Support Individuals Impacted by Domestic Violence
Half of all women in Canada have experienced at least one incident of physical or sexual violence since the age of 16. On average every 6 days a woman in Canada is killed by her intimate partner. Provincially Saskatchewan and Manitoba had rates of violence against women that were double the national rate.
Intimate Partner Violence Outreach Program
Family Service Saskatoon provides individuals affected by interpersonal violence a place to come for confidential support in a safe and secure environment. The IPV team provides unique individualized support especially in crisis situations. The IPV program also runs weekly drop-in groups for women affected by intimate partner violence. These groups allow women who have been impacted by violence to come and support one another while discussing topics such as healthy boundaries, trauma, healing, and moving forward.
“The programs at Family Service Saskatoon are gentle, sincere, fair and most of all committed to helping those who seek to help themselves. I have gained knowledge, courage, friendship and understanding in these.”
Saskatoon’s Domestic Violence Court Case Workers
Family Service Saskatoon employs four Domestic Violence Court Case Workers (DVCC’s). These workers ensure that victims of domestic violence are supported from the point of first contact to the complete resolution of their court case. Court case workers provide various supports such as court updates, trial support, reports to assess requests for changes to release conditions, advocacy, and referrals to other services offered in Saskatoon.
“I can’t believe how peaceful it is in our house now, I am so happy with all the support and encouragement that your program has provided to me and my son. I am going to buy you all flowers when this is done.” – DVCC client
Abuse and Beyond
The Abuse & Beyond Program brings understanding to the role of violence in relationships. The Abuse and Beyond Group has been running at Family Service Saskatoon for over 15 years and in that time there have been over 115 groups offered. Abuse and Beyond brings understanding to the role that violence plays in intimate partner relationships. The group helps women experiencing violence with their partner to find the strength to change this pattern. Groups are offered several times a year with free childcare services. Individual counselling services are also an integral component of this program.
Invitation to Responsibility: Fostering Respectful Relationships
The Men’s Narrative Therapy program is designed to help support men that want to end their intimate partner violence and build healthier relationships. Most men favour an identity other than “abuser”. Narrative Therapy focuses on men’s preferred ways of being partner and fathers. It creates conversations with men about their values as well as their knowledge and skills to stop abuse and build respectful relationships. This approach draws on group members to support each other in taking responsibility and live the identities they prefer. This group is offered two or three times a year.
The program gave me the ability to talk and tools for dealing with domestic problems so I don’t have to fight with my loved ones. The program really made me think about how your affecting your life when you are abusive. It also gave me a better understanding of where anger comes from. I am able to take complete ownership of what I’ve done.” – Men’s Program Participant
Support Enriching and Educating Families
Being a parent is one of the toughest jobs out there. Informed, effective child rearing builds strong communities by producing young people who work hard to create positive lives for themselves and those around them. Teenagers who are pregnant or parenting live with a significantly higher number of risk factors than other teens. They have not yet reached full adult development themselves yet are responsible for the healthy development of a child.
Family Life Enrichment
Family Life Enrichment programs are an integral piece to the programs and services offered at Family Service Saskatoon Whether you are a parent looking to enhance your skills and knowledge, a parent seeking help with specific challenges, a couple going through a difficult life transition, or an individual dealing with anger and violence concerns; our Family Life Enrichment groups and courses are designed to help you through many of lives challenges. Our Family Life enrichment programs change and evolve with the needs of our clients and the community. We offer programs for rebuilding after a relationship ends, parenting after separation and divorce, as well as programming for understanding anger and its effects on children. We have also hosted numerous conferences and workshops as well as many other programs and groups on various topics including grief, depression, work-life balance and grandparents raising children. Supporting this programming area will enhance groups already offered as well as allow for further development of programs and services.
Teen and Young Parent Program
Family Service Saskatoon has staff that focuses directly on providing service to teen and young parents. Services are provided to parents under the age of 30 and include family support and counselling as well as a value based group for parents that focuses on attachment and developing skills to be the best parent you can be. Staff play a role in liaising with schools, other community-based organizations and government ministries. School presentations are given to promote awareness of healthy relationships through teaching and discussions.
Parenting Education Saskatchewan
Parenting Education Saskatchewan links parenting services across the province and provides support and information. PES values and appreciates the hard work and dedication required to effectively work with parents in meaningful ways.
“The ability to connect with and learn from others working in this field has been so helpful. Thank you for this opportunity”
“Thank you for providing our community with resources and ongoing information and helping us make connections to others doing the same work.”
Support Youth in Our Community
Each year in Canada, an estimated 362,000 children witness or experience family violence. Research shows that children who witness violence are more likely to grow up to become victims or abusers.
Youth Exposed to Violence
Being a teenager is a difficult time in everyone’s life. We also know that most teenagers are not too keen about talking to adults. Recognizing this, Family Service Saskatoon has taken programs to the classroom. Rather than the youth attending a group at the office, we go to them. Family Service Saskatoon has a strong partnership with Nutana Collegiate as well as other schools throughout the city. The material is provided to them as a part of the class they are taking. What is special about the program is how the youth share their experiences. Topics discussed include addiction issues, mental health, types of violence and self-esteem, as well as what to expect from healthy relationships.
Children and Youth Support Workers
The Child and Youth Support program helps to support children and youth in Saskatoon, as directed by the Ministry of Social Services. The program is driven by the commitment of workers to provide positive and stable relationships with children and youth. The workers, who range in age from eighteen through their senior years, work with children to build the young people’s social skills, increase recreational opportunities, and improve the quality of their peer interactions. Support workers take clients on outings around the city while also teaching valuable life skills. Currently there are 25 workers supporting 46 children and youth. There is a growing need, and the program is expanding in smaller communities surrounding Saskatoon.
Performing Arts Program
The Performing Arts for Youth program has been in existence for over 10 years. The staff connects with participants through the medium of performing arts. The program operates on the basic philosophy that youth flourish in an atmosphere of acceptance, stability, and leadership. Participants learn the value of self-discipline and self-respect as well as social skills and team work through this program. The program runs from September through April with weekly meetings culminating in a full drama production. Transportation to and from the program is provided and the program is provided at no cost.
“I am 17 years old, and I have been in this program for three years…I love this program, and I love acting a lot. This program has helped me grow, gave me many skills, and I am so thankful for everyone who helped make it happen.”
– Performing Arts Program participant
I am very grateful for the excellent job done by workers in enhancing the lives of children and youth in the city and I hope they will continue their fine work with the agency!” -Support Worker Program Coordinator
Support Community Well-Being
Community Wellness and Counselling
Family Service Saskatoon tries hard to ensure that no one is turned away due to their inability to pay for service. In the first 6 months of this fiscal year, 88% of Family Service Saskatoon counseling clients were paying $10.00 or less a visit. Community visits accounted for over 900 visits in this period. Individual counselling is an important service and we are fortunate to offer these services to individuals who would otherwise be unable to afford counselling.
Women’s Discretionary Emergency Fund
Often Family Service Saskatoon clients come to the agency in crisis. In these crisis situations clients often need financial assistance for a variety of basic needs; it may be to buy groceries, to pay utility bills or to purchase new locks to provide security in the home, or purchase neccessities such as diapers and bus fares. We pride ourselves on providing assistance in these crisis situations. The Women’s Discretionary Emergency Fund is used for these types of financial needs and is evaluated on an individual case basis.