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From time to time, the Waterloo Region Family Network (WRFN) is asked to distribute information on behalf of third parties. WRFN provides general information to self-advocates and families of children with special needs. The information provided on this website is not a recommendation, referral or endorsement of any resource, therapeutic method, or service provider. WRFN is not responsible for any information or services provided by third parties. You are urged to use independent judgment when considering any resource.



Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Practice Lecture Series

The Continuous Professional Learning Committee (CPLC) is excited to bring the Foundations in Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Practice Lecture Series to the members of the Children and Youth Planning Table! This $350.00 value, 15-part series focuses on promoting early mental health and wellbeing during the first 1,000 days of life. The series aims to raise awareness and understanding of the unique needs of infants and toddlers in order to promote healthy social-emotional development in the early years and reduce the likelihood of poor mental and physical health outcomes in youth and childhood. 


How to Register:

Registration is now open and will remain open until 2022,  click here to learn more and register. Please ensure you register as Guest specifying Conestoga PRC (as the Host Agency). A unique email must be used upon registration for access to the session handouts, and to receive session details and reminders. You will also be required to create a personal user account at www.IMHPromotion.ca to access the recorded content. You will have access to the 15  Live webinars, which are scheduled to launch every 2-3 weeks between January and August 2020. Furthermore, you will have access to the recorded videos until September 2022 to view the lectures at your own pace or to revisit the material for your own learning. You will receive a certificate upon completing the training. Coupon code will be provided for free access.

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Challenging Systemic Barriers: The Equity Lens

Despite good intentions and significant investments, there continues to be evidence of imbalanced and unjust outcomes for people who are marginalized in Waterloo Region. Many organizations and services have made commitments to address these problems, but have not seen significant changes in their communities.


Wellbeing Waterloo Region is a community-led initiative that has committed to working differently across sectors to make transformative change in Waterloo Region. This interactive video series and Discussion Guide support Wellbeing Waterloo Region’s work to realize a deeper understanding of social inequities, and provide some common language we can use to work toward equity for the communities we belong to and serve.


“Challenging Systemic Barriers: The Equity Lens” is a video series divided into three parts. The videos should be viewed in order, as each part builds on the last. This material may be used in team meetings, communities of practice, staff forums, and more.


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Autism Ontario-Raise the Flag events

While COVID-19 will impact many of Autism Ontario's Raise the Flag events for World Autism Awareness Day, they invite you to visit their Raise the Flag website so you and your family can make use of the curriculum and content and safely celebrate World Autism Awareness Day. They will announce rescheduled events as they become available on their website and through their social media outlets.


Meanwhile, they are building a resource list of activities that families can do together during the extended period beyond the March break.  They invite you to share your thoughts by completing this brief survey.   Let them know how they can stay connected and supportive to Ontario families during this time. 


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Your Virtual YMCA

The YMCA is committed to keeping our community healthy and connected. While their physical space may be closed, they still want to show up for our community through online workouts and more.


Please take a moment to explore Your Virtual YMCA.

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Tips for talking to children about Covid 19

Covid-19–a word that only a few months ago we had never even heard. Now it is all we talk about. Our lives have been disrupted in ways we could never have anticipated and the situation changes so rapidly it is difficult to keep up…or plan.


As parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends…how do we talk with the children and teens in our lives to help them make sense of everything happening? 


How can we listen without interrupting? Without telling them not to feel afraid or sad? Particularly if we are afraid and sad ourselves?

They are tough conversations to have but they are also very important ones.


Read this article for tips on how to have these tough conversations. 

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Family Pulse-March 2020

Welcome to March! 

As you know, WRFN is committed to sharing information about community programs and events through social media, our website and monthly newsletter. The COVID-19 response is evolving quickly and a number of community programs and events continue to change accordingly. If you plan on attending a community event/program that you learning of though WRFN, please check with the organizer before attending.


Inside the March issue of Family Pulse you will find information on:

SEAC Updates 
What's Happening at WRFN
Coffee Club Update

On Patience & Challenges
Upcoming Community Events


You can download a pdf copy of Family Pulse here

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IMPORTANT WRFN UPDATE RE: Programming & Events

After much consideration, conversation and concern for the health and safety of the families and individuals supported through WRFN, our staff and volunteers, and for the larger community, we are cancelling all our support groups, social groups, events, and in-person program activities until further notice. With growing concerns around COVID-19, we feel this is the appropriate and responsible approach to take at this time. Updates will be provided as to when regular programming, activities and events will resume.


Thank you for your understanding and support as we navigate and respond to these challenging times together.


Sue Simpson

Executive Director          

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Strong Moms, Safe Kids Group

FREE program, Wednesdays from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. starting April 8, 2020 and running for 10 weeks.

This program is for:

  •  Mothers who have experienced abuse in intimate relationships.
  •  Their children, ages 4 to 18, who have witnessed abuse in their homes.
  •  Mothers and children living apart from the person who abused them.

See flyer for more details or contact:
Elizabeth Hachborn
phone: 519.884.0000 x240 fax: 519.884.7000
email: ehachborn@kwcounselling.com

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Dr. Jean Clinton @ The Kitchener Public Library

Dr. Jean Clinton is on her way to Waterloo Region, and you're invited!

On March 24th at the Kitchener Public Library, Dr. Clinton will be offering workshops to support parents/caregivers and professionals with understanding the importance of connection in healthy brain development for our children and youth.


This is a free event that is being provided by several community partners.

Please click here to view a flyer with further details.
There will be two sessions on March 24th: one in the afternoon for parents/caregivers (1-2:30pm) and one in the evening for professionals (5-8pm). Please register using the Eventbrite link that is included in the flyer. We are likely to fill every available seat as there are a limited number of seats, and this event is being shared widely in the community.
Below you'll find a couple of short YouTube videos with Dr. Clinton speaking, for those who are interested or need some help with deciding if this is an event you’d like to attend.

Dr. Clinton Supportive Connections video
Dr. Clinton - Parenting Style and Emotional Brain video (speaking to parents)

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Cultivating Community-Helping you grow to help other belong

APRIL 17 AND 18, 2020

9am-4pm Cambridge Hotel & Conference Centre (700 Hespeler Rd, Cambridge ON)

REGISTRATION FEES (includes light refreshments and lunch)

  • Community Members, Agencies and Family Members $250
  • Extend-A-Family Waterloo Region Employees (Staff and Direct Support People) FREE (you will be paid the training rate for your time)

*Conference hosted by Extend-A-Family Waterloo Region

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Leah Bowman
March 24, 2020
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November 12, 2019
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