About Us

What we do

Our Vision

North Okanagan Youth and Family Services Society is the leading community social agency that aspires to strengthen the family through healthy relationships.


Our Mission Statement

North Okanagan Youth and Family Services Society provides a broad range of social programs reflecting the dynamic needs of our community that strengthen, nurture and protect the healthy development of our children, youth and families.

How we started

Our History

NOYFSS was founded in 1974 by a group of concerned citizens and leaders from health, education, business and government. NOYFSS was founded to meet the needs of the children, youth and families in the North Okanagan.

The first service operated by NOYFSS was Mara House, which opened its doors in 1974. Mara House added an Intensive Support Program to assist foster parents and developed into Specialized Homes & Support Services. In response to community needs, Community Based Services evolved to assist children, youth and families with a variety of programs. Specialized Homes & Support Services and Community Based Services continue to evolve to reflect the ongoing commitment of NOYFSS to the needs of the people of the North Okanagan.

Our Core Values


NOYFSS believes that trust between individuals is the basic element of meaningful interaction.


NOYFSS acts on the commitment to collaboration and community involvement.


NOYFSS behaves honestly, sincerely and without judgment when working with individuals.


NOYFSS is focused on the belief that every child deserves to be safe and is dedicated to each individual we serve.


NOYFSS holds respect as the single most important aspect of authentic communication and interaction.


NOYFSS strives to understand each individual’s situation by listening to every story.


North Okanagan Youth and Family Services Society is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). Accreditation attests that an organization meets or exceeds the highest international standards of best practice and is delivering the best quality services to the community it serves. NOYFSS has been re-accredited for a further 3 years, to December 2024. For any questions about CARF accreditation, please contact our Director of Human Resources, Morgan Kirzinger at morgankirzinger@noyfss.org


NOYFSS primarily receives funding from the following agencies:

  • The Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD)
  • School District #22
  • ARC Programs 
  • City of Vernon 
  • Community Donations
  • Local, Provincial and Federal Grants 
  • BC Community Gaming Grant

Organizational Memberships

NOYFSS is a member of:

  • The Federation of Child and Family Services of BC
  • Community Social Services Employers Association (CSSEA)
  • Social Planning Council
  • Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce

“Managing Conflict in the family taught me to better understand…”

...my feelings when I am frustrated and better control my emotions. This was an effective and awesome group." MCIF Group Participant

“Employees feel that they are truly part of a team.”

"From the time they are hired, they are given every opportunity to grow and move within the organization to find the program that is their best fit. Employees know that they can always go to someone in the organization, even outside of their team, to address any...

“The teamwork atmosphere is felt as soon as anyone walks through the doors…

... of the organization. It is evident that all members of the organization work together in a harmonious manner that is contagious and effective in providing services to children, youths, families and itself. The demonstration of these positive relationships serves...

“The newly renovated residence, Mara House, for children and youths…

... allows for privacy and personalized space. The environment has all the comforts and nurturance of home. There are additional amenities, such as a game area, music corner, in-house laundry, craft areas, and an outdoor playground." "In spite of a high level of...

“Fundraising activities and events, such as the Back To School Project…

... Adopt A Family/Teen, and Fitness for Family Hockey Challenge, benefit the children, youths, and families served. These events bring together the community that collectively works to better meet the needs of vulnerable and high-risk populations." "When appropriate,...

“NOYFSS has a long-established history and an excellent reputation…

...in the communities it serves for responding to the complex needs of the children and youth served. Stakeholders interviewed reported a strong regard for the organization's willingness to provide programming and exceptional services. During the survey, NOYFSS was...

“NOYFSS has an exceptional collaborative relationship…

...with the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD). To better meet the needs of the individuals served, staff members of NOYFSS and MCFD meet regularly to discuss referrals and problem solve issues of concern." "A unique practice is that leadership meets...

“It is evident that staff members genuinely care…

... about providing high-quality services and are conscientious to do the right thing and utilize best practices. There is an overall atmosphere o f respect for the dignity and rights of the children, youths, and families served. Persons served and their families...

“The commitment and passion of the leaders and the dedication, skills, and knowledge…

... of the line staff are trademarks of the organization. Their commitment to their jobs and the persons and families served is remarkable. They serve as positive role models for the children, youths, and adults served and family members." "Many of the existing staff...

“The executive director and leadership team members are caring, creative, and competent…

…as they manage their many functions and responsibilities. They value the organization’s staff members and work together with them to ensure that they have the support and resources needed to enhance individualized programs and services. Program staff describes the...