Stettler’s Parent Link faces uncertain future with announcement of budget cuts

Stettler’s Parent Link faces uncertain future with announcement of budget cuts

Regular activities being planned with the onset of the Christmas season

The future of Stettler Parent Link isn’t certain with news from the Province that funding will cease as of next March.

The Stettler Parent Link Centre, located right behind the mall, offers a range of programs aimed squarely at strengthening all aspects of family life.

“With the new budget came the conversation that funding for all Parent Link Centres across the province is being discontinued as of March 31st,” said Corianne Neilson, program coordinator at Stettler’s Parent Link Centre.

There may be avenues for other funding down the line, but at this point, it’s unclear precisely what the future holds for the organization. “We’re hopeful that things will work out and there will be a smooth transition – that’s what we are hoping,” she said. “And (in the meantime) we will carry on doing those things that we planned.”

Families also learned of the funding cuts through a letter from McMan Youth, Family and Community Services Association.

“Parent Link programming in Innisfail, Rocky Mountain House, Drayton Valley, Consort, Stettler and our Outreach Parent Link activities as we know it will end,” noted Bruce Rafuse, director of operations for McMan Youth, Family and Community Services Association.

“McMan Youth, Family and Community Services Association understand that there will be an opportunity to apply for funding under a new framework to continue offering programming to families in Central Alberta. For now, the amazing staff at our Parent Link Centres will continue to welcome you to participate in programming as usual.

“When we know more, we will let you know,” he wrote.

But as mentioned by Neilson, things continue to move forward at the Centre with plans for Christmas activities taking shape.

In fact, there’s been plenty of growth at Stettler Parent Link of late.

“The month of October was a happy surprise. Good things are happening at the Parent Link Centre, and the month of October had a very full calendar. We had 90 new registrations – parents and children – in that month,” she added. “It was very exciting to see new families coming in the door and meeting other families and friends – there are a fair number of new families in town.”

Meanwhile, looking ahead, Parent Link will also be hosting Christmas carolling and a Christmas activity at Points West Living on Dec. 6th. “It’s a follow-up from our Halloween event there – it was so great to go and spend some time with the seniors.

“They loved seeing the little ones and the babies too. It was so much fun,” said Neilson.

“On Thursday, the 19th we will host our Christmas celebrations in the Parent Link Centre,” she said, adding that everybody is welcome to the event which will run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. “We also have an evening program that we will be doing on Thursday, December 5th from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. We will be decorating the Parent Link Centre tree and baking cookies,” she said.

Since opening its first program in 1975, McMan Youth, Family and Community Services Association (which is the umbrella organization that Stettler Parent Link falls under) has grown and evolved into a dynamic not-for-profit social service agency that provides a comprehensive range of programs, notes the Facebook page.

For more, find them on Facebook at ‘Stettler Parent Link Centre’.