Native and Child Family Services is operates in Scarborough and is funded by Grace Church on-the-Hill and SNC Lavelin. Similar to our other urban Aboriginal sites, the program meets the complex needs of urban Aboriginal people. Native Child and Family Services of Toronto serves families and children in the Toronto area, including First Nations, Métis, Inuit and all those with Aboriginal heritage who choose to be served by the Agency. The Aboriginal HIPPY site at the Native Child and Family Services of Toronto opened in spring 2017 at the Scarborough Family Life Centre.
A Home Visitor’s Insight into the Aboriginal HIPPY Program:
It takes a community to raise a child and the city can be awfully lonely to a young single parent but, with HIPPY, parents are able to grow for their children’s sake. HIPPY allows parents to develop as individuals and create and recreate bonds with their children.
Investing time in our HIPPY families is essential. When one child asked about the dog book, Where’s Spot, the Mom said, “Baby, Randi [Home Visitor] came so mommy could talk to someone besides family.” I smiled and she continued, “Honestly, outside my family, I don’t have anyone to talk to.”
HIPPY is helping this young mother instill a routine and, when I brought up the HIPPY packet during this home visit, I told her, “This can wait until next week, don’t worry.” She had just lost her cousin, who was only 24 years old. This isn’t unusual for our community; we have a relationship with death. Death is amongst us; death surrounds us. The mom is grateful to know that there’s a weekly Home Visitor checking on her. HIPPY provides unique support to those strong enough to reach out or cry for help.