Everyone at KIS, in some capacity, is working with children, families and caregivers to enhance strengths, to build capacities and to promote healthy development and settlement journey. KIS delivers a range of services guided by principles that focus on building supportive relationships, facilitating growth, respecting diversity and furthering community development.

Children & Family Support

Everyone at KIS, in some capacity, is working with children, families and caregivers to enhance strengths, to build capacities and to promote healthy development and settlement journey. KIS delivers a range of services guided by principles that focus on building supportive relationships, facilitating growth, respecting diversity and furthering community development.
In Kamloops there are many organizations supporting families, they are known by various titles: family resource programs, family resource centres, community centres, community services, aboriginal friendship centres, early years centres, YMCA, family places, school boards, toy libraries, and more.
Our names are different but they share the same vision.
By enhancing the capacity and confidence of parents and caregivers, as well as providing resources for children to thrive, we all contribute to strengthen families and communities as a whole.

Family Support Services offered at KIS

Early Years Bridging Program

The Bridging Program provides families with young children a safe and supportive environment
to play and learn, connect with others, learn about parenting within a Canadian context, and
obtain information about resources available to them in Kamloops. The goal of the program is
for clients to develop trusting relationships, enhance their self-esteem, learn supportive
parenting strategies, and develop and reinforce their commitment to learning English as a
Second language.
The program has two components —one for children and the other for parents— and is 2 Early
Childhood Educators, an assistant and the Cultural Social Worker.
The children’s program emulates the goals of a pre-school environment, and includes
supervised free play, “Circle Time”, outside play, and music therapy.
The parents’ program includes guest speakers for specific topics, based on their expressed
needs, to build parents’ capacity and resiliency. Examples include nutrition, cooking, overall
health and well being (and specific topics such as diabetes management), the effects of sleep
deprivation, and the importance of family routines (mealtime, playtime, bedtime, school, etc.)
and specific parenting skills.
The program also includes home visits to further strengthen support to families.
Sessions are offered monthly, and the first 4 sessions are mandatory.
Clients are referred to the program by the Settlement Counsellors. Transportation is provided
where it presents a barrier to attendance.

Immigrant Parents As Literacy Supporters (iPALS) offered through KIS Childminding Program

Our experience working with immigrant parents demonstrates their desire to increase their
knowledge about specific ways they can support their children’s literacy development.
The goal of iPALS is to work with parents in supporting their children’s early language, literacy
and numeracy development. The program is a culturally responsive family literacy program
designed to help immigrant and refugee families – and their young children – flourish in their
new communities.
iPALS is designed to enhance parents’ self-esteem, increase their awareness of their children’s
development (social, emotional, cognitive, and physical), improve their understanding of their
dual role as parent-teacher, and enhance their own literacy development.

iPALS is facilitated with the option of weekly or biweekly for 9 sessions of 1.5hr each.
An interpreter is used to assist with translation of more abstract concepts when needed.

360° Supports for Parents with young children

KIS Early Years Parenting Support Program is designed to meet the unique and challenging
needs of each family whose child is attending our Childminding program while accessing KIS
services.
Through the agency qualified Childminding team and the support of KIS En Route Program
Navigator, four main activities are designed to address commonly observed presenting needs of
immigrant and refugee parents; attachment and bonding issues, difficulty to trust, difficulty to
be emotionally available due to past trauma. Some parents have never been exposed to early
childhood programs before and it is very stressful for them to leave their child in our care.
The program fosters parental involvement in their child’s life through education and
engagement where the parents feel emotionally supported and feel that the program is
applicable to their lives, as it provides knowledge and skills to thrive in their new context while
their cultural needs are accommodated.
The importance of guiding and supporting newcomer parents and their children is highly
important in preparation for transition into the school system and we have the opportunity at
KIS to offer this support.

KIS Community Connections

Our program offers two series intended to respond specifically to families: “Life in Kamloops” and
“Healthy Lifestyle”.
Each series schedules weekly activities for adults, youth and seniors. The activities are hosted at the
agency, in Kamloops, and throughout the region, and are facilitated by volunteers, partnering
organizations and KIS staff.
Our “Healthy Lifestyle” series features: Family yoga, traditional Indigenous medicine, animal therapy, a Women’s Art Circle, meditation and mindfulness, cooking, food processing, recycling, hiking, camping, fishing, snowshoeing, gardening, drop-in soccer, healthy relationships, parenting, home safety, energy saving, and facts about gambling.

Our “Life in Kamloops” series features: visits to or participation in the Kamloops Farmer’s Markets, the
Kamloops Powwow, the Thompson Rivers University Intercultural Celebration, the Pride Parade, the
Canada Day Celebration, the Diversity Walk, the Kamloops Museum and Archives, the Secwepemc
Museum and Heritage Park, Hat Creek Ranch, monthly potlucks, local exhibitions, multicultural
celebrations and festivals, family game nights, and wilderness safety workshops.
An average of 4 activities each week are offered during the day and evenings, and occasionally on
weekends.

Resources