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Fort St. John mom trying to revive Block Parent Program in B.C.

06/24/2015 09:53 EDT | Updated 06/24/2016 05:59 EDT
A Fort St. John woman is asking for her town's support to help revive the Block Parent program.

"We need a stronger sense of community. We need to feel like we have each other's back," said Valerie Coe, who presented a proposal to local politicians on Monday.

"Putting those Block Parent signs out, I hope that people are going realize that their kids are not alone. It's not even just for kids, it's also for elders or anyone who is at risk."

According to its website, Block Parents are responsible adults who volunteer their homes as a temporary refuge in an emergency and act as a visible reminder that citizens are watchful in their neighbourhood. To become a Block Parent, applicants must have police background checks and receive training from the local volunteers.

Seven provinces still have an active Block Parent Program. British Columbia, Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island are the only provinces that do not.

"We would really be happy if she could get a program up and running out there. It's been very quiet there for quite some time," said Linda Patterson, president of the Block Parent Program of Canada.

Patterson acknowledges that the program isn't as robust as it once was, but is adamant that it provides an invaluable service to protect children and the neighbourhood.

"Not all children have cellphones, not all children have a parent that walk them to and from school, not all children have adult supervision in the playground."

"When you put the sign in your window, it's really there as a deterrent to any undesirables in the neighbourhood. They know what they mean. They know that the people behind that door are watching out for the children and for the people in their community."

Coe says her proposal was well received at city hall and she hopes to launch the program in by September.

To hear the full interview listen to the audio labelled Reviving Block Parent Program in B.C.

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