Pregnancy Care Center on the Way to Stettler – Stettler Independent
In November, Stettler will house an office for the Central Alberta Pregnancy Care Center.
A few years ago, the organizers here in town contacted the Red Deer head office to see if it would be possible to open a branch in Stettler.
First, a local planning committee held a meeting to gauge interest and about 35 people attended.
Then, a fundraising banquet was held early last year to raise money to get the project going.
âLast May, we hired a director for the Center, and her name is Amanda Jackson,â said Lisa Smith, Executive Director of the Red Deer office.
âShe’s a long time resident of the Stettler area, so that’s great. She is currently training in Red Deer with us to learn about her role.
âWe are also looking for space at Stettler – our Director of Client Services was with Amanda looking for rental opportunities and commercial rental space. So as soon as we find something suitable, we will enter into a lease. We hope that by November the training will be finished and that we will be ready to open our doors!
The Central Alberta Pregnancy Care Center has served Red Deer and the region since 1988.
Staff and volunteers provide compassionate support and education to individuals and families affected by an unexpected pregnancy and its effects.
The programs and services are offered free of charge, they are confidential and they are also offered in a safe and non-judgmental environment, regardless of age, gender, race or religion.
âIn fact, we just went through the strategic planning process as an organization and we updated our vision and mission,â she explained. âEssentially, we are a center that provides support and education to individuals and families, men and women, who are looking for resources related to pregnancy,â she said.
âOften, because we are a pregnancy care center, people assume that we are only treating the pregnancy, but we do more than that. We have parenting programs, we have our maternity program here in Red Deer that accommodates up to 11 pregnant women or mothers of an infant.
âAnd so Stettler will be our fifth zone – we have Red Deer and satellite centers at Olds, Rocky Mountain House and Drumheller is our other most recent center,â she said.
Smith said that in Stettler, for women with unplanned pregnancies who wish to receive information about their options, staff at the center can meet with them and discuss what parenting would look like, what an abortion would look like and what would look like an adoption. look like.
âAnd then we encourage (the person) to think about each of those things and decide which option is best for them. We will support her no matter what she decides and encourage her to come back if she needs us for further discussion.
âWe also work with men in parenting and mentoring programs, so we have male volunteers who work with our men who want more information or support in their parenting journey,â she said. .
“This is something key that we want to make known to our communities – that we also serve men,” she added.
Looking back, Smith said what usually happens is people from various communities contact the Red Deer office looking for a satellite office to set up in their own city.
âWe’ll go to those communities and offer information sessions, and see what kind of response we might get when we do a presentation on who we are and the types of services we provide,â she said.
âWe’re also looking at what’s else in this particular community because we don’t want to duplicate the services that already exist,â she said. âSo at Stettler we asked to go out in 2019. There was a good and positive response and then they planned the banquet next door to see if there was good financial support from the community because the majority of our funding comes from private donors, churches and businesses – we receive very little government funding or grants.
âAnd so the community must be willing to support us so that we can support them,â she said, adding that around 300 people attended the banquet. “It was a clear message to us that yes there is a need here and yes the community wants us there.”
From there, steps are taken to find a space and hire a manager.
To that end, they’ve found the right fit with Amanda Jackson, Smith said.
âShe has the skills that we are looking for and she is committed to working with these families who need support, compassion and no judgment,â said Smith.
âShe is also well connected to the community because she has lived there for many years. All of these things together made her the successful candidate.
âWe are delighted to come to the community and our goal is to work alongside the other organizations that are already there. “