Family Day is just around the corner! We thought we would take this opportunity to reflect on the importance of family connections and the potential impact – positive and negative – they can have on the larger community. Research shows that family connections and parent-child attachment are at the heart of ALL healthy childhood development. While there is no definitive guidebook on creating a healthy family environment, parents and caregivers often rely on their networks for support and guidance. Of late, those networks have been harder to access.

YW Calgary’s Family Resource Network began supporting families in 2020, just as the COVID-19 pandemic started. Despite that obstacle, they shifted quickly and offered parents and/or guardians’ opportunities to develop skills and knowledge to strengthen family relationships, teach youth to cope with pain or challenge and improve child and youth development by building resilience and fostering overall family well-being – both virtually and in-person.

The Family Resource Network is a collaborative group of community-based service providers offering prevention and early intervention services and supports for families with young children and teens. YW Calgary coordinates the Calgary City Centre Family Resource Network programs and works alongside CUPS, The Alex, Carya, Catholic Family Service, and Big Brothers Big Sisters.

One of the many great programs in Family Resource Network – Family Champions has some great opportunities throughout February and MarchEarly Brain Development and Brain Architecture, Empathy: What is it all about; Music and Movement; Sensory Play and Fueling Curiosity all offer engaging activities, valuable learning, and examples of creating a strong connection with your child.

Are you looking for something hands-on? Consider joining us for an interactive session. Whether it’s exploring sensory play, taking the time for story time, or crafting emotional affirmation bracelets, there is something for all ages and interests. On February 26, join the team and other families in the community for a safely distanced playtime at East Village Park. You will also find the team online at the virtual Calgary City Teachers’ Convention on February 17 and 18.

Family Day is a time to slow down, connect with your family – and extended family – and appreciate those moments of calm, love, and support. When those moments are hard to come by, YW can help you reclaim them and learn how to find new ones.