Central City Foundation invests in community-led initiatives like the Families In Recovery combined care unit at the BC Women’s Hospital.  FIR is a unit for women who are pregnant or newly parenting and struggling with addiction. It is the first of its kind in Canada and around the world, pioneering a model that is now being supported by the Canadian Paediatrics Society.  What makes FIR unique is that the program is grounded in the philosophy of keeping mothers and babies together. Traditionally babies were taken from their mothers and monitored in a NICU. By keeping mothers and babies together, FIR is promoting healthier bonds between mothers and babies, which results in babies often needing less medication and motivating mothers to continue in their recovery.
What makes FIR unique is that the program is grounded in the philosophy of keeping mothers and babies together. Traditionally babies were taken from their mothers and monitored in a NICU. By keeping mothers and babies together, FIR is promoting healthier bonds between mothers and babies, which results in babies often needing less medication and motivating mothers to continue in their recovery. Recently, FIR moved it’s 16 bed unit into a new facility at BC Women’s, which is designed specifically with the needs of these families in mind. Details like observation windows that allow for minimal interruption, which is particularly important during sleep, space for supportive family members to comfortably sleep in each room and security measures that ensure every patient is comfortable and safe during their stay at FIR, which can be for several months.

Central City Foundation has been a supporter of FIR for a long time and has given them several grants to update their previous space. We continue to support FIR as the program evolves and grows by giving them a grant that helped them purchase new furniture that is comfortable and functional for mothers going through their healing journey. 

“We are in awe of the strength of the women who seek the services at FIR to save their own lives and the lives of their children,” said Jennifer Johnstone, president and CEO of Central City Foundation. “It is a part of a network of organizations that we support, like Aunt Leah’s Place, the Aboriginal Mothers Centre, Sheway and Crabtree Corner, which wraps around women the services and support they need to have a safe birth and a great start at life with their babies.” 

When you support Central City Foundation, you support innovative community-led initiatives like FIR Combined Care.