Since 1986, Children’s Cottage Society (CCS) is dedicated to achieving our vision: Resilient children blossom in healthy families. We are a trusted source of support with over 150 staff in three locations, including a Crisis Nursery (Calgary’s only facility of its kind). CCS serves clients in Calgary and surrounding areas through prevention programs, resources and services such as short-term child care, respite care, family coaching, parenting skills programs, housing support and community connections. Our efforts are instrumental in buffering children from toxic stress that can cause long-term emotional and physical harm. In 2020, we helped over 2129 children and 1,392 families to be resilient and thrive.
Over the past 35 years as Calgary has grown so has the need for our services. Lack of space and resources in our Crisis Nursery has left hundreds of children in need of support in crisis and subject to toxic stress. Our statistics show this trend has grown exponentially since we opened the first Crisis Nursery in 1986. That means that for several years in a row, we turned away more than 1,900 children who were in need of our help. It is critical that we act quickly with a new solution to address the urgent needs of children and families in our community. The Children’s Cottage is currently raising funds through our Caring Together Campaign to build a new Child and Family Centre to open in late 2023.
We will create space and provide services in a new 35,000 square foot, three-storey Child and Family Centre in Calgary’s northwest community of Montgomery. In addition to our current programs, it will include a 20-bed crisis nursery, a family resource centre, therapeutic child development programs, parenting programs, mental health services and culturally-specific programs for the Indigenous and Métis children who make up more than 40 per cent of those we serve.
The new centre is more than a stop-gap measure. It will integrate the insights from 34 years of Children’s Cottage experience and assessments, combined with the latest research in our field to create services and care that will make a lasting difference in our community.
Tina and Bryce are first-time parents to their son, Aaron. In the beginning, motherhood was filled with excitement but Tina also had some apprehension.
As a child, she experienced serious abuse and trauma caused by her parents. Tina wanted to ensure that she did not repeat any of the parenting mistakes made during her childhood. Realizing she needed help, Tina reached out to the Children’s Cottage Society.
Meeting with a Crisis Nursery Family Coach, Tina evaluated her parenting skills and set personal goals. She regularly attended appointments to help her pinpoint stress triggers to know when to seek help, and she learned to recognize and remove negative and harmful habits. Through positive parenting techniques, she started to pay attention to her son’s interests and respond to his verbal cues and actions. Tina learned to be nurturing, developed successful coping skills, and incorporated positive parenting strategies.
“The biggest fear was turning out to be just like my parents. The Family Coaches helped me so much. I still have bad days once in a while, but I can always refer back to what my coaches taught me. I’m really proud of what I’ve accomplished.”