Every donation is important and Navera Community Connections greatly appreciates your support.

Understanding The How And Why Behind Family & Community Programming at Navera: An Intern’s Perspective

As a social work intern at Navera, I was finding a need to get a deeper understanding for the work that is being completed within the organization. I entered the organization in the Family & Community Programming department. If you are like me, I need to understand the reasons behind things that I am doing. I needed to understand the goals, values and approaches to services offered before I can comfortably contribute. During my short time at Navera, what I have come to understand, is that one of their main approaches to services is centered around family & community programming. In these programs Navera often incorporates its values of family centered service, inclusivity, and uses a strengths-based approach into their family & community programming. But what does this mean?

From my understanding it means that, the family centered approach recognizes that each family is unique. Families, service providers, and organizations all play a vital role in implementing family centered services. Often in this approach the strengths and needs of all family members are considered, which is likely why Navera has services for early learning, child and youth programming, adult programming, and counselling. I learned that this programming goes beyond the walls of Navera. Much of the community programs are delivered right into the proximity of a child’s/youth’s already trusted environment (school). When we insert our work into a person’s world, it takes less time to built rapport and provides more time to engage with one another. When we meet people where they are at, it breaks down the barriers quicker so that an understanding can be reached and relating can take place.
There are many layers to understanding community services. So, another important question I had to ask myself when working to understand Navera’s service model is, how does family & community programming assist in bettering the overall community health of Saskatoon?

I would say, when breaking down community to its simplest, yet most important element, the services offered are all about connection. Connection to others, ourselves, and our communities in which we identify ourselves being a part of. Through connection Navera ‘creates hope’, by fostering belonging, support, and purpose into our service users. I now understand family & community programming as “groups,” groups that you can voluntarily come to, and proudly identify as being a part of. Groups that make and provide space for people to be their truest selves. A place for people to come and receive support while relating and making meaningful connections. After all community health to me is about intersections of work, coming together to improve, maintain, and prevent. It’s about individual and collective responsibility to overall health.

Chasity Head-Stonestand
Practicum Student at Navera