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Our Approach to Community Development
The ACGA’s main purpose is to offer useful programming and build supportive communities for the benefit of caregivers. Because caregivers have limited time and energy to participate in multiple programs offered in various venues, there is mutual benefit in building the capacity of existing agencies and groups to assist caregivers with whom they already have contact. This is accomplished by developing programs and services within the ACGA and working with our community partners to implement them and coordinate delivery to their existing clientele.
Volunteers and staff in partnering service agencies, faith communities, community groups, and workplaces are trained to deliver education programs like COMPASS within their organizations on an ongoing basis. In exchange for the ACGA training their staff/volunteers and covering some of the direct delivery costs of the program(s), the partnering organization provides venue(s), promotes the program(s) internally, and returns program statistics to the ACGA. Outreach and one-to-one support staff are guided by the ACGA’s Caregiver Advisor in gathering relevant information and connecting their clients or their caregivers to useful resources.
This builds the capacity of our partner organizations to address caregiver needs, thus increasing the quantity and quality of help caregivers can access in the community. Further, for caregivers from immigrant or Aboriginal cultures, barriers associated with cultural relevancy of program content and approaches can be overcome by supporting their own community groups in the same way.
In effect, the ACGA achieves its goals by strengthening our community partners in their ability to provide meaningful programming for caregivers who can more easily access their services due to location, familiarity, or convenience. The ACGA has been employing this approach in order to expand its reach without necessitating costly and cumbersome enlargement of administrative burden.