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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.



Autism Ontario's One to One Summer Support Worker Reimbursement Fund

Autism Ontario is happy to announce that the 2021 One to One Summer Support Worker Reimbursement Fund is now open for application!


Applications are due by June 28th!

Reimbursements will be provided based on a random selection made from all eligible applicants who apply by Monday, June 28th, 2021.


To learn more, click here.

To read FAQ, click here.


To apply, click here.

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Early Planning Tool Kit

We all share the same dream for our children—a life filled with friends, joy and opportunities. As a parent of a child with a disability, you already have a lot on your plate. But there are things you can do NOW that will make a huge impact on your child’s future.


The Early Planning Toolkit will get you started. 

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Recreational Respite-Virtual Service

Check out what Recreational Respite offering for virtual programming by clicking here.

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Lutherwood-YESS program

Through funding from the Youth Employment Skills Strategy (YESS), we have been able to recently launch a new program called "Getting Ahead in the Workplace" that is geared at supporting youth. Youth continues to be defined as individuals aged 15-29 years of age. 

This is on top of the Youth Job Connection programs that we have running. Our Cambridge office will be specifically starting another group, which is still accepting referrals, as of May 10th. 

Our next Youth Job Connection Summer program for high school students will be starting at the end of June / beginning of July after high school courses finish for the year. 

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Extend-A-Family Summer 2021 program list

Click out the summer programming list for Extend-A-Family by clicking here.

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Job Skills Builder Program at KWHab

The Summer Job Skills Builder Program at KW Habilitation for youth up to the age of 30 is starting soon.  We have refocused our Summer Youth Employment program to be based more on skill development.  Should someone obtain employment, we will of course still provide job coaching support. 


Summer Job Skills Builder (click here for info poster): Will begin end of July/first week of July for the summer.  Application deadline has been extended to May 21 (click here for application).

This is a funded program (no cost to you).


The schedule for meetings and training will be determined between the applicant and their Job Coach, so can be flexible.  There will also be some preset training dates that applicants can decide to attend based on their availability.  The program itself does not have “set hours” or set number of hours, but instead looks at the skills the person wants to build upon, what areas of work they want to explore and then create a plan based on that.  Learning will be done both one on one as well as in group settings.  Virtual and live options are being planned, and again, this is individualized based on the person’s goals and availability.   With the focus being more on skills building, we have the flexibility to do more online if that is what works for the person.


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Passport for Success

Passport for Success is a free, 6-week, full time program that guides you to explore your personal strengths and to establish your academic and career goals.


What is keeping you from College?

  • Didn't complete high school?
  • Don't have money to pay for College?
  • Not sure what to choose?
  • Not sure where to start or who to talk to?
  • Don't have the time?
  • Think you're too old?
  • Need indivdual support to make it through?

We can help. It IS possible!

Check out the program flyer here for more details.

For more information contact, Allison McLean at amclean@conestogac.on.ca

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New Mental Health Initiative — Take5.

This year, OACAS will use Children and Youth in Care Day to launch a new mental health initiative — Take5.

With funding from the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services (MCCSS), OACAS worked alongside the Youth Advisory Committee of First Voice Advocates, 20+ community organizations, and experts to curate information resources, original multimedia content, live workshops, and events for caregivers, children, and youth of all ages.

You can check out Take 5 by clicking here.

Also included below are two video messages from the Grandriver Zone Youth Champions, a group of people from 10 agencies who work together for youth engagement and support.

May 14 Child and Youth in Care Day

Child and Youth in Car Day 2021

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Lutherwood blogposts on Employment & Mental Health

Employment: Put your Template in the Trash!
This blog will tie in well to the Indeed Super User Webinar that we're facilitating tomorrow to give more tips on resumes! Hopefully the ideas will help rejuvenate the job search efforts that someone is using to see more positive responses!

Mental Health: In case you missed the tips that were released from one of our staff via the Waterloo Region Record, here's a link to the article to help youth who are struggling with the loss of structure and daily routines. 

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Oh! The Places You'll Go! Virtual Transition Planning Presentation

Intended for caregivers and/or students (age15-21). We will discuss the school transition plan, making the transition from school to adult life, how and when to connect to adult developmental services, Passport funding (community participation funding allocated to eligible individuals), Ontario Disability Support Program and Service Coordination.


Click here to view the presentation.


We would love to hear from you! After you view the presentation, please complete this brief survey to help us serve you better in the future.


Please email Shiona at s.niven@sunbeamcommunity.ca for any additional information.

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Blog Contributor Portrait
Leah Bowman
June 15, 2021
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Blog Contributor Portrait
Waterloo Region Family Network
November 12, 2019
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