Infant Development Program
Infant Development is a support service for families with children from birth to 6 years of age within Kenora and surrounding areas, which includes accessible First Nations communities. We offer support services to families whose children may be at risk of a developmental delay because of their birth history or other medical issues. We are sensitive to the unsettling emotions that accompany parents' concerns over their child's development. A child does not need a diagnosis to be eligible for Infant Development support services.
KACL first offered the Infant Development Program in 1977, which places the association among those service providers to first offer an Infant Development program in Ontario. Our goal is to provide home-based, family-centred support to people with infants or children, who have concerns with their children's development. We understand that every family is unique and we tailor our efforts to best meet the needs of each family.
Supports offered through the Infant Development program are largely based on providing families with sources of information. We offer general information to families regarding child development, along with strategies for parenting and for handling attachment issues. This can include connecting families to group parenting programs, or collaborating with other community services and professionals, or providing assistance in securing specialized funding to support the family in meeting their child's goals. Infant Development offers direct support to families as students as well. Community Support Workers provide support to individual students 1:1 or in small groups in the community, home, or centre, to augment goals for enhancing their participation in daily activities. Because each family is unique, our consultants offer as much or as little support as each family feels to be necessary. Sometimes support can come from building relationships with other families who may be experiencing similar concerns.
Infant Development consultants offer direct support for families and their children. Prior to a child entering junior kindergarten or senior kindergarten, consultants can address parents' concerns about their child's development by performing diagnostic screening assessments. Following the assessment process, consultants will follow-up with families, which may involve making recommendations and/or referrals to appropriate resources available in the community. Consultants may also offer support to parents whose child is making the transition into school, when he or she begins junior or senior kindergarten. This may involve accompanying parents to meetings with educators and administrators in schools and it may involve accompanying the student inside the classroom. Our goal is to supply advocacy plans that lead to providing families and children with tools to advocate for themselves.