Burnaby Family Life is the founding organization of the Burnaby Intercultural Planning Table. Concerned about the multiple barriers and gaps in services facing Burnaby’s growing population of immigrants and refugees, Burnaby Family Life called a focus group of service providers together in January, l996 to discuss how the community could improve their services in a co-ordinated community response to better meet the needs of a changing, diverse population. Burnaby Family Life’s role within in the broad continuum of service providers includes a range of services at 12 different Burnaby locations, primarily in the area of early intervention and prevention. Burnaby Family Life has 25 formal partnerships with other organizations in joint service delivery, and a strong commitment to develop community services that are accessible and welcoming to all. Thus Burnaby Family Life provides effective referrals to partner organizations, shares its resources to meet gaps in services in our rapidly changing community. The majority of BFL services are focused on the well-being of our children, families and community that alleviate the need for more costly crisis intervention services by government authorities.
Burnaby Family Life provides 2 licensed childcare centres (teen age mothers receive specialized services so they can complete high school); 12 Family Drop In programs at 4 different locations; a wide range of Parenting Programs for different ages and stages of child development; Baby and Me programs and Mother Goose programs. Parenting Programs are provided in Mandarin, Farsi, and Arabic as well as English; there is also a Manadarin program for Grandparents.
Burnaby Family Life provides specialized services for Children while their parents are learning to speak English; specialized services for Pregnant and Parenting Teens, for women who have multiple barriers such as poverty, isolation, history of abuse, lack of family support, lack of English language, lack of affordable housing and extended family support.
Specialized counselling services for Women Survivors of Abuse, sexual assault and family violence are also available for Children Who Witness Abuse. A broad range of Life Skills programs that serve the most vulnerable populations in our community are also delivered with strong supports from community partners.
Burnaby Family Life participates in a specialized pilot project for Multi-barriered refugees called Step Ahead and works closely with the Health Region in delivering a New Canadian Clinic for non English speaking families. A broad range of parenting programs, life skills programs and other specialized services are always under development, changing and expanding in response to emerging community needs.
Recognizing that, from time to time, all families experience crisis and are in need of support, BFL seeks to be responsive to the whole community in all its diversity. Many services, however, specifically target low income families, lone parent families, immigrant and refugee families, isolated families lacking supports, families experiencing anger, depression and/or abuse. Programs are provided free of charge or by donation whenever possible; no one is turned away for inability to pay. For current program information call (604) 659.