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Family Engagement Gets a Boost from Lansdowne

Family Engagement events and resources are getting more attention at Lansdowne Children’s Centre, as the region’s children’s treatment centre continues to implement strategies to provide assistance for a growing waitlist of families seeking services and support for child development.

Lansdowne Childrens Centre family engagement services
Serving over 3,400 children with over 2,400 more waiting for assessment and/or service, Lansdowne Children's Centre continues to adapt and innovate to connect more families with resources and support.

Lansdowne is promoting an opportunity for client families to join a new Family Advisory Council (FAC), whose role will be to advise and make recommendations in order to promote quality programs and services within the Centre.


The advisory role was one-half of the mandate of the former volunteer Family Support Network (FSN), whose other purpose was to plan and host events providing client families an opportunity to connect with peer support. The events will continue, under the management of the Lansdowne Family Engagement Coordinator, Renee Cochrane.


Cochrane was formerly a parent volunteer, whose time in the FSN and on the volunteer board of directors for the Lansdowne Children’s Centre Foundation has provided a strong base for understanding a client family’s journey, and the challenges and uncertainty of waiting for assessment and service.


Renee Cochrane, Family Engagement Coordinator at Lansdowne Children's Centre
Renee Cochrane, Family Engagement Coordinator at Lansdowne Children's Centre

Said Cochrane,

“I think the more we can do to connect with families earlier in their journey, the better. It’s never too early to find support, or to learn how to advocate for your child.”

Cochrane will be working with the Family Advisory Council to identify areas in a client’s journey that can be improved with communications, resources and peer support. It will be the role of Family Engagement Services to implement the changes.


Said Cochrane, “I think it’s a great move. The FAC is an opportunity for client families to share their voice and experience, and help improve the client journey for the next family.”






CONNECTING WITH FAMILIES SOONER, MORE OFTEN, WITH FAMILY ENGAGEMENT


Alissa Shuker is manager of the SmartStart Hub team at Lansdowne Children’s Centre, which includes Family Engagement Services. Shuker is excited to be part of the effort to introduce more resources for waiting families, and has high hopes for what’s to come in 2024.


“We have hosted several round table conversations in the past few months, talking about how to better support a client’s Lansdowne journey.”

Shuker shares that input from Lansdowne’s client satisfaction surveys, and anecdotes shared by clients and team members, have weighed heavily in guiding the conversations. Lansdowne also had delegates attend the 2023 Empowered Kids Ontario (EKO) conference this past spring, where resources for waiting families was a key talking point.


From that input the Lansdowne team have been looking at ways to:

  • improve referral communications

  • better connect caregiver questions with online and community resources

  • provide greater access for families to reach professionals for guidance


“We’ve implemented some changes already, in process and on our website, and we are excited to share more as we get into the new year.”


 

To connect with online resources, learn more about Family Engagement Services at Lansdowne Children's Centre and the Family Advisory Council (FAC), and to submit your interest in participating, families are invited to visit the website link: www.lansdownecentre.ca/familyengagement



Family Engagement events are posted to the Lansdowne Event Calendar on the website, with online registration. Events and activities are also promoted in the Lansdowne Link community e-newsletter, and on the Facebook page, www.Facebook.com/LansdowneChildrens



To connect wtih SmartStart Hub and Self-Screening Tools, and submit a referral for services at Lansdowne Children's Centre, please www.lansdownecentre.ca/smartstarthub


Anyone with a concern about their child's development can contact SmartStart Hub to start the referral process.


For more information about

Family Engagement Services and the Family Advisory Council

please contact:

Renee Cochrane

P: 519-753-3153 ext 325



For more information about

Lansdowne Children’s Centre services and supports

please visit our website: www.lansdownecentre.ca

or call SmartStart Hub at 519-753-3153 ext 507 toll free 1-800-454-7186 ext. 507


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