Families First Fact Sheet
Families First is a pilot program launched in late 2000 at Ontario Works in Peel. Based on previous research by Gina Browne, the Families First Program is a unique study. The program provides intensive case management supports to sole support parents and their children through a collaborative partnership between Peel Health, Peel Children's Services and Ontario Works in Peel.
- Recreation for children
- Employment services and supports
- Public Health Nurse supports
- Subsidized childcare
What have we learned from the Families First Program?
- Families First participants experience many barriers to employment
- Families First participants are very limited in their level of participation in the community due to the degree of challenges experienced such as, poor emotional and psychological health
What are the benefits of the Families First Program?
- As well as the physical benefits, children involved in Recreation have the opportunity to develop social skills
- Overall, Families First interventions result in greater self-reliance and a reduced level of reliance on income supports
- Families First participants experience improved social, physical and mental health and a reduced reliance on social and health services
- There is less reliance on public and social supports as participants gain in the areas of family health, functionality and independence
- Both parents and children experience gains in social, physical and mental health as a result of recreation interventions
How many Peel residents have benefited from Families First?
- Over 4000 sole support parents in receipt of Ontario Works financial support, have been referred to Families First
- On average over one-third of Families First participants are actively involved in the programs health supports
- At December 31, 2009, over 8000 children were involved in Families First
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