One of the most significant impacts on CFS Western services has been the rapid and large growth in newcomer Canadians to Brandon and the Westman area. The increased diversity and enrichment of the Brandon cultural mosaic has been positive and well-received. There was a 10.3% increase in the Brandon population (2011 Census) from 2006, especially of young children, which has put pressure on all resources to respond to the growth. CFS Western continues to develop and adapt its programming and services to meet the needs of the newcomers.
CFS Western works in partnership with many community coalitions to address these challenges. As well, CFS Western’s Elspeth Reid Family Resource Centre offers two programs specifically for newcomer Canadians: Welcome Here is a language and literacy program for newcomers and their preschool children, and Community Connections is a support group for newcomer Canadian parents that helps them adjust to their new language and culture.
The Agency has also created new programs by adapting many of the parent education and support programs to incorporate more cultural diversity.