CPNP: Becoming Mobile in Tofino-Ucluelet

 Photo credit: Michael Lum, Unsplash User

Photo credit: Michael Lum, Unsplash User

We spoke this month with Lynette Lucas, Manager of Child & Youth Services for Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council Child & Youth Services, about their CPNP program serving families in the Tofino-Ucluelet area.

Multiple funding sources have been used to create integrated links amongst their programs, including the CPNP programs serving families through pregnancy and infancy to the end of the child’s first year, so that families can have a smooth transition between programs as children age out. In Tofino, for example, they have the same worker for two programs, so the relational transition for families is made smooth.

As well as CPNP, they offer Healthy Babies (MCFD), Infant Development, Supported Child Development, and Maternal/Child Health programs.

They are currently at a transition point in their service delivery and are shifting program delivery so that it is more portable. There are significant logistical issues for parents in their catchment area to attend a centralised location, and very little available public transit. A decision has been made to only offer one session every two weeks at their central location and to set up a ‘travelling’ program on the alternate weeks, going to more remote locations where parents have had difficulty accessing the centralised program. This will mean that they will now be offering the program both at off-reserve and on-reserve locations, but all participants are welcome to attend any of the sessions, wherever located, and participants are excited about being invited into local communities.

The new service model has been made possible through new partnerships, which are enabling access to the NCT Nursing Program site, a second health program site, and community-based space.

Lack of transit options mean that it can cost as much as $60 to bring a family to the central program site using available taxi options. They have costed out the new service model and it will bring cost efficiencies that will allow more money for other items, such as food coupons for families.

Building a supportive community for parents of young families is especially crucial in an area that does not have locally-based maternity care. Mothers have to leave home and travel to be close to a maternity hospital about a month before their due date, with all the ensuing difficulties of making arrangements for their families during their absence and re-settling their families back into routines after the new baby is born. One of the team members on staff has recently trained as a post-partum doula, to offer support for mums returning to the community after giving birth.

The CPNP program addresses the health issues, both pre- and post-natal, and does a great job of making sure families are connected to community resources. But living in a small, rural community can be extremely isolating. Building a safe, welcoming community for mums and kids is a resource in itself, and one of the great outcomes of CPNP. The team is very pleased that the new delivery model will help to make this available and accessible to more families in their community.