prevent the temptations from becoming habits and possibly progressing to addictions. Being aware of our choices and tracking them over time also helps. Ask yourself the following questions, and answer honestly; how often do I do this _______ (fill in the blank), overall does it have a positive or negative impact on my life, do I know the reason I do it, and do I need to stop?
Q: What is a credit report?
Q: Who creates my credit report and credit score?
Q: What can I do with my credit report?
Q: How long does information stay on my credit report?
The decision to start counselling is big and takes a lot of bravery. EVERY individual goes through difficult times at one point in their life and struggles with the act of reaching out for help. As a Social Worker, I believe counselling is beneficial for ALL individuals. Unfortunately, I find the service often has a negative label attached to it. I can’t stress enough the importance of having that certain someone to talk things through with whether it’s with a sibling, parent or friend. Sometimes it can be difficult to talk to the ones we love in fear of judgement, shame and guilt. Having a therapist to talk with allows for a safe place to share while helping to identify your strengths, challenges and goals. Asking for help is probably one of the most difficult things we can do as individuals. Seeking out counselling is not a sign of weakness; it’s a sign of strength!
Let me tell you what your first session with a therapeutic counselor is like. It is definitely normal to feel overwhelmed or unsure about your first session. You might be talking about things you’ve never said out loud before. Maybe you’re unsure what to expect. Here are some things to know about your first appointment:
1) Your first counseling session is called the intake (or screening). Your therapist will be doing a lot of information-gathering, which can sometimes feel overwhelming. During my intake sessions, I focus not only on what has brought you into my office, but also on the things that are going well for you – supportive family and friends, talents, passions, etc. These things play a big part in your life.
2) Everyone’s favorite thing, paperwork! You will be filling out some forms about your background and personal information. Your therapist can help you with this if you have any trouble. Next your therapist will go over a document called the “informed consent”, which covers what you can expect in counseling – everything from your therapist’s background, specialties, and credentials, to session fees and confidentiality. It is very important to have an understanding of this document, so be sure to ask questions if anything is confusing!
3) The majority of the intake (or first) session will be like an interview. Questions range from childhood experiences all the way up to how you have been feeling most recently. Depending on your situation, you might take some written questionnaires to help your therapist get an even better idea of how best to help you.
4) Toward the end of the session, or even at the start of your second session, you and your therapist will start to come up with a few goals. These are the things you would like to focus on in counselling. Try visualizing how your life will look if counselling is successful. How will you feel? What will have changed?
At Family Service PEI we’re just people experiencing challenges like you. We’re a group of people that are helping other people. Our backgrounds range from social work, counselling, business, accounting, psychology, sociology, education and much more. Our team strives to help individuals succeed in this big thing we call life. If you’re interested in booking an appointment with one of our therapeutic counsellors or just looking for more information about our services, please contact our office to discuss setting up your first appointment. We would love to hear from you!
All the best,
Alex Walsh BA, BSW, RSW
Outreach Education Specialist
Family Service PEI
Hello! My name is Nora McCarthy-Joyce and I am the new Executive Director of Family Service PEI. I am eager to use my skills in the advancement of providing Island families with services to enhance their daily lives. I have over 15 years experience working for families in schools, community organizations, universities and government advisory groups and have a passion for helping others become their “best selves”. I believe that no investment is more important than investing in families!
As Spring turns into Summer here in Prince Edward Island, our children will be eager to finish up the school year and transition into their summer vacation. This transition is not always an easy one for kids. As they move away from the routines of school and are thrown into the freedom that summer vacation offers, many kids find it challenging and may become under-stimulated and complain that they are bored.
There are many things that could help to make the transition easier for kids. Here are some ideas that could help children adjust from their school schedule (and provide fun activities for the family too)!
Create a Summer Calendar
Children get excited about sitting down with parents or guardians and creating a fun list of things to do! Let your children brainstorm all sorts of activities they would like to do in order to have the best summer possible. Create a list of all the ideas your family comes up with. Now you can start penciling activities into your calendar and planning out a summer to remember. This gives children something to look forward to while creating family memories to last a lifetime.
Organize Educational Activities
It is important that children have learning opportunities throughout the summer to prevent summer learning loss. There are lots of ways to maintain skills throughout the summer. For example, teachers often offer reading materials or other practice activities for students to complete over the summer break. It is your job as parent to make sure your student completes the assigned task. You can make it fun by creating rewards together for each completed assignment. If no work was assigned from their teacher, you can make a fun and educational trip to your local library. They often offer free reading and craft programs that children can attend, in addition to taking home books, videos, and other great literacy materials!
Stay In Touch With Friends
Staying social with friends is very important to children over the summer. Help your children stay in touch by planning for fun with other parents or events. Summer barbeques, a trip to a local park, or taking part in a community celebration is a great way to do this – it can even be added to your calendar of fun! Strengthening friendships over the summer will help ease kids back into the upcoming school year with confidence!
I hope you will find these tips useful as our weather gets warmer and the school year comes to a close. Wishing you a all a wonderful summer this year filled with many memories and lots of fun!
We have all been asked to lend money. It may have been $5, $500, or even $5000. Chances are, the person doing the asking viewed you as someone they could trust and turn to in a time of need.
Adult children, grandchildren or even friends may be coming to you to lend money. They might be purchasing a car, going to school or need a new appliance for their home. It might just be for weekly groceries, gas for the car, school supplies or to buy someone a gift. Helping others can make us feel good about ourselves and can be extremely rewarding, but if you are considering lending money you must always remember to put yourself first.
1) Do Your Research
If someone has approached you to lend them money, get as many details as possible. Regardless of the amount, the person should be able to provide you with the information that is necessary for you to consider a loan. Give yourself 24-48 hours to think about it. Some extra time will help you to gain confidence to form an answer. Be sure that you only lend what you can afford to live without and also consider the impact your lending decision will make on other family members or friends.
2) Don’t Be Afraid To Say No
If you have decided that now is not the best time for you to lend money, then you must stand your ground. Be firm and concise as you explain that you are not in a position to help out at this given time. People might assume that you have money to spare, but make it known that it acts as an emergency fund to protect you against unexpected expenses.
3) Help In Other Ways
With the life skills that you have, could lend a hand for someone in different way? Perhaps reviewing their finances or finding ways for them to earn extra income. Maybe you can provide them with services like babysitting, home cooked meals or drives to work. For an upcoming birthday or holiday, consider giving a cash gift this year.
4) Get Details When Saying Yes
If you do decide to lend a large sum of money, you should discuss all of the terms including: the amount being loaned, interest rate and repayment schedule. The key thing to remember is to write it all down! A personal loan agreement form can be helpful. Having it on paper will help avoid any confusion in the future.
In most cases, it is hard to say no but your financial stability is just as important as anyone else’s. Learn from the experience. Teach the person who has asked for a loan about self-sufficiency and independence. Both of you will feel better about your decision in the long-run through one another’s strength and support about financial matters.
For more information about lending and giving money visit: www.It’sYourRight.ca
Family Service PEI (FSPEI) is pleased to announce the It’s Your Right- Protecting Yourself Financially As You Age toolkit is now available through the PEI Public Library service.
Over the past year FSPEI has worked with PEI seniors to create a toolkit that addresses the financial needs of the PEI aging population. The toolkit is designed around 8 core topics: Who can you trust; Lending, giving, donating; Having a conversation about money; Scam and Frauds; Tips and safeguards; Planning for the future; Financial abuse; and Getting help.
“When you create such a resource, the questions is always, how do you get in the hands of as many people as possible in a cost effective manner?” Says Ellan Dickieson, Education & Outreach Specialist with FSPEI.
Although the toolkit is fully hosted on the Internet, FSPEI understands that not everyone has access to, or is comfortable retrieving the information online. Many people would prefer to have the hard copy to read.
This has been made possible through the PEI Public Library Service, which now has numerous copies which will be on display in public libraries available for loan.
“Having the toolkit in our public libraries will be beneficial to those living in smaller communities around the province, especially seniors,” said Minister of Tourism and Culture Robert Henderson. “The project is relatively new and some senior populations may not be aware of the toolkit and how it can help improve financial literacy. This especially useful for seniors who cannot access the digital toolkit online.”
The It’s Your Right project is unique in the sense that it is designed to educate and empower the senior themselves, encouraging them to utilize available resources to take a pro-active approach to protecting themselves financially as they age. Although designed primarily for seniors, this toolkit contains information which is relevant to all Islanders, young and old alike.
FSPEI encourages all seniors and Islanders to take advantage of the information provided through this toolkit by visiting their local library, attending a training session, or visiting www.ItsYourRight.ca.
“Learning is a life long process, and so is managing money,“ says Dickieson.
Family Service PEI is a local not-for profit, charitable organization, offering therapeutic counselling and credit counselling services to all Islanders. The organization is an accredited member of Credit Counselling Canada. This project was originally made possible through the Government of Canada New Horizons for Seniors Program.
In that office we currently have 3 employees – 1 who is full time, and 2 who are part time (2 – 3 days per week). Yet, we have an abundance of space – 3 private offices; a waiting room; and a kitchen/storage area.
We are very happy with our current property management company. However, we have a need to reduce our overhead costs. We are willing to move to another location, or work with our current landlord to expand/reconfigure our space to accommodate a partner agency.
We see the benefits of doing so as:
- Shared/reduced overhead costs
- More efficient use of resources
- Shared common space(s)
- Possible shared reception position(we currently don’t have any)
- Cross promotion of services and/or greater visibility
- Creation of synergy as a result of partnership initiative(s)
However, there are also some challenges:
- The need to protect the confidentiality of clients
- Finding a partner organization that ‘fits’ well with our services
- Developing a strong partnership agreement that works for both agencies
We are willing to work with anyone who is interested in formally partnering in this way. We feel that if there is interest and commitment, solutions can be found to any and all barriers to making this work.
If you are interested, please contact Denise Lockhart, Executive Director, via email: email@example.com or phone: 902-892-2441 ext. 3 or 902-436-9171.
Employment Opportunity: Part-time contract position, Charlottetown, PEI
Family Service PEI, an Island-based, non-profit family service agency, is recruiting an enthusiastic, experienced professional to join our team in our Charlottetown office.
We currently require a Master of Social Work Therapist in order to meet the needs of clients presenting for service who have private insurance coverage that is limited to this type expertise.
This Therapist will be required to work flex hours, on an as-demand basis. Current demand indicates carrying a caseload of up to 5 clients at a time, but there may also be times with 0 clients. There is room for growth in demand for the Therapist who is self motivated and driven to grow their practice. The full scope of duties is as follows:
- Provision of professional therapeutic counselling services to children, adults, couples and families utilizing a variety of client-centered treatment models
- Provision of screening, clinical assessment, case planning, case coordination, direct service, consultation, evaluation and referral services to clients
- Prioritizing and effectively managing caseload expectations
- Utilizing various computer programs to conduct work tasks
- Maintaining appropriate client records and other related files and performing other case-related administrative tasks in a comprehensive, up-to-date manner
- Master’s Degree in Social Work with current and ongoing registration with a regulating body
- Professional social work experience including Therapeutic counselling experience
- A valid driver’s license and access to a reliable vehicle,
- A good work and attendance record,
- Current and ongoing acceptable criminal record checks
The successful applicant must be willing to sign a conflict of interest agreement prohibiting the provision of competing services outside their hours of work with FSPEI.
Remuneration is based on a ‘per client’ basis.
No phone calls please. Any inquires regarding the position may be sent via email to the address below.
Please submit your resume and letter of application by 4:30 PM April 17, 2015 to:
Family Service PEI, 106 – 155 Belvedere Ave; Charlottetown, PE, C1A 2Y9 Fax: 902-892-4998, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We thank all applicants for their interest; however, only those under consideration will be contacted.