Workshops For Family Resource Program Practitioners and Volunteers
FRP-BC has developed a series of Workshops for Family Resource Program and other ECD practitioners and volunteers. Self-guided kits will also be developed on certain topics to be used as workplace professional development tools.
In October of 2011 a comprehensive survey was developed and forwarded to the FRP sector. A total of 86 surveys were completed by 52 agencies. An advisory committee was assembled to oversee the development of the workshops.
The Path to Learning
In 2009 FRP-BC completed the development of the 8 course post-secondary FRP Certificate and partnered with the Justice Institute of BC on the delivery. Over 150 applications were submitted for the 2009 and 2010 offerings and 52% of applicants did not meet the basic eligibility requirements. In consultation with the Justice Institute it was decided that a specialized pre-course would greatly help potential learners who were and will continue to be left behind. The Path to Learning Pre-course project is unique from other “Adult Boost Camps” as it will be developed through an aboriginal self-reflective lens while bridging other cultures. The training will include a mentoring component to build capacity and self-esteem. The Path to Learning Pre-course is a two day on site offering with 10 hours of follow up mentoring and will incorporate four components that will enable learners to:
- Recognize and adjust to the rigors of post-secondary education
- Build confidence and dispel the fears of school
- Understand why post-secondary learning is vital to their work with families
- Understand the foundations of family support theory and practice
The Path to Learning Pre-course will create awareness and inclusivity for Aboriginal practices and training for both Aboriginal and non-aboriginal practitioners. FRP-BC intends to engage Little Drum Consulting, Monique Grey Smith, who was instrumental in reviewing and rewriting material for the 8 course post-secondary FRP Certificate to develop the Path to Learning Pre-course.
“Many of the staff working in Aboriginal Head Start programs in BC began as a participating parent or a volunteer and then transitioned into employment in the Aboriginal Head Start Program. I am aware of the courses being offered as part of the FRP Certificate and can see the relevance for practitioners working in Head Start Programs. I fully support the idea of a pre-course for the FRP Certificate.
- Joan Gignac, Executive Director, Provincial Office of Aboriginal Head Starts Programs
Over the past 35 years, FRPs have become recognized for their holistic approach in addressing the needs of families with young children. FRPs connect families, reduce vulnerabilities and serve as a gateway to family development services. Families with young children are provided with individualized support through an asset-based approach and appreciative inquiry. These methodologies create richness within organizations building confidence and improved parenting skills. FRP practitioners and others working in parent/child engagement programs often come from a pool of parent volunteers and/or program participants; this is found more frequently in under resourced agencies and isolated BC communities.
Family Resource Programs is a unique field in that there are no standardized credentials or educational requirements for practitioners who often work with very high risk families. A practitioner who may be responsible for interacting and supporting vulnerable families will frequently lack secondary education. These practitioners experience underlying fears towards formal educational environments found inherent across cultures but with a higher percentage in aboriginal populations. While the FRP approach to family and community development creates a sense of belonging, improved health and confidence, this shift of roles is complicated and requires training.
Funding for this project was made possible by the Vancouver Foundation - Grant to our Community Education