By Andru McCracken
According to Executive Director Lina Thompson, changing the name of the Robson Valley Support Society to Robson Valley Community Services is about better representing what they do.
“The concept of ‘support services’ really had a connotation that we only served in crises,” said Thompson.
“It was limiting.”
She said although they do a lot of crisis management for families they have a much bigger role to play in community development.
She says the name change will help them raise the profile of the organization and to apply for grants and other supports from the BC Federation of Community Social Services.
She said the federation will help keep the organization accountable and provide training opportunities.
Thompson said the organization is growing and they will soon add two new employees.
“One thing we’re focused on right now is supporting our indigenous community members,” she said.
“We will be posting soon our first ever indigenous Family Support Worker.”
Thompson said they are also looking for a youth mental health clinician.
Since Thompson has arrived, the organization has gone from 16 staff to 23 with many of the positions filled with valley residents, but some positions have been filled with new residents too.
Thompson said some positions are hard to fill with locals because they require a lot of training. Attracting new talent can be a challenge too because of issues with housing and the availability of daycare.
“If you come up and there is nowhere to live and nowhere to put your child in daycare you have a problem recruiting people,” she said.
Thompson has been working on that problem and in October, Robson Valley Community Services opened a preschool.
She said ultimately they will branch out into infant and toddler care, and eventually a before and after school program.
Another big change is that the new chair of RVCS is Hollie Blanchette, who lives in Valemount. Previously, the chair was located in McBride.