F.Y.R.S.T. Gimli / Re-START Gimli
Program Coordinator: Sheila Hillier
204-642-5016 ext 116
Gimli's FYRST program had been experiencing difficulties due to the limited resources available to their clients in their smaller community. Being a distance from a larger centre and having clients with limited transportation options only made the situation more challenging so the FYRST program decided to address this issue head on. As a team, along with their agency partners, FYRST sought out ways to provide their clients with opportunities for wellness and they were successful in many ways. They saw the need to access therapy for the 40% of their client base with a trauma history so the program advocated to have private therapy made available locally to their clientele through Action Therapy. Action Therapy's innovative approaches have worked well to engage the youth with cultural outdoor activities.
FYRST was also able to apply for a MB Justice Criminal Property Forfeiture grant for programming that engages youth through teaching traditional Indigenous games that incorporate play with the 7 sacred teachings, significant as 95% of FYRST's clients are First Nations or Metis. The funding also allowed FYRST to offer programming for foster parents on trauma and psychological first aid as well as a foster parent support group, an important undertaking for a program where non-charge call s to the police under the mental health act occur for 48% of their client base. These programs teach techniques and tools to assist foster parents to be able to identify the signs a crisis is imminent, offer triage and seek resources that could be helpful.
Additional Indigenous resources were created in and near the community as well. A sweat lodge with monthly sweats, opportunities to make ribbon skirts, bead and receiving traditional teachings have been experiences that the FYRST clients can access as well.
"It makes everyone accountable for a purpose. Social worker, youth, parent, foster parent."
What I like the most: Setting of goals and revisiting monthly. Team advocates and gets things done addressing education, assessments, family visits, birth certificates, health, SIN, Youth involvement."- Foster Parent