Our At-Risk Comprehensive Support program is our most utilized program for low income mamas, expecting mamas and their families. This program provides 1-1 support with a social worker and our Karma Market coordinator to help mamas overcome the impact of poverty on their lives and on the lives of their children. The At-Risk Comprehensive program identifies barriers and provides resources and immediate supports to low income and struggling mamas, papas and caregivers to access basic needs to provide a healthy and safe living environment for their children. Issues we commonly support surround Mamas and families facing homelessness, abuse and violence, lack of basic resources including food, clothing, shoes, medical interventions not covered by MSP and access to menstrual/hygiene products. The program also helps facilitate resource navigation, addresses current gaps to prevent further poverty, provides access to supplementary diapers, wipes, and required baby items such as cribs, highchairs, and infant car seats. The at-risk program also refers internally to our mental health counselling and groups. For especially complex cases, we refer to internal support programs as appropriate including the Family Court Support Program, helping families navigate the court system and providing family based victim service support.
About the program:
When a family is brought to Alberta Children’s Hospital they often are brought on a moment’s notice and do not have everything they need. This program supports families travelling here from all over Alberta.
In addition to families who are in crisis, our AB Children’s program connects families with us who are in need of financial assistance while they care for a child who is chronically ill. Travelling to and from the hospital, affording childcare for other children while taking care of a child who is ill, and needing to take the time away from work to make appointments or stay over at the hospital takes a substantial financial toll on a family. When we connect with these families, we look for ways to fill gaps, find resources and assist with obtaining nonessential items required for living. We look to compliment other resources in the community and are connected with hospital social workers, and our clients to identify gaps that need to be filled.
Participants are referred by friends and family, through self-referral or through a hospital social worker.
What do we provide through this program:
Care Package with toiletries, new underwear, clothing if needed, and food & beverage/ grocery gift cards if needed. Breast Pumps through Project Angel Pump, diapers, baby clothes or clothing for the child. Self-care through partner businesses we work with.
Some units will be stocked with care packages, and some will be directly dropped off. We connect with the family and can provide additional resources and help as we learn about the family’s specific needs.
Although we have a large focus on the Alberta Children’s hospital, we do help families that are staying in ANY NICU throughout the Calgary area and want to be inclusive of everyone.
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