How We Change Lives

How We Achieve Better Outcomes for Children and Families
The Home Visitation program offers parents of children, newborns to age six, weekly home visits with an experienced family support worker (Home Visitor) who can help them build on their strengths, develop their parenting knowledge and skills, increase their understanding of child development, and connect them to community resources and services relevant to their unique family needs.

Families can request Home Visitation services by contacting the Family Resource Network at the Children’s Cottage. Home Visitors typically meet weekly with each family and build parenting skills using the Nurturing Parenting curriculum. Parents are encouraged to strengthen their natural network of support.

Home Visitors use the Ages and Stages screening tool to help identify any area of concern related to their child’s development. When lags are noted, the Home Visitor provides parents with activities that promote development in specific areas, and connects families to professionals when additional support is needed.

All families who participate in the Home Visitation program are provided with information about and referrals to other community programs. These services and resources can then provide ongoing support once a family graduates.

What We Invest


What We Invest



Parents/Caregivers increase their coping and parenting skills

Parents/Caregivers receive support for their mental and physical health, and their holistic well-being

Parents/Caregivers understand and promote their child’s development in all domains


Families experience opportunities to enhance their resilience and strengthen their relationships

Families have hope for their future

Families access community support services and resources to meet their unique needs


Children have enrichment opportunities at the Children’s Cottage and/or in their family home

Children have access to health/well-being resources and are referred to culturally informed preventative & supportive resources

Children receive support to achieve their developmental capacity


Children are sheltered from exposure to family crisis and instability

Children receive protection from child maltreatment and harm

Children receive protection from the impact of poverty and deprivation

What we track…

Parents and children served

Programs accessed

Screenings completed

Assessments & outcome measures completed

Referrals provided

The Brain Story: An evidence-based approach

The Brain Story is a body of scientific knowledge that explains why and how the experiences children have—whether positive or negative—affect their brain development, shaping their physical and mental health for the rest of their lives. The Children’s Cottage Society is part of a community of agencies and support organizations that apply scientific knowledge to our work. Our evidence-based approach, as well as our ability to work across systems, allows us to deliver effective interventions to children and families at key developmental stages.

Applying the Brain Story

The Brain Story tells us that ongoing negative experiences, especially in the earliest years, increase a person’s risk of developing a number of health issues later in life, from addiction and other mental illnesses to heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer.

It also gives us a clear understanding of which interventions are the most effective at improving outcomes, and when and how to apply them.

By supporting healthy brain development in infancy and childhood, we create a solid foundation for lifelong mental and physical health.

Building Resilience

Resilience is a person’s ability to maintain a state of well-being even when facing severe adversity. It describes our capacity to manage stress, function well when experiencing hardship and return to a state of good health. Developing resilience starts when we’re infants and continues through young adulthood. It’s possible to develop resilience throughout our lives, but the early years are the most significant.

Picture resilience as a scale with protective factors (like responsive caregivers and supportive communities) stacked on one side. These are represented by green boxes in the illustration. Risk factors like abuse, neglect and parental addiction, represented by red boxes, are stacked on the other. If the risk factors outweigh the protective factors, the scale will tip in a negative direction,
resulting in negative outcomes.

The reverse is also true, resulting in positive outcomes. The base (or fulcrum) of the scale represents traits that we’re born with or that we develop over time in the form of skills and abilities. If it’s set closer to one end or the other, it becomes easier or more challenging to tip the scale in a positive direction. With enough positive supports, it’s possible to build skills and abilities, moving the fulcrum in a direction that favours positive outcomes.

By preventing the red boxes of adversity from piling up while adding the green boxes of protective factors, we can help children develop greater resilience over time.