Conference proceedings: Canadian Association of Family Resource Programs

The Canadian Association of Family Resource Programs conference, “Welcoming Communities“, was held in May. Many of the presentations have been uploaded to the FRP conference site. Three of interest to immigrantchildren.ca readers, may be:

Listening to immigrant families: Restoring parenting self-efficacy

Canada’s future as a secure, prosperous and cohesive nation depends on how well immigrant families are integrated in society. Yet Canadian institutions undermine the economic, social, and political capital of immigrant parents of young children, leading to sense of loss of self-efficacy in their parenting roles. As a result, not only do the parents feel marginalized, but their children are put at greater risk of feeling alienated from ‘mainstream’ society. One way to address this issue is to systematically document immigrant families’ aspirations, strengths, strategies and needs for support in the form of family narratives, and use them to educate current and future decision makers in public service institutions working in education, childcare, healthcare, and social work.

Mehrunnisa Ahmad Ali, Ryerson University and the Joint Centre of Excellence for Research in Immigration and Settlement.

The Cultural and political reasons why family programs should care about cultural identity

Participants at this workshop will learn about the Care, Identity and Inclusion Project, in which immigrant women and aboriginal women explain why they emphasize the retention and transmission of their cultural and/or faith identities. Findings from this qualitative study suggest that caregiving practices support parents and children alike in a number of important ways, including: to sustain familial relations regardless of geographic distance; to resist discrimination and to contribute to community development.

Paul Kershaw, Human Early Learning Partnership (HELP),Vancouver, BC.

Family Support Practice and Diversity 

The focus of this workshop will be on how children perceive family structure by incorporating the intersections of Queer Theory, race and class and the inclusion of individuals within their family context.

We will discuss the infusion of Family Support Principles in programs and systems other than family resource programs and where these principles can promote positive attitudes for families of all structures.

Patricia Hunt, Program Coordinator, South Riverdale Child-Parent Centre, Toronto. 

Visit the FRP conference site to download the powerpoint presentations.