As of March 31, funding will be cut for Parent Link in Rimbey as well as the Early Childhood Development and Healthy Families Program.
However, the provincial government has announced it will spend $57 to $64 million on Children’s Services with funding being allocated to communities within 53 to 64 identified regions. Funding will be dispersed depending o the size of the region. The latest announcement of funding for Children’s Services is down considerably from the $77 million previously allocated.
In 2020, Children’s Services will issue grants for Family Resource Network services through proposals received through a competitive process called expression of interest (EOI).
A group from Rimbey and Ponoka have worked together to submit a proposal for funding following the specifications and terms set out in this EOI.
Group spokesperson, Corrine Hansen said no word has yet been received if the proposal was successful.
“No news, yet,” she said. “I wish I could just say, ‘we got it.’”
The EOI is being issued by Alberta’s ministry of Children’s Services, Family and Community Resiliency Division as a competitive process to identify qualified vendors and/or vendor teams that are capable of providing Family Resource network services throughout Alberta.
The process, designed through a hub-and-spoke network design approach, is designed to give children and youth aged 0 to 18 years and their families equitable access to services that support child safety, well-being and development.
The anchor organization, the ‘hub’, will facilitate the delivery of the services (the spokes).
Leanne Evans from Neighbourhood Place said reality dictates that the services offered in the future will be somewhat different than what they are now.
“Even if we’re successful with this, it’s not going to look the same.”
As of Dec. 31, three staff were laid off. Manager Samantha Sansome will remain until March 31 when her contract ends.
Sansome said Parent Link will remain open until March 31, but minimal programs will be offered.