Ta na wa Ch’áwat ta Sx̱wéx̱wel
Squamish Valley Operations

Ayás Lam̓ Family Program

Growing Together, Early Years, Child & Parent Supports

Manager: Sara Stevens
Phone: 604-892-7713
Email: Sara_Stevens@squamish.net

Ayás Lam̓ provides proactive prevention and education strategies to all Nation families with children age 0-6. The team coordinates programs year-round designed to help parents and children learn about lifespan development skills, family dynamics, developmental milestones, health and nutrition, and to receive training in Sḵwx̱wú7mesh language, culture, social and family traditions.

Aboriginal Supported Child Development (ASCD) enables children who require additional supports to be included in child care settings and communities. The goal is to identify and support Indigenous children who are at risk for a developmental delay or who have been diagnosed with a developmental disability. Such inclusion allows children to participate in settings that will support their development along with their peers and allows them to grow and learn in a safe and nurturing environment.

Aboriginal Infant Development Program (AIDP) offers support to the families of infants who are at risk of or have been diagnosed with a developmental delay. Participation in an AIDP is family centered and primarily focused on children birth to 3 years of age. The AIDP consultant offers home visits, play groups, family support, and referral to community services such as speech, occupational therapy, or physio.

Ayás Mén̓men

Services provided through referral in the Squamish Valley

We work collaboratively to deliver child safety and family support and prevention services. We offer activities and programs that directly support families at risk to mitigate risk factors and prevent them from further escalating.

Our services, activities, and programming promoting Sḵwx̱wú7mesh culture and traditional teachings. We offer access to traditional ways of healing, intensive family support, child & youth therapy (art, expressive, land-based), family therapy, therapeutic support groups, and much more.

The Case Management team provides cultural and community-centered services that respect the best interests and rights of the children, in an environment that provides them with safety and security, and that enables them to ultimately achieve their full potential as healthy, competent, well-adjusted people with pride in their identity as Members of their Nation. These goals are achieved within a strong and supportive family and community.

The Youth Team supports the children and families of the Nation through group and individual activities. The emphasis is on cultural training, behavioral management, and building self-esteem. The general practice and philosophy is to actively reach out to community youth to support their physical, emotional, nutritional and spiritual well-being while encouraging life skills development and providing cultural teachings.

In the Squamish Valley, Ayás Lam̓ has regularly scheduled programs with a team of specialists (speech and language, infant development, supported child development, health nurse, ECE) and staff to assist parents with family issues, providing one-on-one support, workshops and other activities.

The team coordinates and sends flyers out for a year-round schedule of programs designed to help parents and children learn about life skills, family dynamics and to receive training in the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh language, cultural, social, and family tradition.

The Head Start program takes a holistic approach; it is built around the whole child and is responsive to the community environment within which the child is growing up. The program is built around 6 essential components for enhancing early childhood development:

  1. Culture & Language – bring in a Sḵwx̱wú7mesh language teacher
  2. Education – continual information to parents
  3. Health Promotion – teach families about healthy eating and cooking (Cooking with Carmen)
  4. Nutrition – healthy living and lifestyle (garden growing and preparing for families)
  5. Parent & Family Involvement – parent participation encouraged at Program House
  6. Social Support – provide external supports when needed

This team develops special projects to deliver information on child & family services to the community. The main objective is to make sure there is enough support in the community for families to survive crises without having to put children into care, and for the entire family to eventually lead healthy, productive lives. This involves leading an outreach team, developing educational programs, personally educating the community on awareness and warning signs, as well as advising Members of support systems available and where to turn in times of crisis.

Nation Updates