Section One - Acknowledgements

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MENTORING YOUTH IN / FROM CARE

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Acknowledgements

This Resource has been developed with the input and views of a diverse range of individuals, including researchers, experts in the mentoring field, practitioners in both the child welfare sector and in the mentoring field and finally, from the youth themselves. All have participated in one-on-one interviews or have attended focus groups to willingly share their wisdom and experience.

A special expression of gratitude to Consultant, Graig Meyer, social worker, educator, and youth development specialist with The Equity Collaborative, for conducting interviews, and gathering and compiling the knowledge and expertise of a set of key informants with particular experience in mentoring youth in care. Thank you to the following individuals who shared their insight and practice wisdom through these interviews:

  • Johanna Greeson, Co-Director, Child Well-Being & Child Welfare Specialization, University of Pennsylvania
  • Jewela Cabrera, Mentor Coordinator, Covenant House Toronto
  • Julie Carter, Mentoring Program Manager, Sarnia Lambton Children’s Aid Society
  • Tannis Pearson, Manager of Service Delivery, Boys & Girls Clubs Big Brothers Big Sisters of Edmonton & Area
  • Kerry Woodland, Director of Service Delivery, Boys & Girls Clubs Big Brothers Big Sisters of Edmonton & Area
  • Irwin Elman, Chief Advocate, The Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth
  • Mike Garringer, Director of Knowledge Management, MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership
  • Holly Kunkel, Program Director, Second Family Foundation, Chapel Hill, NC
  • Carleen Joseph, President, Youth in Care Canada
  • Rosimay Venancio, Former Youth in Care
  • Jennifer Blakeslee, My Life Project, Portland State University
  • Amy Salazar, Research Scientist, Social Development Research Group, University of Washington School of Social Work
  • Heather Taussig, Associate Director of Clinical Research, University of Denver
  • Robyn Blackadar, President and CEO, The Alberta Centre for Child, Family and Community Research
  • Yvonne Chiu, Co-Executive Director, Multicultural Health Brokers Co-Op
  • Leslie Chudnovsky, Supporting Our Youth Mentoring Program, Sherbourne Health Center
  • Roxanne Felix-Mah, The Alberta Centre for Child, Family and Community Research
  • Dawn Flegel, Executive Director, Sarnia-Lampton Children’s Aid Society
  • Lorraine Gale, Program Coordinator, Out and Proud, Children’s Aid Society of Toronto
  • Lori Gibbard, Volunteer Services, Children’s Aid Society of Toronto
  • Kim Megyesi, Executive Director, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Saskatoon and Area
  • Heather O’Keefe, Executive Director, StepStones for Youth
  • Nooreen Pirbhai, National Inclusion Advisor, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada
  • Jai Sahek, Coordinator, NewYouth.ca, Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants
  • Kim Snow, Director, Voyager Project, Ryerson University

Special thanks to Carleen Joseph for her instrumental role in arranging and leading the Youth Focus Groups, ultimately facilitating the inclusion of youth voices in this resource. Also, thanks to Mike McGuire for his role in the supervision of this project on behalf of Youth in Care Canada. The differing demographic characteristics (age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, physical ability) of the youth who participated in the focus groups accurately represents the diversity of youth receiving, or who have received services from the Children’s Aid Societies across Ontario. Their ideas and expertise are appreciated:

  • Our Voice Our Turn, Office of the Ontario Provincial Advocate for Children & Youth
  • Windsor-Essex Children’s Aid Society Youth Advisory Committee
  • Durham Children’s Aid Society Youth Advisory Committee
  • Hair Story Project, Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children & Youth
  • C.A.S.T (Children’s Aid Society Teens), Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa
  • Children's Aid Society of the Districts of Sudbury and Manitoulin
  • North Bay Friendship Centre

Additionally, individual interviews with three youth enabled them to provide their prospective through the lens of special needs.

We are grateful to Dawn Flegel, Executive Director of Sarnia-Lambton’s Children’s Aid Society and Michael Hurry, Executive Director, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Sarnia-Lambton for their collaborative relationship in serving young people in care. The success of this relationship was instrumental in providing Big Brothers Big Sisters with the opportunity to write this resource. We’d also like to acknowledge the role of Directors of Service and Agency Youth Champions within Children’s Aid Societies across Ontario in providing essential feedback on the development of this resource, and Wendy Miller and Andrew Snowball, Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies, for coordinating this effort:

  • Sheldon Howard, Youth Advocacy Worker, Jewish Family & Child, Toronto
  • Justine Danford, Children’s Service Worker/ Youth Programming, Windsor Essex Children’s Aid Society
  • Aurora Fox, YouthCAN program leader, Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies
  • Jodie Veitch, Child and Youth Worker, Simcoe Muskoka Child Youth and Family Services
  • Richard Garneau, Supervisor of Youth Team, Sudbury Manitoulin Children’s Aid Society
  • Ryan Burke, Transition worker, Sudbury Manitoulin Children’s Aid Society

And finally, special thanks to Joelle Lewis, Director of Government and External Relations Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada and Karen Shaver, Vice-President, Agency Services, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada for their guidance, feedback and support of this project.