We are the longest serving non-profit society in Western Canada. Founded in 1873, we are proud to continue our tradition of excellence and innovation. Today the service and care we provide to people of all ages also measurably benefits the Greater Victoria area and beyond.
This remarkable organization has a rich history, a dynamic present and an exciting future. We will take a few minutes to explore the numerous ways in which children, families and adults discover new paths to growth and independence through The Cridge Centre for the Family. If you’d like to offer your help, we would love to talk with you!
Bishop Edward Cridge is sometimes described as Victoria’s first social worker. Along with his wife Mary, he pioneered many social and cultural causes. He took the initiative which led to the creation of the Royal Jubilee Hospital. Mary, with others, took in orphan children which led to the opening of the BC Protestant Orphan’s Home in 1873. An anti-racist and champion of education, Cridge served as the first superintendent of education and Mary taught the first Sunday School.
John Taylor’s generous bequest allowed the Cridges to purchase property on Hillside Avenue and begin construction of the BC Protestant Orphan’s Home, which was completed in 1893
Today The Cridge Centre for the Family supports survivors of acquired brain injury, families requiring child care, seniors ready for assisted living, and women and families whether they be refugee and immigrant families, women escaping domestic violence, families raising a child with special needs, or young parents. The purpose of the society is to manifest the love of Jesus Christ by rendering aid and service to children, adults and families, to maximize their opportunities to participate and grow in the responsibilities and enjoyment of family life and loving relationships; and to achieve spiritual, intellectual, emotional, physical and social potential
The Cridge Childcare Services operated a supported daycare, Higgins House, at Victoria High School for 15 years. In 2009 the government announced a 75% funding cut that required swift, innovative re-programming to ensure the children continued to have access to childcare and the moms could continue school. With the shift to The Cridge Young Parent Outreach Program, all staff, supported moms, and childcare spaces were retained, and we’re not able to support parents based on their age and need rather than their school enrollment.
The Cridge Young Parent Outreach Program is a dynamic service for young parents, parents-to-be, and their children. The Cridge Young Parent Outreach Program offers support, mentoring and advocacy to young parents as they endeavor to have healthy babies, develop their parenting skills, and pursue their educational and employment goals. The outreach worker has been a birth coach, attends appointments with Moms and the Ministry of Children and Families to ensure the moms know what’s necessary to maintain custody, will accompany moms to school interviews and support them with job searches and housing needs, and other appointments consistent with the goals the clients set for themselves. Of 31 clients, 20 are heavily engaged & 10 in daily contact
Building trust and relationships essential with these clients, many of whom come from very unreliable family backgrounds and find themselves suddenly cast into adult roles without the tools to function. Somedays looks like the one outlined on the screen, while other days include a shopping trip for 5 moms or meetings with housing providers, or a simple one-on-one coffee and conversations. Now two days look the same, but all days involve literally meeting the clients where they are.
Community support has been amazing – a 3 year grant from the United Way ensures the services can be offered beyond the 20 hours a week contracted by the government; food drives from local businesses provide an emergency pantry for clients; Peninsula Runners provided a pair of runners for each mom to support their health; Bone Creative took all the portraits you’re seeing here – a family-affirming luxury few young moms can afford; Cordova Bay kindergarten participating in Seeds of Empathy provided ‘care packages’ for each baby in the program; ongoing partnerships with Kiwanis House – including Life Ring recovery program – and Mustard Seed, who coordinates pickups to minimize mom & baby time at the food bank
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We are a community of caring individuals who believe there’s more to social services than providing programs, because love is the bottom line.
HISTORY• Higgins House at VictoriaHigh School - 1995 to 2010• Funding shift requiredinnovative response• The Cridge Young ParentOutreach Program openedin July 2010
PROGRAM DESIGN• Portable, practical, client-directed service• Currently supporting 31 young momswith 40 children and 9 more babiesexpected in 2012• Service beyond 9 am – 5 pm as outreachworker is available via text & email• Strong online presence on Facebook andblog ensures ease of contact
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF YPOP OUTREACH WORKER8:30 am – drive client & baby toMCFD appointment9:00 am – return to office at TheCridge Centre for staff meeting9:45 am – return to MCFD to pick upmom & baby11:30 am – receive text from clientwho is at ER with baby – meet her there12:30 pm – drive out to Vic Generalto drive mom & new baby home2:00 pm – meet with social worker &new client at MCFD for intake interview4:00 pm – drive own daughters home, make dinner, listen to their day6:30 pm – pick up moms for Life Ring addiction recovery at Kiwanis House; attendLife Ring; drive moms back home
COMMUNITY PARTNERS• United Way of Greater Victoria• Kiwanis House• Island Sexual Health Centre• Boys and Girls Club• Mustard Seed• Cordova Bay Elementary –Seeds of Empathy
SOME STATS FROM 2010 - 2011• Went for coffee over 230 times• Made over 100 home visits• Accompanied clients on 30+ doctor visits• Visited the food bank more than 60 times• Issued more than 500 information cards• Spoke about the program to doctors,lawyers, social workers, midwives and othersupport professionals• Saw 5 clients graduate, including attendingthe Aboriginal Graduation ceremony at SJWillis
WE ARE GRATEFUL FOR FUNDING SUPPORT FROM:• The Government of British Columbia• The United Way of Greater Victoria• The Harbourside Rotary Foundation & HarboursideRotary Club of Victoria• The Queen Alexandra Foundation for Children,Youth Advisory Council• BONE Creative, Peninsula Runners, SaanichOrganics, Broadmead Chiropractic, The Joint Pizza• Generous private donors