Posted by Colin Heggie on Nov 10, 2020
Martin von Holst hosted Dean Francks, Executive Director of North Okanagan Youth & Family Services Society.  NOYFSS began serving families in 1974, & have grown to over 22 different programs supported by over 90 staff & an annual budget exceeding $5m.  Counselling & support services to individuals & families include help for troubled youth, young parents, foster parents, pregnant teens, addictions, AD(H)D, etc., etc.  They also have two staffed residential facilities.  Much of their work involves problem-solving for both groups & individuals, such as cyber-bullying.  Their many in-person group counselling sessions were cancelled due to Covid-19, but are now restarting.  Masks & social distancing are difficult or impossible with some of their clients, so this has been a huge challenge.  A large portion of NOYFSS’s funding comes from contractual arrangements with the provincial Ministry of Children & Family Development, with whom they have a close working relationship.  In answering a question from one of our members, Dean admitted they presently don’t have a program to assist working adults who care for their aging parents.  Dean briefly described their annual Christmas “Adopt A Family” program, in its 20th year, matching sponsors with needy local families.