No More Barriers: Yorkton's Family Programming and CIF

Community wellness programming has a new dynamic—with overwhelming participation that includes free childcare—through the Community, Family and Parent Skill Development Project (the Project) in Yorkton and because of a partnership group and the Community Initiatives Fund (CIF).

The Project, delivered through the Society for the Involvement of Good Neighbours (SIGN) in Yorkton, offers a host of life skills training including prenatal guidance, early literacy, teen wellness and family support systems for Yorkton and area residents.

The project was conceived through the Intensive Integrated Services Program and funded by the Saskatchewan Ministry of Social Services in 2011. SIGN and its many working partners then began its development. These working partners included two school divisions, in-home support programming officials, daycares, Regional Kids First, Sunrise Health Region, the Ministry of Social Services and the Ministry of Education, and others.

SIGN is affiliated with many partners. These partners include Family Support, Youth Life Skills, Sexual Assault, Regional Kids First, Intensive Integrated Services and Community Support programs in the Yorkton and Kamsack areas. Project delivery through the Intensive Integrated Services Program offers delivery that involves four key components:

  • Teen Wellness Program, offering youth life skills programming to girls 12 to 18 years of age. The focus is on building self-esteem, broadening horizons, and further access for support and wellness services.
  • Family Support and Youth Life Skills Program, encouraging parenting skills and promoting positive family behaviours.
  • Prenatal Caring Circle, a prenatal family literacy program to promote family literacy and nurture bonding and wellbeing before and after birth. Expectant mothers are encouraged to create a network of family, friends, and professionals for support throughout pregnancy and after birth.
  • GroupTriple P Program, offering support and education for parenting and guidance on family functioning, efficacy and self-sufficiency.

“With care not to duplicate existing community services, our Project is an opportunity for parents to meet and chat while they learned parenting skills and be provided with free childcare, making it easier for them to attend.” says Shelley Zoerb, manager of the Intensive Integrated Services Program with SIGN.  “This (family wellness) programming offered here is very much wanted—and needed—in our community.”

The CIF, through its Community Grant Program, provided a $13,000 grant for various aspects of Project delivery including project supplies, healthy snacks and even childcare services that help alleviate a barrier for attendance. 

“The enormous value of broad partnerships like this, involving programming, services and community group efforts, delivered in tandem for the benefit of individuals and families, cannot be overstated.” says Tracey Mann, executive director of the Community Initiatives Fund. “We (CIF) are pleased to have been a part of SIGN’s community wellness program delivery.”


Participants and facilitators of the Family Support Program

give rave reviews as they end their six months of Tuesday

evening meetings in Yorkton.  Photo credit:  SIGN.

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