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What do past participants say about Future Planning?

Listen in on a conversation: 9 young parents talk about the impact Future Planning had on their lives.


"This program has greatly affected my life. It has empowered me as a First Nations Mother. When I started this program I was unaware of what I wanted for myself. I felt culturally disconnected, educationally inferior, and spiritually lost. This program enabled me to become strong enough in myself to make the connection to Camosun Colleges First Nations Family Support Worker program. This program led the further Cultural connection and Academic Success. I was the Recipient of the Aboriginal Academic Achievement Award for highest GPA, and was offered a job in School District 62 as an Aboriginal Academic Support Worker upon graduation. These successes would not have existed had I not been empowered and supported through the Future Planning program"


"Enrolling in this program I was lost, with a crappy minimum wage job that really left me unable to find a way out. I managed to get off welfare a year prior thanks to the support of the Young Parents Support Network outreach workers. And after completing the Future Planning Program I had peer support to regain my strength and find a healthy way out of depression, I was offered financial support, giving me a means to starting my own business and I had quality childcare during the program which offered me a second to myself to check in about who I was and how I needed to get my life back. Still to this day, I stay in contact with those other participants that completed the program when I did and I can say that without the Future Planning Program I don’t know if other young parents like us are given the chance in the world or the skill base to reclaim our direction or ability to take control of our own Future. I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to have reclaimed my power and take control of my life and my career. Future Planning and the Young Parents Support Network has supported and influenced who I am today, a successful single mother that enjoys life and all it had to offer."


"I came in here depressed and unsure where my life was headed and unsure where my life was headed – now I’m on track, working, feeling good and healthy. I don’t know where I would be without this program – in hospital without my children? Because of this program and all the spin-offs I have entered, I feel connected to my community. I don’t feel alone. I have support."


"During the time I was in future planning, I was able to secure affordable, stable housing for myself and my children, get my driver’s license, identify my career goal, register for college and access funding to help pay for my courses. These goals seemed overwhelming to a newly single mother with four young children, and without the support I received from Future Planning I would not have been able to do these things. Not only did I receive practical assistance with things like filling out paperwork and researching resources available to me, the group meetings were invaluable as a place to explore goals and discuss healthy relationships and lifestyle choices. The guest speakers were helpful and relevant. It is hard to put into words how this program changed my life. I cannot overstate the impact of future planning. If I had not participated in this program, I am certain the last four years of my life would have gone in a different, less positive direction. As a result of the help I received, I am now working towards a degree in accounting. I am independent and confident that I can achieve my goals."


"My son loves attending groups at YPSN! Future Planning really helped me recognize my goals and believe that I could attain them. Before I took this course my goal was just to survive day-today. By the end of the year I had created a list of personal goals, as well as goals for my family as a whole, and plans for our future. Two years later I still use the skills I learned in this course and access programs that I would not otherwise have had access to or believed myself capable of using effectively. I have gone (in two years) from a scared new mom with no idea how to raise a baby (24/7) without any support and no community to a healthy, contributing member of a thriving community of families in my area. I attribute this primarily to having taken the Future Planning course and thereby made connections in my community and taken time to feel safe focusing on my own needs."


"With Future planning I was able to get confirmation that I was a good mother, that the choices I had made were fine, and that my children and I were going to be ok as well. It gave me time to myself, something that single mothers do not get often, while I ate some healthy food provided, and talked to other mothers. Some of our situations were similar, some were not, but either way I had other moms who were struggling, to talk to. I learned about free stores, to help me with clothing for my boys. I learned about a free schooling program at UVic, which I eventually took, and led me into full time schooling. I learned what a board of directors is, and I am now on the board of directors for the Young Parents Support Network. I learned about healthy eating, healthy relationships, and just being healthy and happy. Future Planning has helped me to connect to my community. I had in the past taken groups through VIHA, and had to stop going as I felt myself becoming more depressed and unhappy, but this was a group of people I could leave feeling refreshed and ready to take on the world. I am now applying to the social work program, after finishing two years at UVic. I feel confident in my abilities as a parent, and on bad days, I can still depend on the wonderful people at YPSN to support me, and not judge my choices, my age and my children."


"I have been able to have time for myself without guilt or worry about my kids. I am able to think honestly about what I need for my family and make community-building decisions with other parents in my area. This has been the place where I feel safe and can trust that my kids are getting quality care and personal time with care givers that they like! My kids get excited and look forward to coming to YPSN.”


“I chose to attend the Future Planning Program, over any other programs in the community because this was the only group that offered me childcare, travel subsidy, and support as a mother with a partner. I found it hard to find a group because they were exclusive to “single parents” or “abused” women. When I attended centres that offered these groups, I found that my struggles were downplayed because I had 'support' at home. This assumption had left me unsupported and excluded for years because I had internalised these fallacies.”


“There are quite a few things that make the Future Planning Program different from others. The one that has made the biggest impact on me and my family was: the merging of Indigenous with non-Indigenous methodology. The model and approach that the Future Planning Program was inclusive of all members of the young parent community, but at the same time I could see First Nations epistemology embedded within it. This not only reinforced my own cultural teachings, but also gave them a sense of acceptance and validity that I had yet to see in any other program. By not making it exclusive to Native people or calling it a First Nations Program, I felt that First Nations teachings were being transmitted to larger society without stigma or appropriation.”

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