What is Family Engagement?
When you are caring for a child with special needs, it can leave a parent or caregiver feeling overwhelmed and alone. Through the Family Engagement Program, parents have the opportunity to connect with other parents who share similar experiences. As soon as you child is connected to services at Pathways, you will have access to a number of helpful programs, resources and support to help you through your journey.
Who are we:
A Family Engagement Coordinator is not only an employee of Pathways but also a parent of child with special needs who has knowledge and experience working with the education system, community programs and funding opportunities. They provide parent to parent support when navigating services and programs available for the child.
Who we serve:
Our Family Engagement Coordinator is here to help support parents and caregivers, who have a child receiving therapy services at Pathways.
What we provide:
Parent to Parent Support Group
Pathways offers daytime and evening parent support groups, which are held once a month either at the centre or in the community. Our parent groups offer “me time,” connecting caregivers who are going through many of the same experiences. Once you are connected to our Family Engagement Coordinator, they will contact you by email or through the closed Facebook page to inform you of the dates and location of the groups.
Online Closed Facebook Support Group
Our closed Facebook group, “Pathways Family Forum” is a safe and supportive place where families can connect online to ask questions, share information, and receive valuable community resources. This is a private group that consists of only Pathways families and is not open to the public.
Educational Presentation and Workshops
Throughout the year presentations and workshops are offered based on the needs and interests voiced from families. These opportunities help strengthen a family’s knowledge in the areas of school supports, extracurricular activities, funding opportunities and advocacy skills.
F.A.C. Family Advisory Council and F.A.W.C. Family Advisory Working Committee
The Family Advisory Council and Family Advisory Working Group represents the voice of families receiving services at Pathways Health Centre for Children. This group meets monthly and their focus is to ensure families feel they have an ally in the Centre that understands the challenges they may be experiencing with their child’s care. Families also help implement family engagement activities, and ideas for future presentations and workshops. A parent or caregiver can join one of these committees by contacting our Family Engagement Coordinator.
What to expect:
Our Family Engagement Program:
- Help families navigate the school system, funding opportunities, and community resources
- Facilitate monthly Parent Support Groups within the centre and in the community
- Manage a private Facebook group which connects Pathways families so they are able share information and experiences
- Provide educational sessions based on the needs and interests of families
- Family engagement opportunities may include: “Parent Pamper Night”, “Craft Nights”, “Family Dinner Nights”
- Meet with families one to one in the centre, in the community, or at community hubs
- Provide workshops to help support families in the areas of, funding paperwork parties, binder bootcamp, and “All About Me” biography page