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National Meetings

National Advisory Panel Meeting - Sept. 19, 2003
Press Release: A Collaborative Success!

With great pleasure the FRP Participants' Voices project at Ryerson University announces the success of the first National Advisory Panel meeting of regional FRP (Family Resource Program) representatives from across Canada .

The National Advisory Panel (NAP) is made up of FRP representatives from across the country. Along with the research team , Ryerson University administrators Dr. Judith Sandys, Vice President of Research for Ryerson and Professor Sue Williams, Dean, Faculty of Community Services, were both present, and were supportive of the innovative nature of the project and the national representation at the meeting.

The goals of the project include the development of a set of indicators in the evaluation of FRPs - in a unique approach that is grounded in participants' voices . The NAP represents an important part of our ongoing commitment to the development of this participant-led framework.

National initiatives undertaken within a Canadian context involve unique challenges. With such a diverse and dynamic group present for the roundtable, the energetic participation and focused discussion addressed the regional and cultural differences across the country. Delegates affirmed the important contributions of the Participants' Voices project: in particular, the need to identify a set of evaluation indicators for FRPs, as well as the opportunity to document FRP participant experiences in their own voices. Key contributions raised by attendees include: increasing FRP credibility, funding, advocacy, improving program design and implementation, and staff benefits (morale-boosting and ‘train-the-trainers' workshops). The forum provided the opportunity to engage in a dialogue about funding issues, to update on other evaluation initiatives across Canada , and a discussion about how FRPs work in different regional, cultural, etc settings.

The National Advisory meeting was a measurable success, not only based on the scope of topics and input from members, but also on the principle of successfully gathering a group of cross-national representatives in an open dialogue.