Trenton MFRC is one of the recipients of the 2021 Bell True Patriot Love Fund. Below they’ve answered some questions to help us learn a little more about their program, what they hope to achieve, and what they aim to do with the funding provided.
1. Tell me a little bit about your organization and its mission.
The Trenton MFRC provides services and resources that support the well-being of military families serving at 8 Wing/CFB Trenton. By military families, we include all military, regular force or reservists, and their parents and close relatives. In all our work, we comply with the Privacy Code of the Director of Military Family Services (DMFS). All our services are confidential. Our mission is to promote and facilitate community-based services that enrich, strengthen, and enhance the quality of life of our military families.
The Provincial Special Needs & Inclusion Program (SNIP) was created 4 years ago to meet the needs of our military community. This program has since grown to become a partnership between military family resource centers (MFRCs) across the province of Ontario to provide information, referrals, and support to military families and individuals with special needs.
We focus on evidence-based CORE programming to strengthen the social skills of children, youth, and adults within the local community. With inclusivity in mind, we make sure that anyone who can benefit from our programs is welcome regardless of a diagnosis.
2. Can you describe your program in 3-4 sentences, including outlined objectives the program aims to achieve?
Our program provides specialized, evidence-based PEERS® (The Program for the Education of Enrichment of Relational Skills) program facilitator training through Teleconferencing with UCLA to MFRC staff and Ontario community partners.
This is done with the purpose of:
- Better serving our military and Veteran families with special needs, and ensuring continuity of care regardless of whether families relocate.
- Increasing the ability of youth to make friends, understand social cues, and manage/avoid bullying.
- Develop life skills and social skills and build upon their resiliency and capacity for healthy and strong mental health and wellbeing.
3. What is the desired outcome of your program and its impact on the Veteran and military community?
The desired outcome of this project is to train MFRC staff across Ontario and also welcome community partners within our local communities. We hope to expand this across Canada in the future. For example, if we provide training for 1 staff member at each MFRC location this will give us a total of 32 trained MFRC staff. And if each MFRC staff brings in 2 or 3 local community partners, this then triples our participant facilitators to 96. In our communities where military families are dispersed, such as the GTA, this means that by including community partners and civilians, more military families can benefit.
This program also aligns with Gender-based Analytsis Plus (GBA+) as it incorporates personal experiences and interpretations within the material, recognizing that sex, gender, and identity all play key parts in understanding behaviour and perceived expectations and demystifying such assumptions through dialogue, reflection, and directed discussions.
4. What does this grant from the Bell True Patriot Love Fund mean to you?
Without the support of this funding we would not be able to provide such valuable training for staff, and in turn would not be in the position to provide support to our military youth. This fund allows us to ensure that military youth receive the skills and support they need to navigate future obstacles unique to them.