Education series teaches families to build support networks


Everyone in community can be part of the safety net
Wednesday October 26, 2011 — Deb Bartlett

A series of four events will help families involved with Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion (BACI) stay connected.

Carol Stinson is contracted by BACI to work in family support, and helps facilitate the advocacy committee and provide education to families.

She’s organizing four education events this year to connect and strengthen families.

The first event, scheduled for Nov. 5, has more than 30 people signed up to attend.

“I think that’s darned good turnout for a parent workshop,” says Carol.

Participants will learn what a personal support network is, and glean tips on how to build one for themselves or a loved one.

Carol says the strategies will help families develop social networks to create “a bit of a safety net” for their family member.

Carol notes the saying “it takes a village to raise a child” is really about “people noticing when something is going wrong.”

“That’s what the village is. It’s people knowing somebody, knowing that they might be in trouble and supporting them,” says Carol.

Carol says the presenters will work in smaller groups a few times a year to celebrate success and get tips to expand their social networks.

The goal is that participants will have an expanded and active network of support, says Carol.

The follow-up is what makes the process valuable, she adds.

“It’s not just going to a workshop and forgetting about it,” says Carol.

She hopes families will commit to the process and make it work in their communities.

The free workshop will be held at BACI Still Creek Centre. Registrations will be taken until Oct. 28. For more information, email

To comment on this story, or to share how your support network got started, contact Deb at 800-294-0051 ext. 30 or e-mail deb(at)



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