Programs to help Prince George residents deal with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder will continue despite Tuesday's announcement that the Northern Family Health Society will close its doors next month.
The board of directors for the not-for-profit group reached the decision that other organizations in the community are better positioned to run its programs.
Northern Family Health Society chairwoman Cheryl Wallace said the society will work over the next six weeks to ensure the services it offers will carry on without much of a gap for the hundreds of families who rely on them. The society will close its doors for good on Aug. 31.
"We will be communicating with all of our families that we work with within our programs and provide them with very detailed information on the programs that are available within the community," she said. "Because our staff have worked with many other organizations within the community, they know what other resources are available and they will be passing that on very directly to the clients."
The health society began in 1989 and offered different programs over the years, however changes in funding means many of the components of those programs are now being conducted by other agencies. Currently, the agency runs the community action program for children and a complex developmental behavioral conditional program. It also houses a resource centre to provide information for families and caregivers and has computers that members of the public could use to access email or other web services.
"Our organization has changed in the over 20 years that we've been in service to the community of Prince George," Wallace said. "We've provided many other programs throughout the years that changed through to funding based on how the government is structured."
Wallace said the board is working with the seven full- and part-time staff to help them transition to new jobs either with the programs they're currently working with or by joining other community groups.
"I've been on the board for seven years and it's sad to see an organization disappear from the community," she said. "But I'm very happy with the decision and the fact that our board and staff are ensuring these programs are going to continue and we're being responsible with public funds."