Langley Community Services Society began serving the community in November 1971 under the name Langley Family Life Services. Twenty-five volunteers and eight board members worked out of an office at 20458 Fraser Highway, in the heart of Langley City. In 1977 the name was changed to Langley Family Services, and new funding enabled the Society to hire an addictions counsellor to serve adults and youth in Langley. By 1981, staff and services were being added and the Society moved operations to the present location at 5339 207th Street. In this new location, the staff and volunteers provided services for immigrants, as well as establishing the Community Gardens program.
The Society continued to grow and by 1988 the Outpatient Substance Use program was added as well as new Family programs, including Parent Education and a Family Place. By 1990 the Child Care Resource and Referral (CCRR) and the Immigrant Settlement programs were launched. The Society continued to seek community partners and the Roots of Empathy program was offered in partnership with the Langley School District in 2003. Now that the Society was running as a professional agency, they sought and received accreditation under CARF, a non-profit accreditor of health and human services.
In 2005 calamity struck, as the Society buildings were destroyed in an arson fire. While staff relocated to temporary quarters, the Society entered into a partnership with the City of Langley and outside donors for the construction of a new building on the site of the fire. When the new building opened with a ribbon cutting ceremony on April 1, 2007, the Society was renamed to the present Langley Community Services Society, commonly known as LCSS.
Many programs were now running under the umbrella of LCSS – some of which are funded by the Ministry of Family Development (MCFD):
Substance Use Services offers free counselling to those dealing with addiction issues. They also offer counselling to spouses, children and relatives who are impacted by someone else’s addictions. These programs are funded by Fraser Health.
Family Connections is a program which works in partnership with MCFD. The counsellors work with parents and children to achieve a safe and supportive home atmosphere.
Parent Education and Outreach offers in-home sessions on parenting issues. The program also runs many popular groups which help parents and guardians understand parent/child relationships.
Family Places are popular drop-in centres where parents and children play and learn together. As well, parents socialize and interact with other parents in the community.
Child Care Resource & Referral provides invaluable services with regard to child care referrals and setting up daycare centres. They conduct regular workshops for both licensed and non-licensed day care owners, and offer support to both the working parents and the service providers.
Settlement Integration Services offer a welcoming environment for newcomers to Canada. They help the parents and children learn about their new country, and assist with numerous tasks that new residents face while getting settled into the community.
Community Counselling was added in 2008. This MCFD funded program offers free counselling to adults and couples who have children under 15. The counsellors are MA students, who are provided with an excellent training site for their internships.
LCSS has a long history of offering informative and educational seminars to the community. Highlights include:
Seeds of Success featuring Mary Gordon, founder and president of the Roots/Seeds of Empathy programs. The program fosters social and emotional competence, early literacy and attitudes in children.
Faces of Resilience – Overcoming Adversity through the Power of Resilience. This workshop was facilitated by author and educator Dr. Michael Ungar, a University Research Professor and one of the world’s leading authorities on resilience.
Discipline that Nurtures Children was presented by Dr. Vanessa Lapointe. Dr. Lapointe builds on the work of noted local psychologist Dr. Gordon Neufeld.
LCSS is a vibrant source of support and assistance for the Langleys communities. It is our committed staff, management, Board, and volunteers who make LCSS what it is today. With a staff and management of forty and an administrative team of four, hundreds of lives per year are touched and empowered due to the professionalism, care, and dedication of LCSS staff.
In the year 2015, approximately 2000 members of the community benefitted from the nearly 20,000 hours of free programs and counselling services offered by LCSS. Substance Use Services had 4245 sessions serving 672 clients; Community Counselling had 1698 sessions serving 283 clients; Family Connections had 6481 sessions serving 163 clients; Parent Outreach & Education had 688 sessions serving 127 clients; and Family Place offered 3500 hours of drop-in to 244 clients.
The CCRR office is open 6 days a week and served 141 registered clients, as well as hundreds of clients who drop-in to use services such as the toy library and the different crafting machines. The Settlement Integration Services offered personal services to newcomers as well as Men’s Groups, Women’s Groups, Seniors Groups, Youth Groups, and daily pre-school drop-in groups.
LCSS is proud of its history and how it has grown from a small, volunteer run Society to a professional, accredited agency. Along with our community partners, we are helping individuals and families to enhance their lives through the provision of information, services and programs.