February 14, 2020
In February love is in the air and this week as we celebrate Family Day, it is a wonderful time to reflect on the importance of families. At the John McGivney Children’s Centre (JMCC), the children and the families that we serve are central to every decision that we make. Parents and caregivers are an integral part of their child’s care journey from when they are referred to receive services at JMCC, all the way through to their transition to adult services.
“We are committed to having the voice of families embedded in everything that we do here at the Centre,” says Wendy Tavares, Program Manager, JMCC. Therefore, we have recently launched key initiatives to formalize and demonstrate our commitment to family-centred care and service.
Our Family Advisory Network: JMCC has recruited a network of parents, caregivers and clients, both past and present, who use their experiences to help other parents while volunteering to help the Centre. These families are able to choose how much time they have to give and have the option of working from home or coming in to the Centre. We are always looking for new members to join this important network.
Our Family Advisory Council: The Family Advisory Council meets regularly and works directly with JMCC staff and our Board of Directors to provide input, recommendations, guidance and evaluation on the child and family experience, programs and services, strategic directions and more.
Our Family Resource Centre: Located in our family waiting area and attended by Family Advisory Network members and other volunteers, our Family Resource Centre is designed to help families access and navigate important resources including funding support. One main feature of the Family Resource Centre is our Lending Library that is free to use and stocked with therapeutic toys and equipment, many of which have been generously donated. JMCC families can borrow items to work on their child’s development at home. These items may include communication devices, toys and games designed to help develop fine and gross motor skills and more! We are currently exploring a process to open this Lending Library up to our broader community.
“Together, with our families, we are creating a better tomorrow for children and youth with special needs,” says Tavares.