Supporting Families During COVID-19

Intercultural Child and Family Centre supports families during the pandemic through the role of the Family Support Worker, thanks to ECF grant.

Everyone could use some extra support during the pandemic, and the Intercultural Child and Family Centre (ICFC) is ensuring that its Family Support Worker is giving vulnerable families the help they need.

Being a beacon of cheerfulness is what the ICFC aims for when connecting with its families. ICFC takes care of a wide range of families who may have experienced traumas and emotional health problems.

The key player in this process is Kate Kidd, ICFC’s Family Support Worker, who connects with the families on a personal basis.

“The way that we look at it right now, we are quite busy and overwhelmed in regard to day-to-day operations under COVID,” said Jasvinder Heran, Executive Director at ICFC.

The Family Support Worker is able to handle family communication in greater detail than the busy team at ICFC can. Kidd communicates with families, sends out newsletters and resources, and engages parents and educators through educational sessions.

Kidd has been checking in with families virtually during the pandemic, to answer any questions or concerns they may have.

“The fragmentation of not having a place to drop off your child or not being able to have a conversation with somebody else in your community are problems families are facing,” Heran said. “However, with Kate, she can go online and do a visual meeting where she can engage families.”

ICFC received a $75,000 grant from Edmonton Community Foundation (ECF) to continue the services of the Family Support Worker during the pandemic. The Family Support Worker will be employed to support and assist Edmonton’s vulnerable populations of children, families and staff as they deal with the stresses of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kidd resumed her position as the Family Support Worker in-person at ICFC in July to ensure that all families are having their needs supported. She has been working closely with approximately 23 families.

“We know that families are dealing with a lot these days. ICFC is well placed to provide individualized support to vulnerable families and connect them to other resources,” Craig Stumpf-Allen, ECF’s Director of Grants and Community Engagement, says.

The Government of Canada’s $350-million Emergency Community Support Fund (ECSF) aims to help charities and non-profit organizations adapt and increase frontline services for vulnerable populations during COVID-19.

Together, the Canadian Red Cross, Community Foundations of Canada and United Way Centraide Canada are collaborating with the Government of Canada to flow ECSF support to those who need it most right now.

“ECF has been incredibly generous and understanding,” Heran said. “The funding has supported so many families that we would not be able to meaningfully support without Kate here.”

Having a Family Support Worker for many families takes the stress off, especially in these times when stress levels are at an all-time high.

“Our Family Support Worker is such a pinnacle piece for ICFC,” Heran said. “She continues to be such a person of importance within the organization in supporting families.”

Learn more about the Emergency Community Support Fund.

The Emergency Community Support Fund
Funded by