Family Supports Institute Ontario is proud to offer professional training in family support that will contribute to quality and consistency in EarlyON Child and Family Centres and other family support programs across Ontario.

In the past 20 years, professional learning opportunities have largely focused on child development and pedagogy, with very little emphasis on the engagement of parents and caregivers.

With this in mind, FSIO has developed a series of workshops entitled “The Essentials of Family Support,” professional learning opportunities to advance consistent, collective understanding of “valued practices” (Malcolmson, J., 2002) in the field of family support in relation to engaging families effectively.

The Workshops

The history of Family Support programs, as well as what led to their emergence in Canada 50 years ago, will be uncovered in this module. Participants will trace the thread of this new model of service delivery and examine the underlying theories and practices that give these programs their power and make them so effective and attractive for families and their children.

Family resource programs value reflective practice as a principle to ensure ongoing and continual improvements.  This module will focus on why Reflective Practice is important for practitioners in developing a deeper level of self-awareness and understanding.  The benefits of Reflective Practice and how to apply it within staff teams to better meet the needs of families and their children will be discussed.

It is important that programs understand the trends in family composition and the variety of issues that impact families such as poverty, race, mental health, addiction, violence and abuse, to name a few.  This module will explore marginalization as well as the intersectionality of issues that impact families.  Participants will discuss strategies and resources that support practitioners work with the unique families in their community.

The practice of family support is founded on the building of relationships with families.   In this module, participants will examine the inherently positive effects of building genuine relationships with families, how practitioners do it, and how to enable empowerment and “voice” for parents and caregivers that will enhance their lives far beyond the program walls.

Building relationships with families is an essential element of an effective program.  This module will discuss how to facilitate enduring connections with diverse families, how to meet parents/caregivers as valued experts of their children, and how to ensure that programs are reaching the underserved.  Participants will explore the ways to design curriculum that promotes connection between adults and children in their programs as laid out in the provincial document,  How Does Learning Happen:  Ontario’s New Pedagogy.

Family support programs do not need to be isolated entities within a community, but rather vibrant hubs at the centre of community life that are connected to schools and other community services.  In this module, participants will explore concrete strategies for building community ties with an emphasis on local schools and other community resources that will enrich and support families’ lives.

The families participating in family support programs can be a resource and a mutual support system for each other.  Participants will discuss the importance of social support and how to foster a sense of belonging for all.  Participants will also examine how to build social capital amongst families and how it adds value to your program.

Over the past years, families have witnessed and been impacted by several natural disasters such as fire and floods and all families are enduring the impacts of a global pandemic.  This module will explore how staff working in family support programs can identify and address the needs of families and children during times of collective crisis living in their local communities.

How do staff working in family support programs know that their programs are effective and meeting the mark with families and communities?  This module will explore the importance of program evaluation in family support programs.  Participants will have an opportunity to explore what methodology best suits their program needs and how to include stakeholders in this important process.

Our workshops are designed for family supports practitioners, early childhood educators, teachers, and anyone working with families in any capacity, be it early learning and child care, FDK, or family support programs.

Workshops will introduce and build on theory and research in the family supports and early years field, are interactive and fun, and will ensure participants walk away with practical ways to implement their learning in their programs the next day!

Receive a Letter of Completion after each workshop and a Certificate of Completion once all seven workshops have been successfully completed.

Available Fall 2018!

Workshops are 2 hours in length.

Book now!

We will come to your organization!

Or, join our mailing list to hear about upcoming workshops in an area near you.

Please e-mail to inquire. Discounts offered when booking multiple workshops.

For more information see the flyer below.

Essentials Certificate 22-23 (1)