Program to support black parenting skills launched in Durham


By Lincoln DePradine

Debbie Miles-Senior

A program to “support and enhance black parenting skills” has been launched for families in Whitby, Ajax and Pickering.

The program which is funded through the Ontario Black Youth Action Plan (BYAP) will receive $30,000 over four years and is being administered by Side by Side Access Services.

“We are very excited to be part of creating change in our community,’’ said Debbie Miles-Senior, Director of Side by Side  Access Services. “This four-year commitment of $75,000 per year, for a total or $300,000, represents a serious commitment to Durham’s black community.’’

Miles-Senior said the organization offers culturally based programs for parents and caregivers with black children, ages 6-11, living in the Durham area. “The programs recognize the diversity and strength that exist within the black community and aim to empower and support parents,’’ Miles-Senior explained.

Side by Side Access Services, in partnership with the John Howard Society, which is a non-profit organization, was successful in applying last year for the BYAP funding for the newly launched project in Regional municipality of Durham.

“The project will support and enhance black parenting skills through recognizing the unique challenges that black parents and caregivers face due to the effects of anti-black racism,’’ said Miles-Senior.

“The project will provide support and services to parents and children impacted by separation and/or divorce. Services include supervised community visits, therapeutic access, in-home support, and yearly workshops focusing on co-parenting and the importance of fathers in the family structure.’’

The program in Durham is free for participants who can receive more information by visiting the website www.sidebysideaccess.ca; or by calling 416 518-1569.