Who Is FAN?
The Family Action Network of the Lower Columbia (see map) is an active network of people who understand the importance of early childhood development, and who work together in the Lower Columbia to make our region the best place to raise a family.
The Family Action Network includes:
- Organizations that work directly with families
- Elected officials
- Industry and business / economic partners
- FAN is all of us! (FAN is here to remind us of this and show how we can all participate)
“It takes a village to raise a child – and families to raise a region”
The Lower Columbia Region of BC includes:
What FAN Does
We do a variety of things to:
- Support organizations that help families
- Encourage all community organizations and members to invest in families, and particularly young children
- Champion or lead initiatives that go beyond the scope of a single organization; and we try to find extra resources to build on the good work already being done
- Reach out to and help link families to each other, community resources, and our community at large.
Our Priority Projects
A 2012 Survey to parents in the Lower Columbia revealed some great information about priorities for young families in our area. Stemming from this parent feedback, FAN has invested in key projects that contribute to making our region the best place to raise a family as listed below.
- Ages & Stages Events (annually, Fall and Spring) – Read more under About Us > Developmental Screening
- Family friendly Washrooms – Easy Peezy Comfort Stations and Family friendly Washrooms
- Online “Hub” – www.familyactionnetwork.ca
- Offering varied learning and networking events – often in partnership with other organizations, watch for upcoming Parent Conversation Cafes
Why We Do It
- We want to do more to help families thrive
- Families need help to know about and connect to supports and opportunities in our region, especially when they are new to our region and/or when they need extra support.
- We champion or lead initiatives that go beyond the scope of individual organizations, and we try to find extra resources that build on the good work already being done.
- With a vibrant sense of family, we have a vibrant regional community; therefore, it is the right thing to do!
Our FAN Story
Once upon a time in the land of the Lower Columbia, there lived and worked a large number of caring people. They understood how important it is to look after the families that lived there, and particularly the children. They worked hard to provide good services and created many great programs, but they always knew there were families they couldn’t help. They knew there were some families they didn’t even know about or how to reach them.
So, they talked about how they could make things better for children and families. Then they talked about it some more, because these were hard working people who understood how much more could be done.
The caring people wanted to do more than talk. So, they brought in some experts who could spread important ideas, and many people came to hear the messages and to offer their own input. They invited the late Dr. Clyde Hertzman, a ‘guru’ of Early Childhood Development, who told people in the Lower Columbia that if they invested in early childhood, they invest in families and the future of all their communities.
The people were excited and committed to prioritizing what was needed. They started to think about an organization. An organization dedicated to reaching more parents of young children and working together so that all children in our region would be known and supported to reach their full potential. Yes, that felt like worthy work, though a bit daunting.
After more meetings, out of the many people who cared, eight people stepped forward and said, “We will lead this effort but we will need help!” The help came in several ways. Caring community members committed to stay involved and give their ideas and support as the organization developed its plan. A Community Development Coach-Consultant with an odd accent (but lots of good intent) remained to facilitate and shape the plan and local politicians said, “we take children in our community seriously and want to help too”.
And so, the Family Action Network of the Lower Columbia Society was born in 2013.
- February 2013 – Family Action Network of the Lower Columbia Society was born
- March 2013 – FAN completes its 5 year Strategic Plan
- Spring 2014 – FAN receives 2 years of significant funding from the Columbia Basin Trust’s Social Grants Program for a Regional Coordinator to support priority projects
- Spring 2014 – Regional Coordinator is hired
- Fall 2014 – FAN hosts 2nd Ages and Stages Screening Day with 27 children participating
- February 2015 – FAN hosts its first mobile screening day in Rossland with 22 children participating. Now, over 100 children have participated in early developmental screening in the Lower Columbia region.
- September 2015 – www.familyactionnetwork.ca launches