Below are listed the principles of all Family Support Programs (as published by FRP Canada) and a description of how Richmond Family Place seeks to ensure these principles are met:
1. Family Support programs are open to all families, recognizing that all families deserve support.
- Provide a welcoming atmosphere.
- Structure activities with families’ schedules and time commitments in mind.
- Provide opportunities for parents to connect with each other.
2. Family support programs complement existing services, build networks and linkages and advocate for policies, services and systems that support families’ abilities to raise healthy children.
- Use a variety of means to let families know about community activities, such as posting information on a bulletin board.
- Provide opportunities for families to build relationships with other members of the community and share their concerns and issues.
- Encourage and support families to speak up and advocate on issues they feel are important to their families and community.
3. Family support programs work to increase opportunities and to strengthen individuals, families and communities.
- Look for strengths in interactions with family members and support families in recognizing these qualities in themselves.
- Provide opportunities for families to contribute their time and skills to the program.
- Encourage families to help in activities involving their families and community.
4. Family support programs operate from an ecological perspective that recognizes the interdependent nature of families’ lives.
- Assist families in developing skills for assisting and supporting others such as communication, maintaining confidentiality, and problem solving.
- Encourage the exchange and sharing of material resources and services such as childcare, transportation, clothing, and toys.
- Foster the continuation of linkages among parents even after they leave the program.
5. Family support programs value and encourage mutual assistance and peer support.
- Provide opportunities for families to learn from other families in a safe environment which preserves confidentiality. e.g. Facilitate a discussion group where parents can talk about whatever issues or concerns are on their minds.
6. Family support programs affirm parenting to be a life-long learning process.
- Provide program activities in which parents, grandparents, and other childcare givers interact.
- Connect families with other resources as needed for their unique circumstances.
7. Family support programs value the voluntary nature of participation in their services.
- Provide programs on a drop-in basis whenever possible, enabling families to attend at their own discretion.
8. Family support programs promote relationships based on equality and respect for diversity.
- Respect the values, beliefs, traditions, symbols and languages of all cultures and populations served by the program. e.g. Incorporate educational and artistic activities in celebrating holidays and special events.
9. Family support programs advocate non-violence to ensure safety and security for all family members.
- Model appropriate family interactions with respect and consideration given to diversity.
10. Family support programs continually seek to improve their practice by reflecting on what they do and how they do it.
- Create mechanisms to solicit input and feedback from all staff, families, stakeholders and community members involved in the program.
- Create an environment of continuous learning within the program.