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Saskatchewan KidsFirst

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Saskatchewan KidsFirst

  1. 1. May 2015 SOHC Meeting
  2. 2. Saskatchewan KidsFirst Vision Children living in vulnerable circumstances enjoy a good start in life and are nurtured by caring families and communities. In targeted, high-needs communities, supports and services are provided through partnerships between families, communities and service providers.
  3. 3. Importance of the Early Years  Brain development research  Creating environments for healthy development  Laying foundation for healthy growth and development  Investing in your children pays off for the children, family and community
  4. 4. Background  Saskatchewan’s 1993 Action Plan for Children  June 2000 Comprehensive Early Childhood Development Strategy framework approved  September 2000 First Ministers’ Accord on Early Childhood Development  New Federal funding offered an opportunity to enhance provincial early childhood services.
  5. 5. Provincial Program Sites  Regina  Moose Jaw  Yorkton  North Battleford  Nipawin  Prince Albert  Meadow Lake  The North  Saskatoon
  6. 6. Saskatchewan KidsFirst Goals  Provide families a range of supports that promote and support positive parent interaction  Provide families a range of supports that promote and enhance child development and well-being  Support prenatal women to have healthy pregnancies and birth outcomes
  7. 7. Saskatchewan KidsFirst Goals  Support families to provide environments to promote child development and family well-being  Provide accountability for quality programming
  8. 8. Provincial Program Principles •Preventative •Comprehensive •Equitable •Empowering •Culturally Affirming •Accountable
  9. 9. Provincial Program Principles  Cooperative, collaborative  Strength based  Representative  Innovative and flexible  Voluntary  Build Capacity  Quality Standards
  10. 10. Program Elements •Prenatal referral and support •Universal screening at birth/assessment •Home visiting •Enhanced early learning, child care and family support opportunities •Dedicated mental health and addictions services •Regional community development
  11. 11. Family Supports Counselling Child Care Healthy Babies Right From The Start Pre- Kindergarten ECIP Transportation                       Family   Home Visiting 
  12. 12. How Do Families Access KidsFirst? In-Hospital Birth Questionnaire Score of 9 or higher Referral – anyone can refer with Client's consent, self referral also accepted Completion of In-Depth Assessment Acceptance to KidsFirst Program – Introduction of Home Visitor Deemed inappropriate for services – other services offered
  13. 13. Routes to Program Involvement • Pre-natal referral • In-hospital birth questionnaire • Self-referral or referral from community source Referral is followed by in-depth assessment process
  14. 14. Who are KidsFirst families?
  15. 15. Assessment  Following referral families are assessed in 24 facets of their life  The assessment provides us with comprehensive baseline data that reflects both family strengths and risks
  16. 16. Home Visiting • Cornerstone of the program • All families are matched with a home visitor • Many programs use lay home visitor model
  17. 17. Role of Home Visitors • Develop trusting relationships with families • Build on families strengths • Support families as they identify goals and address issues • Connecting families to community services, programs and activities
  18. 18. Home Visiting  Growing Great Kids Curriculum  Cues and communication  Basic care  Social and emotional development  Physical and brain development  Play and stimulation  Parent supports  Injury prevention and home safety
  19. 19. Home Visiting Supervisors  The programs have Supervisors provide regular support and supervision to the Home Visitors.
  20. 20.  Each program has staff who work with families to acknowledge and address mental health and addictions concerns  Provide services in a non-traditional way including home visits  Support the Home Visitors Mental Health and Addictions Team
  21. 21. Early Learning • KidsFirst Programs provide funding to early learning centres in their communities to expand the number of spaces so that children in the KidsFirst Program will have access to this support
  22. 22. Child Care •KidsFirst has developed an array of childcare options for KidsFirst families including drop-in and respite spaces. • Provision of childcare is a critical first step in supporting parents to return to work or school. •Childcare is also provided as part of a family’s therapeutic plan.
  23. 23. Parent Supports •Assistance is provided to build on strengths and to address each family’s unique needs. •Parents are supported to explore their hopes and dreams, identifying their deepest wishes for a good life for themselves and their children.
  24. 24. Regional Community Development  Throughout the province there is funding for Regional Community Development Positions  They work in varied ways to highlight and address important issues related to the early years.  A community development approach is used.
  25. 25. KidsFirst service provision differs from conventional service provision… and is responsive to the realities of the lives of the families involved in the program, many of whom have not been effectively served by other services.
  26. 26. Length of Involvement  Families are eligible to stay involved until they reach their goals and graduate or until their youngest child is 5 years of age.  Goal is graduation
  27. 27. Is KidsFirst making a difference?

Editor's Notes

  • This is the vision for all Saskatchewan children, including those who live in the most vulnerable of circumstances. KidsFirst also envisions that children receive the nurturing, stimulation and support they need for healthy growth and development to become contributing citizens, and that supports and services are provided through partnerships among families, communities, service organizations and government.
    Emphasis on prevention and early intervention
    Empowering – building family and community capacity
  • 90% of connecting up of brain cells to form pathways is achieved in the first 2 years
    Sensitive periods for children’s brain development such as vision, language, emotional control, central auditory system, peer social skills, ways of responding occur in the first years of life – most of these peak before age 4
    The interaction between a child’s genes and their early environment has a profound impact on later outcomes
    Brain and biological development during the first years of life depend on the quality of stimulation in the infants environment, at the level of the family, community and society.
    Early childhood development in turn is a life long determinant of health, well-being and learning skills.
  • Selected communities with a significant number of children who are vulnerable -– in prenatal to age five group.
    Selection of communities occurred through a ranking process based on factors associated with poor childhood outcomes
    Incidents of low and high birth weight
    Infant hospitalization rates
    Lone parenting rates
    Number of births in the community
  • Goal 1 - range of supports to promote positive parent interaction
    To Deliver Growing Great Kids and other Curricula
    To Provide referrals, information, tools and activities to enhance parent-child interaction
    Goal 2 – range of supports that promote and enhance child development and well-being
    To deliver Growing Great Kids and other Curricula
    To support early identification of developmental delays through developmental screening, referrals and links to appropriate services
    Goal 3 – support prenatal women to have healthy pregnancies and birth outcomes
    To provide women with information on all aspects of prenatal health
    To support positive maternal mental health through early identification and intervention
    To support women to identify and address mental health, addictions and domestic violence issues
  • Goal 4 - Support families to provide environments to promote child development and family well-being
    To support families in enhancing social supports, housing suitability and sustainability, and food security
    To support families to prevent, identify and address mental health and addictions concerns and to promote positive mental health
    To enhance skill development, education and employment.
    Goal 5 – Provide accountability for quality programming
    Services strive to identify and implement promising practices for quality assurance and continuous program development
    Programs meet quality standards in a variety of areas such as: curriculum delivery, staff training, documentation, confidentiality
  • KidsFirst families receive:
    Support from a home visitor who will provide assistance concerning child development, parenting and connecting to community.
    Help to access services such as child care and parent support groups.
    Early learning opportunities for children.
    Help regarding literacy, nutrition, transportation, and specialized counselling services
    Ability to access dedicated mental health and addictions services
  • All babies born in Saskatchewan hospitals and their families, with consent will be screened by staff for risk using the In-Hospital Birth Questionnaire Screening Tool prior to discharge home.
    Screening results will be sent to the various KidsFirst programs in the province.
  • Prenatal referrals
    Given priority within the program
    Pregnancy is often a catalyst to change and this is an ideal time to support readiness to address issues that increase vulnerability
    In-hospital screens
    Nurses of the Healthy & Home program in Royal University Hospital are doing in-hospital screening. The screening tool looks at congenital or acquired health challenges which present at birth, factors which will influence development such as prenatal care, use of drugs and alcohol, labour and birth events, and at social, mental health and economic factors which affect family functioning.
    Total screens - 7546 completed from Feb 2002-Jan 2005 (8% refused)
    Score over 9 indicates vulnerability
    40% scored over 9
    72% in target neighbourhoods scored over 9
    Average score in target areas over 9 = 22
    34% admitted drug/alcohol use in target areas. 5% of all births in RHA
    Highest score has been 59.
    Self referrals and referrals from other community agencies are accommodated as they come in, considering program capacity and individual circumstances
    The in-home assessment looks at family strengths. Those consenting families who can best benefit from KidsFirst services will be eligible to join the program.
    Consenting families who score over 9 on the hospital screen, who are referred prenatally, self-refer, or who are referred by community sources due to high-risk concerns, undergo a further in-depth assessment prior to admission into the KidsFirst program.
  • I want you to imagine a family:
    A single-parent family, headed by a 24 year old mother who has recently gotten found housing, is now on the methadone program and is pregnant with her 4th child;
    A family who is struggling with the stresses of living in a new country, unable to speak the language and unable to make sense of the systems that are in place to support them.
    A family where the parents themselves struggle with substance use issues and are now struggling to parent their two young children.
    These are the realities of the families involved in the KidsFirst program. Although many details and the lived experiences differ from family to family there are many overriding similarities among KidsFirst families:
    Those who do not access programs and services and are apprehensive about using formal supports
    Those who receive little or no prenatal care
    Those who begin having children early in teens
    Those who have complex socio-economic issues (substance abuse, violence, poverty, lack of education, etc.)
  • Home visiting is the cornerstone of the KidsFirst program.
    Visitors were selected for experience and suitability and receive extensive and on-going training.
  • The focus of the home visiting program is to promote positive parent-child interaction, promote healthy childhood growth and development and to enhance family functioning. Home Visitors meet with families often building trust and systematically offering a wide range of supports based on each family’s unique circumstances.. Home visitors help families to learn about and use community services, such as child care, pre-school programs, health services, and transportation.
  • There is a child development curriculum that is shared, supporting parents to engage their children in developmentally appropriate play and supporting families to explore their values, beliefs, hopes and dreams
  • The types and levels of support vary from community to community but may include:
    Cooking groups or collective kitchens
    Good food boxes in select communities
    Family literacy programs
    Milk and other food vouchers, vitamin supplements
    Prenatal programs
    Dad’s groups
    Family events
    Transportation and childcare
  • Many families have shared their personal stories of how the support, understanding, information and connection they have experienced as a result of
    Becoming a parent can be a catalyst for change. The desire to change is a powerful force. Families involved in KidsFirst have shared with us that the support and information they receive has provided them with an opportunity to dream about other possibilities for their lives and for their children’s lives. The importance of approaching each family with the attitude of helpfulness and understanding supporting them to take steps towards their dreams has been key to successfully involving families in the KidsFirst program.