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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.



Not Another Webinar

We are all navigating a lot of uncertainty!  As we work toward transitioning children back to child care and classrooms, a group of community agencies have come together in the interest of creating resources.  “Not Another Webinar” has been created with parents and educators in mind, to support finding tools and strategies to have a smooth and successful transition for not only the children, but for the parents and educators as well.


The short videos and compilation of valuable resources you’ll find at Not Another Webinar were created by our community partners on topic areas such as Strategies for Challenging Behaviour, Tapping Into Your Resilience and more.  They were put together specifically to help you save time and get exactly what you need, right now.  Not another webinar is a collection of short and easy to implement lessons that will make your transition back to a classroom that much better!”


This resource was put together by staff from: Kidsability, KWHab, DSRC, EarlyON, Early Childhood PRC, SNAP, SNRC and of course the CYPT.

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Survey on Family perspectives about partnership with teachers in a time of Covid 19

Since March of this year, families have had the challenge of providing education at home in a time of a pandemic. For families who have children with disabilities, this has been an even more challenging time, with many families seeing their regular, IEP-mandated supports stopped or dramatically changed. Families may have also seen differences in interactions with teachers and other school personnel. Now, as students begin to return to school in the fall, it is critically important for families to share their needs to support their child with a disability to be successful.


Researchers from Queen’s University have partnered with the Family Alliance of Ontario to develop a short online survey (approx. 20 minutes to complete) to gather family perspectives about partnership with teachers in a time of COVID-19. They are looking for volunteers to participate in this survey – you are eligible if you are a caregiver of a child with a disability who is in the Ontario K-12 public school system.


In order to capture experiences that will occur as students resume school in various formats this month, we have extended the window to complete this survey until September 30, 2020. Results will then be compiled and shared with families and school stakeholders (school boards and the provincial government) to help inform and improve partnership with families in the 2020/2021 school year.


In appreciation of your time, you will be entered into a draw to win one of thirty $15 Amazon.ca gift certificates.


Click on this link to learn more and participate.  https://gmucehd.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_6PhSPzCtXdiCeFL


For more information about the survey, contact Heather Aldersey: hma@queensu.ca


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Supporting Our Children’s Mental Health as they Return to School - webinar recording

Returning to school in the fall is an anxious time for both parents and students. These feelings are only magnified when your child suffers from mental health challenges. The “Supporting our Children’s Mental Health as they Return to School” webinar offers tools and tips on supporting your children as they return to school.


Parenting author and mental health advocate, Ann Douglas, was the keynote speaker for the discussion, followed by a panel of educators and parents, including: Holly Sabara, Chair of Parents for Children’s Mental Health and CMHA WW Family Council; Kellie Angerilli, St John Bosco Catholic Secondary School Principal; and Jennifer Meeker, Upper Grand District School Board Principal.

View the recording online here.

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Back to School Mental Health Kit

As students, parents and educators begin to navigate their way back to school after a six month “break”, Canada Mental Health Ontario has recently launched a newly developed resource that supports school re-entry. Click here to access the resources.

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Children & Youth Planning Table data release.

Check out this timely child and youth well-being data released by the Children and Youth Planning Table Youth Impact Survey – Data Briefs surrounding mental and emotional health and belonging are now available.

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School Issues Support Group Q&A session with the Waterloo Region school boards

On August 18, WRFN hosted a virtual Back-to-School Q&A session as part of our monthly School Issues Support Group. We would like to thank superintendents, Laura Shoemaker (WCDSB) and Scott Miller (WRDSB), for answering our many questions.


Please keep in mind that things are evolving. Responses have been provided with the most up-to-date knowledge at the time. ​Click here to view the questions & answers shared during the session.

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Recreational Respite-Virtual Services

Check out what Recreational Respite has on for virtual programming this September 2020!

-September calendar


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Bridges to Belonging LINKS workshops

Bridges to Belonging is pleased to announce the launch of a new initiative for youth experiencing social isolation and barriers to inclusion who self identify as living with a disability or dual diagnosis. 

Thanks to funding from the Lyle Hallman Foundation for the Resilience Project,  Bridges to Belonging is launching Phase 1 of LINKS for youth ages 14 to 24 beginning in September.

Phase 1 is a series of five virtual workshops over a 5-week period offering a journey of self-discovery, personal growth, and community connection via ZOOM.  Each youth can have one or two people who they are in a meaningful relationship with and who know them well (parent/guardian, sibling, other relatives/extended family member, friend, neighbour teacher, coach or other community members) participate with them to learn, grow, and build a network of support.

Participants will need access to a computer, laptop or tablet equipped with speakers and a good microphone (or headset); a built-in or external HD webcam and availability of a stable internet connection.


CLICK HERE To Register on EventBrite.

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KidsAbility Family eNews

Check out KidsAbility's latest newsletter HERE.



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Lutherwood Youth Job Connection

Lutherwood Employment Services is still offering support during the pandemic. While working remotely, they've continued to try to reach out to job seekers as best as possible in our community. Check out these posters and opportunities, if you or someone you know is currently looking for employment.

Youth Job Connection Workshops

Job Searching during Covid19

Job Posting Facebook groups

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Blog Contributor Portrait
Leah Bowman
September 22, 2020
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Blog Contributor Portrait
Waterloo Region Family Network
November 12, 2019
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