As a charity, our Parent Resource Centre (PRC) funding priorities center on meeting ongoing and evolving demands for services, which enable us to help children and families when and where they need help most.
Family Resilience Program
The Parent Resource Centre’s current priority program area is our Family Resilience Program — a support service for vulnerable high-risk families (parents with children aged 0 – 18 years) who are not connected to or able to access community parenting services. This program includes:
- In-home Parenting Support
- Parent Support & Education Groups (e.g., Circle of Security)
- Family Wellness Circle
- Parent Support Line
- Emergency Baby Cupboard (formula, diapers, wipes)
In-Home Parenting Support
PRC’s In-Home Parenting Support services are based on the belief that when you help parents, you help children — to thrive and live their best life possible. Our services are focused, as we meet families where they live, and work with them to strengthen and nurture their relationships and the attachment between parent and child. Our services are tailored to meet every family’s needs and capabilities. Your support of this program enables the PRC to expand our reach and work with families currently on our waiting list – providing timely help to some of our most vulnerable clients.
Parent Support & Education Groups
Through our Parent Support & Education Groups, parents are able to participate in evidence-based workshops to strengthen attachment and relationships in the parent-child dyad. These groups help to support better outcomes for families. For example, through our Circle of Security group, parents have opportunities to learn to support their child’s emotional world and cues; support their child’s ability to successfully manage emotions; enhance the development of their child’s self esteem; and honour their child’s innate wisdom and desire for security. We believe that parents are the experts on their own children, but need a circle of support to feel empowered – so that they may continue to grow and learn with their children in a community that fosters strong relationships, health and wellness. Support in this area will enable us to expand the capacity of our existing programs so that we are able to reach out to more families, many of whom are currently on our waiting list, and reduce barriers by offering childcare whenever possible, as well as access to our emergency Baby Cupboard (see below).
Family Wellness Circle
As part of our Family Resilience Program and in collaboration with the Ontario Native Women’s Association and Ottawa Public Health, the Family Wellness Circle brings guest speakers to PRC each week toshare practical information and resources about parenting, health and wellness, playtime, routine, parenting books of interest, and so much more. The Family Wellness Circle includes traditional Indigenous teachings (e.g., thirteen grandmother teachings) with time-honoured messages, which are offered to reinforce the importance of parenting and self-care in everyday life, with a focus on physical, mental, emotional and spiritual beliefs. Support for this program will allow us to extend our reach and serve more families.
Parent Support Line
Our Parent Support Line is a free, non-medical, confidential phone line that parents and caregivers (and even professionals) can call for encouragement and suggestions related to child development and child behaviour. Through this Line, we also provide support for service navigation and make referrals to appropriate professionals and agencies, as necessary. Support in this area will allow the PRC to expand the hours during which the Parent Support Line is available to parents and caregivers, and increase our capacity to include a web chat option as well.
Emergency Baby Cupboard
This initiative was created to address a need we identified through our Family Resilience Program – immediate emergency support for those most vulnerable, when circumstances do not permit them to access public sources of aid. Our Emergency Baby Cupboard helps to provide the necessities for families in crisis who need more support and nurturing than usual to access community services, or who may be unable to reach out to more traditional services. Support in this area can include a financial donation (so that we are able to replenish our supplies as needed), or in-kind donations (of diapers, wipes, formula and personal care items).
Ongoing Programs and Services
PRC`s broader funding priority areas include a diverse range of programs and services available to Ottawa-area children and families.
Parent Education Program
The Parent Resource Center is pleased to be able to offer a broad range of specialized workshops and presentations as part of our Parent Education Program. We offer formal parent training sessions, as well as informal drop-in sessions where parents have access to resources, referral information, and opportunities to speak one-on-one with a Parent Educator. PRC’s team of Parent Educators are practiced at bringing the latest research to families in accessible, meaningful ways in order to support better outcomes for families and communities. Your support in this area will allow PRC to meet the demand for this (and other) training, while reaching out to audiences and parents we would not be able to serve within our traditional funding model.
Specialized Infant Programs
PRC offers programming for infants that supports early development and bonding. The group provides a welcoming space for parents and their infants to connect and share stories while receiving support in their parenting role from a Child Development Specialist. Our infant massage, sensory development and baby sign language programs are extremely popular. Additional support in this area enables PRC to significantly reduce waiting lists and offer more weekly groups to meet increasing demand.
Children’s Art Classes
Children’s art classes provide unique opportunities for parents and children to create masterpieces together, which encourage teamwork, communication and bonding. Facilitated by a Child Development Specialist and artist in a small group setting, support for these popular programs enables us to purchase art supplies and snacks, so that families can explore their imagination and creativity together. Participants are able to take home and proudly display their works of art as a reminder of time spent together.
Indoor and Outdoor Play Spaces
The Parent Resource Centre is fortunate to have both indoor and outdoor play spaces for our children. Support for our play spaces would ensure an engaging and stimulating environment that meets the fine and gross motor skills needs of children and provides a variety of choices to enrich their experience. Both our indoor and outdoor spaces require ongoing monitoring for safety, and our toys and equipment need to be repaired and/or updated regularly.
Toy Lending and Resource Libraries
Our Toy Lending Library allows children to play with a purpose. The library includes popular and time-tested toys as well as learning aids which are specifically chosen to provide positive benefits for children with a diverse range of developmental needs. Our library also provides the opportunity for families and caregivers to borrow toys instead of purchasing, which is helpful when finances are tight or attention spans are short. The PRC staff excels in providing advice to parents and caregivers to help find the right toy to develop and/or refine specific skills. Your gift of play will allow the PRC to purchase new toys and reach out to the families who can best use these resources.
Our Resource Library has a diverse selection of materials to borrow. We have books for children of all ages and stages of development, and we have resources for parents and caregivers on a range of topics — early childhood, parenting, self-care, yoga, family health, baby sign language and many more. Recently, we have been working to expand our mental health and self-care resources sections. Support for our Resource Library enables PRC to expand capacity in specific areas of our library, depending on evolving community needs.