Grande Prairie Family Education Society – Technology Enhancement

GPFES vision is collaborating to strengthen families and communities. Through partnerships and relationships they have developed a strong network of expertise, skills, and capacity to provide a continuum of preventative and early intervention services to families.

Their mission is: “All families thrive: Supported-connected-resilient“. As an outcomes focused not-for-profit organization, they are committed to strengthening families and community through advocacy, education, home visitation, and other programs that build protective factors and reduce risk factors for individuals and families in the community.

When the pandemic hit in 2020, GPFES found themselves without the technology required to work in an amended capacity. Seeing funding was available through the Community Foundation in partnership with the Emergency Community Support Funding, they applied for a grant to help with the purchase of laptops and Microsoft 360 programming.

GPFES currently receive the Family Resource Network funding for the Hub agency and spoke services in Grande Prairie and area.

GPFES Executive Director, Brandy Pilon shares “We provide a range of supports services that focus on strengthening parenting and caregiver knowledge, social supports, coping and problem-solving skills, access to community supports and resources, improving child and youth development and mental health, building resiliency, and fostering well-being. We deliver these by offering support services that include our Healthy Families, home visitation program, Parent Educations and Caregiver Support, Programs and Groups and our other range of programs that focus on supporting individual and families with FASD. Through our services we work to mitigate risk factors for vulnerable individuals and families who have experienced negative experiences that cause toxic stress, trauma and mental health concerns.”

As with many non-profits, GPFES is familiar with utilizing what they have and often not upgrading anything due to cost. They had outdated desktop computers and older software that didn’t allow interaction between staff or clients. With this grant there was no disruption in work flow or services, and it meant they didn’t have to let any staff go, were able to provide virtual service delivery to families, and were able to have daily online meeting with the staff team to assure mental wellness and decreased feelings of isolation. The updated software has even allowed for more streamlined processes and time saving.

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