Parent Mentor

Parent Mentor

Parents who have a child with special needs often feel helpless and alone. Talking with someone who can give them specific guidance can bring a sense of security to parents who wonder what to do when their child does not fit the pattern for the usual growth and development.


WRFN Programs

Programs at Waterloo Region Family Network include a variety of workshops and seminars, ongoing support groups and personal guidance to ensure families are aware of and appropriately connected to all available community resources. Our programs also include social and skill development groups.


WRFN Resources

Our resources page includes information and links on many topics: Advocacy, Support, Respite, Education, Financial Assistance, Camps, Employment needs, Health, Transportation and much more.

Vulnerable Persons Registry: In the event of an emergency, The Registry provides police access to helpful information such as: emergency contacts, detailed description, ways to communicate.

Community News on has expanded to include news and events in Waterloo Region.

Autism in High School is a new web-based guide to help students with Autism Spectrum Disorder and their families as they navigate the transitions and common challenges of high school.

Upcoming Events


Trauma Informed Parenting Workshops are being offered in Waterloo Region for parents/caregivers of children and youth who have experienced trauma. The purpose of these workshops is to assist parents/caregivers with understanding trauma and what it means to parent their child from a trauma-informed perspective.

These workshops are presented by Front Door, a partnership of Carizon and Lutherwood.

Upcoming Workshops:

When: Thursday, May 3; 6:00-8:00pm
Where: Lutherwood – Cambridge office, 35 Dickson Street

When: Thursday, May 24; 2:00-4:00pm
Where: EarlyON – Roger Street, 161 Roger Street

Interpreters provided upon request!
Child minding is also available for these sessions!

Registration is required. For more information or to register, please call 519-749-2932 ext. 2 or visit

Children’s Mental Health Week is coming – May 7 – 13th. This is an important week to bring awareness to mental health issues for children and youth, promote wellness for families, and recognize the dedication of those supporting families in the mental health industry.

To learn what’s happening in the community click here.


Extend-A-Family has shared a list of the following upcoming workshops:

Crisis Prevention Training (with ASL Interpretation) – Saturday April 28 & Sunday April 29: 10AM-4PM
Crisis Prevention by Safe Management provides knowledge and strategies about dealing with difficult situations. You will learn how to build positive relationships, practice verbal and non-verbal de-escalation techniques, avoid injuries if behavior escalates to a physical level, and more.
This 12-hour training (two days at 6-hours) is for people who provide support, as well as family members and caregivers. If you are interested in this training and a community member who is not affiliated with Extend-A-Family Waterloo Region, please contact Sarah Martin at

Sex Talks – Saturday May 5: 10AM-3PM
Sex Talks is a workshop series all about sexual health and relationships. We talk about consent and boundaries, gender and sexuality, masturbation, staying safe online and more. All questions are good questions and you will have time to ask about anything you want.
Sex Talks is a series of one-hour workshops, over six consecutive weeks. It is designed for people 16+ who have a developmental and/or physical disability, and is delivered in partnership with SHORE Centre and ACCKWA. People under the age of 18 will receive a caregiver/guardian consent form to be signed before the series begins. This workshop is also open to all community members 16 years of age or older.

Talking About Sexuality – Caregivers and Families – Saturday May 12: 10AM-12PM
At various points, we all have questions about our bodies, about sex and about love. So what happens when you are the person being asked for advice?
Talking About Sexuality is a workshop that will talk about sex, masturbation, dating and other related topics. We will have an opportunity to discuss our fears, concerns, values and understand our role as caregivers in the development of healthy sexuality.
This 2-hour workshop is geared towards caregivers/parents/guardians of people with developmental and/or physical disabilities, and is open to all community members. Talking About Sexuality is delivered in partnership with SHORE Centre.

Understanding Conflict & Communication – Foundations (Part 1) – Tuesday May 15: 6-8PM
Understanding Conflict and Communication – Foundations is a workshop for personal and professional development. You will become more aware of your preferred conflict style, learn to recognize others’ conflict styles and identify situations where each conflict mode can be used most effectively.
This 2-hour workshop is designed for people who provide support and is open to all community members.

First Aid/CPR – Level C (with ASL Interpretation) – Wednesday May 16, 2018 from 9AM – 5PM

Emergency First Aid/CPR – Level C is an interactive training that provides a forum to problem solve and discuss specific First Aid/CPR issues you may be dealing with in your work. Key aspects of the training include: CPR skills (adult/child/infant), AED skills, obstructed airways, heart attack and stroke education, bleeding emergencies, EpiPen training, as well as managing burns and seizures.

See All Events

From The Blog

Nominate A Child Today!

The Children’s Hero Awards Event is an opportunity to recognize children in our community who have performed a heroic act or who have performed at a level that is beyond expectation, while contributing to a safer community. Students can be nominated by teachers, parents, members of the community, police, fire and emergency medical services personnel.

Criteria – Children who reside in the Region of Waterloo and are in junior kindergarten through to grade eight. They are looking to award children who have assisted their classmates, parents or friends and performed at a level that is beyond expectation, while contributing to a safer community or children who should be recognized for heroic behaviour, good citizenship, etc.

Judging – The Academy of Judges is comprised of prominent professionals in the community. The panel includes members of the Waterloo Regional Police Service, Cambridge, Kitchener and Waterloo Fire Services and the Waterloo Region District School Board and Waterloo Catholic District School Board.

Winners – Winners will receive a Children’s Hero Award Trophy and a Citation Certificate signed by the Chiefs of the local Police and Fire services at a special awards ceremony held at the Waterloo Region Children’s Safety Village on Saturday June 9th, 2018.

Deadline for nominations is Thursday May 10th, 2018.

To nominate a child, or for more information please contact:
Altiera Essensa, Children’s Safety Village Coordinator
519-570-9777 ext 8545 or email
Nomination forms can be found at:

Caregiver Advisors Wanted for NEW FASD Provincial Website

The Best Start Resource Centre at Health Nexus has been contracted by the Government of Ontario to develop a new FASD website for parents and caregivers.

This bilingual one-stop website will include: searchable directories for existing FASD information, existing services, educational events, a discussion group and news updates.

They are looking for parents/caregivers to join the advisory committee for the website.

Please find more information about the group here.

Volunteers Needed!

We are still looking for some volunteers for our spring programs. Please contact Krista at or 519-886-9150 x 2 if you are interested.

AS Volunteer - Spring 2018

More News From The Blog