authority (Region 6), North Central or East Neighbourhood Centres
How does the program work?
When a family is placed in the reunification program, they work with staff members to develop goals to address the safety concerns that originally brought their child(ren) into care.
Families are provided with a short-term family reunification home, which is a natural, family-type environment. Parents take part in all meaningful routines involving their child(ren), including bedtime, meal preparation, household chores, and activities. Staff members work alongside the parents during these times to model effective and appropriate parenting techniques. We teach practical, positive parenting and safety skills so that families can reunite successfully and move back to their own homes quickly.
The roles and responsibilities of the child, family, and staff members are clearly defined (and regularly revisited) to create a model of partnership. There is a staff member on at all times, available to support families 24/7.
We understand you have financial commitments, and we do not expect you to quit your job to participate in this program. We will work with you to support the needs of your child(ren) while you are at work.
When and where is it offered?
- Families live in our residential family reunification homes located throughout Edmonton
- You don’t have to move into the family reunification home, but we expect you to spend as much time there with your child as you would in your own home. During waking hours (when you are not at work), you should be in the home with your child(ren)
- You can stay as long as long as you are committed to reuniting your family; however, we’ve designed the program to be short-term, typically six to nine months
How can I find out more?
Please contact Jennifer Hayes, family reunification manager at:
How much does it cost?
- You will contribute to household expenses, as you would in your own home
- The amount is negotiated between you and the family reunification team, based on what you can reasonably afford