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“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead

Family Service PEI first began over sixty years ago under two organizations: Protestant Family Service Bureau, located in Charlottetown, and the Prince County Family Service Bureau, located in Summerside.

In the early years Protestant Family Service Bureau offered foster care services and adoption services, amongst other social programs. The demand for these programs dropped in the mid 1980’s and subsequently stopped. At this time, services such as counselling were offered for single mothers with limited supports, in addition to other family centered programs.

In 1993, Protestant Family Service Bureau underwent a name change, and became Community & Family Service of Prince Edward Island. Over time both agencies have undergone a variety of transformations, have offered a range of programs and have continually strived to provide necessary services to PEI communities.

In 2008, the Charlottetown agency and the Summerside agency merged together to form Family Service PEI. Family Service PEI continues to be a community leader that helps Islanders develop action plans that target the most stressful issues in their lives.

As a not-for-profit, community based agency the goal is to provide credit counselling and therapeutic counselling services to all Islanders regardless of their ability to pay. Family Service PEI is 100% Island owned and operated with office locations in three island communities.

Family Service PEI is a member of Family Service Canada and an Accredited Member of Credit Counselling Canada.

1983 – ”Aging Parents—Whose Responsibility?” & Turning Point

- ”Aging Parents—Whose Responsibility?”
This six session workshop was offered to the public in the spring of 1983. The program focus was on helping people find better and more adaptive ways to assist their aging parents. (Protestant Family Service Bureau)

Turning Point
Group Therapy for men who are abusive and controlling towards their partners. The program aimed to help these men recognize, understand, take responsibility and stop their violent and controlling behaviour. The program received a Prevention of Crime Award in 1990. (Protestant Family Service Bureau)

1991 – Family Life Education Programs & Ready or Not! Program

- Family Life Education Programs
The Family Life Education programs were a service of planned intervention that applied the dynamic process of group learning to improving the quality of individual and family living. Protestant Family Services Bureau offered numerous programs including: Journey Into Self, Blended Family, Couple Bond, Blended Family, Family Strengths, Singles Only, and a Christmas Seminar.

Ready or Not! Program
Protestant Family Services became a sponsor for This Family Life education program. The program was a drug abuse prevention program aimed at helping parents prevent drug abuse by their children

1995 – Bridges Project (Counselling for Healthy Aging)

Bridges Project (Counselling for Healthy Aging)
This project aimed to establish a link between seniors on PEI. The agency’s objective was to determine what elements were required to deliver counselling services that were relevant, effective and attractive to Island seniors. The agency continuously made changes as the program went along to better fit the needs of Island seniors. (Community & Family Service of Prince Edward Island)

1997 – Helping Families Through Separation and Divorce & Children in the Middle

- Helping Families Through Separation and Divorce program
This program was among the first of its kind in Canada. The program provided much needed information and support to parents who were faced with the ending of their marital relationship and the restructuring of their family. (Community & Family Service of Prince Edward Island)

Children in the Middle program
The program had a similar focus as the Helping Families Through Separation and Divorce program but worked directly with the children whose family structures were changing. (Community & Family Service of Prince Edward Island)

1998 – Improving with Age – Emotional Health in Retirement, Parenting from Two Homes & Counselling Resources for Seniors (CRS)

- Improving with Age – Emotional Health in Retirement
Community and Family Service of Prince Edward Island, along with TD Evergreen, held retirement seminars in Charlottetown, Summerside and Montague.

Parenting from Two Homes program
This program was designed to give separated parents guidance and assistance in dealing with parenting from separate homes.

Counselling Resources for Seniors (CRS)
Thanks to the research completed through the Bridges Program the agency was able to develop more counselling resources that directly appealed to Island seniors.

1999 – Youth Internship Project & Respect in the Workplace

- Youth Internship Project
The intent of this program was to provide troubled youth with the opportunity to acquire the specific skills necessary to gain entry-level positions in the workplace. (Community & Family Service of Prince Edward Island)

Respect in the Workplace program
This program was presented to four groups of employees with a federal government department. It was designed as a way for employees to cope with work related stress; specifically dealing with respect in the workplace. (Community & Family Service of Prince Edward Island)

2002 – Credit Counselling Program begins

- Credit Counselling Program begins
Credit counselling, including the debt repayment program, became fully operational through Community & Family Service of Prince Edward Island. The credit counselling services were also sub-contracted out to the Prince County Family Service Bureau to meet the needs of the citizens of Prince County.

2003 – Custody and Access Arrangements Involving Third Parties: A Needs Assessment

- Custody and Access Arrangements Involving Third Parties: A Needs Assessment
The goal of the program was to offer a safe and neutral location and service to facilitate the exchange of children between parties and to offer supervised visitation services. (Prince County Family Service Bureau)

2004 – Active Parenting of Teens

- Active Parenting of Teens Program
The Active Parenting of Teens program was offered in partnership with the Family Focus program. (Prince County Family Service Bureau)

2005 – Rainbow Wellness Group

- Rainbow Wellness Group
This program ran in the spring of 2005. This was a group program for individuals involved in recovery work on issues of co-dependency and/or addictions. (Prince County Family Service Bureau)

2006 – Family Service PEI is created

- Family Service PEI is created
Community & Family Service of PEI and Prince County Family Services come together to form Family Service PEI.

2008 – Family Service PEI: Summerside changes locations

- Family Service PEI: Summerside changes locations
The Summerside office moved to its new location on 109 Water Street.

2009 – Credit Counselling Program becomes accredited

- Credit Counselling Program becomes accredited
All necessary procedure and policies were adopted to obtain accreditation through Credit Counselling Canada.

2012 – Family Service PEI: Charlottetown changes locations

- Family Service PEI: Charlottetown changes locations
The Charlottetown office moved to its new location on 155 Belvedere Avenue.

2014 – Protecting Yourself Financially As You Age Project

- Protecting Yourself Financially As You Age Project
Family Service PEI receives funding through New Horizons For Seniors to create a resource toolkit on the topic of protecting yourself financially as you age. Focus groups are carried out with seniors to determine the content of the toolkit, the toolkit is developed and launched and seniors are trained in it’s use.