The work of the Child Development Unit is carried out in the broader community where our staff work with families and Community Partners to find hope and health in their own neighbourhoods. Child and Family Services of Grand Erie is the lead agency at numerous Early ON Child and Family Centres including three neighbourhood resource centres located in Brantford (New Beginnings, Northland Gardens, Stepping Stones) and various local schools and pop up sites. At the centres and in the EarlyOn programs, family will be engaged in activities that are fun and are perfect to learn more about what children need in their early years of development.
Group programs are offered with a focus on community development, such as parent-child interaction programs, community kitchens, parent drop-in, teen post-natal programs, etc.
The mandate of keeping children safe belongs to the whole community. We strive to work with families in Brantford-Brant, Haldimand and Norfolk, helping them to come together to make their neighbourhoods places of safety, pride, and hope for their children.
“I started this group in May not because I had to. I had just moved to Brantford and was looking to make friends and get A around some other kids. I wasn’t sure how or where to start so I got on welfare, and I heard about a LEAP program. So, I asked for it and was introduced to X. She gave me the number for Children’s Aid. At first, I was terrified, I mean CHILDREN’S AID! But when I thought about it, I’m not doing anything wrong, so I tried it out. This program is the best thing I’ve ever done for me and my child. He looks forward to coming.” – Anonymous Parent / Teen Parenting Program Participant
“I first came to this group through the LEAP program. After I finished my hours, I decided that it would be healthy for my kids and I to continue to come. My kids have other people their age to play with and it gave me chance to communicate with other parents. The staff here has helped me through a lot of difficult times and problems and has given me different advice that helped make my problem easier to solve. These are something I look back on and I am pleased with myself for trying to make my home life a better place for my children.” – Anonymous Parent / Teen Parenting Program Participant
“These centres are a Godsend to myself. They are less threatening than having to have groups at a more formal site…. Being right in the neighbourhood makes it easy and convenient for me to access.” – Anonymous Parent / Resource Centre User