Family-Centred Care At BC Family Hearing Resource Society

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Top Image BC Family Hearing Resource Society Team © Courtesy of BCFHRS

BC Family Hearing Resource Society (BCFHRS) has a long and rich history of providing a wide range of specialized early intervention services and community capacity-building activities to Deaf and Hard of Hearing (D/HH) children and their families across the provinces of British Columbia, Yukon and Northwest Territories. Services are provided to children and families from birth to school-aged entry. This year marks a milestone as the organization celebrates its 40th Anniversary in service delivery and community engagement.

The approach to services includes specific intervention that offers the flexibility of various communication choices. A range of services are offered across the full spectrum of language development, such as visual language (American Sign Language—ASL), spoken language (English), as well as alternative augmentative communication options.

The organization has Teachers of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Speech-Language Pathologists, a Listening and Spoken Language Specialist, Sign Language Instructors, Early Childhood Educators, and Family Support Parents. Some staff are also trained deaf/hard of hearing role models and personally identify either as Deaf or Hard of Hearing.

Deaf child, Hard of Hearing Child, BC Family Hearing Resource Society
© Courtesy of BC Family Hearing Resource Society

A combination of a broad range of expertise with specialized knowledge of professionals is used to conduct assessments in two languages (English and ASL), identify goals and strategies, develop Individualized Family Service Plans, and provide individualized intervention based on the needs of the child and family. Families and Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing children receive support for the development of cognitive language and communication intervention services in visual language as well as spoken language.

I can’t speak enough of the quality of service our family has received. Staff have been compassionate, supportive and our greatest cheerleaders in building our confidence and awareness.

BC Family Hearing Resource Society client

The core services provided by BCFHRS include outcome-driven individualized intervention services tailored to the needs of each D/HH child and their family in a range of different areas that encompass cognitive receptive and expressive language and global development. The Individualized Family Service Plan forms the central and vital document in the coordination of all services for the child and the family. Various auxiliary services and group programs include a new specialized bilingual childcare that opened in September 2021, educational support, training, and workshops offered to children, their families and community service providers. Interventionists establish partnerships with families to enable them to develop competency and confidence to make the best possible choices for their children.

BCFHRS has been actively involved in educating, training, supporting and sharing resources with many communities across the provinces. Many rural and remote communities also have limited information, expertise and experience with deafness, hearing loss, the range of hearing levels and its impact on language, communication and the overall well-being of the child. The organization’s objective is to identify the needs of each community service provider in these areas and strengthen their resource capacities to achieve self-sufficiency. BCFHRS has played a leadership role throughout the province of B.C. in building such community capacity. Feedback is sought from families and community service providers, and such feedback is used to improve standards of service delivery and care.

BCFHRS does an outstanding job. Our collaboration leads to the best possible outcomes for families. We always enjoy working with you.

BC Family Hearing Resource Society Community Partner
Family playing in backyard doing sign language, asl, deaf children, hard of hearing children, bc family resource society
© Courtesy of BC Family Hearing Resource Society

The children and families that BCFHRS serves come from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds, including Indigenous families. Understanding families’ values and differences, respecting their diversity and being flexible during service provision has been one of their strengths. The BCFHRS’s staff are trained and committed to actively engage with humility and self-reflection, and self-critique as they develop equal partnerships with families to minimize barriers to their child’s success. Staff recognize the sensitive and confidential nature of service provisions and respect the unique needs of every child and family. Intervention services are individualized and provided by a team of skilled and competent professionals who are caring, compassionate and empathetic.

The focus of the organization for the next three years would be on the expansion and improvement of the frequency of individual and group services for Indigenous families, especially from rural and remote communities. BCFHRS has partnered with Indigenous leaders and community service providers to tailor and adapt practices to maximize service delivery to families from Indigenous communities. They are in the process of conducting family gathering sessions across B.C., and the Yukon, wherein current and past families come together to share their personal stories and experiences that allow for awareness, learning and growth to build respectful and sensitive relationships for impactful service delivery.

If you are interested in more information on the programs and services, contact Dr. Noreen Simmons, Executive Director at BCFHRS: nsimmons@bcfamilyhearing.com or call 604-584-2827 ext. 223

You can also visit the BCFHRS website: www.bcfamilyhearing.com

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BC Family Hearing Resource Society is the largest not-for-profit organization in British Columbia serving children who are deaf and hard-of-hearing, aged birth to school-entry.

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