Red Deer & District Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) awarded $2.32 million in annual funding over the next three years to programs focusing on positive child and youth development, mental health, strong neighbourhoods and communities, and strong family connections.
Twenty-one programs were chosen by the Red Deer & District FCSS Board for a total of $2.32 million in earmarked annual funding for January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2023. The process of selection began one year ago with setting priorities among all of the district FCSS municipal partners, which includes Red Deer, Red Deer County, Delburne, Bowden, Elnora and Penhold.
“This funding really focuses on current priorities in our communities,” said Milt Williams, Red Deer & District FCSS Board Chair. “We are so grateful to the many stakeholders who informed the process, allowing us to continue to be responsive to local needs.”
Supports for children and youth, family counselling and outreach for seniors were among the programs selected.
Programs for preschool-aged children are also on the list. Investing in young families and children can foster positive early childhood development, improve school readiness and strengthen family connections.
“Our local FCSS funding focuses on early prevention, while recognizing the diverse needs in our communities,” said Williams. “By being proactive we can reduce the chance of crisis occurring or minimize it’s impact. These efforts are key to mitigating instances of domestic violence, crime, addictions and homelessness.”
The Red Deer & District FCSS mandate is to provide preventive social programming that enhances the social well-being of individuals and families through promotion or intervention strategies provided at the earliest opportunity. Provincial funding (80 per cent) is matched with municipal tax dollars (20 per cent).
The programs are selected through a rigorous process, which also considered factors such as an agency’s leadership, willingness to collaborate and financial accountability. Thirty-five applications for a total of $3.7 million in funding were received, $1.38 million more than was available for this funding cycle.
A complete list of funded projects is attached and available at www.reddeer.ca/fcss.
–Mary Pahlke photo