The Family Matters program provides 8-12 weeks of in-home support for families in crisis. Families are referred by Children’s Services and are typically experiencing a range of challenges that jeopardize family cohesion. Families eligible for this program have typically exhausted all their own supports and resources, and require intense supports to alleviate risks.

Families referred by Children’s Services may be at imminent risk of having their children removed from their care. Admission to the program may prevent insurmountable family crisis or family breakdown.

Family Specialists can support each family for up to a year. They empower parents by teaching them positive parenting strategies, effective decision-making with their child, developmentally appropriate expectations for their child/youth, how to communicate more effectively, how to address inappropriate behaviour with confidence and how to manage crisis. Services are family-driven and based on family needs, which may also include dealing with addictions, family violence, or mental health concerns. Family Specialists coach and mentor parents as they learn how to set family goals, implement those goals and maintain those goals long-term. Parents are connected to local resources that can assist them to keep their family on track.

“We used to squash everything down. Now we deal more logically with problems. It never escalates like it used to.” — Program Participant

Once a family’s file has been closed, Closer to Home offers strengthening sessions for up to one year, at which point the family could re-enroll in the program or be referred by the Family Specialist to another program that best fits the family’s needs. Re-enrollment in the program is encouraged if the Family Specialist believes the family would benefit.

The Family Matters program currently provides services to children/youths and their families in Calgary, Airdrie, Canmore and Banff.