GCF Grant Stories 'Family and Children's Services of Guelph and Wellington.' A baby smiles as he sits in a car seat. His mother is in the background smiling while she looks at him.

Responsive Fund for Families Program provides car seats to those in need #GCFGrantStories

Next up in our #GCFGrantStories series is Community Grant recipient Family & Children’s Services of Guelph and Wellington County (FCSGW), which received funding for its Responsive Fund for Families Program.

This program provides immediate material support for low-income families who struggle to access the things they need to safely care for their young children, such as car seats, strollers, beds, and cribs. 👶

Low-income families involved with FCSGW continue to be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic on top of other challenges including poverty, unemployment, ill health, domestic violence, mental health issues, or caring for a child who has serious physical, emotional, or developmental difficulties.

Much to the surprise of the FCSGW team, car seats were the most requested items throughout the program, with all grant funds going towards providing 25 families with 20 new car seats and eight boosters, helping to remedy their financial barriers and prevent them from borrowing or purchasing potentially dangerous second-hand car seats. To date, FCSGW is the only organization in our community to provide new car seats to vulnerable families all year round.

When families can access basic needs such as car seats, parents and other caregivers experience less stress, allowing them to provide the critical support children need to grow into healthy, productive adults.

Because of this program, FCSGW was also able to develop three new partnerships. Evenflo provided the car seats, Danby Furniture Bank helped with storage, and the Guelph Lions Club donated so the program could continue for an additional year!

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