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What are Support Circles?

In-Person Circles Postponed, Online Circles Running

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 situation, we are cancelling in-person Circles until further notice, for the health/safety of our families. Online Circles will continue as usual on Zoom. We will keep you informed of any further changes. Feel free to contact us at office@parentsupportbc.ca if you have any questions. Stay safe!

Support Circles are free, anonymous, confidential self-help groups offering weekly or bi-weekly meetings and other activities organized by trained volunteer facilitators. Support Circles help parents, grandparents and others raising a family member’s child to learn positive parenting by providing them with a safe atmosphere in which to share their stories and stresses, learn new skills, receive emotional support and discover services and resources. The Circles strengthen the first link in a chain that connects positive caregiving with healthy children and help healthy families build strong communities. 

What are Support Circles?

Testimonials

Testimonials From Parent Support Circle Participants and Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Support Group Participants


FAQ

How do I join?

During the COVID 19 Health Crisis – we are offering Online Support Circles, at different times of the day. To find out more, visit our regional pages, call our toll free number 1-877-345-9777, or click here. You can directly access our registration form here, and we will be in touch.

Please be aware that the Support Circle service is not a drop-in program and we do not advertise exact locations or links of Circles for safety and privacy reasons. You will need to call the local PSS phone number for your region or the referral number of a partner agency in your community in order to be referred to a Circle. Registration to the Circle is very important before you attend. You will be given all the information you need to take the next step in joining a group.

What will happen when I call about a Support Circle?

When you call (or, when you are contacted after filling out our form), you will speak with a staff member of Parent Support Services. Whomever you talk to will ask for some basic information and a convenient time for a facilitator to contact you. We usually ask if we can leave a message in your voicemail if needed. To protect your privacy, you can say no to this.

You will then be referred to a Circle facilitator. They will call you within 72 hours to tell you more about the program and the specific group and ask for some more info. The two of you may arrange to meet and talk further before the next meeting, or you may simply be invited to the next meeting.

The most important thing you need to know is that the person on the other end of the phone will appreciate the courage it has taken for you to pick up the phone and say, “I think I need help.”

What will happen when I attend a Support Circle?

All Support Circles follow a similar plan but the details for each meeting vary from one Circle to another. Many Circles open with each parent or kinship caregiver saying how they are and how their week with their children has been. Participants discuss parenting concerns in the supportive setting provided. One of the most important things about Support Circles is that they respond to the needs expressed by the people who attend them.

What else do I need to know about parenting support circles?

In some communities, Circles operate in various languages. There are also Support Circles for Grandparents Raising Grandchildren (Kinship Caregivers).

Parent Support Services Society of BC ensures that anyone parenting or caring for children and teens will be comfortable joining a Support Circle.

When Circles are running in-person, Parent Support Services is able to provide childcare in most locations and/or a small subsidy to pay for childcare and transportation, if needed. Our objective is to remove the obstacles that might prevent someone from attending a Support Circle.

I’m a Grandparent or other Kinship Caregiver. Are there Support Circles for me?

There are Support Circles specifically for those who are raising their friends or relatives’ children (Kinship Caregivers or Grandparents Raising Grandchildren). Please contact our GRG/Kinship Care Line, who can give you more information and refer you to a Kinship Care Support Circle.


Regional Circles

Regional Service

Click on your region to see what support circles are offered in your area. We also offer language-specific support circles by region. 

Lower Mainland/Fraser Valley

Interior BC

Prince George/Northern BC

Vancouver Island


Provincial Circles

Province Wide Service

Our Provincial wide virtual Support circles are co-facilitated Zoom sessions. These Support Circles are here to provide a safe and confidential space for Parents and GRG/Kinship Caregivers, to share the challenges, concerns, questions and offer the support you need during COVID-19

Click here for a flyer with our Provincial Circles

Parenting Support Circles

Mondays •  9:00pm • via Zoom 
Thursdays •  10:00am • via Zoom 
Thursdays •  6:30pm • via Zoom 

For Fathers or Those in Fathering roles
Wednesdays •  7:30pm • via Zoom 

For Single Parents
Fridays •  8:30pm • via Zoom 

Gender Creative (for those parenting gender diverse children)
Thursdays •7:30pm • via Zoom 

For Parents Raising Teens
Thursdays •7:30pm • via Zoom 

Grandparents Raising Grandchildren (Kinship Care) Support Circles 
Mondays •  10:00am • via Zoom 
Tuesdays •  7:30pm • via Zoom 
Thursdays •  10:00am • via Zoom 

To register for any provincial Circle:
Registration Form
1-877-345-9777 (Toll-Free) ext. 100
office@parentsupportbc.ca

If there is no Circle in your area, contact our Provincial Program Director:
604-669-1616 ext.105 
bella_cenezero@parentsupportbc.ca


GRG/Kinship Facebook group

Province Wide Service

The GRG/Kinship Support BC Facebook group provides a larger opportunity for connection, sharing of resources and information.  Grandparents raising grandchildren and other kinship caregivers in BC can join using the link below. This a private group for kinship caregivers only.


Indigenous Support Circles

Province Wide & Regional Service

We offer Indigenous Circles as well as Indigenous-focused events and programming.