Our evaluation process, which is supported by Marielle Thibaudeau, an external evaluator, is slowly moving forward. The hoped-for outcome of this work is an enhanced relationship of trust between the families who are at risk and their regional organizations and community.
We conducted two surveys of various stakeholders in the MRC to determine what kind of support and training they might need to implement the Réseau Parent’Aise Approach (designed to enrich practices that create alliances with families who are in a situation of neglect). The results allowed us to develop a training plan accompanied by community support.
In addition, the evaluator carried out telephone interviews of MRC stakeholders from different business sectors and occupations, which yielded winning practices in dealing with vulnerable families. The goal was to understand the attitudes, approaches and intervention strategies that foster a relationship of trust with vulnerable families. A report was prepared based on the data from these interviews.
Subsequently, stakeholdres from different business sectors (community, CPE, municipal, and CSSS), worked on proposals for applying the interview data to different occupations (secretary, manager, child development worker, family support worker, citizen service officer). They also worked on the best ways of increasing their own awareness and of making changes in their practices that would help build relationships of trust with families in the MRC. Several interesting suggestions were put forward during the meeting (Parent’Aise Approach training, role playing, awareness capsules, co-development between and within organizations, checklist, self-assessment, etc.). These proposals will guide the development of an action plan to help us reach our objective of building stronger ties between vulnerable families and their community and regional organizations.
On October 1st of this year, a 5-à-7 networking event was held at La Shop restaurant in Magog. This meeting, which arose from discussions by the socio-economic committee, brought together players from different areas of activity. The goal of the evening was to promote networking and improve inter-organizational knowledge in order to provide referrals and support to individuals based on their needs.
Twelve organizations from the socio-economic, community, health, and social services sectors, attended this evening, which took place in a friendly atmosphere. The stakeholders appreciated being able to talk with one another and to ask questions in an informal setting. Also, it was an opportunity to meet new people or to strengthen existing ties. Many saw this as a refreshing experience that gave them an incentive to do more networking.
Further to this 5-à-7, a suggestion was made to the partners to conduct mutual visits. Partners are encouraged to visit organizations which they want to learn more about and, inversely, to invite organizations to come visit them. In order to really understand a particular environment and to be able to talk to others about it, nothing beats getting a firsthand look at it, observing the activities that take place there, and meeting those who work there. A list of contact information for the different organizations in Memphremagog has been sent to the partners in order to facilitate communications.
Collaborations like these are beneficial not only for the individuals who receive the services, but for the organizations as well
While making changes over the last few months, Memphré en Mouvement...partners for 0-17 year olds! has carried on with its mission, reflections and actions. In the current context, concertation and collaboration are all the more important!
Again this year, we requested and received support in the amount of $202,000 from Québec en Forme, for our Healthy Lifestyles plan, and $265,395 from Avenir d’enfants, for our plan to help 0-5 year olds!
However, the funding provided by these two organizations is scheduled to end soon. As expected, Québec en Forme will suspend its activities in 2017. Therefore, the time has come to ensure that our work and efforts, now and in the future, focus on change objectives that will have a lasting impact on the lives of 0-17 year olds.
From the beginning, we’ve been working hard to develop actions that will last, either because they:
-spur communities to change their practices and to put into place sustainable environments that promote healthy lifestyles habits or childhood development;
-allow children and their parents to acquire new skills, which we suspect will help them maintain healthy lifestyle habits throughout their lives;
-support communities as they adopt new rules and policies aimed at developing environments that foster healthy lifestyle habits or the development of 0-5 year olds; -increase public awareness and act on the social norm, thereby directly impacting the decisions each of us makes on a daily basis to support the wellbeing of 0-17 year olds...
As you can see, we’ve already done quite a bit to ensure sustainability!
Nevertheless, our partners’ group is at a turning point in its life: Do we want to pursue our mission, which was redefined, a year ago, to reflect a more global and integrated approach? How will we continue to work together if we receive less money? And how will we be able to keep striving for change that will improve the wellbeing of 0-17 year olds in our MRC?
This is a great opportunity to reaffirm our commitment and to mobilize for the cause we’ve chosen!
We should remember that one of the objectives of the partners’ action plan for 0-5 year olds is to improve a child’s ability to relate to others in a positive way. Many actions have been put into place in the MRC to support the development of social skills.
The Brindami programme, which promotes social behaviour, is an example of an action that’s been well established in a number of organizations for many years. The next training session for the programme’s early childhood workers will take place on October 5 and November 23, 2015.
In addition, some actions aim to provide tools to parents so they can support their child’s social skills development. Take, for instance, the card games - developed by the Chagnon Foundation as part of its societal campaign to promote social skills - which were handed out in many communities in the Memphremagog MRC.
This year, new avenues are being explored to increase awareness, among stakeholders, of the importance of social skills.
To that effect, we’ll be developing a partnership with the Memphremagog Library. We’ll provide stakeholders with lists of books, from which they can choose, that deal with social skills and related topics. We’ll suggest books for parents, resource workers and children. In addition, we might organize parent/child storytelling activities that focus on a social skills theme (e.g. emotions).
Finally, convinced that every stakeholder in society plays an active role in a child’s development, the partners would like to increase awareness and support of social skills among the broader community.
Pascale Gendron Daigneault, ps.éd, Conseillère pédagogique en petite enfance
Since 2006, many actions have been put in place in the Magog community with respect to the transition to school. Despite this, there are still fundamental issues surrounding the transition period.
A meeting was held on April 20 of this year to bring together those directly concerned by this issue (parents and partners from different sectors).
The goal was to begin a collective debate on two issues of particular concern to many stakeholders, namely the need to reach out to children who don’t attend any kind of program and the need to foster better cooperation between parents and organizations (such as daycare and school).
This brainstorming session allowed us to look at our practices and to come up with courses of action to tackle these issues. Among other things, the stakeholders discussed the importance of consolidating cooperation and communication between organizations from different sectors, while stressing the fact that the transition to school is a shared responsibility of the community, and must not rest solely on the shoulders of a few stakeholders.
While it can be a challenge to put in place measures to reach out to all families, the stakeholders were satisfied with this meeting, having appreciated this time out to look at these important issues and discuss them with a variety of stakeholders.
The priority areas that were identified on April 20 will be the subject of discussions and decisions in upcoming meetings of the Kindergarten Transition Committee in order to develop an action plan that will go a step further in fostering a positive school entry for children in the Memphremagog Regional Municipal County.
Pascale Gendron Daigneault, ps.éd, Conseillère pédagogique en petite enfance
Par ces billets, l'équipe de MeM vous tient informée de l'actualité du regroupement et de l'actualité en générale concernant les Saines Habitudes de Vie.