We know that all children can succeed, given the right supports and opportunities. For a variety of reasons, students and their families experience challenges that interfere with academic success and a positive experience at school.

We have partnered with over 80 schools in Edmonton to ensure students, their families, and the school employees receive supports to:

  • Improve classroom behaviours by addressing underlying issues
  • Provide tools and techniques for teachers and families to keep children in school and to understand children who have gone through trauma
  • Foster a positive school experience, and build confidence and skills for academic success
  • Support children to attend school more regularly, achieve higher results, avoid high-risk behaviours, make effective decisions and goals, and see a positive future for themselves
  • Engage families in participating in their child’s learning, the school environment, and family activities
  • Guide children and youth to make positive decisions using role models, mentors, advocates, and affordable community supports
  • Reduce the stigma and other barriers to therapeutic supports

Success Coaches

Success Coaches help youth who have been hurt emotionally, are disengaged, and have lost their confidence in others. Coaches foster a positive school experience and build confidence and skills for academic success. With the support of a success coach, children attend school more regularly, achieve higher results, avoid high-risk behaviours, make effective decisions and goals, and see a positive future for themselves.

How will students benefit?

Success coaches develop relationships with children and youth to:

  • Promote a healthy view of education, and facilitate success in school by exploring future career opportunities
  • Encourage participation in healthy physical activity
  • Support transitioning to a new grade or school
  • Build resiliency skills to cope with challenging situations
  • Develop stronger social, academic, and communication skills
  • Be more equipped to solve problems, deal with anger, and make positive decisions
  • Increase their community network of supports
  • Provide opportunities for healthy peer interaction

Roots and Wings

Roots and Wings provides in-home family support to families. We work together with families to ensure their needs are front and centre, resulting in meaningful solutions based on their unique lives. We do not make decisions for them; we help them navigate complex systems and equip them with resources and information to make their own decisions.

How do families benefit?

No two families are the same, so Roots and Wings provides customized support to families based on their specific needs. In general, we support families to:

  • Build effective parenting skills
  • Understand how negative childhood experiences, toxic stress, and trauma affect parenting and child development
  • Positively influence brain development by focusing on attachment, literacy, culturally sensitive play, and nutrition
  • Make financial decisions that empower them to overcome barriers related to poverty
  • Improve their communication and advocacy skills
  • Better navigate systems
  • Develop or build positive social networks
  • Address issues that contribute to addictions, domestic violence, and mental health

Mental Health Therapists

We believe children should not be judged solely on their misconduct or grades; we should aim to understand and support the underlying reasons for their behaviour. Those who access our therapists sometimes face multiple stressors, such as poverty, abuse, or addiction, and would not typically access therapy services otherwise. Other times, they may have experienced a trauma or are struggling to meet expectations.

In addition to supporting students, mental health therapists work with their family, community, and teachers to help the m better understand children who have gone through trauma. This includes educating the community about the impact of trauma on the developing brain. We believe reaching children and youth while they are in school is the best way to encourage future success.

Mental health therapists provide a combination of counselling and group work, customized for the child and their family. They work collaboratively with other service providers in a ‘circle of support’ model for children and their families.

To help young people and families overcome the barriers and challenges that inhibit learning and development, and stop kids from completing high school, we focus on:

  • Children engaged in high-risk behaviours
  • Bullying and conflict resolution in school and peer environments
  • Chaotic, unhealthy home environments
  • Dysfunctional and dangerous relationships
  • The debilitating stress of living in extreme poverty
  • The effects of fetal alcohol syndrome
  • Children experiencing the effects of abuse and trauma
  • Parental dysfunction and child neglect


Cultural Coaches

Cultural coaches facilitate youth-driven programming through the Action for Teens program.

Cultural coaches work with ethno-cultural youth who need support adjusting to life in Canada or reconnecting to their culture. They help youth strengthen their sense of identity and belonging and their self-confidence. In addition to newcomers, cultural coaches work with second- and third-generation immigrant youth who know little about their culture of origin or don’t see the importance of being connected to their heritage. They assist them in learning more about their culture, re-establishing bonds to their cultural community, and increasing their natural support systems.

With this type of support, The Family Centre believes that youth will better understand and be more equipped to cope with the cultural differences they are experiencing in their new country, school, and community. The desired outcome for the program is to make youth less vulnerable and more resilient to cultural challenges.

What will they get out of the program?

Cultural coaches work with youth to:

  • Establish positive relationships with peers through coaching, role modelling, mentoring, and support
  • Determine their unique social and recreation needs and interests
  • Increase their network of social support
  • Develop new skills (social, communication, problem solving, coping, etc.)
  • Become more aware of their strengths and qualities (leadership, empowerment, boundaries, positive identity, commitment to learning, etc.)

Who can access these services?

Students and their families at participating schools. Please connect with the principal for more information. 

How much does it cost?

There is no cost to families.

How can we get these services in our school?

Please contact us for more information

The Family Centre’s team had a tremendous, positive impact on our school. Their expertise and professionalism gained them the respect of staff and students alike. They provided much-needed supports for many children this year, who may not have had access to counselling otherwise. They were able to set up Girls Group and Boys Group in addition to individual counselling sessions. They have become valued members of our community.

Lorelei Hironaka
Assistant Principal
St. Francis of Assisi School

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