Because of You

2016/2017

ANNUAL REPORT

Because of you, we are helping transform the lives of children, youth and their families. Thank you for your support of our mission.

Why investing in children's mental health matters

There are currently over one million children and youth in Canada whose lives, and those of their families, are impacted by mental health issues. An estimated 14 per cent of these children experience significant symptoms and impaired functioning, which affect their interactions at home, school and in their community.

The consequences for children and their families who do not receive adequate and appropriate treatment affect us all. We know that four out of five children who need help for mental health concerns never receive it, and the consequences include incidences of depression, school dropout, juvenile delinquency and substance abuse. Long-term implications that last into adulthood include illiteracy, violence, criminal behaviour, underemployment and family breakdown.

Children who receive the support they need early in life are better able to cope, regulate their emotions and build stronger and more positive relationships with their families and peers.

CDI provides responsive, family-centred, evidence-based programs when they are most needed: during childhood and adolescence. Through our early intervention approach, we provide families with the skills needed to discover their own strengths and abilities, leading to lasting, positive change.

Because of you, many of the necessary resources and supports are available for these children, youth and their families.

 

Message from our Board Presidents

The theme of this year’s annual report, Because of You, acknowledges the contributions of all the partners who help our CDI team do what they do every day: make lasting change in children’s mental health.

Our families

The work our clinicians do with families requires a strong level of commitment on behalf of parents and children. As part of their treatment plans, they must make time to attend weekly group sessions and/or regular one-on-one or family counselling sessions, in addition to modelling new parenting techniques at home. Without our families’ daily efforts to learn, experiment and adapt, it would be impossible to effect change.

Our team

At CDI, we have a team of nearly 250 staff and volunteers, most of whom are social workers, early childhood educators or early childhood assistants. Service excellence, collaboration and responsiveness are three of CDI’s service pillars and the staff exhibit these qualities each and every day. Our mission is to help transform the lives of children, youth and their families, and the CDI team works to achieve this goal with each client we serve.

Our donors

CDI delivers evidence-informed children’s mental health programs across the city of Toronto, and is working to expand the award-winning Stop Now And Plan (SNAP®) program to communities that need it most across Canada. Last year, we provided our innovative mental health programs to over 3,000 children and families at little to no cost to them, and this is thanks to the incredible generosity of our donors.

Because of you, we are helping to make a difference when it matters most: during childhood and adolescence. Thank you for your generous and continued support.

Karen Mann's signature
Karen Mann

President
Child Development Institute

Susan Paterson's signature
Susan Paterson

President
Child Development Institute Foundation

Message from the CEO

This has been a very exciting year for the team at CDI. The children’s mental health sector is going through significant transition, and we are pleased to be at the forefront as change leaders.

Image of Tony Diniz

Delivering accredited children’s mental health services

We began the 2016/2017 fiscal year by welcoming a team of accreditors with the Canadian Centre for Accreditation (CCA), who conducted a third party review of our programs and services. In accordance with our membership with Children’s Mental Health Ontario, we participate in an accreditation process every four years to ensure our organizational practices promote ongoing quality improvement and responsive, effective community services. We received an excellent accreditation score, and are now pleased to offer one of three accredited Youth Engagement Programs in all of Ontario.

Our strategic directions and goals

In August, we began implementing CDI’s new Strategic Directions and Goals after a lengthy consultation process with staff, stakeholders and the Board of Directors. Led by strong vision and mission statements, CDI’s new strategic directions will shape our approach to service delivery and program development with a continued focus on thought leadership, innovation and a commitment to excellence. Over the next two years, CDI will focus on the following three priorities:

  • No. 1: Building a stronger service system
  • No. 2: Developing and disseminating innovative programs
  • No. 3: Positioning the organization for the future

In order to fulfill our new goals we will continue to strengthen and refine our model programs. The scaling of these programs including SNAP, Mothers in Mind, and Mindfulness Martial Arts are showing impressive results and we are confident that the ongoing research and fidelity will help to strengthen and enhance these programs.

You will see later in this Annual Report an impressive list of publications and presentations by our staff. We are very proud of the work CDI is doing in the area of applied research and the recognition, in the children’s mental health space, as a true Centre of Excellence.

Moving on Mental Health

As Ontario’s children’s mental health sector continues to transform under the Ministry of Children and Youth Services’ Moving on Mental Health initiative, we are pleased to play a strong role in the move towards providing more accessible and responsive services to Ontario families.

Along with members of our management team, I am participating in several working groups that have been formed to determine best practices within the sector and outline a timeline and work plan for implementation.

We are working together to provide a better system for Toronto’s most vulnerable families. In this time of change and transition, we are rising to the challenge.

Thank you for your support.

Tony Diniz's signature
Tony Diniz

CEO

 

Our strategic directions and goals

CDI launched its new Strategic Directions and Goals in August 2016 after an intensive consultation process with staff, stakeholders and our Board of Directors.

Featuring strong vision and mission statements, CDI’s new strategic directions will shape the agency’s approach to service delivery and program development with a continued focus on thought leadership, innovation and a commitment to excellence.

Vision Statement:

To make measureable lifelong impact on the mental health and well-being of children, youth and their families.

Mission Statement:

We transform the lives of children, youth and their families by developing and delivering world class, innovative, evidence-based mental health programs.

Over the next two years, CDI will focus on the following three priorities:

No. 1: Building a stronger service system

CDI will offer leadership and other contributions to strengthen services to children, youth and families and support integration and consolidation within the children and youth mental health system.

No. 2: Developing and disseminating innovative programs

CDI will broaden the reach and impact of its innovative and evidence-based programs that contribute to better outcomes for children and youth.

No. 3: Positioning the organization for the future

CDI will capitalize on its current strengths and capabilities and develop new capacity to ensure that we continue to be a high performing organization that is well-positioned for the future.

 

Research, program development, dissemination and scaling for impact

In 2016/2017, CDI continued to raise awareness about the importance of early intervention and support for children and youth with mental health challenges through contributions to peer reviewed journals and presentations across the world.

  • Alaggia, R., Maiter, S., & Jenney, A. (2016). In whose words? Struggles and strategies of service providers working with immigrant clients with limited language abilities in the violence against women sector and child protection services. Child & Family Social Work.
  • Augimeri, L.K., Pepler, D., Walsh, M., & Kivlenieks, M. (in press). Addressing children’s disruptive behavior problems: A thirty-year journey with SNAP (Stop Now And Plan). In P. Sturmey (Ed.), Handbook of violence and aggression: Assessment, prevention, and treatment of individuals (Vol. 1). Wiley Publishing.
  • Augimeri, L. K., Walsh, M., Donato, A., Blackman, A., & Piquero, A. R. (under review). The genesis of SNAP (Stop Now And Plan): How to effectively ensure children improve their self-control and reduce criminal contact. Special Issue – Advances in Research on Self-Control, Journal of Criminal Justice.
  • Augimeri, L. K., Walsh, M., Enebrink, P., Jiang, D., Blackman, A., & Kanter, D. (under review). Gender specific childhood risk assessment tools: Early Assessment Risk Lists for Boys (EARL-20B) and Girls (EARL-21G). In R. K. Otto & K. S. Douglas (Eds.), Handbook of violence risk assessment (2nd ed.). Oxford, UK: Routledge, Taylor & Francis.
  • Glover, S. & Phillips, M. (Feb 2017). How can educators help students be empathetic towards students with learning disabilities? Article posted on the LD@School website (best practices in LD Education). https://www.ldatschool.ca/mental-health-well-being/a-t-e-empathy/
  • Jenney, A., Alaggia, R., & Niepage, M. (in press). The lie is that it’s not going to get better: Narratives of resilience from childhood exposure to intimate partner violence. International Journal of Child and Adolescent Resilience.
  • Jones, J.K., Minnes, P. & Phillips, M. (submitted to editor Feb 2017). Chapter 14: Developmental Disabilities. In Dozois & Firestone, (Eds.) Abnormal Psychology: Perspectives 6th Edition.
  • Klymkiw, D. F., Milligan, K., Lackner, C., Phillips, M., Schmidt, L. A., & Segalowitz, S. J. (submitted Mar 2017). Does anxiety enhance or hinder attentional and impulse control in youth with ADHD? An ERP analysis. Journal of Attention Disorders.
  • Milligan, K., Cosme, R., Wolfe-Miscio, M., Mintz, L, Woon, S., Gage, M. & Phillips, M. (Feb 2017; submitted for publication; April 2017 accepted). Integra Mindfulness Martial Arts Enhances Academic and Social Outcomes for Rural High School Students. Contemporary School Psychology.
  • Phillips, M. (winter/spring 2017). Beyond Social Skills: Understanding and Supporting Social Competence in Children with Learning Disabilities. Communique magazine, Learning Disabilities Association of Ontario.
  • Scott, S., Augimeri, L.K., & Fifield, J. (2017). Treatment and management: Early interventions in conduct disorder and oppositional defiant disorder. In Susan Bailey and Paul Tarbuck (Eds.), Forensic Child and Adolescent Mental Health: Meeting the Needs of Young Offenders. Cambridge University Press.
  • Alaggia, R., Jenney, A., Niepage, M. and Donohue, M. (2016, July). How does resilience reveal itself in children exposed to intimate partner violence. Presentation at the International Family Violence and Child Victimization Research Conference, Portsmouth, NH.
  • Augimeri, L. (2017, February). How to improve emotion regulation and self-control in children experiencing conduct problems and their families: The SNAP model. Presentation at the Promoting Healthy Relationships for Youth: Breaking Down the Silos in Addressing Mental Health and Violence conference, London, ON.
  • Augimeri, L. (2017, February). That art of conducting structured professional judgement risk/needs assessments of students. Workshop at the Promoting Healthy Relationships for Youth: Breaking Down the Silos in Addressing Mental Health and Violence conference, London, ON.
  • Augimeri, L. (2016, October). Capacity building for service providers and social enterprises. Thematic panel presentation at the MaRS Discovery District Social Finance Forum, Toronto, ON.
  • Augimeri, L. (2016, October). Igniting impact: Mobilizing the private sector for good. Presentation at LEAP: The Centre for Social Impact, Toronto, ON.
  • Augimeri, L.K., & Philips, D. (2016, August). SNAP – A strategy to prevent and reduce youth crime. Youth Anti-Crime Trust – Youth Act (3-day series of presentations to government officials and ministries). George Town, Cayman Islands.
  • Augimeri, L., Walsh, M., & Donato, A. (2016, November). The genesis of SNAP (Stop Now And Plan) and the impact treatment intensity. Panel Presentation at the American Society of Criminology Conference, New Orleans, LA.
  • Augimeri, L., Wash, M., & Donato, A. (2016, June). SNAP and future criminal outcome: A case for intervention during the middle years. Presentation at the International Association of Forensic Mental Health Services Conference, New York, NY.
  • Augimeri, L., Walsh, M., & Woods, S. (2016, June). SNAP Youth Justice: Engaging justice involved youth through technology emotion regulation, self control and problem solving skills. Poster session presented at the Ministry of Children and Youth Services Direct Operated Custody Facilities Clinical Forum, Toronto, ON.
  • Augimeri, L., Walsh, M., Woods, S., Latchford, C., & Murray, B. (2016, May). Teaching justice involved youth to stop and think ‘in the moment’. Presentation at the Ontario Association of Child and Youth Care Conference, Thunder Bay, ON.
  • Augimeri, L., & Woods, S. (2016, July). SNAP Youth Justice. Presentation at the Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services Management Committee Meeting, Toronto, ON.
  • Augimeri, L., Woods, S., Walsh, M., Mohamud, A., Latchford, C. (2017, January). SNAP & SNAP Youth Justice. Presentation at the Youth Justice Advisory Panel, Toronto, ON.
  • Cressman, K. (2016, August). Calming the emotional storm: Understanding and supporting emotional dysregulation in students with LDMH. Peer-reviewed workshop presented at Third Annual Educator’s Institute, Toronto, ON.
  • Glover, S. & Phillips, M. (2016, August). Beyond social skills: Understanding and supporting social competence in students with LDMH. Peer-reviewed workshop presented at Third Annual Educator’s Institute, Toronto, ON.
  • Golden, J., Phillips, M. & Walker, D. (2016, November). High quality supervision as a model for change. Solution Lab presented at Focus on Quality, CMHO Annual Conference, Toronto, ON.
  • Jenney, A. (2016, October). Keeping Mothers in Mind: Trauma informed approaches to supporting mothers who have experienced violence and their young children. Presentation at Collaborating Across Systems: Preventing and Responding to Domestic Violence against Women and Children, Vancouver, BC.
  • Jenney, A. and Niepage, M. (2016, April). How does resilience reveal itself in children and youth exposed to intimate partner violence (IPV). Presentation at the Make Resilience Matter for Children Exposed to Intimate Partner Violence Symposium, Toronto, ON.
  • Klymkiw, D., Milligan, K., Segalowitz, S., Lackner, C., Michaels, C., Phillips, M., & Schmidt, L. A. (2016, May). The Impact of anxiety on impulse control in youth with ADHD: An ERP analysis. Poster presented at the 28th Annual Association for Psychological Science Convention, Chicago, IL.
  • McKeough, T., Gage, M., Mintz, L., & Wolfe Miscio, M. (2016, April). From clinic to school: Delivering the Integra Mindfulness Martial Arts program within the Trillium Lakelands District School Board. Workshop presented at the Summit on Children & Youth Mental Health, Toronto, ON.
  • McKeough, T., Slater, R., Phillips, M. & Morgan, A. (2016, October). Fostering resilience and well-being: Bringing the Integra Mindfulness Martial Arts program to Hospital for Sick Children youth with diabetes. Poster presented at the Medical Psychiatry Alliance Conference, Toronto, ON.
  • Milligan, K. & Manchester, J. (2016, October). Attention and learning disorders. Workshop presented at the Third Annual UTSC Mindfulness Summit, Toronto, ON.
  • Mohamud, A., Sewell, K., Webster, C., Fifield, J., & Kallis, J. (2016, June). Program design and planning for teenaged boys can be aided through use of SAPROF: AV item relevance scores. Presentation at the International Association of Forensic Mental Health Services Conference, New York, NY.
  • Morgan, A., Jurasek, D. & Phillips, M. (2016, April) Improving emotion regulation in children with learning disabilities and mental health issues (LDMH): The Integra Young Warriors program. Workshop presented at the 5th Annual Ontario Shores conference in Toronto, ON.
  • Phillips, M. (2017, March). Beyond social skills: Understanding and supporting social competence. Workshop selected for presentation at the Annual Solutions for Learning Conference, Burlington, ON.
  • Phillips, M. (2016, December). Learning issues for school age children with autism. Presentation at the Physician’s Panel, Geneva International Symposium, Toronto, ON.
  • Phillips, M. (2016, November). Defining LDs in Ontario: A historical perspective on our psychology community. Presentation at the Definitions, Diagnosis and Disputes in Learning Disabilities: Towards Unified Practice in Ontario Dorothy Hill Symposium, Toronto, ON.
  • Phillips, M., Glover, S. & Scully, J. (2016, November). Improving wait times: An innovative assessment and consultation clinic model for children and youth with complex needs. Workshop presented at Focus on Quality. CMHO Annual Conference, Toronto, ON.
  • Sewell, K. (2016, November). The development of a SNAP model of clinical supervision. Presentation at the Annual CMHO conference, Solution Lab on Supervision, Toronto, ON.
  • Walsh, M., Woods, S., Augimieri, L., & Chabbert, P. (2016, November). Working with Indigenous communities to adapt an evidence-based model. Panel Presentation at the American Society of Criminology Conference, New Orleans, LA.
  • Woods, S. (2016, November). SNAP Youth Justice model. Presentation at the Roy McMurtry Youth Centre Direct-Operating Working Group, Brampton, ON.
  • Woods, S., & Sutherland, J. (2016, June). Engaging justice involved youth and their families. Presentation at the Youth Worker Symposium, Toronto, ON.
Illustrated map of Canada indicating current SNAP sites, sites in progress, and targeted commuities as of March 31, 2017.

SNAP National Expansion Campaign scales up

Moving into Phase II

As of March 31, 2017, the SNAP National Expansion Campaign was at 90 per cent of its $12M goal. Having reached over 30 affiliate sites in five provinces, CDI’s SNAP team and community partners are working hard to ensure that at-risk children and youth across Canada are given timely and equitable access to this life-changing program.

There is still much to be done as CDI works to ensure that Canada’s young people and their families benefit from SNAP’s unique continuum of care. Over 2017, we will work to increase investment to implement and sustain SNAP in Canada’s highest risk communities.

By changing the life trajectories of over 20,000 high-risk children in a total of 140 communities across our country, the SNAP National Expansion Campaign will help these young people reach their full potential while saving $3 billion in criminal justice costs alone.

HIGHLIGHTS FROM 2016/2017

  • CDI supported seven full SNAP implementations across Ontario through a $10M investment by the Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services (MCYS).
  • A generous and timely investment from The Slaight Family Foundation has provided CDI with the resources to develop, in collaboration with Indigenous leaders, a culturally safe framework for taking SNAP to their communities over the next five years.
  • SNAP was implemented in Lac Seul First Nation, a remote Ontario community located halfway between Winnipeg and Thunder Bay.
  • Through a unique partnership with Cisco and TakingITGlobal, we have started offering SNAP in an Indigenous site in Carcross, Yukon.
  • We received preliminary outcomes from a long-term study of 1,076 participants, revealing that an estimated 80 per cent of SNAP graduates have no criminal record in adolescence and adulthood. These are excellent outcomes, particularly since research shows that, without intervention, children under 12 engaging in anti-social activities have a high probability of continuing this behaviour into adolescence and adulthood.
Why investing in children's mental health matters

Being told your son would not “make it” in life is not something a mom wants to hear. Heather*, a devoted mom of two, had been told this by her son’s teachers more than once.

“If you ask Jarrod* why he was first brought into Stop Now And Plan (SNAP®), he would say it’s because he was a troublemaker,” says Heather. “In actual fact, Jarrod himself suffered from bullying throughout his schooling. Not knowing how to deal with this—as well as having ADHD and a language impairment—badly affected his school experience.” Heather was convinced her son needed more support than his school could provide, so she took action and approached the SNAP team at CDI.

Heather quickly realized that SNAP would offer more than an intervention program for her then eight-year-old son. While the core SNAP curriculum helped Jarrod control his anger and impulsivity, it was SNAP’s ongoing support that really turned things around for the family. “SNAP has become a community for Jarrod,” Heather says.

With the support of his counsellors, he learned how to be more assertive and how to make friends. Jarrod also found positive male role models, something which was missing in his life. “It had always been difficult for Jarrod to communicate effectively and make friends,” Heather says. “SNAP helped Jarrod manage his feelings and express himself more clearly,” Speaking of Jarrod’s involvement in the SNAP Youth Leadership Program, “he never misses an opportunity to attend a session. Abdi [the program leader] has become a mentor and friend and is someone Jarrod really looks up to."

Now in grade 12, Jarrod’s school experience has improved immensely. He has worked hard at several part-time jobs in past the two years and now volunteers as a SNAP Junior Counsellor and Peer Mentor, helping clinicians teach SNAP to younger boys.

“With each year that Jarrod spent in the SNAP Youth Leadership Program, his confidence grew and he was able to use SNAP to control his impulsivity,” says Abdi Mohamud, Coordinator of CDI’s Youth Leadership Services. “He's now looked up to by many of our younger SNAP participants, and we are all so very proud of him!”

With graduation at top of mind, Jarrod aspires to be a chef and someday run his own restaurant. SNAP has given him confidence and the skills he needed to overcome barriers and to chart a more positive future.

*Names have been changed to protect identities.

 

Our donors

2016/2017 Annual Campaign Donors

Donations received April 1, 2016 - March 31, 2017

$50,000 – $99,999

  • TD Securities Underwriting Hope Charity Auction

$10,000 – $24,999

  • Diane Blake and Stephen Smith
  • Echo Foundation
  • David Feather and Lily Chow*
  • Frederick and Douglas Dickson Memorial Foundation
  • Ira Gluskin and Maxine Granovsky Gluskin
  • Patricia and John Gouinlock
  • Kim and Hal Gould
  • Mari and Lee Hodgkinson
  • KBSH Spirit Foundation
  • Michelle and Patrick Meneley
  • James and Robin Porter
  • St. Andrew’s Society of Toronto
  • Michael and Andrea Wolff
  • Cate and Tony Woodward

$5,000 – $9,999

  • The Ben and Hilda Katz Foundation
  • Carol Bezaire*
  • Cidel Asset Management
  • Conn Smythe Foundation
  • Scott Conover and Karen Bowles
  • Doris Hansen Charitable Foundation: Doris Hansen
  • Ernst & Young
  • Frank and Tina Giordano
  • Judith Hinchman and Patrick Garver*
  • RBC
  • RBC Foundation
  • The Toronto Star Fresh Air Fund
  • Townsend Family Foundation at Toronto Foundation
  • Vancouver Foundation: The Pender Fund

$1,000 – $4,999

  • ASCA Office Solutions Inc.
  • Mary Ashbourne-Smith and Richard Smith
  • Lyn and Sandy Baptist
  • Jillian Beattie
  • Cindy and Robert Blakely
  • Jeremy Brasseur
  • Canadian Tire Jumpstart
  • Vivien and Leslie Cappe
  • Mario Causarano
  • CHUM Charitable Foundation
  • Cisco Canada
  • Mary Dale
  • Brian Deegan and Diane Theriault
  • Tony Diniz*
  • F.K. Morrow Foundation
  • Fusion Design Group
  • Ciprian Gligor*
  • Amy Goldbloom
  • Vanessa Grant and Philip Street
  • Susan and Greg Guichon
  • Jeff Heath
  • Arthur and Mary Heinmaa
  • Alison Holt and Innes Van Nostrand*
  • Hourigan Foundation
  • Angelique Jenney*
  • George and Carole Jenney
  • The Junior League of Toronto
  • Kids in Camp
  • Shauna Klein*
  • Loblaw Inc
  • Melanie Manchee and Peter Love
  • MCBN Children’s Association
  • Morgan Goldberg Memorial Fund
  • Patricia Murray and Rick Saran
  • Murray Oxby and Eleanor Whyte
  • Susan Paterson*
  • Linda Pincott Kitchen and Andrew Diamond
  • St. Paul’s Church L’Amoreaux
  • Saskatoon Health Region
  • Kellie Sauriol
  • Ricki and Steven Sharpe
  • Nora and Tim Spence
  • TD Private Giving Foundation: Tso Family Trust
  • Susan Weedon
  • A. Michael and Virginia Wenban
  • Women’s Inter-Church Council of Canada
  • William and Emma Wong
  • Adrian and Janet Zenwirt

$500 – $999

  • Anonymous
  • Paul Birket and Caroline Crabtree
  • Steve and Nanette Blake*
  • Rodrigo Cavalcanti and Lorraine Lipscombe
  • CIBC Mellon
  • Dermot Connolly and Anne Colvin-Connolly
  • Terry and Elizabeth Couttie
  • Densmore Consulting Services Inc.
  • Lisa Dibarbora
  • Michael Douglas
  • E & G Odette Foundation
  • John and Heather Emery
  • Mitchell Goldberg and Christine McKeown
  • Carol and Lorne Goldstein
  • Trudy Grant and Kevin Sullivan
  • Judy Hamilton
  • David and Kerry Heller
  • The Isberg Charitable Trust: Kris and Margaret Isberg
  • Kathleen Kelly
  • Paula Knopf
  • Melissa Konat
  • Jenn Latanski
  • Amie Lear and Doug Saunders
  • Ryan Leesui
  • Karen Mann and Nye Thomas
  • Kim McCrory through the Weekend of Wellness Event
  • Michael McHale and Ruth Bastedo
  • Tom and Diane McNulty
  • Deborah Mitchell
  • Kristin Palin
  • Valentina Parker
  • Marjory Phillips*
  • President’s Choice Children’s Charities
  • Frances and Tim Price*
  • Julia and Ted Price
  • Margaret Proctor
  • Karen Wynnychuk

$100 – $499

  • Advertek
  • Alex U. Soyka Foundation
  • Stephen Allen
  • Leena and Enzo Augimeri*
  • Nurhan and Lucy Aycan
  • Chuck Baker and Harold Dunford
  • Christopher and Ann Bangham
  • Colette and Thomas Barber
  • Sydney and Zillah Baumal
  • Judith Beamish
  • Deborah and David Beatty
  • Joanne and Gerald Bentson*
  • Elizabeth Berger*
  • Beverley Best
  • Brenda Bisiker
  • James Blake
  • Carole Boivin
  • Ena Burbano
  • Robert and Judy Caley*
  • Lorie Cappe
  • Compton Cho and Diane Gropp
  • David and Gita Clarkson
  • Matthew Cohen
  • Arthur Cooper and Marcia Douglas
  • Peter Copeland
  • Diana Cottingham
  • Sarah Crawford and David Kirkwood
  • Michael Cruickshank
  • James Darroch and
  • Brenda Blackstock*
  • David S. Wilson Professional Corporation
  • Miriam Diamond
  • Megan Dickinson
  • Graham and Sheila Dutton
  • Peeter and Svea Einola
  • Guy and Simonne Ferguson
  • Kaitlin Gillen*
  • John Gillies and Ann-Marie Prendiville*
  • Kenneth and Ginny Goldberg
  • Susy Goldstein
  • David Hawkey
  • David and Maureen Hulbert*
  • Susan Hylton
  • Italian Canadian Savings & Credit Union
  • Jennifer James
  • Todd Jenney
  • Mark Johnston
  • William Johnston
  • Charis Kelly
  • Tanya Kololian
  • Ilana Kotin
  • Jim Lane and Georgina Carson
  • Heather Lawson and John Cushman
  • Tracie LeBlanc*
  • Linda Levely*
  • Karla Lightly
  • Brina Ludwig Prout and James Prout*
  • Tammy MacDougall*
  • Elizabeth Macfarlane
  • Michelle Magee
  • Gisele and Rod McIsaac
  • Philomena Meffe
  • Joanne Miller
  • Marilyn Miller
  • Faye Mishna
  • Jan Mollenhauer
  • Chiara Morelli
  • Yvonne Ng
  • Cameron Norman
  • Panco Plumbing Ltd.
  • Lena and Anthony Paniccia
  • Bruce J. Patterson and Barbara Hannach
  • Ken and Deborah Preston
  • Erin Rajca
  • Mario and Anna Reffo
  • Rhonda Richer
  • Margaret Ringland
  • Alison Robinette
  • Marilyn Rudd
  • JoAnne Sakura
  • Kerry and Devorah Salsberg
  • Daniel Schwartz
  • Kim Shannon
  • Doug and Kris Sharpe
  • Joe Shortt
  • Braden Smith
  • Hershel and Lois Sorokin
  • Shanan Spencer-Brown and Andrew Brown
  • Karen Steele
  • Georgina Strachan
  • Kathy Tesar
  • TMG International Inc: John Bardawill
  • Jennifer Tory
  • Judy Trench
  • Sandra Volasko
  • Cindy Ward
  • Christopher Webster
  • Judy White*
  • Judith Wiener
  • Leslie and Joan Wonch
  • Ashley Yantzi
  • Daniel and Connie Zalmanowitz

Monthly Donors

* denotes a Member of CDI’s Monthly Donor Circle

Gift In Kind Donors

  • ACE Bakery
  • BMO Employees
  • Café Boulud
  • Canadian Bankers Association
  • Churchill Cellars
  • DMF Flowers
  • Four Seasons Hotel Toronto
  • Fusion Design Group
  • Glazer’s Canada
  • The Keg
  • KPMG
  • Lake of Bays Brewing Co.
  • Loews Hotel Vogue
  • Longo’s
  • Maison Publique
  • Mercer Canada
  • Montreal Plaza
  • The National Ballet of Canada
  • Office Central
  • RBC Employees
  • Rotary Club of Toronto
  • Rotman Commerce Accounting Society through the RCAS
  • Cares Event
  • Scotia Wealth Management
  • Spin Master
  • VIA Rail Canada

We would like to pay tribute to the following individuals, corporations and foundations, who have cumulatively given or pledged more than $25,000 to the SNAP National Expansion Campaign:

$100,000 +

  • CIBC
  • Community Foundation of Ottawa
  • The Gordon & Ruth Gooder Charitable Foundation
  • Krembil Foundation
  • Janet and Stephen MacPhail
  • The Honourable Mrs. Margaret McCain
  • The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation
  • Nixon Charitable Foundation: Janet and Gordon Nixon
  • Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services
  • Ontario Trillium Foundation
  • The Peter Cundill Foundation
  • The Slaight Family Foundation
  • TD Bank Group

$50,000 – $99,999

  • Atkinson Foundation
  • Tami and George Cope
  • E.W. Bickle Foundation

$25,000 – $49,999

  • Lyn and Sandy Baptist
  • Colette and Thomas Barber
  • Karen and Donald Lang
  • The McLean Foundation
  • SmartSimple
  • Cecilia Zimerman and Brandon Snow

 

It begins and ends with our families…

Our 2016/2017 annual report tells the story of three families as they follow their paths through treatment at CDI across our four program streams: Early Intervention Services, Family Violence Services, Healthy Child Development and the Integra Program. These stories are a composite of the lived experiences of the children and families our clinicians support.

These journeys highlight important milestones families experience in seeking treatment for their children, including:

  • Deciding to seek support from a service provider
  • Getting a referral for CDI services
  • Awaiting intake for services
  • Participating in treatment
  • Obtaining a diagnosis, or learning more about their child’s unique challenges
  • Transitioning to other CDI programs as the child continues to grow and experience new difficulties, or a family’s situation worsens
  • Moving on from CDI services

Beginning treatment with CDI requires a great deal of commitment on the part of a family. Many of our group programs involve both parents and children attending weekly group sessions for an average of 10 – 12 weeks, in addition to modelling parenting techniques at home.

That is why we have entitled this year’s annual report Because of You. It is through the commitment, perseverance and dedication of families that we are able to work together to help them transform their lives. Despite the many obstacles they are experiencing, they are the ones showing up every day to do the work, advocate for their children and make important changes in their lives.

We are honoured to be a part of this important process. Over the last year, we have had the privilege of delivering our innovative and evidence-informed programs to more than 3,000 children, youth and families, helping them to create lasting change.

It is important to remember that the healing process is not linear. Not every family at CDI experiences a clear and simple path through treatment; in some cases, a family may enter into service and then due to an unforeseen setback or change in circumstances (i.e., changes to housing, family dynamics, finances, location, etc.), they may need to discharge from service, either temporarily or permanently.

Track these families throughout the annual report as they progress through CDI services.

Follow Nur and Luna’s journey through Healthy Child Development and Early Intervention Services

Nur (4 years old) and her family immigrated to Toronto from Turkey at the beginning of the school year. They moved to the Thorncliffe Park neighbourhood, and Nur soon began attending Fraser Mustard Early Learning Centre’s (ELC) Before and After Kindergarten Program.

Designed as a new model in childcare and school integration, the Fraser Mustard ELC is located in the Fraser Mustard Early Learning Academy, Canada’s largest all-kindergarten school. By situating the Centre within a school setting, early childhood educators, teachers and school staff have the unique opportunity to work together in a collaborative early learning environment.

Nur’s mom, Luna, has been very open with the ELC staff that the move has been challenging for her family, especially Nur. Finances are a struggle, and as a result, adjusting to life in Canada has been very difficult. There is a lot of stress in the family home. Luna is most worried about Nur as she struggles with daily anxiety when leaving home to go to the Centre.

Follow Hannah’s journey through SNAP and Integra services

Hannah (11 years old) struggles to fit in at school and is in constant conflict with her peers and teachers. She has meltdowns at home that include conflict, but also involve yelling, crying, and sometimes even ripping up school work or throwing things around her room.

At school, Hannah sits with her hair in her face not answering the teacher. She plays on her phone in class and yells and pushes the desk if the teacher confronts her. She often ends up having to leave the classroom and is at risk of suspension.

Hannah likes to hang out with an older crowd that often skips school, and she regularly stays out late to avoid her chores and homework.

As a result of her behaviour, Hannah has a strained relationship with her parents, and the family is barely speaking.

Due to the challenges Hannah experiences at school, her teacher recommends that she participate in CDI’s SNAP Girls program.

SNAP Girls is a family-focused, gender-specific early intervention program for girls ages 6 – 11 exhibiting disruptive behaviour problems at home, school and in the community.

Follow Sima, Maria and Lon’s journey through Family Violence Services

Sima and her two children, Maria (7 years old) and Lon (15 years old), first arrived in a downtown shelter after things became too dangerous at home. They fled in the middle of a cold January night, leaving everything behind.

Maria and Lon start at a new school the following week, while Sima spends her days balancing the never-ending stream of meetings with lawyers and representatives from Toronto Police Services and Children’s Aid Society.

Getting used to the shelter environment while processing the effects of trauma can be very difficult for families who have experienced violence at home. Through our Family Violence Services programming, we work together with families to provide them with skills to cope with the challenges they’re facing and begin the healing process.

About Early Invervention Services

Through our Early Intervention Services, CDI provides children’s mental health services for children under the age of 12 who require assistance with identified difficulties, such as socio-emotional or behavioural problems. Our programs are family-centred, and we work with families to assist with parenting challenges and help manage family relationships.

Many of the families we serve have experienced trauma or abuse, domestic violence, family breakdown or other issues that affect healthy childhood development. These children often experience conflict at school or in childcare, difficulties with peers and family members and issues related to anger management, impulsivity and/or developmental difficulties.

Many parents face unique challenges with their children and are known to benefit from specialized child management and parenting skill development while building a stronger parent-child relationship. Our approach is family-centred and parents are involved throughout their child’s participation in our programs.

We offer both treatment and prevention programs for children and their families that are available at our locations, in schools and within the community, including SNAP, anxiety programs and school-based programs, among others.

Independent evaluation studies of our Early Intervention Services show that we are making a difference, generating positive results for children and families we serve, and for our community.

illustration of Maria and Lon

Maria and Lon’s Family Journey

Soon after arriving at the shelter in January, Sima and her family are referred to CDI for support. Maria and Lon meet with a School Liaison Worker who helps them get to know their new teachers and access supports at the school.

illustration of Nur

Nur's Family Journey

At the Fraser Mustard ELC, Nur takes part in a rich, inclusive Before and After Kindergarten program that encourages children to become actively involved in their environment and with others. While Nur does her best to participate in the daily program, she continues to struggle with her social and emotional interaction with others.

illustration of Hannah

Hannah's Family Journey

Given Hannah’s risk of a school suspension, the SNAP team prioritizes school support in her treatment plan. Her SNAP clinician conducts a classroom observation to assess Hannah’s social, emotional and behavioural strengths and needs, and following this assessment, Hannah’s family, teacher and SNAP clinician meet to discuss how she can be better supported at school.

Get to know our

Early Intervention Services

CDI’s Early Intervention Services include a variety of mental health programs to help children ages 0 – 12 and their families struggling with social-emotional or behavioural problems.

Our approach is family-centred, and parents are involved throughout their child’s progression in our programs.

The next two pages contain a listing of our early intervention programs based on a child’s age range and the challenges they are experiencing.

Illustration of four kids standing together smiling

Prevention program

For families

Intervention program

For children only

For parents only

In the school*

Kindergarten

Prevention-based program for children experiencing:

  • Social struggles
  • Lack of confidence
  • Impulse control

Start Right Social Skills

This 10-week program is offered in partnership with the Toronto District School Board in over 20 schools across Toronto.

Kindergarten, grades 1 – 7

For children experiencing:

  • Emotional, social and behavioural challenges
  • Inability to manage in the mainstream educational system

Day Treatment Program (Section 23)

Children are provided with a structured setting that helps them manage impulsivity and emotions, develop basic social and school-readiness skills and enhance self-esteem and awareness of themselves and others.

Students are taught using Individual Education Plans (IEP) which incorporate goals.

grades 1 – 7

To help children manage:

  • Anger
  • Group/peer pressure
  • Bullying
  • Social/emotional issues

SNAP for Schools

A 13-week in-class program based on SNAP, CDI’s award-winning early intervention model that teaches children struggling with behaviour issues, and their parents, effective emotion regulation, self-control and problem-solving skills.

grades 3 – 7

For children experiencing challenges with:

  • Self-esteem
  • Problem-solving
  • Self expression

FRIENDS for Life

A 10-week in-class program that helps students learn skills to cope with stress and build emotional resilience.

grades 5 – 7

For children experiencing:

  • Challenges managing their mood

ACT & ADAPT

Throughout the 20-week program children meet weekly in small groups during class time to discuss topics such as solving problems, making time for fun and identifying and changing negative thoughts.

*Child Development Institute’s school-based programs are available in a limited number of schools. Please contact our intake line at 416-603-1827 for a list of participating schools.

In the Community

Programs for parents of children ages 0 – 6

For parents of children who are:

  • Inhibited
  • Shy
  • Anxious

Parenting Group for anxious preschoolers (PGAP)

This 10-week parent group is co-led by a Michael Garron Hospital (formerly Toronto East General) psychiatric expert in childhood anxiety and a trained CDI social worker.

For parents of children who:

  • Are concerned about their relationship with their child
  • Have children who are exhibiting social, emotional and behavioural or adjustment difficulties

Family and Community Counselling

Children are provided with a structured setting that helps them manage impulsivity and emotions, develop basic social and school-readiness skills and enhance self-esteem and awareness of themselves and others.

Students are taught using Individual Education Plans (IEP) which incorporate goals.

IN-HOME PROGRAM FOR CHILDREN AGES 6 – 11

For children demonstrating:

  • Significant early aggressive, oppositional or defiant behaviours
  • High risk for future antisocial behaviour and negative outcomes

Intensive Community Home Services

For families who would normally be considering a residential treatment program. Intensive Community Home Services workers engage with children and their families to complete a thorough assessment and develop a collaborative intervention plan. Intervention plans are highly individualized and may include: individual or family counselling; SNAP parenting strategies; home-based coaching and support; school support and advocacy; community support and life skills coaching.

PROGRAMS FOR FAMILIES OF CHILDREN AGES 6 – 11

For families with children who are:

  • Exhibiting fears and worries that interfere with their daily lives

Cool Kids Anxiety Program

10 concurrent child and parent group sessions are delivered after school at Michael Garron Hospital (formerly Toronto East General).

For families with children experiencing:

  • Poor self-control and problem-solving
  • Difficulty with impulse control
  • Bullying
  • Anxiety
  • Antisocial values and conduct
  • Difficult parent-child interactions

SNAP

An evidence-based, cognitive behavioural, gender-specific model that provides a framework for teaching children struggling with behaviour issues, and their parents, effective emotion regulation, self-control and problem-solving skills.

For families with children experiencing:

  • Poor self-control and problem-solving
  • Difficulty with impulse control
  • Bullying
  • Anxiety
  • Antisocial values and conduct
  • Difficult parent-child interactions

Camp Wimodausis

A specialized SNAP summer day camp for children whose social and behaviour problems prevent them from attending other summer day camps.

Illustration of Maria and Lon's family

Maria and Lon’s Family Journey

Maria and Lon work with Ashley, their School Liaison Worker, who helps them make a smooth transition into their new school. Ashley’s focus is on supporting Maria and Lon’s emotional, behavioural and social development as they adjust to the school environment.

Illustration of Nur's family

Nur's Family Journey

Nur is shy, withdrawn and quiet and is finding it hard to keep up in her kindergarten classroom. Nur’s teacher recommends she participate in CDI’s Start Right Social Skills program to help her better adjust to the classroom setting.

Illustration of Hannah's family

Hannah's Family Journey

Hannah begins learning self regulation activities through SNAP, and her teacher helps coach Hannah at school so that they can identify which calming activities are most effective. She also moves Hannah’s desk closer to hers and permits Hannah to take breaks when she begins to feel agitated.

Strengthening the bond

Each year, the SNAP Girls team works with a carefully selected group of five or six mother-daughter pairings to focus on relationship building and improving communication within the family. The group, called Girls Growing Up Healthy, is available to girls (ages 9 and up) and their mothers, once they have completed the 13-week SNAP Girls group.

“Through Girls Growing Up Healthy, we are able to deliver the final core component in the SNAP Girls program to mothers and daughters once they have built a strong foundation of emotion-regulation skills from their first 13-week program,” says Erin Rajca, Manager of SNAP Girls and Anxiety Programs.

Over the course of nine group sessions, the Girls Growing Up Healthy team works with mothers and daughters who are experiencing conflict within the family, wanting to feel closer, struggling to make a connection with each other or suffering from a lack of trust within the relationship.

“The research shows that the quality of attachment between mother and daughter is a precipitating risk factor for the development of aggression,” Erin Rajca says. “Girls with an early history of aggressive behaviors are also at risk for unhealthy dating relationships, early sexual activity and unhelpful coping such as substance use. Girls Growing Up Healthy aims to enhance the quality of the mother daughter relationship as well as increase knowledge and equip families with skills to cope with each of these risk factors.”

Through Girls Growing Up Healthy, mothers and daughters learn active listening and mirroring techniques, in addition to the important roles that encouragement, validation and assertive communication play in developing a healthy relationship.

The group also engages in discussions about challenging issues the young girls are facing related to sexual health and their sexuality, personal boundaries and sexual harassment. These conversations help mothers learn how to support their daughters through their difficult transition to adolescence by keeping the door to communication open.

“We encourage moms to practice empathy and acceptance with their daughters by recognizing that while they may not agree with a decision their daughter has made, it’s important to understand her perspective,” Erin Rajca says.

CDI launched SNAP Girls in 1996 as the first-ever sustained, gender-specific program for behaviourally troubled girls and their families. Developed using the award-winning SNAP model, the program incorporates a feminist lens to recognize gender differences. The program components are similar to the SNAP Boys program, but there are important differences based on research and best practices for treating girl aggression, including a greater emphasis on communication and relationship-building.

illustration of Maria and Lon

Maria and Lon’s Family Journey

Sima begins weekly counselling with the CDI Shelter Program Child and Family Clinician who helps her process the trauma she’s experienced and supports Sima in developing helpful coping strategies.

An update on Nur and Luna

Through Nur’s participation in Start Right Social Skills, her worker identifies the early signs of more significant social competency issues and discusses supportive treatment options with Nur’s mother, Luna.

The 10-week Start Right Social Skills program provides special “play and learn” sessions during school hours for children having difficulty adjusting to the everyday demands of their regular classroom.

By providing structured opportunities for healthy social, emotional and peer learning, children develop the confidence and skills to deal more effectively with challenges in the classroom, playground and at home.

About the Healthy Child Development Program
Illustration of Hannah

Hannah's Family Journey

Hannah and her moms participate in concurrent SNAP groups. The SNAP technique helps them stay in control of their emotions so that they can respond to each other instead of reacting, which usually led to conflict in the past.

Why the early years matter

At Child Development Institute, we deliver proven programs that help children and families discover their strengths and abilities, access the tools they need to succeed and learn to overcome challenges.

Our five Early Learning Centres and the Parkdale-High Park Ontario Early Years Centre provide a high-quality early childhood education and care program. Our qualified registered Early Childhood Educators and Early Childhood Assistants work hard to provide an enriched learning environment that is safe and nurturing.

“For many children and their families childcare is their first group experience,” explains Carolee Crooks, CDI’s Director of Healthy Child Development. “Childcare staff are often the first to observe problems or delays in a child’s development. When we observe a child experiencing difficulties, we work with the parents/caregivers to address the need by accessing resources to support not only the child but also their family,” she says.

Through CDI’s early intervention programs, our staff are able to identify early signs of delay in a child’s physical, social, cognitive or language development.

“By intervening early and providing children and families with the support they need, we are able to reduce the impact of early delays on the child’s overall development,” Carolee Crooks says.

Illustration of Nur

Nur's Family Journey

Nur enjoys participating in Start Right Social Skills and has become more independent. However, while she is feeling more confident about separating from her mom each morning, she continues to struggle with developing social skills and engaging with other children.

Illustration of Maria and Lon

Maria and Lon’s Family Journey

Maria makes a new friend at school and is settling well into her classes. She meets with her School Liaison Worker once a week to talk about how things are going.

Illustration of Hannah

Hannah's Family Journey

Hannah’s moms learn a variety of positive parenting strategies including effective communication and active listening skills which help them engage their daughter and learn more about Hannah’s experiences, her perspective and feelings.

Our Early Learning Centres follow the Ministry of Education’s program How Does Learning Happen? where teachers support children’s learning through positive relationships.

A day in the life in the Toddler Room

(18 months to 30 months) at our Early Learning Centres:

Morning  
7:30 – 8:30 a.m. Children are dropped off at the Centre by parents or guardians
7:30 – 9:00 a.m. Open snack and washroom routine (many children in this age group are transitioning out of diapers to independent toileting)
9:00 – 10.00 a.m. Learning activities/play time
10:00 – 11.00 a.m. Outdoor play
11:00 – 11.15 a.m. Group time (language activities, music experiences)
11:15 – 11:40 a.m. Washroom routine/ready for lunch
11:40 – 12:30 p.m. Lunch
AFTERNOON  
12:30 – 1:30 p.m. Rest/nap time
1:30 – 2:00 p.m. Wake up/washroom routine
2:00 – 2:30 p.m. Snack
2:30 – 4:30 p.m. Outdoor play (longer outdoor play when the weather is nice)
4:30 – 5:30 p.m. Washroom routine, snack, independent play
5:30 – 6:00 p.m. Parents and guardians begin picking up children
6:00 p.m. Centre closes
Together, Community Thrives

On the second floor of the community centre in the heart of St. James Town, laughter echoes through the hall as the children in the Wellesley Early Learning Centre begin their day.

With approximately 17,000 residents living in 19 high-rise residential towers, St. James Town is not only considered Canada’s most densely populated community but also one of the most densely populated neighbourhoods in North America.

Located next to a public library branch and offering free classes in sewing, yoga, hip hop dance and other activities, the community centre serves as an important hub for local residents. The Wellesley Early Learning Centre is the heart of the community space with over 60 infants, toddlers and pre-schoolers participating in full-time childcare on weekdays.

“The majority of our families live in the neighbouring high-rises, and they learned about us through word of mouth,” says Marlyn Allicock, Director of the Wellesley Early Learning Centre. “Since so many of the families we work with know each other from the neighbourhood, we have a really close-knit community at the Centre,” she says.

This strong sense of community has translated into a very active Parent Advisory Group. The group, consisting of parents whose children attend the Centre, meets quarterly with the Director and the Family Support Worker. Parents share ideas about special activities or programs of interest to them such as a yearly dental clinic run by Toronto Public Health, story time sessions, cooking classes and other workshops.

St. James Town is a multicultural and multi-linguistic neighbourhood, where newcomers to Canada make up a large portion of the population. Children at the Centre build relationships with friends from all over the world including the Democratic Republic of the Congo, India, Nepal, Nigeria, the Philippines and Sri Lanka, and these friendships often continue on to junior kindergarten and beyond.

“I love the diversity we see at the Centre,” Marlyn says. “We are exposed to so many different cultures and languages, and it’s such a pleasure to see families from so many different places building such close bonds with each other.”

Illustration of Maria and Lon

Maria and Lon’s Family Journey

Together, Sima and her clinician work on putting the initial steps in place to begin healing from the violence. The intervention plan involves providing Sima with support as she copes with the toll the abuse has taken on both her and the children, building on positive coping and parenting strategies to manage the challenges she is experiencing.

Illustration of Hannah

Hannah's Family Journey

Hannah and her moms participate in Girls Growing Up Healthy, with the aim of enhancing their bond. Everyone reports positive changes such as feeling more connected and arguing less.

Illustration of Maria and Lon's family

Maria and Lon’s Family Journey

Sima and her family begin attending Here to Help. This 11-week group program provides a safe and supportive environment for mothers and children to talk about the violence they have experienced so that they can process their emotions together.

illustration of Nur's family

Nur's Family Journey

Nur is struggling with speaking up in groups, expressing her feelings and playing well with others, and her worker suggests that the family could benefit from participating in CDI’s Family and Community Counselling program.

Illustration of Hannah's family

Hannah's Family Journey

Despite making such great strides in her relationship with her parents, her teachers and her friends, Hannah continues to struggle at school. The SNAP team encourages her family to seek psychoeducational testing, which results in a learning disability diagnosis.

Hannah is referred to CDI’s Integra Program, which provides evidence-informed, therapeutic programs and services to children, youth and their families who are dealing with mental health issues complicated by learning disabilities (LDMH).

About Integra

CDI is the only accredited children’s mental health agency in Canada providing evidence-informed, therapeutic programs and services to children, youth and their families who are dealing with mental health issues complicated by learning disabilities (LDMH).

The Integra Program offers a unique approach to evidence-informed mental health intervention by putting the child or youth’s own learning profile at the centre of treatment. We begin by studying a child’s learning profile and then create a therapeutic program with a team of therapists and psychologists in consultation with the family. We tailor evidence-informed therapy practices to the child’s learning style and develop evidence-informed, innovative and effective new group interventions.

The following family-centred, direct clinical services are available to Toronto children and youth ages 8 to 18:

LD-Informed Therapy

We offer individual and family therapy and parenting interventions to improve mental health and well-being, to develop and implement effective coping skills, and to support family communication, problem-solving and understanding.

Integra Mindfulness Martial Arts (MMA)

This 20-week group program addresses self regulation difficulties in youth ages 12 to 18 through a combination of martial arts training and mindfulness meditation, yoga, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and behavioral principles.

Integra Young Warriors (YW)

This 20-week group program for 9 to 11-year-old children integrates martial arts (Aikido), mindfulness practice and evidence-informed therapeutic practices within a “dojo” milieu to foster improvements in self-regulation.

Integra Social ACES (Awareness, Competence, Engagement and Skills)

Social competence is a complex and interconnected set of knowledge and skills that come naturally to most people, but can be a challenge for children with learning disabilities. In this 10-week group program, children and youth are matched carefully into groups of three to eight in accordance with individual emotion regulation and social competence needs and treatment goals.

Towhee Summer Residential Program

Located in Haliburton, Ontario, Towhee works with children and youth aged 10 to 18 years to improve social competency and self confidence, increase resiliency and build the skills required to manage intense emotions and behaviours.

Triple P (Positive Parenting Program) Group

Triple P is an evidence-based is an evidence-based, group-format parenting program developed by the School of Psychology at the University of Queensland in Australia. Triple P is the most highly-researched parenting program of its kind worldwide, and its training methods have proven to be successful in improving parent knowledge, skill and confidence.

Community Education and Engagement Program

In addition to delivering clinical services to children, youth and families, the Integra Program also delivers interactive workshops and training to parents and caregivers, educators and other professionals looking to enhance their knowledge and empathetic understanding of the processing challenges faced by children and youth with LDMH.

illustration of Maria and Lon

Hannah's Family Journey

Hannah and her parents attend the Integra Assessment and Consultation Clinic where they learn more about the impact of Hannah’s learning disabilities and mental health challenges (LDMH) on school, home and family well-being.

illustration of Nur

Nur's Family Journey

Through the Family and Community Counselling program, Nur and Luna participate in counselling tailored to their specific needs. The program is designed to assist parents concerned about their relationship with their child and/or who have children exhibiting social, emotional and behavioural or adjustment difficulties.

 

New Assessment and Consultation Clinic cuts client wait times

The Integra Program recently launched a new intake process to better serve clients. As part of the new Assessment and Consultation Clinic, Integra clinicians meet with families twice as part of the intake process. At the first appointment, the clinician meets with the family to determine needs, strengths and presenting problems for treatment.

Unique to the Integra Program, each family’s second appointment begins with the addition of a staff psychologist, who joins the parents and clinician to translate the psychology assessment report information into everyday language.

The clinician and parents then meet to develop a treatment plan that includes referrals to one or more of the Integra programs.

This new system has resulted in a dramatic decrease to Integra’s waitlist and a reduction in wait times for initial service, meaning more families are receiving the help they need when they need it.

Illustration of Hannah

Hannah's Family Journey

Hannah’s moms learn a variety of positive parenting strategies including effective communication and active listening skills which help them engage their daughter and learn more about Hannah’s experiences, her perspective and feelings.

Illustration of Maria and Lon

Maria and Lon’s Family Journey

Maria makes a new friend at school and is settling well into her classes. She meets with her School Liaison Worker once a week to talk about how things are going.

Chart of the new assessment and consultation system. Starting with Pre-Clinic Questionnaires: intake forms complete. You can then get transferred to Community Education and Engagement Workshops, Triple P (Positive Parenting Program) Group, or start your First session at the clinic: Parents/guardians and child or youth meet with clinician to discuss presenting problems, strengths and services needs. From the clinic, you proceed to the second session at the clinic: Parents/guardians and clinician meet with psychologist to review child/youth's learning profile; parents/guardians and clinician development a treatment plan. From this point you can get either transferred to the Triple P Group or one of 5 programs: Integra Social ACES; Integra Young Warriors; Integra Minfulness Martial Arts; Towhee Summer Residential Program; LDMH Informed Therapy (individual, family, parenting). From any of these 5 programs, you can then get transferred to either the Triple P Group, or Community Education and Engagement Workshops.

Building tailored treatment plans for children and youth with LDMH

Since its inception in 1968, psychology has been a core component of the Integra Program’s approach to providing treatment for children and youth with learning disabilities.

“Through our Psychological Consultation Services, we examine the information contained in a child or youth’s assessment report in order to adapt and tailor their treatment plan to their learning profile,” says Dr. Ashley Morgan, Psychologist and Manager of Research with the Integra Program.

Typically, individuals with Neurodevelopmental Disorders (e.g., learning disabilities, Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorder and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder) undergo comprehensive psychological assessments in order to facilitate diagnosis, treatment and educational planning. These assessment reports are often available to service providers within the children’s mental health sector; however, it can be difficult for families to interpret the technical language and understand how the findings are applied to mental health treatment planning.

At CDI, a psychologist works with families to translate the technical information into accessible language and discuss how the results of the assessment speak to the child’s strengths and difficulties across a variety of everyday contexts (e.g., school, home, community and social relationships).

“Building an understanding of a child’s learning profile and processing skills (e.g., processing speed, executive functioning, memory, attention, emotion regulation) leads to increased empathy in the child’s parent(s), ultimately leading to improved treatment outcomes,” says Dr. Jenifer Scully, a psychologist with the Integra Program. “In addition, from the parent and child’s perspective, understanding the child’s learning profile is the first step in building advocacy skills,” she says.

Following amalgamation with CDI in 2014, the Integra Program has been working with clinicians delivering other CDI programs to offer in-house psychological services to clients. For example, in November 2014, clients in the Day Treatment programs (i.e., students in the Section 23 classrooms) began receiving in-house psychoeducational assessments and consultations. In addition, each CDI program has the opportunity to receive two psychological consultations per year. Last summer, CDI also began providing in-house psychological consultation services to childcare centres as part of the City of Toronto’s Every Child Belongs model.

“Our hope is to continue to build our capacity to offer psychological consultation services to all CDI clients who have received a psychological assessment in the past,” says Dr. Marjory Phillips with the Integra Program. “We have seen many benefits from this service including improvements in parent, therapist and children’s understanding of their learning profile and better-tailored treatments to fit with learning profiles.”

Nur’s Family Journey

Through the Family and Community Counselling program, Nur and Luna participate in counselling tailored to their specific needs. The program is designed to assist parents concerned about their relationship with their child and/or who have children exhibiting social, emotional and behavioural or adjustment difficulties.

An update on Hannah

Since her intake with the Integra Program, Hannah is experiencing even more positive results from treatment.

Hannah is very bright both verbally and visually but struggles with executive functioning (i.e., her ability to keep track of things, organize them, initiate and monitor her progress) and her processing speed.As a result, she is often unable to show what she knows quickly and in an organized way, which can be very frustrating.

Her clinician worked in consultation with the Integra psychologist to tailor a treatment plan based on her learning style, which incorporates individual and family therapy, in addition to participation in Integra Mindfulness Martial Arts. This 20-week group program addresses self regulation difficulties in youth with learning disabilities and mental health challenges (LDMH).

Hannah begins one-on-one therapy with a clinician at the Integra Program, and she soon learns that her tendency to avoid school and chores is based on a “flight” reaction to avoid facing challenging situations. She also learns that she goes into “fight” mode when unable to avoid such a situation. The Integra clinician works closely with Hannah’s parents and school staff to ensure she is supported.

Hannah is changing her story from a “kid who doesn’t stick with things” to a hard-working and dedicated teenager who actively engages in treatment and always does her home practice.

Illustration of Maria and Lon's family

Maria and Lon’s Family Journey

Sima feels her bond growing with Maria and Lon as she continues her work with CDI. She is learning parenting strategies and self-care techniques that are helping strengthen her relationship with herself and her children.

Illustration of Nur's family

Nur's Family Journey

Nur also continues to participate in the Start Right Social Skills program, which is helping her build up her confidence and skills to better deal with challenges in the classroom, playground and at home.

Illustration of Hannah's family

Hannah's Family Journey

Through individual therapy, Hannah is addressing her negative core beliefs about herself. Her parents also participated in the therapy on their own and with Hannah, and they now understand how Hannah’s learning disability is playing a role in her conflict and outbursts. They now know Hannah isn’t just being defiant but is often feeling anxious. Her parents have a lot more empathy for Hannah. Their relationship has improved dramatically, and Hannah is also experiencing more positive connections with her classmates and teachers.

About Family Violence Services

CDI provides programs to help women and children who have experienced family violence or other trauma. We also help children, youth and families who have been affected by childhood sexual abuse.

Violence happens in all types of relationships, including dating, same-sex, common-law or marriage, and it can also occur after a relationship has ended. Violence in families affects children and teens in a variety of ways. Some children may act out and have trouble making friends, while other children become quiet and withdrawn. Children may have trouble eating, sleeping and concentrating at school. Violence may also introduce unique parenting challenges.

CDI’s Family Violence Services offer group counselling programs, shelter services and specialized sexual abuse services to support women and children in healing from the effects of violence and abuse.

Illustration of Hannah

Hannah's Family Journey

Hannah attends Towhee, a unique summer residential therapeutic program offered by the Integra Program. Towhee helps children and youth with learning disabilities and mental health challenges (LDMH) improve their social competence and self confidence, increase their resiliency and develop skills to manage intense emotions and behaviors.

Mothers in Mind

Mothers in Mind is a group program for mothers who have experienced woman abuse or other trauma (e.g. childhood abuse, sexual assault, war) and have children under the age of four.

Top self-compassion quote:

“Be gentle first with yourself, if you wish to be gentle with others.” – Lama Yeshe

Here to Help

Here to Help is a group intervention program for mothers with children ages 4 to 18 who have experienced family violence.

Top two favourite books read in group:
  1. A Terrible Thing Happened by Margaret H. Holmes
  2. My New Best Friend by Sara Marlowe

Shelters Program

The Shelters Program provides immediate, accessible counselling services to mothers with children under 16 who have experienced family violence or sexual abuse, and are living in a shelter in downtown Toronto.

Our Shelters Program is offered in eight shelters in Toronto.

School Liaison Program

The School Liaison Program is a school-based program that supports children ages 4 to 16 living in CDI partner shelters and attending a new school.

Top stress management technique:

Making worry dolls

Taste of Home

The Taste of Home Program is a unique and innovative after school cooking program that helps children living in shelters develop a healthy lifestyle.

Top three recipes prepared in group:
  1. Kale chips
  2. Cornbread muffins
  3. Oven baked fried chicken nuggets

Child and Adolescent Services for Abuse and Trauma (CASAT)

Together with our community partners, our CASAT program works to improve the lives of children and youth (ages 4 to 18 years) and their families affected by sexual abuse and trauma.

Many children use relaxation strategies during police interviews or in court to help feel more comfortable and relaxed while talking about hard things. The most popular ways to relax are:

  1. Smelling lavender or peppermint oil
  2. Playing with silly putty
  3. Colouring mandalas
  4. Beading

Number of children receiving support from Family Violence Services over the last year: 300+

Illustration of Nur

Nur's Family Journey

Nur receives support on how to be less anxious in new situations and builds up her confidence so that she is better able to positively engage with her peers.

Illustration of Nur

Nur’s Family Journey

Nur graduates from the Start Right Social Skills program and continues to attend the Fraser Mustard Early Learning Centre. She has developed friendships with several of her classmates and is doing much better in the group-based learning activities at the Centre.

Illustration of Maria and Lon

Maria and Lon’s Family Journey

Sima and her family move into their own apartment. Sima continues her weekly one-on-one sessions at CDI. Maria and Lon’s School Liaison Worker coordinates with their new school to ensure everything is in place when they begin classes in September.

Supporting children and families living in shelters

It is estimated that in Toronto, more than 3,000 children stay in a shelter at least once during any given year, and more than half of these children are school-aged, between 6 and 16 years of age. Moving into a shelter can be a difficult and stressful time for families. They have likely moved into a new neighbourhood, enrolled in a new school and experienced the loss of friends, family and familiar things.

While shelters provide safety and security, children are still dealing with the difficult and complex feelings associated with trauma and transition. Parenting can also be difficult as mothers are often dealing with complex emotions and may struggle to know how to best support their children.

“We work with children who have had to suddenly flee everything that is familiar in their lives, and it can be a very difficult time,” says Ashley Edlin, CDI’s School Liaison Worker with Family Violence Services. “We help them learn to identify and cope with feelings of anxiety, sadness, anger, worry and shame, which, if left unaddressed, can sometimes result in behavioural issues in the classroom,” she says.

CDI’s School Liaison Program is a school-based program that supports children ages 4 to 16 living in CDI partner shelters who are attending a new school. Ashley works with children, mothers and shelter and school staff to support children during this transition.

“Our primary goal is to create a safe school environment for the children we work with,” Ashley says. “We work with the children, their teachers and the school administrators to develop a safety plan so that everyone is supported in creating a safe and secure space for the child.”

Ashley meets with the child and their mother to orient them to the school and is available at the school to support the child’s emotional, social and behavioural development. This involves spending time at the school to help the child build on their social skills by supporting them during recess and helping them connect with other children at the school.

Ashley also works with a family once they transition into a new shelter or permanent housing to ensure the transition to their new school is as seamless as possible.

“It is so rewarding to know that I can be a support to families during a time of change and transition,” she says.

An update on Hannah

Since her intake with the Integra Program, Hannah is experiencing even more positive results from treatment.

Hannah is very bright both verbally and visually but struggles with executive functioning (i.e., her ability to keep track of things, organize them, initiate and monitor her progress) and her processing speed.As a result, she is often unable to show what she knows quickly and in an organized way, which can be very frustrating.

Her clinician worked in consultation with the Integra psychologist to tailor a treatment plan based on her learning style, which incorporates individual and family therapy, in addition to participation in Integra Mindfulness Martial Arts. This 20-week group program addresses self regulation difficulties in youth with learning disabilities and mental health challenges (LDMH).

Hannah begins one-on-one therapy with a clinician at the Integra Program, and she soon learns that her tendency to avoid school and chores is based on a “flight” reaction to avoid facing challenging situations. She also learns that she goes into “fight” mode when unable to avoid such a situation. The Integra clinician works closely with Hannah’s parents and school staff to ensure she is supported.

Hannah is changing her story from a “kid who doesn’t stick with things” to a hard-working and dedicated teenager who actively engages in treatment and always does her home practice.

Financials

REVENUE OPERATING SPECIAL CAPITAL 2016 TOTAL 2015 TOTAL
Government grants $11,100,600 $ $ $11,100,600 $10,234,919
Childcare 5,446,185     5,446,185 5,236,213
Earned Income 1,260,287     1,260,287 896,863
Donations from CDI Foundation 898,190     898,190 865,859
United Way 389,137     389,137 394,837
Donations and other 358,419 6,532 6,180 371,131 235,860
  19,452,818 6,532 6,180 19,465,530 17,864,551
EXPENSES          
Salaries 13,293,338     13,293,338 12,009,733
Program 2,063,169     2,063,169 1,767,748
Employee benefits 1,975,252     1,975,252 1,737,040
Building occupancy 1,152,354     1,152,354 1,236,807
Administration 635,955     635,955 661,222
Staff training & travel 253,672     253,672 219,431
Amortization 11,600   12,180 23,780 31,595
  19,385,340   12,180 19,397,520 17,663,576
Excess (deficiency) of revenue over expenses for the year $67,478 $6,532 $(6,000) $68,010 $200,975

CDI Board of Directors

Karen Mann, President

James Porter, Vice President

Mario Causarano, Treasurer

Scott Conover, Secretary

Kate Banting, Director

John Bardawill, Director

Carole Boivin, Director

Vivien Cappe, Director

Jeff Heath, Director

Brina Ludwig Prout, Director

Sharif Mahdy, Director

Melanie Manchee, Director

Robert Morton, Director

Janet Nixon, Director

Kellie Sauriol, Director

Nora Spence, Director

drian Zenwirt, Director

CDI Foundation Board of Directors

Susan Paterson, President

Ciprian Gligor, Vice President

Frank Giordano, Treasurer

Suzana A. Lobo, Secretary

Alison Holt, Director

Carol Bezaire, Past President

CDI Advisory Committee

The Hon. Mrs. Margaret McCain

Lyn Baptist

Carol Cowan

David Feather

Nancy Hamm

Kelly Meighen

Linda Pincott-Kitchen

Ricki Sharpe

Eleanor Shen

Senior Management Team

Tony Diniz, MSW
Chief Executive Officer

Steve Blake, CPA, CA
Chief Operating Officer

Leena Augimeri, PhD
Director, SNAP Scientific and Program Development

Carolee Crooks
Director, Healthy Child Development

Christeen Frederick
Executive Assistant and Privacy Officer

Angelique Jenney, PhD
Director, Family Violence Services

Shauna Klein, MA
Director, Fund Development, Marketing and Communications

Linda Levely
Director, Finance and Administration

Marjory Phillips, PhD
Director, Integra Program

Illustration of Nur

Nur’s Family Journey

Nur and her family continue to meet regularly with their clinician in the Family and Community Counselling program to ensure the family has the support it needs as Nur progresses through kindergarten.

Illustration of Hannah

Hannah's Family Journey

Hannah returns to Towhee for another summer, this time as a Leader In Training. With the support of the Towhee staff, and using her mindfulness skills from Integra Mindfulness Martial Arts, Hannah completes her time at Towhee and returns to the city with newfound confidence. Hannah is now ready to take on any challenge.