Sharing our experience as Volunteer Resource Parents and Regional Network Coordinators in the North

Robyn Alden and Renee Morven, Regional Network Coordinators (North East & North West BC) for the Family Support Institute of BC share their experiences serving the communities of the Nass Valley, Kitimat, Prince Rupert, Terrace and surrounding areas (Renee) and Prince George, Vanderhoof, Nechako-Lakes, Houston, Smithers, and the Hazeltons (Robyn). As Regional Network Coordinator with the Family Support Institute of BCthey share their lived experience and stories and how it relates to the FSI family to family support model, using the tools and resources available to assist families and those working with families 

Key Take-aways

  • FSI supports and services are FREE to any family. 
  • Informed, involved and confident families are the most effective agents for creating social change. 
  • Families are the best resource to support one another-knowing you are not alone reducing isolation and caregiver stress. 
  • FSI has volunteer Resource Parents all over the province who have a family member with a disability, and this network of Resource Parents connects with families by sharing experiences, expertise and guidance. 
  • Families can connect with FSI Resource Parents, by phone, by email, and virtually by joining zoom conversations 
  • Families are guided to resources and services, and are mentored to become effective advocates for themselves and their children.   

Resources

  • Click here to browse the FSI Event Calendar-a place to connect with other families and learn together 
  • Click here to visit the Family Support Institute Website 
  • Click here to access the FSI Emergency Community Response page  

Presenter Bios

Renee Morven

Renee’ Morven comes from the community of New Aiyansh.  She has three beautiful children, two sons, and a daughter. Her daughter who is 16 years old and has Rett Syndrome, seizure disorder, dystonia, and osteopenia. Her experiences brought her to the Family Support Institute, where she has been a volunteer resource parent since 2010.  She is very passionate about working with families, as she knows that feeling understood, heard, and acknowledged is important, especially when one feels isolated. Renee’ has been working with FSIBC as Regional Network Coordinator since 2017. When not working, you can find her out harvesting/wild crafting wild medicine plants that heal, or out with her family. I look forward to working with other organizations and services providers to provide connection to families so that all families receive early access to peer to peer support and guidance 

Robyn Alden

My children have been my greatest teachers, and have led me in my journey to becoming a Family Support Institute volunteer Resource Parent in 2010 when we lived in the community of Smithers. I am a parent first, to two young adults who live with diverse abilities. Over the years we navigated school experiences, accessing supported child development and early intervention, as well as respite supports. My lived experience as a parent and advocate for my children, along with my work role in helping other families connect to supports and services have given me awareness of the unique experiences and challenges of raising children with extra support needs while living in northern BC. After moving to Prince George, I took on the role as Regional Network Coordinator with the Family Support Institute in 2018 to provide outreach to communities from Prince George to the HazeltonsWith the knowledge that early intervention and early access lead to positive outcomes, my focus is to ensurfamilies have early access to peer support. As RNC, much of my work has been specifically recognizing families with children birth to five years where there is a gap in support services, as well as families whose children have no formal diagnosis yet are receiving services in a variety of domains and lack funding support for full and enhanced support services.