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Saskatchewan expanding family violence support program

The Saskatchewan government announced Thursday that it will spend $1.1 million over the next three years on expanding its Family Intervention Rapid Support Team program. Ismo Pekkarinen / The Canadian Press

A family violence support program in Saskatchewan is being expanded.

The province announced Thursday that it will spend $1.1 million over the next three years on its Family Intervention Rapid Support Team (FIRST) program.

Read more: Sask. government starting part two of interpersonal violence and abuse awareness campaign

It will offer support to families in the Moose Jaw, Estevan, Weyburn, Carlyle and Nipawin areas.

“Enhancing community safety and the well-being of Saskatchewan families is paramount,” Justice Minister and Attorney General Gordon Wyant said in a statement.

“The FIRST program effectively supports families at a higher risk for violence with early intervention techniques that help to mitigate potential crisis situations at home.”

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Trained outreach workers will be in place to build relationships with families in the community and intervene early to provide collaborative and timely services to support families in crisis, according to a government release.

Read more: Domestic violence calls up in Saskatoon — police, shelter officials

Envision Counselling and Support Centre, the Moose Jaw Transition House and the North East Outreach and Support Services Inc. are providing the outreach program.

“Offering families in-the-moment support through relentless outreach encourages positive changes and a healthier lifestyle,” said Lynda Rideout, executive director of Envision Counselling and Support Centre.

“We believe building transformative relationships and providing ongoing support disrupts the cycle of violence and promotes empowerment within families ultimately leading to a healthier community as a whole.”

The FIRST program launched in the fall of 2021 in Kindersley.

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