Past Workshops, Groups and Events

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A Conference for Students with Family Responsibilities

Join us on Friday, May 14th for a conference created to help students navigate the challenges of balancing family responsibilities with education. We hope that the conference will help students explore resources and supports available to them, and give them an opportunity to get together and network.

Agenda

8:45 a.m. — 9:15 a.m. Refreshments & Registration
9:15 a.m. — 9:45 a.m. Welcome & Keynote Address: Karlene Nation (CTV)
9:45 a.m. — 10:45 a.m. 1. Presenting Yourself and Your Case Effectively to University Staff and Faculty
10:45 a.m. — 11:00 a.m. Break
11:00 a.m. — 12:30 p.m. 2. Time and Stress Management for Students with Family Responsibilities
12:30 p.m. — 1:30 p.m. Lunch Break
1:30 p.m. — 2:30 p.m. 3A. Optimal Brain Nutrition for Busy Parents and Caregivers 3B. Mindfulness in Your Daily Life
2:30 p.m. — 2:45 p.m. Afternoon Break
2:45 p.m. — 4:15 p.m. 4A. Finding "Family Friendly" Work 4B. Parenting Without Anger

Conference Details

Keynote Speaker: Karlene Nation, Diversity Producer/ Reporter, CTV News Toronto.
Karlene Nation is a well-known reporter and producer for CTV News Toronto and an African Canadian Achievement Award winner. Karlene is a political science graduate from the University of Toronto and has also completed a two-year journalism program at Humber College. While at school, she juggled the demands of work and parenthood, something that many of U of T students with family responsibilities are very familiar with. In her current position as CTV'S Diversity Producer - Karlene is responsible for helping to increase the presence of diverse groups in mainstream stories in CTV's local and national news programs. A popular motivational speaker - Karlene encourages young people to dream big dreams and to pursue their goals with a passion.


1. Presenting Yourself and Your Case Effectively to University Staff and Faculty

Students with family responsibilities have a lot on their plate! When a problem arises — be it academic, family related, or professional — advocating for oneself and one's family can feel like a daunting task, particularly if the stakes are high! Traditionally defined as the "art of persuasion", rhetoric is a powerful tool that students with family responsibilities can utilize to better communicate with University Staff and Faculty through the written word. What is the best way to present one's case? How can emotions be conveyed strategically and diplomatically? When writing a letter, what should come first – the presentation of the problem or the suggested solution? This workshop will touch upon these questions by focusing on the strategic use of rhetoric in writing.

Facilitator: Dr. Viktoria Jovanovic-Krstic, Writing & Rhetoric, Innis College. Dr. Jovanovic-Krstic brings with her years of experience in English stylistics and grammar, as well as business and technical communications from various academic institutions across Canada and Europe. Her main areas of research and interest are the rhetoric of war, spinning and framing tactics in the press, grammar, persuasive writing and business communication. Perhaps more importantly, Viktoria is also a mom of two young children who is no stranger to the life of a student with family responsibilities!

Co-Facilitator: Karolina Szymanski, Assistant Programming Officer, School of Graduate Studies.


2. Time and Stress Management for Students with Family Responsibilities

Is time and time management making you stressed? And stress messing with your time management? In this workshop, designed for students with family responsibilities, we will examine the relationship between time and stress, identify strategies to improve time and stress management and practice some basic skills.

Facilitator: Andrea Graham, Learning Skills Counsellor, Academic Success Centre, U of T.


3A. Optimal Brain Nutrition for Busy Parents and Caregivers

In this session, we will discuss key nutrients needed to support brain function and mood enhancement, where to get these nutrients from food and how to incorporate them into your diet.

Facilitator: Jane Sloan, a Registered Nutritional Consulting Practitioner and a Registered Holistic Allergist, Healing Rituals.


3B. Mindfulness in Your Daily Life

A lot of stress comes from either worrying about the past or planning for the future, and we forget to be where we are — doing the best we can in this moment. In this workshop you will learn how to bring Mindfulness into your daily activities and foster qualities of awareness in mind and body to decrease stress.

Facilitator: Cheryl Champagne, Health and Wellness at St. George campus, U of T.


4A. Finding "Family Friendly" Work

Learn and plan how to find work that will fit into your life and your family responsibilities. This hands-on session will provide an exchange of career information, ideas and strategies that will help you with all aspects of the career development process such as resume writing and identifying family-friendly employers.

Facilitator: Elena Pizzamiglio, Career Counsellor, Career Centre, University of Toronto.


4B. Parenting Without Anger

All parents get angry, but if you feel that anger is having a negative impact on your family, this workshop is for you. In it you will learn: How to recognize and cope with anger triggers, the positive and negative aspects of anger, why you get angry, the impact of anger on your children, and how to change the cycle of anger through the learning and development of essential parenting skills.

Facilitator: Karen Skinulis, co-author of three books for parents and teachers, a Certified Montessori Director, Parent Talk.

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ABC's and 123's of Baby Massage (6 months and up)

Massaging babies and toddlers helps release stress and tension, ease muscle aches associated with growth spurts and provides a great opportunity for communication and bonding. This class is appropriate for babies who are rolling and crawling away as well as toddlers and preschoolers too!

In this session you will learn how to adapt massage strokes to nursery rhymes, songs and stories so that your child will be an active participant in the massage. You will receive handouts with the massage routines and nursery rhymes, stories and songs that you've learned. Demonstration dolls are available, if your little one is not!

Facilitator: Petrina Fava is a Pediatric Nurse, Certified Infant Massage Teacher and Level II Reiki Practitioner

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Adoption Seminar

Bring your questions & your lunch and come to discuss:

  • Where to start
  • Options for Adoption
  • Ways to adopt — public, private, domestic, international
  • Procedures and Costs
  • The Home Study — what is involved, what to expect
  • Support Networks and Resources

Facilitator: Adoption Council of Ontario

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Alzheimer Disease: Caregiver Support Group

Do you know someone who is suffering from Alzheimer Disease? Would you like to meet other individuals and caregivers who are dealing with the same issues as you? Join Kaye Francis, Acting Coordinator at the Family Care Office and member of the Alzheimer Society of Toronto's support group leader network, to discuss the issues surrounding Alzheimer Disease.

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Alzheimer's Disease: Understanding the Connection between the Brain and Behaviour

Alzheimer's disease is a progressive disease of the brain which is affecting increasing numbers of Canadian families. In this information session, Mercedes Hughes of the Alzheimer's Society of Toronto will highlight statistics about Alzheimer's disease and will explain how changes in the brain, lead to memory loss and other cognitive changes in Alzheimer's disease and how these changes affect an individual's abilities and behaviour. A question and answer session will follow the presentation.

Facilitator: Mercedes Hughe, Alzheimer's Society of Toronto

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Anger Management for Parents

Understand what triggers your anger. Begin to master strategies that effectively deal with conflict and anger. Explore expectations, communication styles as well as learn how to deal with power struggles. Your anger can be dealt with in a manner that leaves everyone's dignity intact.

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Appointments with a Counsellor from the Alzheimer Society

Are you coping with a loved one who may have Alzheimer's Disease? A highly trained counsellor will be available for free 45 minute confidential appointments on Friday, November 18th. The counsellor will be able to discuss any questions or personal concerns you may have about dementia, such as getting a diagnosis, immediate and future care, family matters, ethical issues, stress and coping techniques.

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Ask Your Career Question for Student Parents (Drop-in)

A career counsellor from the Career Centre will be available to answer some of your career questions such as:

  • What can I do with my degree?
  • Where can I get experience?
  • How do I look for work?
  • What do employers look for in a resume and cover letter?
  • How do I prepare for my interview?

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Assessing and Supporting Children with Learning Disabilities

This workshop will provide insight into the world of children with learning disabilities by addressing early identification, therapeutic supports, and educational options. Participants are invited to send their questions to the presenter ahead of time and/or bring them to the workshop for discussion. By the end of the session you will be able to:

  • Recognize some early signs of a learning disability
  • Find out how to get your child assessed
  • Access information and resources on programs which support children with learning disabilities

Facilitators:
Laura Cheng, M.A., UT Family Resource Centre Co-ordinator, has over ten years of experience working with children with a range of special needs in a variety of settings.
Tracy Whitfield-Sochan, MSW., Disabilities Counsellor and Educator, works at the Learning Disabilities Program Counselling and Development Centre at the York University.

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Athletic Centre Orientation and Class (Students Only)

Tour the Athletic Centre, learn about opportunities for you and your families to be physically active! The tour will end with a 30 minute session led by a personal trainer. You'll learn a quick strength building circuit that can be done anywhere with minimal equipment to energize your studies!

What to wear and bring: T-Card, running shoes (closed toe), clothing you can move in, no jeans please. Bring a lock if you'd like to use the change rooms.

Please arrive for the tour dressed for activity.

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Autism Spectrum Disorders

Join us for an educational session to find out about:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorders and their common signs
  • How to get your child assessed

Facilitator: Margaret Spoelstra, Executive Director of Autism Ontario: A special education teacher by training, she has worked for 35 years with individuals with a variety of exceptional learning needs, but particularly with individuals on the Autism Spectrum. A parent of a child with autism will also speak about the experience of finding supports in the GTA.

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Avoiding Parental/ Caregiver Burnout

Learn and practise resilience based coping strategies that can help you and your family regain balance and joy in your daily life!

Caring for a child or a loved one is rewarding, but it also involves many changes and stressors: household and routine disruption, financial pressures as well as, long-term responsibilities.

Caregivers are often vulnerable to a wide range of physical and emotional challenges. Avoiding burnout is ensuring that you have a good balance in all areas of your busy life. In this session, you will:

  • Learn how to regulate your schedule and refuel your spirit!
  • Find out how to actively prevent burnout, address conflicts, uncover your coping style and reassess your attitude.
  • Discover where you invest most of your physical and emotional energy and whether it's productive.

Facilitator: Anna Wesolinska, M.Ed., is a Gestalt trained psychotherapist with nine years of experience in private practice. Anna works from a model of health, balance and empathy by bringing into awareness the places where we get stuck and our unique ways of getting there. Anna is a member of the Ontario Association of Consultants, Counsellors, Psychometrists and Psychotherapists (OACCPP).

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Baby Sign Language

This introductory, hands-on, workshop will teach parents and caregivers how to communicate with their baby using basic signs. Learn what baby sign is all about and how you and your baby can benefit from this amazing form of early communication. In this session we will discuss:

  • Recent research on the benefits in language and cognition.
  • Effective ways to teach signs at home.
  • Basic signs you can start using right away!
  • What to expect as your baby transitions from signs to speech.
  • Where to find resources such as sign language classes (fun for the whole family!)

Facilitator: Sharmeen Abeysinghe, Early Childhood Educator, University of Toronto ELC

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Baby & Toddler Talks: Babyfood — Introducing Solids

Cooking your own baby food is easy and affordable, and best of all you know exactly what's in it! Learn to:

  • Use simple equipment to make baby food
  • Know how and when to introduce solid foods
  • Compare homemade and store-bought baby food
  • Adapt the food their family is eating to their baby's needs
  • Handle and store food safely

Facilitator: Marcela Jaramillo, FoodShare

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Baby & Toddler Talks: Behavioural Guidance

A monthly lunch & learn designed to help parents of infants and toddlers develop their parenting skills.

This session will cover behavioural guidance strategies that focus on non-violent communication with your child. Learn helpful tips and ideas, including:

  • How to use natural and logical consequences
  • How to win children's cooperation
  • The skill of providing respectful motivation

Facilitator: Karen Skinulis is a Certified Montessori Director and has worked extensively as a teacher and a parent educator. She is a co-author of two parenting books and one teacher's book on classroom management.

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Baby & Toddler Talks: Fathering Right from the Start

Dads leave an indelible mark on their children and it starts right from the moment you find out that you are going to become a dad. Fatherhood Right from the Start is for those who have a baby on the way and for those whose babies have arrived recently. We will look at the roles a dad can take with his children, the adjustments that keep us on our toes as new dads, and the keys to maintaining a strong relationship with your partner/spouse. When you father right from the start you will set a foundation for a strong, vibrant relationship with your family.

Facilitator: Brian Russell is a Parent Educator with the LAMP Early Years Services in Toronto and the Provincial Coordinator of Dad Central Ontario.

  • Find out how to help your child become more open to trying new foods.
  • Learn how to avoid stress and conflict at the table.
  • Discuss simple ways to include more nutrients into your child's diet.

Facilitator: Aviva Allen, RHN, is a Toronto Nutritionist specializing in Pregnancy, infant and child nutrition.

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Baby & Toddler Talks: Feeding your Picky Eater

Are you concerned that your child is not getting enough nutrients from their diet? Does your child have a very limited amount of foods they are willing to eat or refusing to eat foods from an important food group such as protein or vegetables?

Picky eating is something that many children will go through. Most will grow out of this stage, while others may turn into choosy adults. There are so many reasons why a child might eat the way that they do. The key is knowing when there is a problem, when it is appropriate to take action and how. It is important to find the right approach for each individual child and their family.

  • Find out how to help your child become more open to trying new foods.
  • Learn how to avoid stress and conflict at the table.
  • Discuss simple ways to include more nutrients into your child's diet.

Facilitator: Aviva Allen, RHN, is a Toronto Nutritionist specializing in Pregnancy, infant and child nutrition.

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Baby & Toddler Talks: Foundations of Positive Parenting

This practical and informative presentation helps parents develop a strong foundation of parenting that will help their children develop skills of social development and well-being. Participants will also learn effective strategies to facilitate positive behaviour, prevent misbehaviour and to deal effectively with inappropriate behaviour.

During this 1 hour wellness session participants will:

  • Discuss how to develop a strong foundation of parenting
  • Use this foundation as a springboard to parenting practices that help your child develop skills of social development and well-being
  • Learn effective strategies to facilitate positive behaviour, prevent misbehaviour and to deal effectively with inappropriate behaviour

Facilitator: Homewood Health

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Baby & Toddler Talks: Developing Parental Resilience Webinar

Lunch & learn designed to help parents of young children develop their parenting skills.

This webinar will focus on developing resilience as a parent of young children. Resilience has been defined as the ability to use one's resources and knowledge to deal with problems or setbacks in parenting in an adaptive way, according to Gavida-Payne et al1. Through participating in this workshop, learners will have the opportunity to:

  • Understand the importance of developing coping skills, and its connection to resiliency. This seminar will also delve into the relationship between and effect of parental resiliency on health outcomes of the parent and of the child.
  • Learn about how your family can become more resilient as a whole. In addition to building coping mechanisms as an individual, the workshop will address strategies that can be adopted by the whole family. Learn to cope with stressors together, and to build stronger relationships.
  • Learn about resiliency skills that are specific to a widely experienced parental challenge: fatigue. Learn about the effects of parental fatigue on the parent-child relationship, and about strategies you can develop to manage fatigue in a positive way.

Facilitators: Nadine Nejati and Vishalini Sivarajah. Nadine is a second year medical student at the University of Toronto, and is completing a community placement with the Family Care Office. She completed her Bachelor of Health Sciences Honours degree at McMaster University, with a minor in Psychology. Vishalini is a second year medical student at the University of Toronto, and is completing a community placement with the Family Care Office. She completed her Bachelor of Health Sciences Honours degree at McMaster University, with a specialization in Global Health.

References:
1. Gavida-Payne S, Denny B, Davis K, Francis A, Jackson M. Parental resilience: A neglected construct in resilience research. Clinical Psychologist. 2015;19(3):111-121
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/cp.12053/pdf

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Baby & Toddler Talks: Developing Resilience to Deal with Challenges of Parenting Young Children

Lunch & learn designed to help parents of young children develop their parenting skills.

This workshop will focus on developing resilience as a parent of young children. Resilience has been defined as the ability to use one's resources and knowledge to deal with problems or setbacks in parenting in an adaptive way, according to Gavida-Payne et al1. Through participating in this workshop, learners will have the opportunity to:

  • Understand the importance of developing coping skills, and its connection to resiliency. This seminar will also delve into the relationship between and effect of parental resiliency on health outcomes of the parent and of the child.
  • Learn about how your family can become more resilient as a whole. In addition to building coping mechanisms as an individual, the workshop will address strategies that can be adopted by the whole family. Learn to cope with stressors together, and to build stronger relationships.
  • Learn about resiliency skills that are specific to a widely experienced parental challenge: fatigue. Learn about the effects of parental fatigue on the parent-child relationship, and about strategies you can develop to manage fatigue in a positive way.

There will also be an opportunity for an open-forum discussion amongst workshop participants at the end of the session.

References:
1. Gavida-Payne S, Denny B, Davis K, Francis A, Jackson M. Parental resilience: A neglected construct in resilience research. Clinical Psychologist. 2015;19(3):111-121
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/cp.12053/pdf

Facilitators: Prof. Jennifer M. Jenkins (OISE/ U of T), Nadine Nejati and Vishalini Sivarajah

Nadine is a second year medical student at the University of Toronto, and is completing a community placement with the Family Care Office. She completed her Bachelor of Health Sciences Honours degree at McMaster University, with a minor in Psychology.

Vishalini is a second year medical student at the University of Toronto, and is completing a community placement with the Family Care Office. She completed her Bachelor of Health Sciences Honours degree at McMaster University, with a specialization in Global Health.

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Baby & Toddler Talks: Developmental Milestones - The First Three Years

Emotional development follows a basic pattern but differs for each individual. As children develop physically and cognitively, their increased interaction with the world exposes them to new emotional challenges. Despite these individual challenges, the basic theme remains the same- we all have a built in drive toward emotional independence while maintaining a connection with other humans. Thus, the developmental task of the child is to find a way to become independent while still feeling securely connected to his/her caregivers. Although this emotional project continues throughout life, it is particularly profound during early childhood. In this workshop, we will discuss developmental milestones and activities to support your child's cognitive, social, emotional and physical development from an attachment perspective.

Facilitator: Julaine Brent completed her graduate work at OISE/UT in the Human Development and Education program within the department of Applied Psychology and Human Development. Her interest in attachment began as the parent of 3 children and continued throughout her research. She is currently a research officer and project coordinator for the Assessing Language Through Play partnership project at OISE.

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Baby & Toddler Talks: Developing Healthy Eating Habits with Picky Eaters

Learn about the roles and responsibilities of the parent and the child in the feeding relationship, how to help your child develop healthy eating habits, how to deal with picky eating and how to create a stress-free mealtime environment. An important topic for parents of infants and toddlers as well as older children!

Facilitator: Aviva Allen is one of Toronto's leading Kids' Nutritionists specializing in helping parents deal with their picky eaters. Aviva helps children and their families establish healthy eating habits through her nutritional counselling practice located in Midtown Toronto. Aviva is also the founder of Healthy Moms Toronto, helping connect like-minded moms throughout the GTA.

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Baby & Toddler Talks: Making Your Own Babyfood

Cooking your own baby food is easy and affordable, and best of all you know exactly what's in it! Learn to:

  • Use simple equipment to make baby food
  • Know how and when to introduce solid foods
  • Compare homemade and store-bought baby food
  • Adapt the food their family is eating to their baby's needs
  • Handle and store food safely

Facilitator: Shirley Ng, FoodShare

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Baby & Toddler Talks: Ready for Reading

Parents and caregivers are a child’s first and best teachers, and home is where your child begins to learn. Through fun, easy, everyday activities that you do with your preschool child (from birth to five years) “ talking, playing, singing, reading, writing --you help them build important early literacy skills. Learn about Toronto Public Library’s research-based programs, services, resources, spaces and expert staff to support you and to help you get your child Ready for Reading.

Facilitator: Tara Stadius, B.A. (U of Toronto), B.A.Sc. (Ryerson University), M.I.St. (U of Toronto)

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Baby & Toddler Talks: Sleep Issues

In this workshop you will learn and understand your child's sleep patterns. We will discuss healthy sleep habits including:

  • The importance of bedtime routine
  • How to deal with frequent night waking
  • How to cope with early morning risers
  • How to encourage your toddler to sleep in their own bed

Facilitator: Dr. Robyn Stremler, RN, PhD, Associate Professor at Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing and Adjunct Scientist at the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids).

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Baby & Toddler Talks: The Natural Pharmacy for your Baby and Toddler

Are you looking for natural solutions to some of your child's ailments? From colic to teething, diaper rash to cradle cap and eczema to constipation, what is a parent to do? This workshop will cover natural alternatives to common problems, and it will support your child's natural development. We will discuss: Colic, Constipation and Gassiness; Cradle cap; Diaper rash; Teething; and Eczema.

Facilitator: Lianne Phillipson-Webb (Dip. ION and RNCP) is the founder of Sprout Right, a unique health and nutrition service specializing in pre-conception, pre-natal and post-natal care. Lianne graduated with Honours from The Institute for Optimum Nutrition in London, England in 1999. She is a Registered Nutrition Consultant Practitioner and a member of the Nutritional Consultants Organization of Canada. Lianne has been featured on many TV shows including City TV's Breakfast Television and CityLine and Canada AM. Lianne is also a contributor to the following online magazines SweetMama.com, WeeWelcome.ca, iVillage.ca, and SleepDoula.com.

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Baby & Toddler Talks: Toileting

Helping children move from diapers or pull-ups into underwear is a big step for both parents and children. This workshop will provide parents with the facts about toilet training young children as well as the pros and cons of different toilet training methods. In addition, parents will learn how to identify signs of readiness in their children as well as how to select an appropriate toilet training method.

Facilitator: Mary Elizabeth, or M.E. for short, is Co-Founder and Educational Director of Wholeplay. She has a Master's Degree in Psychology and is completing the Ph.D program in Developmental Psychology and Education with a focus on Early Learning at The University of Toronto. She has worked extensively in the field of Children's Mental Health, specializing in the areas of early childhood development, positive parenting and healthy attachment. M.E., the primary facilitator of all Wholeplay's classes, has provided individual and group support to thousands of parents and young children in their journeys towards optimal development and wellbeing. In addition M.E. provides Parent Consultation and Support Services to individual families and customized parenting workshops to playgroups in the community.

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Baby & Toddler Talks: Toilet Training

Learning to respond to elimination needs is as simple as learning to respond to your baby's need for food, sleep, warmth, play, and holding. This workshop will educate parents on an alternate, gentle and non-coercive way to respond to a baby's elimination needs. We cover the background and philosophy of Elimination Communication (EC), as well as conventional toilet training, and working through any misconceptions or misinterpretations of the practice and, of course, how to get started.

This class will include a Q&A portion and resources will be provided for you to explore as you take steps further into the world of toilet training, by starting simply and easily.

Facilitator: Marjorie Wong is a diaper-free enthusiast and educator. She works with clients pre and postnatally, educating and bringing insight to families looking for a natural alternative to full-time diapering. She is a birth and postpartum doula working with families before, during and after pregnancy and has been teaching yoga (prenatal and hot yoga) since 2008. It is her personal experience as mother of two that most inspires; to live holistically, as nature intended.

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Baby & Toddler Talks: Your Child's Mind: From Infancy to Preschool

From birth, your baby is the recipient of much sensory information from the world--new sounds, sights, smells, tastes, and touches. Your child's brain absorbs these experiences, creating new mind paths that will help them with future interactions and learning environments. But what exactly is happening in that fast developing brain? And how do changes in the brain impact your child's overall course of development?

Your child's mind takes you into the inner workings of your child's psychological development from infancy to preschool. With a focus on neuroanatomical, cognitive, social and emotional development, this workshop will help you understand the trajectory of changes that your child will go through during the first 5 years of life. You will gain from this workshop a broadened capacity to take your child's perspective, as well as some parenting techniques that can be used to guide your child's rapid development. By the end of this session you will:

  • Understand the ways that your child's brain changes from infancy to toddlerhood
  • Understand how your child's cognitive and social capacities develop with these brain changes
  • Learn new parenting techniques that can help your child gain appropriate social and emotional skills

Facilitator: Hali Kil is a PhD Student in the Department of Psychology. She is studying various aspects of developmental psychology, including parent-child relationships, emotion regulation and coping, and mindful parenting.

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Babyfood Making

Cooking your own baby food is easy and affordable, and best of all you know exactly what's in it! Learn to:

  • Use simple equipment to make baby food
  • Know how and when to introduce solid foods
  • Compare homemade and store-bought baby food
  • Adapt the food their family is eating to their baby's needs
  • Handle and store food safely

Facilitator: Marcela Jaramillo, FoodShare

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Balancing Home and Work and Studies: A Parent's Guide

Are you having difficulty coping with the demands of work/study and family? Is balancing your priorities a constant struggle? Discover practical strategies and time management tips for effectively coping with the multiple demands being placed on you.

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Balancing Parenting and Studies (FYI)

Are you having difficulty coping with the demands of work, study, and your family? Is balancing your priorities a constant struggle? Discover practical strategies and tips for effectively coping with the multiple demands being placed on you.

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Balancing Work, Study and Family

A free one and a half hour workshop for the University of Toronto community featuring Career Consultant Mark Franklin on an important issue of relevance to students, staff and faculty.

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Becoming a Grandparent

Are you or your partner expecting a baby? Or are you a grandparent? This is a workshop for your parents and in-laws - or for you, if you are or will be a grandparent soon - to update knowledge about evidence-based, safe infant care practices in areas such feeding, sleeping, and babysitting. Active discussions will be encouraged.

Facilitator: Jody MacDonald RN EdD, Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing

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Becoming a Parent While Pursuing A Graduate Degree: Panel and Workshop

Many students debate whether they should have a baby in graduate school or wait until their lives and careers are more established. This session will help you make a more informed decision about what it means to start a family, including:

  • A panel discussion featuring a faculty member and graduate students who are raising children. You will be able to hear firsthand about their experiences for integrating studies and careers with raising children.
  • Hear about programs and resources available for students who are starting a family: University and Government leave policies; Funding options for pregnancy/parental leave; and resources for new parents.
  • Self-assessment; you will have an opportunity to explore your own readiness to start a family.

Presented by the Family Care Office, the School of Graduate Studies, and the Gradlife Program.

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Behavioural Guidance for Preschoolers

This session will cover proven discipline strategies that go beyond punishments and rewards and focus on non-violent communication with your children. Learn helpful tips and ideas to make disciplining more effective and your children more cooperative including:

  • How to use natural and logical consequences
  • How to win children's cooperation
  • The skill of providing respectful motivation

Facilitator: Karen Skinulis is a Certified Montessori Director and has worked extensively as a teacher and a parent educator. She is a co-author of two parenting books and one teacher's book on classroom management.

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Bereavement Group

If you have recently suffered the loss of your partner/spouse, come and join other students, staff and faculty at the University of Toronto who are also grieving the loss of a loved one. In this 6-week group, you will have the opportunity to share your experiences, offer and receive support, and continue, through experiential activities, in your personal healing.

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Birthing Alternatives: The Role of the Midwife

A growing number of women in Canada are choosing midwives for a more personal childbirth experience. A midwife is a registered health care professional who provides care to women during pregnancy, labour, birth, including providing care to mothers and babies during the first 6 weeks of postpartum.

Join us for this informative and practical session to find out about:

  • The role of a midwife
  • What makes midwifery care unique
  • What midwifery care encompasses and its benefits

Facilitator: Lisa M Weston, Vice-President of The Association of Ontario Midwives.

Lisa is as a registered midwife and one of the founding members of Sages-Femmes Rouge Valley Midwives. She has been practicing for six years in the GTA and was the first Division Head of Midwifery at Rouge Valley Health System.

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Bringing Baby Home

The fourth trimester - a term describing the first few months following the birth of a baby is an exciting time, but also a period of adjustment. It is associated with significant challenges such as sleep interruption, learning new skills, and increased demands on time. This workshop for
expecting parents will encourage discussion of expectations of self, support person(s), and baby, and introduce resources and strategies which new parents can use to facilitate improved coping and adjustment during this life stage.

In this workshop:

  • Participants will be guided towards realistic expectations of the emotional and practical experience of bringing baby home
  • Participants will be encouraged to identify important community and personal resources for support during postpartum period
  • Participants' confidence to handle fourth trimester challenges will be fostered

Facilitator: Katrina Robinson, 2nd year BScN student, Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing

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Boost your Refund! Tax Preparation Strategies for Families

Think that the taxes that you paid in 2011 are gone forever? Think again.

Filing your tax return is your opportunity to describe your personal circumstances to CRA and to reclaim some of the taxes that were withheld at source.

In many situations, you can claim tax credits and deductions to boost your refund. These personal situations can include: raising or educating your children, donating to charity, paying for unreimbursed medical treatments and many others.

If any of these personal situations sound familiar to you then be sure to attend this 90-minute seminar that will de-mystify the tax preparation process and present ways in which you can optimize tax credits and tax deductions for the upcoming tax deadline. Topics to be discussed will include:

  • a relatively-painless short course on the Canadian income-tax system
  • "it is better to pay than to receive"
  • taking best advantage of your family's tax credits; child care expense deductions; and RESP options
  • optimizing RRSP and TFSA strategies

Facilitator: Monique Madan has been working in the financial services industry since 1998; earning two well-respected and nationally-recognized accreditations: the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation in 2003 and the Financial Management Advisor (FMA) designation in 2007.

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Bowl of Words: A Writing Workshop for Families

What would it be like to write together? What might you say? How would you start?

In this one hour workshop, let yourself be guided on a writing spree of stories, poems, lists, letters and random details of your lives. A playful, fun way to connect that lets you go home with more stories than you came with.

No writing experience necessary. Ages 8 and up.

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Breastfeeding 101

An opportunity for women planning/trying to breastfeed to ask questions and to learn valuable tips on how to do it.

Facilitator: Dr. Jack Newman, MD, FRCPC

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Brown Bag Lunch Series for Dads

Nobody gives you training to be a father and kids certainly don't come with a user's guide or an owner's manual. Meet other fathers at U of T to discuss parenting issues, find support, share experiences and ideas.


What Do I Do When My Child Misbehaves? (Dads only)

At one time or another, every father has asked the question: "Why are my kids doing this?" Learn how to recognize the Four Goals of Misbehaviour, and acquire effective, positive strategies for dealing with them. Find out how to replace ineffective punishment and rewards with encouragement and logical consequences.

Facilitator: Richard Skinulis, an award-winning professional writer for the past 25 years and the author of six books, including three on parenting/classroom management issues.


Dads Talking: Parenting, Relationships and Everything In Between

Being a father is a challenging role and often it's made even more difficult by the lack of support systems in place; most Dads weren't trained to be Daddies! Still, through processes of trial and error, lessons are learned and triumphs gained.

This workshop will be a loosely structured discussion time for Dads to come, share and learn with and from other Dads. This is a great chance to connect with other Dads on campus who might also be learning to balance the work/academic/family load and a chance to hear what other Dads have learned and to share your own challenges, triumphs and joys. Come out, relax, talk and meet other Dads on campus. Bring lunch and any topics you want to share!

Facilitator: Eric Ritskes is a graduate student in Education, writer on spirituality in education, a father of one rambunctious 2-year old girl, blogger and story teller. He lives in Toronto and enjoys the simple pleasures in life such as good espresso and the daily crossword puzzle.


Positive father involvement: Co-Constructing parenting relationships with partners

This presentation and discussion will focus on the way in which a father's parenting identity and role develop within the context of the parenting relationship with the spouse or partner. Research examining these processes will be shared and the notion of positive father involvement will be explored within this context. The diversity within co-parenting models will be examined and participants will have an opportunity to consider their own parenting configuration.

Facilitator: Ted McNeill PhD., RSW. Director of Social Work and Child Life, The Hospital for Sick Children, Associate Professor, Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto; Father Involvement Research Alliance


The New Dad

In this workshop for new and 'expectant' dads, we will discuss:

  • Relationship changes
  • Meeting mom's needs
  • Connecting with your baby from the start
  • Life changes new dads go through

Facilitator: Brian Russell is currently a Parent Education Worker with the LAMP Ontario Early Years Services in Toronto. His main focus is on working with fathers, encouraging them to be responsibly involved with their children. Brian also supports other organizations and agencies working with fathers through coordinating Strategies for Working with Fathers conferences and providing training in Father Involvement best practices directly to staff and organizations. Brian is the Provincial Coordinator for the Father Involvement Initiative “ Ontario Network (FII-ON). Having a background in Marriage and Family Therapy, Brian brings an important perspective to the couple relationship in families, where trust and respect are key elements to building strong families.


Fathering Sons, Fathering Daughters

Is a dad's relationship meant to be different for his sons and for his daughters? Do girls and boys need different things from their dads? This is a very important thing to think about. Join us as we talk about the role dads have in their sons' and daughters' lives.

Facilitator: Brian Russell is the Provincial Coordinator at the Father Involvement Initiative - Ontario Network and a Parent Educator at LAMP Community Health Centre.


The Key to Raising Emotionally Intelligent Kids

Kids need to understand and regulate their emotional world so they can enjoy increased health and well being, increased self confidence, better scholastic performance, healthier social relationships and more meaningful personal relationships. Come and join our discussion concerning the role dads can play in the development of their own and their children's emotional development. This workshop will focus on key "take home" strategies that will enhance this important life skill in you and your kids.

Facilitator: Patrick Mahoney RN BScN, has a background in Relationship Counselling, as well as, nine years experience as a postnatal educator for Toronto Public Health and a Prenatal educator for Peel Public Health. Patrick's expertise and main focus is facilitating evidence based parenting programs for parents with children from birth to six years. Recently, Patrick has been certified as a "Gottman Educator" for the program "Bringing Baby Home" an evidenced based project that improves the quality of life for babies and children while strengthening the family and assisting with individuals and couples transition to parenthood. Patrick has his own consulting firm for parents called "The Language of Parenting".


Configuring Your "RPS"

Having kids can bring chaos. Parenting can often put strain on a couple's relationship and it is important for men to figure this out. By configuring their "Relationship Positioning System", dads can be a catalyst for harmony. What is it that our partners need from us? How can we keep the intimacy alive in the midst of family? Join us as we talk about key elements of strong relationships.

Facilitator: Brian Russell is the Provincial Coordinator at the Father Involvement Initiative - Ontario Network and a Parent Educator at LAMP Community Health Centre.

 

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Budgeting for Student Parents

Tired of being told to stick to your budget? Not sure if you even have a budget? Come and join the discussion on why budgeting is important to your family's well being and how it can be painless.

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Building Your Child's Self-Esteem

Join Karen Skinulis of the Parenting Education Centre of Ontario to focus on parenting skills and strategies for building self-esteem in your child.

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Bullying Among Girls: A Workshop for Parents

Many parents are concerned about the high rates of bullying occurring among school-aged girls. In this session parents will hear from bullying expert, Dr. Faye Mishna. Parents will gain information on the following topics:

  • The different forms that bullying may take among girls, including cyber-bullying, physical bullying and relational bullying
  • What to do if their child is being bullied or is bullying
  • What resources are available and how to access them

Facilitator:

Dr. Faye Mishna is Dean and Professor at the Factor Inwentash Faculty of Social Work at the University of Toronto and is cross-appointed to the Department of Psychiatry. Faye holds the Margaret and Wallace McCain Family Chair in Child and Family. Faye's program of research is focused on bullying; cyber abuse/cyber bullying and cyber counselling; and school-based interventions for students with learning disabilities. An integral component of her research entails collaboration with community agencies and organizations. Her scholarly publications have focused on bullying, social work education and clinical practice. Prior to joining the Faculty, she was Clinical Director of a children's mental health centre serving children and youth with learning disabilities. She is a graduate and faculty member of the Toronto Child Psychoanalytic Program. She maintains a small private practice in psychotherapy and consultation.

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Bullying and Peer Abuse

This workshop addresses the issue of bullying and peer abuse by children and youth. Proactive anti-bullying intervention strategies for children, parents and staff are explored. This workshop will strengthen participants' capacity to respond effectively to the problem of bullying.

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Buying A Home Workshop

Have you been dreaming about owning your own home? Find out how to make your dream come true faster and easier. Know if home ownership is right for you and feel confident and prepared to make key decisions about buying a home. Assess your housing needs, what you can afford to buy, your financial preparedness, and learn about the ongoing cost of home ownership.

Presented by CMHC, Student Housing & Family Care Office. If you have questions about buying a home, this workshop will educate and guide you in the direction that best suits your needs

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Can I Have Both? Deciding to Become a Parent While Pursuing Academia: A Panel Discussion

Many graduate students wonder if they can have both — a career in academia and children. Join us for a panel discussion featuring a faculty member and graduate students who are currently integrating their studies/career with raising children. Staff from the Family Care Office and the School of Graduate Studies will also be present to address concerns and questions.

Presented by the Family Care Office, the School of Graduate Studies, and the Gradlife Program.

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Career Counselling at the Family Care Office

Are you a student with family responsibilities and have some questions about career planning and job searching?

Take this opportunity to meet for 30 minutes with a U of T Career Centre Career Counsellor.

They will be able to help you with questions like:

  • What do I want to do with my life?
  • What about when I graduate?
  • What can I do with my degree?
  • Where are the jobs?
  • What am I good at?
  • How do I get the work I want?

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Caregiving: Understanding its impact on yourself and your loved one

The purpose of this session will be to examine the phase of life that our elderly family members find themselves in and to explore our role in that context.

Specifically, the session will explore the impact of eldercare on:

  • Our personal lives
  • Our relationships and families
  • Our work life

Bring your issues and challenges in this area and look forward to an interactive session.

Facilitator:

Lynne Mitchell M.E.S., M.Ed., RSW Lynne is a registered social worker with 25 years of experience. She conducts a private practice for individuals, couples and families and facilitates workshops both in the community and the private sector.

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Caregiver Discussion Group

This discussion group is for students, staff or faculty who are caring for an elderly parent, relative or friend to exchange ideas, offer support, and share experiences.

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Caring For Aging Relatives: The Legal Issues

Are you the caregiver of an aging relative? Do you have legal concerns?

Join Saara L. Chetner, LL. B, LL.M., Counsel with the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee for a workshop that will provide an overview of legal issues including powers of attorney, personal care, living wills, guardianship, and advance directives.

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Childcare Subsidy Information Session

A child care subsidy helps families in financial need with the cost of child care. Learn more about a child care subsidy and the eligibility requirements by the City of Toronto, including information about:

  • How the City of Toronto Children's Services manages its wait list
  • What if you don't find a childcare space after the subsidy interview meeting?
  • Looking for a job, self-employment and childcare subsidies
  • Recent changes and updates

Facilitator: City of Toronto Children's Services staff

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Children with Special Needs

This workshop will review sensory systems and how sensory processing challenges can impact children with special needs, with an emphasis on children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Strategies and recommendations will be reviewed using case studies to demonstrate how parents can assist their children in participating more fully in activities at home and school.

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Children's Nutrition: Encouraging your Preschool Child to Try New Foods

In this session participants will:

  • Build an understanding of the developmental issues of the preschool child and how they relate to healthy eating habits.
  • Learn about the role parents and caregivers play in influencing preschooler eating patterns.
  • Learn fun and creative ways to support children in trying new foods that also encourages positive self-esteem and healthy eating experiences.

Facilitator: Sinéad Rafferty, Early Childhood Educator working with preschool children and their families at the U of T Early Learning Centre

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Choosing Childcare That Works for Your Family

A practical session to help you choose the child care option that will best meet the needs of your family. At this session you will:

  • Find out what are the childcare options available
  • Learn what factors to consider when looking at options, choices, and caregivers
  • Learn how to find a childcare centre and individual caregivers
  • Learn about the latest changes in the system
  • Find out about the financial assistance available and waiting lists

Facilitator: Maria Jardim is the Information and Outreach Coordinator for the Family Care Office.

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Choosing an Elementary School

Through this workshop, parents will be given useful information on the process of choosing an elementary school for their child.

  • Learn about French programs and how to tell if these programs are right for their child
  • Gain a better understanding of alternative schools and what they have to offer
  • Learn about the process of enrolling their child in a school or program outside of their local area

Facilitators: Michel Leblanc, Principal of Avondale Alternative Elementary School, and Alison Pearce, Toronto District School Board Program Co-coordinator for French as a Second Language.

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Communicating With Your Parents: What Works?

For many students, coming to university is an important marker in their journey of becoming an independent person - separate from their parents.

Whether you live away from home or continue to reside with them, the journey nevertheless begins. Transitioning to this new stage in your relationship with your parents can bring many challenges. What are your expectations of this newly developing relationship? What are theirs? When these expectations are very divergent, emotional friction often occurs.

Attending this session will help you to understand what is happening between yourself and your parents and how best to respond in ways that encourage accommodation rather than divisiveness. There will be opportunities to explore what topics you may choose to or not discuss with your parents and how to do this without rupturing communications between you.

Facilitator: Dr. Sam Minsky, Ph.D., C.Psych.

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Communicating with Teens

Learn the ins and outs of communicating effectively with your teen. In this two hour workshop, we will discuss the following themes:

  • What is Communication and why is it so important to have it with your teen
  • How is communicating with a teen different from a younger child
  • How to really listen to your teen
  • Common Communication Blocks
  • Specific communication strategies to enhance the parent/teen relationship.

This workshop is designed for parents of teens ages 12 and up.

Facilitator: Ferne is a long standing Family Family Life Educator with Jewish Family & Child. Ferne has facilitated numerous groups and workshops for children, teens and adults, these include: Living with Teens Parenting, One Family, Two Homes for families experiencing separation and divorce, Social Skills for both the parents and children, Family Life for grade 6, 7 & 8 students in the public and day schools, Tobacco Education, Teen Programs. Ferne is a certified facilitator in the Triple P Parenting Program which focuses on Positive Parenting strategies and has a background in Adlerian philosophies. In Ferne's non-professional life she is the mother of 2 adult boys and a grandmother who enjoys numerous hobbies. Ferne brings a wonderful sense of humour and knowledge to everything she does.

 

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Communication in Family Life

This session describes some fundamental aspects of communication that apply to interactions within families. Participants will review communication strategies and skills that allow for healthy and open communication to enhance the quality of their relationships.

U of T St.George Campus Facilitator: Marla Kaye, Homewood Health
U of T Scarborough campus Facilitator: Chris Brown, Homewood Health
U of T Mississauga campus Facilitator: Homewood Health

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Community Kitchen

Inspiration for lunch recipe ideas that are easy to prepare at home and bring to work. Part of the class will be hands-on cooking combined with a demo. All participants will be able to sample the food made as well as take home a dish for another day.

Menu:

  • Hungarian Goulash with Quinoa
  • Smoked Salmon Wraps
  • Cold Rice Salad with Tomatoes, Red Pepper, Feta, Parsley, Lemon & Pine Nuts
  • Cold Lemon & Thyme Chicken

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Cooking on a Budget

So, you fancy being a gourmet, but still stay within your budget? Are you interested in learning "big on taste and yet easy on the wallet" recipes that you can whip up in your kitchen? Do you want to learn how to stretch your food budget and still enjoy a delicious and nutritious diet? Then come and enjoy a presentation on practical tips and tricks and a cooking demonstration on how to prepare an assortment of entrees. Learn the tricks of the trade, pick up practical recipes and sample some great food to boot!

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Cooking Quick Vegetarian Meals on a Budget

Do you want to learn how to stretch your food budget and still enjoy delicious and nutritious vegetarian dishes that are quick to make? Then come and enjoy our cooking presentation of amazing recipes from different parts of the world: Rasta Pasta, Split Pea Soup and a special salad. We will be also giving you practical cooking tips. Learn the tricks of the trade, pick up practical recipes and sample some great food to boot!

Facilitator: Carla Rodney, undergraduate student

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Cooking Your Own Baby food

Cooking your own baby food is easy and affordable and, best of all, you know exactly what's in it! At the end of this workshop the participants will be able to:

  • Use simple equipment to make baby food
  • Know how and when to introduce solid foods
  • Compare homemade and store-bought baby food
  • Adapt the food their family is eating to their baby's needs
  • Handle and store food safely

Facilitator: Marcela Jaramillo has been working for FoodShare for many years as a facilitator for the Cooking Your Own Babyfood workshops.

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Coping with a loved one who may have Alzheimer's Disease?

A highly trained counsellor from the Alzheimer Society of Toronto will be available for a free 45 minute confidential appointment. The counsellor will be able to discuss with you any questions or personal concerns you may have about dementia, such as getting a diagnosis, immediate and future care, family matters, ethical issues, stress and coping techniques.

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Co-Parenting: Making it Work

Child wellbeing is supported when parents establish a co-parenting relationship with clear roles and boundaries. This provides an important way to meet the needs of children while managing parenting responsibilities. In this session discussion will focus on:

  • Types of co-parenting relationships
  • What co-parents must do but may not want to
  • What co-parents should avoid.

Facilitator: David Abel, MSW/RSW, Counsellor, Families in Transition (FST).

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Dealing with Misbehavior

The motivation behind the behavior of each child is unique. Learn how to understand the root of your child's misbehavior & come up with effective strategies that will work. Find out how to replace ineffective punishment & rewards with encouragement and logical consequences. The workshop will be suitable for the parents of children of ALL ages including teenagers.

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Dealing with Siblings with Alyson Schafer

Siblings are key players in each other's personality development. Our parenting tactics can influence whether they become close friends, or establish a hurtful life long rivalry.

Join Alyson for a discussion on family constellation, birth order, sibling competition, jealousy, and tactics for responding to siblings when they hit, tattle, bicker, act meanly, refuse to share and more. Alyson will teach you parenting techniques and tactical suggestions that are suitable for toddlers, preschoolers, school age children.

Alyson Schafer is a psychotherapist and one of Canada's leading parenting experts. She's the author of the best-selling "Breaking the Good Mom Myth" (Wiley, 2006) and the new "Honey I Wrecked The Kids" (Wiley, 2009). Her popular TV call-in show The Parenting Show is now in its fourth season.

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Debt Management 101 for Students

In this session you will learn:

  • To identify specific debt management strategies and tips, including creating a realistic budget that incorporates saving for debt payment
  • An overview of ten rules of money management, and how to deal with creditors and collectors
  • How to navigate the credit rating system
  • Consumer rights

Facilitator: Elena Jara, Credit Canada

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Dementia Care: Communication and Behaviour Strategies

This workshop is for family caregivers of individuals in the middle stages of Alzheimer's disease. Topics include an overview of the middle stages of the disease, communication, understanding and managing behaviour and available support.

Facilitator: Amanda Schmukler, Social Work Manager, Alzheimer Society of Toronto.

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Dementia Care: Finding Joy & Humour in Caregiving (UTSC)

This educational workshop is for caregivers of individuals living with dementia with a focus on looking at the lighter side of caregiving.

Topics:

  • Explore looking and living beyond the diagnosis
  • Create opportunities for joy and look at the lighter side of caregiving
  • Evaluate the benefits of humour and having a positive outlook
  • Assess the strategies and approaches for incorporating joy and humour into caregiving

Facilitator: Sudha Vavilla BA,MSW,M.Phil,RSW, Social Worker, Alzheimer Society of Toronto

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Democratic Discipline: Behavioural Guidance for Preschoolers

This session will cover proven discipline strategies that go beyond punishments and rewards and focus on non-violent communication with your children. Learn helpful tips and ideas to make disciplining more effective and your children more cooperative including:

  • How to use natural and logical consequences
  • How to win children's cooperation
  • The skill of providing respectful motivation

Suitable for parents and caregivers of children 2-6 years of age.

Facilitator: Karen Skinulis is a Certified Montessori Director and has worked extensively as a teacher and a parent educator. She is a co-author of two parenting books and one teacher's book on classroom management.

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Developing Your Career While Raising a Family (Staff only)

While the challenges of balancing a career while raising a family are many, the satisfaction can be great! Attend this workshop and you will:

  • Understand the options from a big picture perspective that are available in managing your career while raising a family
  • Learn from a panel of colleagues about their pathway to successfully merging career and family and the lessons learned
  • Discover simple strategies on how to manage your career at UofT, make progress on your career goals, while still spending time and energy on family
  • Create a Simple Action Plan to keep yourself accountable as your attention is pulled between family and career

This session is jointly offered by the Family Care Office and the Organizational Development and Learning Centre.

Facilitator: Beverly Kahn, Coordinator, Career Services, ODLC

UTM Campus - Facilitator: Teresa Scannell, Career & Work/Life Consultant, ODLC

UTSC Campus - Facilitator: Beverly Kahn, Coordinator, Career Services, ODLC
UTSC Panellists:

  • Christine Arsenault, Managing Director, Management and Management Co-op
  • Dallas Boyer, Manager – Operations, Arts & Science Co-op
  • Amorell Saunders N'Daw, Director of Governance at UTSC and Assistant Secretary of the Governing Council
  • Shelby Verboven, Director of Recruitment, Admissions and Student Recruitment

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Discovering your Parenting Style: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Knowing your parenting style is useful for helping you understand the parent you are and helping you become the parent you want to be. Your parenting style not only influences your interactions with your child and the type of discipline that you use, but can also impact your relationship with your parenting partner if you have opposing styles.

In this session you will:

  • identify your parenting style.
  • learn about the impact of your parenting style on your children
  • discuss strategies to deal with conflict if your parenting partner has an opposing style.

The Facilitator is a parent and educator focusing on healthy relationships in families. She has worked with individuals in abusive relationships and has developed and delivered 'healthy relationships' education programs for various populations in the not-for-profit and public sectors.

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Dreamcatcher Workshop

Join the Family Care Office and the Centre for International Experience for a children's dreamcatcher workshop.

Space is limited to fifteen participants, aged 4-12, so please register early! Children must be accompanied by an adult and families are encouraged to assist their children with making the dreamcatchers.

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Easy & Inexpensive Hors D'Oeuvres for Holiday Entertainment

Don't miss the opportunity to learn from Hart House Catering staff these easy recipes that will transform your holiday party without breaking your wallet!.

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Education Options for Your Child: Panel and Workshop

This session is designed to educate parents on the various options available for elementary public school education in Toronto. Choosing the right school and program is an important first step in ensuring that your child gets the most out of their educational experience. Through this session you will:

  • Learn about Toronto District School Board, elementary, alternative and specialized schools, including French Immersion programs and Alternative Schools.
  • Learn about the Toronto Catholic District School Board's education programs.
  • Be invited to ask questions and hear questions from other parents facing the same decisions.
  • Find out how to work with the school if your child has special needs, needs extra resource help, or is interested in extracurricular activities.

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Education Options for Your Child: Panel Discussion

Choosing the right school and program is an important first step in ensuring that your child gets the most out of their educational experience. This session is designed to educate parents on the various options available to children entering the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) elementary school. Through this session you will:

  • Learn about Toronto District School Board elementary and specialized schools, including French Immersion and Alternative Schools.
  • Find out how to work with the school if your child has special needs, needs extra resource help, or is interested in extracurricular activities.

Guest Speakers: Emily Chan, Teacher at ALPHA Alternative Jr. School, Maria Lo Bianco, TDSB Supervising Principal of Special Education and Beth Mills, TDSB Principal at Lord Landsdowne Jr & Sr Public School and da Vinci Alternative Public School.

Important dates to keep in mind:

  • December 1, 2016 is the deadline to apply for Early French Immersion (Senior Kindergarten Entry).
  • January-February, 2017 is the application period for most alternative elementary schools with Open Houses taking place between October and February.

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Elder Care: Aging and Memory Loss

This is an introductory workshop on aging and memory loss geared for the caregiver. What is normal and what is not in memory loss? What are the danger signals to be aware of. Discussion will come from the participants as to particular concerns they may have regarding the person they are caring for.

Case examples will be cited.

Facilitator: Lynne Gallagher, Family Service Association of Toronto

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Elder Care: Alzheimer Counselling Appointments

A highly trained counsellor from the Alzheimer Society of Toronto will be available for a free 45 minute confidential appointment. She will be able to discuss with you any questions or personal concerns you may have about dementia, such as getting a diagnosis, immediate and future care, family matters, ethical issues, stress and coping techniques.

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Elder Care: Alzheimer's Disease — An Overview for Family Caregivers (UTM)

In this education workshop for family caregivers, the Alzheimer Society Peel will present an overview of Alzheimer's disease and related dementia, ways to cope with caregiving and resources that exist in our community to help.

Facilitator: Karen Phair, Public Education Coordinator, Alzheimer Society Peel

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Elder Care: Anger and Guilt

This workshop for family caregivers of aging relatives will cover:

  1. Recognizing the positive aspects of anger
  2. Learning to understand and deal with guilt
  3. Introduce negotiating skills

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Elder Care: Caring for an Aging Relative with Dementia Discussion Group

This is an education support group for caregivers of seniors with dementia. It is a 6 week program for non-spousal, adult family caregivers.

Each session provides education on relevant topics and facilitated support for participants.

Participants will:

  • Increase understanding of dementia and behaviour
  • Feel a greater sense of control
  • Experience reduced isolation
  • Learn tools and strategies for coping
  • Achieve greater understanding of the healthcare system
  • Learn about resources and how to access them
  • Explore ways to care for yourself

Group facilitated by Elaine Kohn, MSW, RSW and Lesley Patterson, MSW, RSW experienced Social Workers from Baycrest Health Sciences Centre.

This discussion group is a partnership between Baycrest Health Sciences Centre and the University of Toronto Family Care Office.

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Elder Care: Caregiver Discussion Group

This discussion group is for students, staff or faculty who are caring for an elderly parent, relative or friend to exchange ideas, offer support, and share experiences.

Facilitator: Lynne Gallagher, M.S.W., R.S.W. of the Family Service Association of Toronto

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Elder Care: Creating a Sense of Purpose with Meaningful Tasks — How can Technology Improve Quality of Life in People with Dementia?

Currently, in long-term care environments almost all activities are organized and initiated by caregivers and workers. There is simply not enough time and money to implement a full regimen of meaningful activities for everyone living with dementia. How can appropriately designed technology improve the quality of life of people living with dementia? How can they be provided with meaningful activities and engaging interactions?

In this talk we will describe the development and evaluation of two new families of products for people with dementia. 1) Ambient Activities are being developed by our industrial partner (Ambient Activity Technologies) based on Montessori principles where sensori-motor interactions are emphasized, and are being evaluated by our research team in long-term care settings. 2) Reinforcement-learning based tools (Centivizers) are being developed in the Interactive Media Laboratory at the University of Toronto using an iterative design approach.

In this workshop I will discuss some of the science behind the use of Ambient Activities and Centivizers, and will describe some of the design challenges we face and some of the methods we are using to evaluate and improve the systems being developed. Live demonstrations of some of the developed products will be given. Discussions on the design requirements and design options based on participants' experiences with, or knowledge of, dementia will also take place. Our goal is to make this session a joint learning experience where we can exchange ideas on how to improve quality of life and sense of purpose for people with dementia living at home or in a long term care setting.

Facilitators:

Mark Chignell, is a Professor of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at the University of Toronto. He has a Ph.D. in Psychology (University of Canterbury, New Zealand, 1981), and an M.S. in Industrial and Systems Engineering (Ohio State, 1984). In addition to being the Director of the Interactive Media Lab, he is President of Vocalage Inc., a University of Toronto spinoff company, and a visiting scientist at both the IBM Centre for Advanced Studies and Keio University in Japan.

Dr. Andrea Wilkinson has a Ph.D. in Psychology with a specialization in Cognitive Aging. She is currently working as a postdoctoral research fellow in Dr. Mark Chignell's Interactive Media Lab, Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering. Andrea's research seeks to evaluate the impact of Ambient Activity Technologies on well-being related outcomes in residents with dementia, their loved ones, and long-term care staff. Her work is being funded through the AGE-WELL NCE: Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Award in Technology and Aging (2015-2017).

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Elder Care: Coping with Change and Loss

As seniors age, they experience a number of losses. Concerned family and friends simultaneously experience loss, and both seniors and caregivers have to find ways to cope with these changes.

This interactive workshop will address these losses, and examine their impact on the family. Coping strategies for adapting to change will be offered.

Facilitator: Lynne Gallagher B.A., B.S.W., M.S.W., R.S.W. is a social worker and the Coordinator of Caregiver Education Programs for Family Service Toronto. She provides workshops on caregiving, aging, work and family issues, as well as individual and group counselling to seniors and caregivers.

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Elder Care: Day-to-Day Life in Long-term Care

This workshop will help caregivers prepare and adjust to their family member entering a long-term care facility. Topics include advocacy, adjustment strategies and caregiver coping.

Facilitator: Amanda Schmukler, Senior Counsellor, Alzheimer Society of Toronto

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Elder Care: Dementia 101

This workshop will provide family caregivers with an overview of Alzheimer's disease focusing on the importance of early diagnosis and illustrates the progression of the disease.

  • Gain a greater understanding of the process of diagnosis and medications available
  • Develop a better, over-all understanding of dementia
  • Increase your knowledge of the stages and progression of Alzheimer's disease
  • Better the caregiver's insight into the person with dementia (PWD)
  • Learn about community services and supports

Facilitator: Amanda Schmukler, Social Work Manager, Alzheimer Society of Toronto

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Elder Care: Emotional Aspects of Relocation

This is a workshop for family caregivers who are coming to the difficult realization that their elderly loved one may no longer be able to live in their current home and may have to relocate to a care facility. This can be a very difficult and emotional time for both the caregiver and the senior. In this workshop, the facilitator, Esther Goldstein, will discuss:

  • signs to look for in your loved one that may indicate that they need extra care
  • possible emotional reactions of both the senior and caregiver to the issue of relocation and/or increased care requirements
  • tips on introducing/discussing the topic of extra care/relocation
  • coping strategies for the caregiver

Facilitator:

Esther Goldstein is a social worker and author of Comprehensive Guide to Retirement Living®. She worked as a hospital social worker in the GTA for 12 years primarily with the geriatric population and now currently works full-time on her publication and the affiliated website www.senioropolis.com

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Elder Care: Estate Planning as a Caregiver of an Aging Relative

This workshop will address your legal concerns as you care for your aging relative. Questions that will be addressed include:

  • How important is a Will and what happens if there is not a Will in place?
  • Do I need to have a Power of Attorney? Are there different types?
  • Should I set up joint bank accounts?
  • When my parent dies what taxes will I be responsible for?
  • What about property and property deed transfers?

Facilitator: Harvey S. Goldstein has been practicing law since 1984. His experience is varied and he has extensive experience in the preparation of Wills and Powers of Attorney.

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Elder Care: Exploring Senior Care Options (Webinar)

This webinar is for family caregivers who are coming to the difficult realization that their elderly loved one may no longer be able to live in their current home and may have to relocate to a care facility.

Esther Goldstein, social worker and author of the Comprehensive Guide to Retirement Living and Long-Term Care®, will address:

  • When you should consider different housing options
  • How you might discuss relocating with your loved one
  • What are your care choices in home and housing options

Free copies of the facilitator’s book or CD will be available in the Family Care Office after the session.
Facilitator: Esther Goldstein is a social worker and author of the Comprehensive Guide to Retirement Living and Long-Term Care®. She worked as a hospital social worker in the GTA for 12 years primarily with the geriatric population and now currently works full-time on her publication and the affiliated website www.senioropolis.com

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Elder Care: Exploring Senior Housing Options

This is a workshop for family caregivers who are coming to the difficult realization that their elderly loved one may no longer be able to live in their current home and may have to relocate to a care facility.

Join, Esther Goldstein, social worker and author of Comprehensive Guide to Retirement Living™, as she explores:

  • How you discuss relocating with your loved one
  • The emotional aspects for both the caregiver and the loved one
  • The options for lifestyle choices from in-home supports to a facility
  • Retirement homes and long-term care homes

Free copies of the facilitator's book will be available.

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Elder Care: Financial and Estate Planning

This workshop will address your financial planning concerns as you care for your aging relative. Questions that will be addressed include:

  • How important is a will and what happens if there isn't a will in place?
  • Do I need to have a power of attorney? Are there different types? What if we have a joint bank account?
  • When my parent dies what taxes will I be responsible for?
  • What about property and property deed transfers?

Ed Esposto, Consultant will present a summary of estate planning basics from a legal and tax standpoint. He is a lawyer with Connor Clark Private Trust in Toronto.

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Elder Care: Geriatrics 100

An introduction to some of the cognitive and emotional changes your older relative may experience and the resources available to you.

In this session, Zoe Levitt, M.S.W., R.S.W. will address the following:

  • Dementia, depression and delirium: All of these illnesses can share very similar symptoms yet the treatment for each is vastly different. What are these illnesses? What are their symptoms? How can I be sure my older relative is properly diagnosed?
  • Learn about the vast array of community services and health professionals that can both assess and treat your relative. For example, how do I find a geriatrician or a memory clinic? How can I make sure my older relative is not neglected if he/she is a patient in a hospital emergency room?

Facilitator: Zoe Levitt is an Elder Care Consultant with a Masters' Degree in Social Work. She has been working with the elderly in their homes and in hospitals for more than 20 years.

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Elder Care: Heads up for Healthier Brains

This workshop looks at the changes we can make in our lives in order to reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.

There are some risk factors beyond our control such as age, but many of the risk factors are associated with lifestyle choices such as: high cholesterol, high blood pressure, stress, smoking, lack of physical exercise, and lack of mental/intellectual challenge. When we make changes in these areas we can dramatically reduce our risk and improve or at least maintain the health of our brains.

Facilitator:

George Torys is a Public Education Coordinator with the Alzheimer Society of Toronto. In this position he works with both the general public and healthcare professionals, providing education workshops on various topics relating to Alzheimer's disease and caring for those with dementia.

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Elder Care: Healthy Caregiving

Caregiving is very special. Watching someone you love become ill and gradually lose his/her memory and abilities can be very hard on you as well as your family. You need to take care of yourself and make sure that you stay healthy.

This workshop will focus on:

  • What are some of the risks of caregiving?
  • What are some of the dangers of caregiving?
  • What are some of the rewards and joys of caregiving?
  • We will also address resources and navigating the system

Facilitator: Elaine Kohn, MSW, RSW, Social Worker and Lesley Patterson, MSW, RSW, Senior Social Worker, Seniors Counselling and Referral, Baycrest Geriatric Health Care System

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Elder Care: Health Care Consent and Advance Care Planning and What You Should Know

Before health providers provide care or treatment they must get an informed consent from you. Health Care Consent also involves planning your care needs based on your present health condition. Advance care planning is a process of planning for a time when you may not have the mental capacity to make decisions about your health care. It usually involves choosing someone to make decisions on your behalf when you are not able to do so. This person is known as a substitute decision-maker. Join Graham Webb, Executive Director at the Advocacy Centre for the Elderly as he discusses the issues around health care consent, advance care planning, powers of attorney and substitute decision-making.

The Advocacy Centre for the Elderly (ACE) is a community legal clinic for low income senior citizens. ACE provides direct legal services to low-income seniors, public legal education, and engages in law reform activities.

Facilitator:

Graham Webb is a lawyer and the Executive Director at the Advocacy Centre for the Elderly since October 2016. Previously he had been a Staff Litigation Lawyer with the Advocacy Centre for the Elderly since May 1995. ACE gives direct client representation to older adults on age-related legal issues. He gives frequent legal education presentations on elder law issues to older adults and service providers, including police, health-care professionals and other lawyers.

He is a contributing author of Long-Term Care Facilities in Ontario: The Advocate's Manual, which is published by ACE, and is the author of journal and newsletter articles. He is a former editor-in-chief of the Journal of Law and Social Policy.

He has been a part-time evening instructor in Gerontology at Ryerson University, and has won an award from the Continuing Education Students' Association at Ryerson for excellence in teaching.

He is an elected member of the Canadian Bar Association, National Elder Law Section Executive Committee. He is a Distinguished Fellow of the Canadian Centre for Elder Law Studies.

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Elder Care: Helping Seniors Stay at Home

Join Lisa Manuel from the Family Service Association of Toronto for information on services and resources to assist your family member in staying at home.
This is the final session of the Caring for Aging Family Members Series.

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Elder Care: Help for the Caregiver

This workshop presented by the Toronto Community Care Access Centre will:

  • focus on community services available to assist you in providing care to an elderly person
  • provide you with information on the application process for admission into a long term care home and other community housing options
  • address caregiver stress and burnout with a focus on proving specific coping strategies

Facilitator:

Jennifer Thomas MSW, RSW: Care Coordinator with the Toronto Central CCAC for the past 9 years with over 12 years of experience working with seniors and their caregivers at home and in the community.

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Elder Care : Navigating the System

This interactive workshop will focus on helping you find the resources you need to care for your aging relative. It will assist you to find help in your community from healthcare to home care and from recreation to respite care. Community supports and long-term care are available but you need to know how to access and how to apply.

By the end of this session you will:

  • Understand the terminology used to describe the resources available when caring for an aging relative
  • You will know how to access and how to apply for community supports
  • Be familiar with some of the gaps and limitations in the system

Facilitator: Lynne Gallagher B.A., B.S.W., M.S.W., R.S.W. is a social worker and the Coordinator of Caregiver Education Programs for Family Service Toronto. She provides workshops on caregiving, aging, work and family issues, as well as individual and group counselling to seniors and caregivers.

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Elder Care: Seniors and Safety in the Home

Occupational therapists from VHA Rehab Solutions, a community based organization providing rehabilitation services to adults in their home will provide a presentation that will include the following:

  • Signs a caregiver should be looking for to determine a senior's safety
  • Assessing the need for assistive devices, mobility devices, home renovations and the services of a professional
  • Helpful commercial products versus prescribed devices and funding sources
  • Where to get advice and practical assistance and what help is out there and how to get the right help

Facilitator: Morgan Gadsby MSc OT Reg. (Ont.) and Andrea Cook OT Reg (Ont) are the Clinical Leads for Physical Medicine in the Toronto Central area, for which they orient new hires, act as mentors, and provide team support. They are also both active supporters of the student program and have taken on numerous University of Toronto OT students.

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Elder Care: Stress Management for Caregivers

This interactive elder care workshop will focus on the following areas:

  • Sources of stress in caregiving
  • Strategies for managing stress
  • Steps to reduce excess stress
  • Self-care techniques

Facilitator: Lynne Gallagher is a social worker and the Coordinator of Caregiver Education Programs for Family Service Toronto.

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Elder Care: Taking the 'Mystery' out of Retirement Living

Join Esther K.H. Goldstein of Retirement Residential Placement Service Inc. for an informative and practical session on the search for a retirement home. The following topics will be discussed:

  • What is a retirement home and who needs one?
  • How to look for a retirement home, including visiting tips
  • The emotional aspects of relocation and how to make the transition easier.

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Elder Care: The Resilient Caregiver

Learn and practice resilience based coping strategies that can help you and your family retain balance in your daily life!

Caring for a loved one is rewarding, but it also involves many changes and demands. Aging adults, especially those suffering from illness, disability or dementia, need special care that respects their well-being needs as well as our own. Building resilience is ensuring that you are prepared in times of high stress.

In this session, you will:

  • Learn self-care strategies.
  • Discover where you invest most of your physical and emotional energy and whether it's productive.
  • Uncover your coping style and learn practical tools that will help you and your family be more resilient in times of stress.

Facilitator: Anna Wesolinska is a Registered Gestalt Psychotherapist with a Masters degree in Adult Education and Community Development. She has a private practice and has been running workshops at the Gestalt Institute of Toronto, the North York Women's Centre, and the Family Care Office at the University of Toronto.

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Elder Care: The Role of the CCAC for the Caregiver

This workshop presented by the Toronto Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) will: 

  • focus on in-home and community services available to assist you in providing care to an elderly person
  • provide you with information on the application process for admission into a long term care home and other community housing options
  • address caregiver stress and burnout with a focus on proving specific coping strategies

Facilitator: Jennifer Thomas MSW, RSW: Care Coordinator with the Toronto Central CCAC for the past 13 years with over 16 years of experience working with seniors and their caregivers at home and in the community.

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Elder Care: Toronto CCAC

Toronto Central Community Care Access Centre: How we can help care for the caregiver

Are you providing care to an elderly person at home? Let us tell you how we, the Community Care Access Centre, and our community partners can help prevent your burnout and optimize your quality of life.

This 1 ½ hour workshop will focus on the community services available to assist you in providing care to an elderly person living in the community. We will also provide you with information on the application process for admission into a long term care home and other community housing options for consideration prior to making this application. Lastly, we will address caregiver stress and burnout with a focus on proving specific coping strategies.

By the end of this session you will:

  1. Be aware of publicly and privately funded community services and how to access them.
  2. Be familiar with the various housing options available across the continuum of care and have information on how to access them.
  3. Know the signs of caregiver stress and burnout.

Jennifer Thomas MSW RSW: Care Coordinator with the Toronto Central CCAC for the past 7 years with over 10 years of experience working with seniors and their caregivers at home and in the community.

Robin Baker, MSW, RSW: Care Coordinator with Toronto Central CCAC since May 2008 with previous experience working with seniors and their caregivers at home and in hospital rehab settings. Graduate of the U of T Faculty of Social Work.

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Elder Care Workshop: Understanding Alzheimer's Disease

In this session facilitated by the Alzheimer Society of Toronto for family caregivers, the following topics will be discussed:

  • Understanding Alzheimer's Disease and the connection between brain and behaviour
  • Recognizing signs and symptoms of Alzheimer's
  • General communication guidelines

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Elder Care: Understanding Canada's Retirement Income System - Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security

In this session, a representative from Service Canada will provide an overview of Canada's Pension Plan and Old Age Security. She will review eligibility requirements, the application process, and what your entitlements are. This session would be of benefit to those who may be retiring shortly or for individuals who may be caring for an aging relative who is entitled to these benefits.

By the end of this session you will understand how Canada's retirement income system is structured, what an individual is entitled to through CPP and OAS and what you need to do to receive these benefits.

The facilitator will also be available for questions after the session.

Facilitator: Sarita Censoni is a Public Liaison Officer with Service Canada

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Elder Care: Understanding Care in a Long-Term Care Home

Are you concerned about an elderly family member in a long-term care home? Do you have questions regarding quality of care? Are you in need of guidance and support?

Join Phyllis Hymmen of Concerned Friends of Ontario Citizens in Care Facilities for an informative and interactive workshop. The following topics will be discussed:

  • Recent changes affecting the quality of care in Ontario's long-term care homes
  • Rights and responsibilities within the long-term care system
  • Strategies and suggestions to help family members advocate for improved quality of care
  • Resources within the system to help

Concerned Friends of Ontario Citizens in Care Facilities is a non-profit corporation and registered charity dedicated to reform of the long-term care system and improvement of quality of life for residents.

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Elder Care: Understanding the Physical Aspects of Aging and Exercise

In this session, you will learn about the physiological consequences of aging, and their impact on functional mobility and carrying out the activities of daily living. The facilitators will also discuss the benefits of exercise in attenuating the loss of muscle mass and muscle quality with aging. General recommendations regarding exercise and some current research on the benefits of power training will be provided. The session will conclude with a brief description of some available facilities on campus for exercise participation and some practical tips and examples of exercises for getting started.

Facilitators: Catherine Amara is a professor at U of T's Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education. Her expertise includes aging and exercise, muscle health, mitochondrial function, cardiorespiratory physiology, and exercise tolerance. Dina Katsoulis is a senior doctoral student, and she is currently investigating how a lower-body, low intensity (40% of maximum) resistance training programme focusing on speed of movement, affects strength, power and overall function. As part of her investigation, she is interested in examining the effects of frequency of training (1, 2 and 3 times/week) on these outcome measures. Douglas Rosa is the coordinator for personal training & nutrition at U of T’s Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education. He has worked with different clientele to improve fitness and health, improve performance and prevent injury. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Physical Education and Health and is a certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS).

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Elder Care: Understanding the System

Trying to find the government, community and private resources to assist you to care for your aging relative in the home can be overwhelming. Who do you start with and what is available?

In this session, Zoe Levitt, M.S.W., R.S.W will guide you through:

  • The types of services and resources that are available for your elder relatives who are still living in their own homes
  • Finding and selecting available home care supports
  • How to access these supports and the costs that might be involved

Facilitator: Zoe Levitt is an Elder Care Consultant with a Masters' Degree in Social Work, she has been working with the elderly in their homes and in hospitals for more than 20 years.

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Elder Care Appointments

Are you caring for an aging relative and need some help?

A highly trained counsellor from Family Services Employee Assistance Programs will be available for a free 30 minute confidential appointment. She will be able to discuss with you any general elder care questions or personal concerns you may have on topics such as dealing with caregiver stress, understanding home care supports, how to decide on care facility options and more.

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Elder Care Fair

The Family Care Office will be hosting an Elder Care Fair for all students, staff and faculty. You will be able to obtain information on services and resources, related to elder care, by visiting the display tables of the following organizations:

*45 minute confidential counselling appointments
In addition to the displays, a counsellor from the Alzheimer Society will be on-site to provide 45 minute confidential counselling appointments from 9:15 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. This counsellor will be able to discuss with you any questions or personal concerns you may have about dementia, such as getting a diagnosis, immediate and future care, family matters, ethical issues, stress and coping techniques. Pre-registration is required for an appointment, please call 416-978-0951.

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Elder Care Information Day


Dealing with caregiver stress?

Lynne Gallagher, MSW, from Family Service Toronto will be available from 12noon-2pm in the Family Care Office and will be able to provide information and guidance if you are dealing with caregiver stress. She will also be able to provide an overview of the Seniors and Caregivers Support Services offered by FST.


Seniors and Safety in the Home

Occupational therapists from VHA Rehab Solutions, a community based organization providing rehabilitation services to adults in their home, will provide an introduction to:

  • signs a caregiver should be looking for to determine a senior's safety
  • assessing the need for assistive devices, home renovations, and the services of a professional
  • resources that are available to help a senior in their home

The facilitators of this session will be available after their session until 2pm in the Family Care Office and will have assistive devices for display.

Facilitators: Morgan Gadsby MSc OT Reg. (Ont.) and Andrea Cook OT Reg (Ont) are the Clinical Leads for Physical Medicine in the Toronto Central area, for which they orient new hires, act as mentors, and provide team support. They are also both active supporters of the student program and have taken on numerous University of Toronto OT students.

Please register early, space is limited! All students, staff, faculty and post-doctoral fellows are welcome.


Exploring Senior Housing Options

This information session is for family caregivers who are coming to the difficult realization that their elderly loved one may no longer be able to live in their current home and may have to relocate to a care facility. Join, Esther Goldstein, social worker and author of Comprehensive Guide to Retirement Living, as she reviews the different choices in senior housing and their key features.

The facilitator of this session will be available in the Family Care Office from 12 noon to 1pm and then after her session until 2pm. She will provide free copies of her book.

Facilitator: Esther Goldstein is a social worker and author of Comprehensive Guide to Retirement Living™. She worked as a hospital social worker in the GTA for 12 years primarily with the geriatric population and now currently works full-time on her publication.

Please register early, space is limited! All students, staff, faculty and post-doctoral fellows are welcome.


Coping with a loved one who may have Alzheimer's Disease?

Appointments will be scheduled between 9am-4pm

A highly trained counsellor from the Alzheimer Society of Toronto will be available for a free 45 minute confidential appointment on November 19th. She will be able to discuss with you any questions or personal concerns you may have about dementia, such as getting a diagnosis, immediate and future care, family matters, ethical issues, stress and coping techniques.

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Eliminating Power Struggles

Many families struggle for years with ongoing battles with their children. Join Karen Skinulis of the Parenting Education Centre of Ontario and learn how these power struggles can damage family relationships and what we can do to stop them. This workshop will focus on the problems of trying to use external control with children and alternatives to this discouraging and ineffective approach.

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Emotional Aspects of Separation and Divorce

If you've experienced a separation or divorce and are looking to understand and explore the emotional aspects of this difficult life transition, come join us for a lunch hour workshop on Friday October the 8th from 12:00 — 1:30pm.

In this workshop, you will learn and share tips for dealing with stress and the strong emotions associated with the separation/divorce process. We will also look at ways in which you can take a more active role in letting go of the relationship and begin to define your future.

Facilitator: Teresa Neves (M.S.W., R.S.W.) is a clinical social worker who provides child and adult counselling services in the public and private sector. In addition to her counselling experience with individuals and families who've experienced separation or divorce, Teresa has facilitated adult separation/divorce education and support groups.

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Expectant & New Moms' Group

Are you pregnant or have recently given birth? Do you feel like there are many things you would like to learn about your body, your baby, and what comes next? Learn more about pregnancy and life with a new baby with guest speakers, other moms-to-be and new moms. Ask questions, relax and chat about what is important for you now.

Come to:

  • Gain insight into various aspects of pregnancy including nutrition, emotional and physical changes, labour and delivery, and post-partum issues such as feeding your baby and taking care of yourself.
  • Find support and access resources.
  • Meet guest speakers, exchange ideas and experiences with other women regarding various aspects of pregnancy and life with baby.

Pregnant & postnatal students, staff, faculty, postdoctoral fellows and their babies are welcome to attend. Pre-registration required. Expectant and New Moms' Group is a collaborative initiative of the Family Care Office and the Lawrence Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing.

Fall 2011 Dates and Topics

September 28 Pregnancy Changes & Concerns
October 12 Pregnancy & Relationships: Keeping Them Healthy
October 26 Stages of Labours: Birthing Hopes & Fears
November 9 Feeding Your Baby
November 23 Sharing Experiences & Stories on Pregnancy, Birthing, Babies and the Changes in Your Life (non-facilitated session)

Facilitator: Maria Jardim is the Information and Outreach Coordinator for the Family Care Office.


Winter 2012 Dates and Topics

January 11 Caring for Yourself and Your Baby (Networking for last half hour)
Faciltator: Debra Williams-Conliffe, PHN
January 25 Strollers, Slings, Breast Pumps, and other gadgets
February 8 Oral and Dental Health of Infants and Young Children (Networking for last half hour)
Facilitator: Dr. Gajanan (Kiran) Kulkarni BDS, LL B, M Sc, D Ped Dent, Ph D, FRCD(C)
February 22 Infant Massage
Facilitator: Petrina Fava, RN, CIMT
March 7 Growth & Development (Networking for last half hour)
Facilitator: Debra Williams-Conliffe, PHN
March 21 Adjustments to New Life (Networking for last half hour)
Facilitator: Debra Williams-Conliffe, PHN

Fall 2012 Dates and Topics

September 19 Pregnancy Changes & Concerns
October 3 Relationships - Keeping Them Healthy
October 17 Stages of Labour - Birthing Hopes & Fears
November 7 Sharing experiences & stories on pregnancy, birthing, babies and the changes in your life
November 14 Bringing Baby Home

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Exploring Gender Neutral Parenting

Boys should play with trucks and Girls should play with Barbie? Societal expectations about gender often influence how we socialize and raise our children. In this workshop, parents will explore and discuss together the topic of gender neutral parenting. The following questions will be addressed: What is gender neutral parenting? How do parents model gender expectations? What impact does this have? Should boys and girls be parented differently? Is gender neutral parenting even possible? Join us to discuss some of these important questions!

Facilitator: Dr. Pat Durish, Women and Gender Studies

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Exploring the impact of a learning disability on your child's success in University — A Panel Discussion

Does your child have a learning disability or an autism spectrum disorder?

The Family Care Office and Accessibility Services will be hosting a panel and get together for students', staff or faculty children (Grade 7 or higher) (if your child cannot attend, please feel free to still register)who have a learning disability or autism spectrum disorder to meet with current U of T students with a learning disability/ASD. If your child cannot attend, please feel free to still register.

This will be an opportunity for your child to hear from current U of T students who can explain the impact of having an autism spectrum disorder or a learning disability on studying and succeeding at university. These students will discuss their transition to university, personal experiences and their coping strategies. There will also be an opportunity to ask these students questions and mix informally.

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Equipment & Gadgets you will really need & networking

A bi-monthly drop-in for U of T expecting and postnatal parents to:

  • Gain insight into various aspects of pregnancy including nutrition, emotional and physical changes, labour and delivery, and post-partum issues such as feeding your baby and adjusting to new life.
  • Find support and access resources.
  • Meet guest speakers, exchange ideas and experiences with other women regarding various aspects of pregnancy and life with baby.

Expectant parents who are U of T students, staff, faculty, postdoctoral fellows and their partners/spouses both are welcome to attend. Pre-registration required.
This program is a collaborative initiative of the Family Care Office and the Lawrence Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing.

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Faculty Panel: Managing Demands of Work and Family Life for Pre-tenure and Tenure Faculty

This panel discussion will provide you with an opportunity to hear from your colleagues who have managed the competing demands of building their career as a pre-tenure faculty member and dealing with their personal and family life. You will have an opportunity to hear their stories and to ask questions.

Panelists:

  • Sue Bondy, Assistant Professor, Dalla Lana School of Public Health
  • Michel Cottier, Assistant Professor, Classics
  • Amy Mullin, Professor, UTM Chair of Philosophy
  • Anna Shternshis, Assistant Professor, Yiddish and Diaspora Studies

Moderator: Francesca Dobbin, Director, Family Programs and Services

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Faculty Relocation Service (FRS) Training Session

As the University goes through this exciting and challenging time of recruiting new faculty, the Faculty Relocation Services can provide assistance to prospective and recently appointed faculty with most aspects of relocating to Toronto. In this session, we will review how FRS assists tenure stream faculty with their relocation concerns and how we can help with your department's recruitment strategy.

We will outline:

  • the process of ordering the kits and setting up appointments with our staff
  • what we discuss in a typical appointment and our available resources
  • inform you of the other services on-campus which can assist with relocation and recruitment issues

Representatives from the following office will review other programs and services which assist incoming faculty:

  • Office of the Vice President and Provost
  • Faculty Housing
  • Immigration
  • Dual Career Connection
  • Benefits
  • GCSE Tax Assistance

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Faculty Relocation Service Information Session (Staff only)

In this session, you will receive:

  • An overview of the service provided by the Faculty Relocation Service including how to arrange for appointments for prospective tenure and teaching stream faculty, and how to order faculty recruitment booklets
  • Information from guest speakers who will review Faculty Housing, Dual Career Connection, immigration, recruitment and banking services

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Faculty Spousal / Partner Network

Are you new to Toronto and need help in discovering what the city has to offer? This group will assist and guide new faculty spouses/partners with questions and concerns about Toronto. This will include an introduction to Toronto and the University. Discussion will involve schools, child care, immigration, entertainment and more. The Faculty Spousal/Partner Network will be a great opportunity to meet other faculty spouses/partners new to the city!

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Family Care Office Open House for Staff & Faculty

Drop-in and learn about the Family Care Office!

Learn about services and resources that the Family Care Office provides to support student parents and students who are caring for aging relatives. Meet the Family Care Office staff, browse through our library collection and pick up helpful resources.

No registration is required. Refreshments will be provided!

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Family Cooking on a Budget

Featuring a Cooking Demonstration for You and Your Family!
Healthy Snacks Your Children Can Make

  • Fun shaped finger sandwiches
  • Vegetable boats
  • Haystack cookies

Simple and Nutritious Food

  • Hummus
  • Tabouleh
  • Baba Ghannouj

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Family Day

Varsity Blues Women's Ice Hockey vs. Laurier
Free hot chocolate & cookies with U of T mascots True Blue and Blaze. All U of T families welcome. Free tickets available at the Family Care Office, 214 College St. Brought to you by the University of Toronto Family Care Office and the Faculty of Physical Education and Health.

Basketball Doubleheader vs. Ryerson
Pizza and drinks in the student lounge at 5:00 p.m. All U of T families welcome. Free tickets available at the Family Care Office, 214 College St. Brought to you by the University of Toronto Family Care Office and the Faculty of Physical Education and Health.

Children's Reading Series, Free.
Featuring Sharon Jennings: author of "Franklin the Turtle", "Jerimiah and Mrs. Ming".
Free snacks and art activity for kids.

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Family Day: Mini-Basketball Clinic and Basketball Women's Varsity Blues vs. Laurentian University

Family Basketball Clinic: Children 4 to 12 years of age and their parents will be able to practice their basketball skills on the Athletic Centre court from 4:00 to 5:30pm. Parents and guardians will be expected to participate with their children in the Basketball Clinic; we're hoping to raise awareness of healthy physical activity for the whole family. FREE pizza will be available afterwards for those participating in the clinic. Following the clinic, you can enjoy watching the women's basketball team at 6pm.

This free event is sponsored by the Faculty of Physical Education and Health & the Family Care Office.

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Family Law: Custody, Access & Child Support

Learn the basics of Family Law and what is involved in child support, custody claims, and access:

  • What is custody and different types of custody, what happens when parents do/do not agree, what courts look at in determining custody?
  • What is access?
  • Who is obligated to pay child support, how is the amount calculated, how long it lasts, when and how can you apply for it, how is it enforced? Q & A session will follow.

Facilitator: Downtown Legal Services

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Family Dynamics in Caregiving

This interactive workshop will focus on the following areas:

  • Communicating with family members
  • How to handle family conflicts
  • Dividing family responsibilities
  • Understanding sibling relationships

Facilitator: Lynne Gallagher is a social worker and the Coordinator of Caregiver Education Programs for Family Service Toronto.

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Family Events

Are you looking for fun family activities? Looking for fun, on-campus family event? Check out these upcoming Saturday activities organized by the Family Care Office. See the Varsity Blues men's hockey team face off against the York Lions at the Varsity Arena on Saturday, November 1, 2003 - Fun starts at 6:30 p.m. On Saturday, November 15 come to Family Day at the Athletic Centre and see the Varsity Blues basketball team take on the Waterloo Warriors - ball drops at 6:00 p.m. And on Saturday November 22nd, Hart House is housing a family-friendly book reading. Come out and enjoy the fun!

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Family Events: Astronomy Adventure

Join us as we visit the University of Toronto Planetarium for an exciting show and chance at viewing through a telescope. If we have clear weather that night, let the waxing moon show you the star Aldebaran, the brightest star in the constellation Taurus the Bull; we will also be able to see Jupiter and its moons and Sirius.

Please note that we might only be able to see the Toronto skyline if it is cloudy, but we will still get to fly through the solar system in the planetarium no matter what the weather is like. This event is for children Grades 3 to 8 (children from 8 to 14 years of age), and at least one of their parents must be a current student, staff, faculty or postdoctoral fellow. Children need to be accompanied by an adult (only one adult per family please, as we want to make room for as many children as possible). Event co-sponsored by the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics and the Family Care Office.

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Family Events: Bike Mechanics for Kids - P.A. Day event!

BikeChain logoBring your children (4-12 years old) on campus to learn how to keep their bikes in top condition, including bike maintenance and safety. Stick around after the workshop to have a mechanic check your child's bike to make sure it's safe and ready to ride. You'll be all set for summer!

This event is a collaboration with BikeChain, a not-for-profit cycling organization based at the University of Toronto.

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Family Events: Craft Fun for Kids

Join us for a morning of various craft stations for children ages 0 to 12 years of age, from colouring mandalas to friendship bracelets to painting exquisite images with unusual gadgets. Children are to be supervised by parents/caregivers at all times. U of T students, staff, postdoctoral fellows and faculty are welcome to register. Event co-sponsored by Hart House, the ELC Family Resource Centre and the Family Care Office.

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Family Events: Family Skate

Join us for some Winter fun on ice! Bring your own skates (adult skates will be available to borrow, sizes are not guaranteed), helmets and good spirits. CSA approved helmets are mandatory for children and strongly recommended for adults in order to protect oneself from potential concussion injuries. One adult wearing skates must be on the ice at all times with their child.

This event is a collaboration between the Family Care Office and the Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education.

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Family Events: Saturday Drop-in for U of T Families

An opportunity for U of T families to connect and network in a relaxed setting, while their children (up to 5 years of age) interact and play in the same room. U of T students, staff, faculty, postdoctoral fellows and their families are welcome to attend. Weather permitting we will be using the ELC playground.

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Family Events: U Can Move and Varsity Blues Swimming

Join Varsity Blues and Junior Blues for a fun-filled afternoon of activity! Families will participate in the U Can Move Physical Literacy program, and then cheer on the Varsity Blues swim team in the U of T Downtown Sprint Meet.

What is the U Can Move program?

Physical literacy is an essential part of a healthy and active lifestyle! Just like ABCs are important in learning how to read, Fundamental Movement Skills (FMS) and Fundamental Sports Skills (FSS) are building blocks that allow children to move with confidence, play with skill and have fun in the long term! Being active for life is the ultimate goal.

On October 22nd from 3:10 - 4p.m. you'll have the chance to participate in:
Active Start with caregiver — Children walking to age 4
Active Start + FUNdamentals — Children ages 4 - 12

Varsity Blues Swimming

At 4:30 the Men's and Women's Varsity Blues swim teams participate in the U of T Downtown Sprint Meet in the Varsity Pool at the Athletic Centre. Learn more by visiting www.varsityblues.ca

Additional Notes:

  • Children should dress for physical activity, in running shoes and comfortable clothing.
  • Children under the age of four MUST participate with an adult and a maximum of two children per adult is permitted.
  • This is a not a drop off program, caregivers must remain at all times.
  • A small snack is provided; you may want to bring more food, and are permitted to eat in the pool gallery.
  • Absolutely NO GLASS is permitted in the pool gallery.
  • The Varsity Pool gallery can be very hot, crowded and loud at swim meets. You may want to bring earplugs for children. The gallery is concrete with many stairs. Please supervise younger children carefully and remain within arm's reach at all times for safety. Strollers cannot be brought into the pool gallery, but may be left outside the gallery.

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Family Events: U Can Move and Varsity Hockey Game

U Can Move: Children 4 to 12 years of age will be able to run, kick and play in the Varsity Dome while developing physical literacy skills. This activity will be led by Junior Blues instructors. Parents and guardians will be expected to remain in the dome during the program. After the U Can Move Program, you can enjoy watching the Men's Varsity Blues hockey game. U of T will be playing against York University. Free hot chocolate will be provided during the game.

This event is sponsored by the Varsity Blues, Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education and the Family Care Office.

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Family Events: Welcome Event for Student Parents and their Families

Lunch will be provided. We plan to offer pizza for children, sandwiches, fruit and veggie trays, and water. Please let us know if you have any dietary restrictions.

The start of the new academic year is an exciting time not only for student parents, but also for their partners and children. Our goal for the Welcome Event is to give student parents an opportunity to meet other students and their families and to get to know the Family Care Office staff and mentors. You will be able to attend a workshop on Building Resiliency through Mindfulness while your children are supervised in the same building by our staff.

Children will be supervised on the Early Learning Playground or indoors if it rains. Children two years of age or younger are welcome to stay with their parents during the workshop.
This event is open to U of T students, their children and partners.

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Family Law Satellite Clinic (Downtown Legal Services)

Law students from Downtown Legal Services will provide legal information and referrals for students, staff and faculty with a legal question.

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Family Movie: Homeward Bound — The Incredible Journey

Three pets (Chance, a young dog unfamiliar with the world; Shadow, an aging, wise dog; and Sassy, a snobby cat) are left behind when their family goes on vacation. Unsure of what happened, the animals set out on a quest to find their family, risking their lives, while their family searches for them in the same areas.

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Family Safety and CPR - Life Skills Class (non-certified)

Participants will learn what to do in case of bleeding, seizures, safety, falls, poison, burns, preventive measures, and CPR for infants, children, and adults.

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Father's Group

Nobody gives you training to be a father and kids certainly don't come with a user's guide or an owner's manual. Is balancing children, work and studies a constant challenge or your greatest accomplishment? Meet other fathers at U of T to discuss issues, find out about resources and share insights.

This is an ongoing group open to faculty, staff and students with meetings scheduled for every other Thursday. The times and dates of meetings may change depending on scheduling preferences of group members. Future activities of the Father's Group may include videos and guest speakers!

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Father Engagement: Why it Matters

If you're a Dad, you want to be involved in your child's life. If you're a Mom,


you want your partner involved, too. But do you know why father engagement matters? In this workshop we'll talk about our motivations to be engaged parents, and you'll learn what the research says about the positive impacts of father engagement--for children, spouses, families, and fathers, too!

Facilitator: Kevin Black is a PhD student at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, where one of his research projects involves studying the social marketing of father engagement in the "early years." Prior to this, Kevin worked in the social service sector, including five years leading two community-based research and communications projects that promoted the importance of investing in early childhood development. He also gets to practice what he studies, since he is the father of two young daughters.

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Fatherhood right from start

Dads leave an indelible mark on their children and it starts right from the moment a man knows he is going to become a dad. Fatherhood Right from the Start is for those who have a baby on the way and for those whose babies have arrived within the past year. We will look at the roles a dad can take with his children, the adjustments that keep us on our toes as new dads, and the keys to maintaining a strong relationship with your partner. When you father right from the start you will set a foundation for a strong, vibrant relationship with your family.

Facilitator: Brian Russell is a Parent Educator with the LAMP Early Years Services in Toronto and the Provincial Coordinator of Dad Central Ontario.

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FCO March Break Activities: African Drumming Workshop for Kids

Captivate and inspire your child with the universal language of drumming!

Join us for a passionate, hands-on, and interactive workshop on African drumming that will bring out the best in your child. Drums will be provided to participants for use in the workshop. For children 4-12 years of age. All children must be supervised by parents/caregivers.

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FCO March Break Activities: Craft Fun for Kids

It's time to get crafty!

Join us for a morning full of arts and crafts including colouring and painting. Children will also create and decorate their very own kaleidoscope and learn how to peer out of it with one eye. For children 4 -12 years of age. All children must be supervised by parents/caregivers. Event co-sponsored by the Family Care Office and Hart House.

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FCO March Break Activities: Skygazing Adventure

Join us as we fly through the solar system in the planetarium show and visit the observation floor!

Gaze through a telescope and view the city line or if the night is clear, observe the Full Worm Moon (or Sap Moon, or Full Crow Moon, or Full Crust Moon!), as North American Natives named this moon! Open to children ages 6 - 10 years (of current U of T students, staff, postdoctoral fellows and faculty) with one adult only please. Event co-sponsored by the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics and the Family Care Office.

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FCO Open House

Visit the Family Care Office and meet other parents on campus. Join us for Face Painting, Arts and Crafts, Storytelling for Kids, Prize Draw and Free Pizza.

Schedule of Events:

All day — Pizza Lunch! Face painting for the kids! Arts and Crafts!

12-2pm — Obtain information on services and resources by visiting the display tables of many organizations supporting families in the community:
  • Athletic Centre
  • Kids and Company
  • Toronto Parks and Recreation
  • Toronto Public Library
  • Toronto Public Health
  • Toronto Preschool Speech & Language Services
  • Toronto Community Care Access Centre
  • Student Family Housing, and more...

1pm & 3pm — Storytelling for the kids told by staff from the Toronto Public Library

1pm — Child Care Subsidy Workshop!

4 pm — Prize Draw

All U of T families are welcome!

Prize draw is generously sponsored by Parentbooks, Hart House Theatre, the Faculty of Physical Education and Health and Body Blitz Spa.

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Feeding Your Preschool Child: Encouraging children to try new foods

Join Sinéad Rafferty, Early Childhood Educator working with preschool children and their families at the U of T Early Learning Centre to:

  • Build an understanding of the developmental issues of the preschool child and how they relate to healthy eating habits
  • Learn about the role parents and caregivers play in influencing preschooler eating patterns
  • Learn fun and creative ways to support children in trying new foods that also encourages positive self-esteem and healthy eating experiences

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Filing for the First Time: An Introduction to Canadian Taxes

Ruth Reimer from Green, Chencinski, Starkman and Eles (CGSE) will introduce the process of filing taxes in Canada and discuss some of the details of filing in both Canada and the US. A concurrent session will answer questions for those completing forms for countries other than the US.

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Financial Survival for Students with Family Responsibilities

Having trouble staying afloat?

Supporting yourself and a partner, children or other dependents while in school can make for a tight budget.

Join us to learn what financial resources are available to you, funding options for both undergraduate and graduate students, and financial tips & money management strategies.

This event is geared to U of T graduate and undergraduate students.

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Financial Survival for Student Families: Getting Out of Debt

By the end of this workshop, students will be able to:

  • Learn to navigate the credit rating system.
  • Identify specific debt management strategies and tips, including creating a realistic budget that incorporates saving for debt payment, ten rules of money management, dealing with creditors and collectors, and consumer rights.
  • Share and discuss resources that will help to better position themselves financially while in school.

Facilitator: Mark Tsipilevich, Education Coordinator, Credit Counselling Canada

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Financial Survival for Student Families: Learn how to manage your money, get out debt, and use taxes to your advantage

Are you a student struggling to cover the costs of your education and living expenses? Even if your tuition fees are covered by the departmental funding, scholarships or bursaries, supporting a family in Toronto can be expensive and many students struggle to afford the costs of living during their time at the university.

During this event, we will be talking about support services offered by the university, extended health & dental insurance, and money and debt management. Money Management for Student Families, a seminar facilitated by a financial planner - Monique Madan, will provide you with important tools to help you manage your money and debt today - and upon graduation. Following the seminar, we will offer a Q&A with SGS financial counsellors and Enrolment Services.

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Financial Survival Workshop & Fair

Learn about helpful financial resources & information, including:

  • Practical ways of budgeting and saving money
  • OSAP
  • On Campus Student Services
  • On campus jobs
  • Student discounts
  • UTSU Dollar for Daycare Grant
  • Dealing with debt
  • Planning for after graduation
  • Tax credits and deductions
  • Extended Health & Dental benefit plans
  • What grant committees are looking for
  • Family resources

Guest speaker: Anne Arbour, Financial Educator, Credit Counselling Society

This workshop is a collaboration of the University of Toronto Students Union (UTSU) and the Family Care Office.

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Financial Tips for Student Parents

Are you an undergraduate full or part-time student parent? Strapped for money?

Learn how to best fill out the UTSU Dollars for Daycare application to help pay for your childcare-related expenses, even if you are already receiving child care subsidies. Find out about additional UTSU services to help you stretch your dollars including the Extended Health and Dental Plan, the free Income Tax Clinic, the Food Bank service, photocopying service and more!

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Finding Your Balance: A Conference for Students with Family Responsibilities

Join us on Friday, May 25th for a conference created to help students navigate the challenges of balancing family responsibilities with education.

Welcoming Remarks: Dr. Lee Maracle

Lee Maracle is a Sto:Loh nation, grandmother of four, mother of four who was born in North Vancouver, BC. Her works include: the novels, Ravensong, Bobbi Lee, Sundogs, short story collection, Sojourner's Truth, poetry collection, Bentbox, and non-fiction work I Am Woman. She is Co-editor of My Home As I Remember and Telling It: Women and Language Across Cultures, editor of a number of poetry works, Gatherings journals and has published in dozens of anthologies in Canada and America. Ms. Maracle is a both an award winning author and teacher. She currently is Mentor for Aboriginal Students at University of Toronto where she also is a teacher and also the Traditional Cultural Director for the Indigenous Theatre School, where she is a part-time cultural instructor.

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Bonnie Fox

Bonnie Fox taught at Dalhousie, Trent, York and King's College (UWO) before coming to U of T. She has written and done research on feminist theory, gender segregation and competition in the labour force, workplace restructuring, the development of gender divisions in the transition to parenthood, and the social relations of childbirth. Her books, When Couples Become Parents: The Creation of Gender in the Transition to Parenthood (University of Toronto Press) & the third edition of her anthology, Family Patterns, Gender Relations (Oxford UP) were published in 2009.

1. Time and Stress Management for Students with Family Responsibilities

Is time and time management making you stressed? And stress messing with your time management? In this workshop, designed for students with family responsibilities, we will examine the relationship between time and stress, identify strategies to improve time and stress management and practice some basic skills.

Facilitator: Andrea Graham is a Learning Skills Counsellor at the University of Toronto’s Academic Success Centre.

2A. Money Management for Student Families

Are you a student and struggling to cover the costs of your education and living expenses? Well, you are in good company! Even if your tuition fees are covered by department funding, scholarships or bursaries, living in or commuting to downtown Toronto can be expensive. In addition, you have family responsibilities at the same time that you are investing your time and earnings towards a higher education. No wonder so many are saddled with a heavy debt load upon graduation.

Most students struggle to afford their costs of living during their period of study. This 60 minute seminar will provide you with some important tools to help you manage your money and debt today -and upon graduation.

Topics will include: Budgeting; Optimizing banking relationships; Debt and Tax issues

Facilitator: Monique Madan is a leading fee-for-service financial planner dedicated to helping individuals and companies realize their financial goals.

2B. Taking Your Whole Self to School

All of us have many parts, but students with family responsibilities have perhaps even more. What parts of you never go to school (or are never seen at home)? What feeds your vitality? What if you could bring that energy with you? Using writing exercises and concrete objects, explore the possibility of bringing your whole self to school and home again.

Facilitator: Ronna Bloom is the University of Toronto's Poet in Community.

3A. Building Your Child’s Self Esteem

Encouragement is more than saying “You’re a great kid”. This workshop will give you the strategies you need to help your child feel self-confident and happy with her or himself ---just as she or he is. Research has shown that children with high self-esteem have an advantage in dealing with life's challenges. Perfectionism, praise, and handling mistakes positively are all examined in this enlightening workshop.

Facilitator: Karen Skinulis is a Certified Montessori Director and has worked extensively as a teacher and a parent educator. She is a co-author of two parenting books and one teacher's book on classroom management.

3B. Finding "Family Friendly" Work

Learn and plan how to find work that will fit into your life and your family responsibilities. This hands-on session will provide an exchange of career information, ideas and strategies that will help you with all aspects of the career development process such as resume writing and identifying family-friendly employers.

Facilitator: Suhan Hanifa is an Employment Coach at the University of Toronto.

PLUS Leadership Lunchtime Café and FREE Family Marketplace!

Who can attend? UofT undergraduate, graduate students and post-doctoral fellows with family responsibilities.

Breakfast and lunch provided! Free child care, disability related accommodations, or special dietary requirements can be arranged through the Family Care Office.

For more details and to register please visit: http://uoft.me/findingbalance

Sponsored by: Family Care Office, Student Life Programs and Services, Career Centre, Academic Success Centre, First Nations House and Student Family Housing.

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Free Movies for UofT families

This movie is more appropriate for young children (4 to 8 years old); its runtime is 81 minutes.

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From Cohabitation to Divorce: What You Should Know About Family Law

Come hear an experienced family lawyer discuss the following important questions:

  • Common law relationships - what rights and obligations do you really have?
  • Cohabitation agreements and marriage contracts - what's the difference? when do you need one?
  • "I want to get married but afraid of the financial effects if we were to divorce. How do I protect myself?"
  • "I want to have kids but am afraid of a custody battle if my relationship ends. How do I protect myself?"
  • "I am separated and headed for divorce - how do I protect myself?"

A question and answer session will follow.

Facilitated by Ingrid van Weert, Barrister & Solicitor.

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From Theory to Practice: Developmental Strategies for your Child's Success (0-5-yr olds)

This interactive workshop will introduce child development theory to assist you in ensuring your child reaches his or her full potential. Strategies will be developed that will turn everyday activities into wonderful learning opportunities for infants, toddlers and preschool age children. Workshop's informal format will allow for lively brainstorming and discussion.

Facilitators:Christine Cadieux, Faculty of Child Studies, Centennial College and Nicole Grignard, Early Childhood Educator

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From Theory to Practice: Developmental Strategies for your Infant & Toddler's Success

This workshop will introduce child development theory to assist you in helping your infant and toddler reach their full potential. Practical strategies that can turn everyday activities into wonderful learning opportunities for infants and toddlers will also be discussed.

Facilitator: Simone Castellino is the Assistant Director of the Queen's Park Child Care Centre.

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Halloween Costume Making Workshop

In this fun and creative workshop - for any and all skill levels - we will be learning three different easy to make Halloween costumes for kids. You are welcome to make up to two costumes being taught. You are also welcome to bring in any costume you are already working on if you are looking for assistance. All materials will be provided.

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Halloween Party for Student Families

The Native Students' Association in collaboration with First Nations House, Transitional Year Program and the Family Care Office invites everyone to dress up and join us for some ghoulish games, freaky fun, and frightening food!

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Healthy School Lunches and Family Meals

During this workshop we will discuss the fundamentals of meal planning - why, how and where to start, for a healthy energy packed lunch. Daunting and as overwhelming it seems, it can take less than 20 minutes to do, alleviate major daily stress and cut down on your grocery bill. We will discuss:

Kids and Back to School Lunch

  • The essentials of what makes an energy packed lunch.
  • How to ensure that the lunchbox comes home empty.
  • Ideas to keep you going throughout the year.

Family Meal Planning

  • Meal planning for the whole family, even the picky eaters.
  • Easy ways to keep it going and not fall off the planning wagon!
  • Staples needed in the kitchen to pull off fast and simple meals when you are pressed for time.

Bring your favourite recipes that you use a regular basis to share with others! Let's make this workshop as collaborative as we can!

Each participant will receive a Super Smart Kids Breakfast and Lunch Meal Plan.

Facilitator: Lianne Phillipson-Webb (Dip. ION and RNCP) is the founder of Sprout Right, a unique health and nutrition service specializing in pre-conception, pre-natal and post-natal care. Lianne graduated with Honours from The Institute for Optimum Nutrition in London, England in 1999. She is a Registered Nutrition Consultant Practitioner and a member of the Nutritional Consultants Organization of Canada. Lianne has been featured on many TV shows including City TV's Breakfast Television and CityLine and Canada AM. Lianne is also a contributor to the following online magazines SweetMama.com, WeeWelcome.ca, iVillage.ca, and SleepDoula.com.

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Help!!! I am the Parent of a Teen

Join us for a discussion on what is going on in your teen's life and parenting strategies for dealing with these issues in a positive way. Bring your topics for discussion, which will include:

  • Teen developmental stages and challenges
  • Drugs and alcohol
  • Sexuality
  • Peer pressure
  • What doesn't work

The workshop will be presented by Lynne Mitchell M.E.S., M. Ed., R.S.W. Lynne is a registered social worker in private practice in the area of individuals, relationships and families with a special interest in adolescents and young adults. She has extensive experience delivering parent support groups and workshops in workplace settings. She was a clinical supervisor for 18 years at Youth Clinical Services, where she worked with teens and their families.

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Helping Children Adjust to Separation and Divorce

This introductory workshop will explore how parents can effectively protect their children from conflict during the separation and divorce process. The workshop will then be followed with a question and discussion period.

Facilitator: Michael A. Saini, PhD, is an Associate Professor at the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto. For the past 15 years, he has been conducting custody evaluations and assisting children's counsel for the Office of the Children's Lawyer, Ministry of the Attorney General in Ontario. He is a parent coach to assist parents with the transition of separation and he has written in the area of high conflict, alienation, supervised visitation, virtual visitation and parent competencies post separation and divorce.

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Helping Children Cope with Separation and Divorce (Webinar)

Divorce is painful and confusing. How you handle it influences how your child will cope. Children need empathy, love and support at a time when parents may have less to draw on themselves. This webinar is intended to provide participants with a deeper understanding of what goes on in the hearts and minds of children of all ages in the wake of marital disruption, so that parents can help foster their children's resilience.

The webinar will also describe how to explain divorce to children, and address common responses such reunification fantasies, separation anxiety and anger. It will also note a few tips on how to support children who have witnessed parental conflict.

Facilitator: Lynda Fernyhough, MA, Homewood Health. Lynda has approximately 30 years of experience working with children and families, which includes working as a counsellor in Vancouver elementary and high schools, as well as in private practice. In addition to working as a counsellor, Lynda currently works as a parenting coach, helping individuals and families change interpersonal dynamics that are not serving them well.

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Helping Students Through Crisis

Session I: A Referral Guide for Front Line Staff

Front line staff are often the first people to whom students turn when they face personal difficulties. This session, the first of a two-part series, will provide participants with the skills to effectively help students through crisis. This interactive workshop is designed to help front line staff master the art of effective referrals - from how to identify students in difficulty, to when to provide an immediate referral, where to go for assistance in emergency situations, and who to consult. We will be working from the University of Toronto information booklet entitled Connections: Identifying and Referring Students in Difficulty, as well as practicing referral skills using an interactive demonstration.

Session II: A Resource Guide for Front Line Staff

Front line staff are often the first people to whom students turn when they face personal difficulties. This session, the second of a two-part series, will build on the knowledge and skills gathered in the first session. A comprehensive overview will be presented on many of the services that can help students, particularly those with family responsibilities. Types of information that will be covered include the following:

  • Overview of On Campus Student Services and their Programs
  • Emergency Housing
  • Child Care: Subsidies and Emergency Care
  • Health and Dental Coverage
  • Resources to Deal with Abuse (Spousal, Child)
  • Assistance with Food and Clothing
  • Culturally Specific Services and Unique Resources for Women
  • Neighbourhood, Community & Social Services

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Helping Your Child Develop Social Skills

Meet the challenges of parenting by helping your child become more socially competent, and set the stage for building relationships. In this workshop you will:

  • Analyze your own and your child's Social Skills
  • Learn ways to teach your child etiquette, conversation, conflict resolution and problem solving skills, and
  • Help build your child's self esteem through encouragement and respect

This workshop will focus on 5 - 12 years old.

Facilitator: Judy Gast, Family Education Centre

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Helping Your Child Succeed at School

Every parent wants their child to be happy and successful at school. Many working parents struggle with knowing how to support their children with school-related activities. This session invites participants to seek a partnership between each child, the school and themselves as parents. This partnership creates positive structure at home to support their children's experience at school, and looks for ways to reward effort rather than outcomes.

During this 1 hour wellness session participants will:

  • Learn to build partnerships between each child, the school and yourselves as parents;
  • Discover how to create a positive structure at home to support your children's experience at school;
  • Become aware of ways to reward effort rather than outcomes

Facilitator: Homewood Health

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Helping Your Child Succeed in School

  • Are you concerned about how your child is doing in school?
  • Are you unsure about how to approach a parent-teacher conference?
  • Join an experienced teacher and a principal to discuss topics including: choices of school programs, parent-teacher relationship, parent involvement, and LGBTQ concerns.

*This will be a general presentation and it is not necessary that your child attends this school.

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Helping Your Child Through a Separation or Divorce

In this workshop facilitated by Susan Garrod-Schuster, the video "Healing Wounded Hearts" will be shown. This video features a collection of children's voices who are living with parental separation. Following the video will be a question and answer period and strategies for coping will be shared.

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Homeschooling Information Session

Have you ever considered of homeschooling for your children? Are you looking for more information on one of the various education options available for kids in Ontario? If you answered yes to either of these questions, this workshop is for you. The Homeschooling Information Session will give you a chance to learn about homeschooling and get answers to all of your burning questions. Through this session you will:

  • Learn how homeschooling works in Ontario including related regulations and processes
  • Gain a better understanding of the benefits and potential challenges of homeschooling
  • Learn about creating a learning curriculum and finding resources and support
  • Have an opportunity to ask questions and gain insight from a parent who homeschooled his child

Facilitator: Carlo Ricci is a Professor at the Schulich School of Education, Nipissing University, a representative with the Ontario Federation of Teaching Parents and a parent who homeschooled his daughter. Professor Ricci founded and edits the Journal of Unschooling and Alternative Learning (JUAL). He has published a number of books and articles including, The Willed Curriculum, Unschooling, and Self-Direction: What Do Love, Trust, Respect, Care, and Compassion Have To Do With Learning? (2012) and Natural Born Learners: Unschooling and Autonomy in Education (co-edited with Beatrice Ekwa Ekoko (2014).His research interests include Unschooling; Homeschooling; Holistic Education; Self-determined Learning; Free Schools; Democratic Schools; Online Learning; Technology and Learning; Play; Natural Learning; Curiosity; Willed Learning; and the Willed Curriculum."

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How not to fall through the cracks — a Single Parents' Guide to Financial Survival

Are you a single, undergraduate student parent? Having trouble staying afloat? Do you want to learn and exchange tips about financial survival? Come to the Single Parents' Financial Survival Workshop organized for students by students to learn about:

  • money management and budgeting
  • credit and debt — how to manage it and what to do when things go wrong
  • access to scholarships, grants, bursaries, and community resources
  • transitioning from Ontario Works

This event is sponsored by a number of U of T Departments, including Admissions & Awards, Woodsworth College, and UTSU.

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How to Choose the Right School for Your Child

This session will help parents determine what factors should be taken into account when choosing an elementary and junior high school to enable children reach their full learning potential.

  • Learn about Toronto District School Board elementary, alternative and specialized schools, such as: French Immersion Schools, Alternative Schools or Afrocentric Alternative Schools
  • Find out how to work with the school if your child has special needs, needs extra resource help, or is interested in extracurricular activities

Discussion Panellists:

  • Karen Falconer, TDSB Superintendent
  • Angela Marsh, TDSB School Principal

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How to Choose the Right Secondary School for your Child

This session will help parents determine what factors should be taken into account when choosing a secondary school. Parents will:

  • Learn about Toronto District School Board secondary schools including alternative & specialized schooling options;
  • Find out what questions you need to consider in your decisions and what resources are available to help you decide;
  • Find out how to work with the school if your child has special needs, needs extra resource help, or is interested in certain extracurricular activities.

Panelists: Karen Falconer, TDSB Superintendent and Sheryl Freeman, Principal at Central Technical School

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How to Choose the Right Elementary School for Your Child with Special Needs

This session will help parents determine what factors should be taken into account when choosing an elementary school to enable children to reach their full learning potential.

In this session you will:

  • Learn about how the Toronto District School Board works to accommodate childrens special needs both in a variety of mainstream classroom environments and in Intensive Support programs;
  • Find out how to work with the school if your child has special needs or needs extra resource help.

Panelists: Karen Falconer, TDSB Superintendent; Cindy Jaques, TDSB Coordinator (Acting), Low Incidence Special Education; and Dr. Mary Pugh, U of T Faculty, Special Needs Parent and Member of the TCDSB Special Education Advisory Committee

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How to Find Reliable & Quality HomeCare Services

This workshop will help you find a Nanny or a Caregiver who is the 'right fit for your family', who shares your values and has required qualifications and training for the job.

At the end of the workshop you will be familiar with:

  • The Live-in Caregiver Programme which brings foreign Nannys/Caregivers to Canada, or employs people already living in the GTA
  • Interview techniques, reference checks and preparing a contract
  • The costs of this type of child/elder/special needs care in your home
  • Experiences of other people who hired a Nanny on their own

Panelists:

  • Arlene Stein, Director of Events and Catering, Hart House
  • Samira Lall, Amacare Inc, Nanny Recruitment and Placement Agency
  • Kaye Francis, Manager of the Family Care Office, currently on maternity leave
  • A representative from Intercede, non-profit community based organization for the rights of domestic workers, caregivers and newcomers

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How to Have Great Family Vacations on a Shoestring Budget

Join us for ideas on how to plan fun-filled vacations with your child/children without breaking the bank. This practical session will answer participants' questions, such as:

  • Which attractions can my kids and I see for free?
  • How can I save money on accommodation and meals?
  • Which websites can help me find cheap plane tickets?
  • How can I take my kids to Disneyworld without blowing the family budget?

Facilitator: Robert Lynn, Portfolio Manager at U of T Rotman School of Management

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How To Make Your Own Baby Food

Cooking your own baby food is easy and affordable and, best of all, you know exactly what's in it! At the end of this workshop the participants will be able to:

  • Use simple equipment to make baby food
  • Know how and when to introduce solid foods
  • Compare homemade and store-bought baby food
  • Adapt the food their family is eating to their baby's needs
  • Handle and store food safely

Facilitator: Marcela Jaramillo has been working for FoodShare for many years as a facilitator for the Cooking Your Own Babyfood workshops.

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How to Own Your Own Your Dream Home

Come out and learn first hand everything you need to know about buying and owning your own dream home.

  • Identify the major factors to be considered, and decide if home ownership is right for you
  • Identify resources available to first time home buyers
  • Assess your housing needs
  • Determine various costs of home ownership and what you can afford to buy

Presented by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation,Housing Services and the Family Care Office at U of T

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How to Unlock the Best in our Children and Ourselves

We all want to help our kids become caring, courageous, positive and principled people. But in today's hectic, information-overdosed world there seem to be a thousand influences on them that we are not always happy about. And when they don't act like the kind of people we hoped they would be, we often feel out of control, out of ideas and worried about how to turn things around.

Would you like to see your children:

  • Taking greater initiative at home and school?
  • Able to put themselves in others' shoes?
  • Taking more responsibility for their actions?
  • Valuing togetherness as a family and wanting to spend more time with you?
  • Consistently treating peers, adults and themselves with respect?
  • Being honest even when the truth is difficult to share?
  • Courageously facing fears and persisting through challenges?
  • Less influenced by negative peer pressure and able to stand up for what they believe in?

Join Sara Dimerman for a one hour seminar (plus Q & A) on how to accomplish this.

Facilitator:

Sara Dimerman has been a therapist and educator for over twenty years. She is one of North America's most trusted parenting and relationship experts and the author of three books - 'Am I A Normal Parent?', 'Character Is the Key' and a book for couples - 'How can I be your Lover when I'm too Busy being your Mother?'

A complimentary copy of Sara's book 'Character at the Key' will be given to one of the seminar's attendees as part of a draw. Everybody else can purchase Sara's book after the workshop at a discounted rate of $20.00.

Visit www.helpmesara.com or folllow Sara @helpmesara

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I Don't See What You Mean: How Communication Styles Affect Family Dynamics

A Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) Workshop.

Explore different communication styles and understand their impact on your family dynamics. Use the patterns of personality type described in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) to communicate effectively, and to appreciate personal differences. During this full-day workshop, you will experience "personality in action" through a few interactive challenges and discussions, and become more aware of your communication preferences. By the end of the workshop, you will:

  • Receive a personalized MBTI report describing communication style preferences
  • Recognize how various problem solving and decision making methods impact people close to you
  • Learn how to use the diversity of communication styles to help improve your interaction with your family members and others

Facilitator: Carlos Esteves is a training and development professional with fifteen years of experience as a manager and senior leader in the creation and implementation of customer satisfaction and team communication improvement workshops, including Myers Briggs Type Indicator workshop.

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Impact of Separation and Divorce on Children

Caroline Rabbat has over twenty years experience working in the field of children and adult mental health and has facilitated numerous workshops and presentations on the impact of separation/divorce on children. Participants in this workshop will have an opportunity to discuss issues impacting children when parents separate/divorce and be provided with practical parenting strategies to address those issues.

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In/Fertility & Beyond

If you want to have children and are looking for some general information on fertility, have tried for 6-12 months without success, or think that your biological clock is running out, this workshop will provide an opportunity to interact with a fertility counsellor and to empower you on the journey to parenthood.

At the end of the session, you will be able to:

  • Plan how to seek a fertility specialist and when to do it
  • Access resources on various assisted reproductive technologies
  • Identify treatment options for men and women, same-sex and heterosexual couples
  • Discuss the cost of fertility medications and procedures

Facilitator: Jan Silverman is a fertility program specialist and health educator at Women's College Hospital.

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Increase Your Cultural Fluency — A Key to an Effective Transition to Your New Life in Canada

Although many newcomers to Canada have a high level of English proficiency and extensive professional experience, they face barriers in finding suitable employment and adapting to a new life in general. The evidence shows that a newcomer's "cultural fluency" has a greater impact on the individual's transition and adaption to a new country. In this session, the presenter will provide insightful observations and clear analysis on how cultural values and assumptions influence people's perspectives, communication and behaviour. The presenter will also share strategies on how to improve your cultural fluency in Canada so you can communicate and work more effectively in the Canadian context.

Presenter:

Ben Yang came to Canada from Beijing China as a graduate student at OISE/UT over 20 years ago, and has had first-hand experience of adapting to a different cultural and academic environment. Currently, he is the Executive Director, International Education and Training at Georgian College in Barrie, Ontario.

He is a frequent presenter on globalization, cross-cultural communication and career development, and has been teaching as an instructor for the International Educator Training Program (IETP) at Queens' University for the past 10 years.

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Information Session on Employment Insurance (special benefits) for HR Staff

The Family Care Office has invited a representative from Service Canada to provide an overview on the regulations and application procedures for applying for Employment Insurance Maternity and Parental Benefits, Employment Insurance Compassionate Care Benefits and Employment Insurance benefits for Parents of Critically Ill Children.

Facilitator: Sarita Censoni, Citizen Services Specialist, Service Canada

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Interactive Storytelling for the Kids

FCO's Open House will feature an interactive performance of stories and music by Mr. James (James Patterson), who is a dynamic and imaginative storyteller and musician who tells tales and sings songs from all around the world. Mr. James is part of a Children's Trio called Three Funny Hats which has been enchanting audiences with stories and songs for three years. He is the founder of WorldPlay Theatre which gives performances and teaches classes in Canada and Israel.

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Intercultural & Interfaith Partnerships: How to Make Your Relationship Work

This panel discussion is an opportunity for individuals to reflect on the positive aspects and the challenges of interfaith and cross-cultural relationships. How do you negotiate differences? How could this impact on parenting? What about other family relationships?

Panellists will speak from a professional knowledge of conflict resolution, relationship counselling and also from personal experience. There will be an opportunity for questions and conversation amongst the panellists and the audience.

Panellists:

  • Garth Yarde, Coordinator of Conflict Resolution, St. Stephen's Community House
  • Nancy Ross, MA, Member CAPT, Clinical Member OSP
  • Lisa Schlaich and Fisseha Belay, OISE graduate students

This workshop is sponsored by the Campus Chaplain Association, Family Care Office, and The Multi-Faith Centre.

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International Spouses / Partners Support Group

An informal self-support group for all International faculty, staff and student spouses/partners. The group meets every other Friday to share information, to participate in fun activities, to practice English with each other and get professional advice on topics such as: health care, child care, immigration, career information, community services and volunteering. A group that will make your adjustment to life in Canada easier.

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Internet Safety

Increase your awareness of how your kids are using the Internet and the issues they may encounter along the way with Dave Richards, a 30-year veteran with the Toronto Police force. Having worked in a variety of law enforcement areas, including Crime Analyst and the Youth Bureau Officer, he offers an expertise in the dos and don'ts of surfing the net.

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Introducing & Cooking Your Own Babyfood

Cooking your own baby food is easy and affordable and, best of all, you know exactly what's in it! At the end of this workshop the participants will be able to:

  • Know how and when to introduce solid foods
  • Use simple equipment to make baby food
  • Compare homemade and store-bought baby food
  • Adapt the food their family is eating to their baby's needs
  • Handle and store food safely

Facilitator: Marcela Jaramillo has been working for FoodShare for many years as a facilitator for the Cooking Your Own Babyfood workshops.

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Introduction to Family Law

Learn the basics of Family Law and what is involved in:

  • Custody and access
  • Child and spousal support
  • Separation agreements
  • Restraining orders
  • General overview of the family court process

Presenter: Downtown Legal Services

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Keeping Your Kids Safe Online

How do I protect my kids from cyberbullying? Is "sexting" a reality for our children? What's the deal with social networking? Are Facebook, Twitter andYouTube here to stay? How much is too much screen time? How can I learn more about the social-media world my kids are growing up in?

Social Media and the Internet do NOT have to be scary! Join us for a frank discussion about the Internet and social media's impact on kids of all ages.

Led by Kiwi Seminars, a group that specializes in speaking to parents and students alike, this session will empower parents through knowledge and teach the real risks on the Internet while not indulging in media hype. Topics covered will includetips on how to protect ourselves, teaching our children how to be safe, how to use the World Wide Web responsibly and more.

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Kids & Company Information Session (Staff & Faculty)

The University of Toronto is a registered member with Kids & Company, a work-life support service for working parents and caregivers needing childcare or elder care services, including backup support programs to compliment already existing care arrangements. U of T membership provides our faculty and staff access to Kids & Company's part-time & full — time childcare, emergency back -up childcare, nanny placement service, and elder care support services.

Attend this session for more details on the services provided by Kids & Company, to find out how to register and activate a service, and what it will cost.

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Let's Talk about Fertility

Join us for this panel discussion with three U of T members who will share their experiences as they tried (or are trying) to conceive and have a baby. They will discuss the stresses, emotions, joys and challenges they faced along with the resources they accessed.

Also participating on the panel, will be Dr. Marjorie Dixon, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at U of T, and a fertility specialist.

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Let's Talk About Gender: A Discussion Panel on Gender Independent Children

Join us for a conversation about some of the practical, emotional, and social issues involved with children who challenge gender norms. Hear first-hand how parents are supporting their own gender non-conforming children, learn about available resources, and how to work with your child's school.

Panellists:

  • Parents of Gender Non-Conforming Children
  • Ilana David, Gender-Based Violence Prevention Social Worker with the Toronto District School Board (TDSB)

This event is sponsored by the Sexual & Gender Diversity Office and the Family Care Office.

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Life Management Series: Advocating for Oneself & One's Family through Letters & Email

A workshop series designed to empower students to find a better balance between academic life and caring for others.

Students with family responsibilities have a lot on their plate! When a problem arises - be it academic, family related, personal or professional - advocating for oneself and one's family can feel like a daunting task, particularly if the stakes are high. Traditionally defined as the "art of persuasion", rhetoric is a powerful tool that students can utilize to better communicate through the written word. What is the best way to present one's case? How can emotions be conveyed strategically and diplomatically? When writing a letter or email, what should come first - the presentation of the problem or the suggested solution? This workshop will touch upon these questions by focusing on the strategic use of rhetoric in letter and email writing

Facilitators: Dr. Jovanovic-Krstic and Karolina Szymanski.

Dr. Viktoria Jovanovic-Krstic, Writing & Rhetoric, Innis College. Dr. Jovanovic-Krstic brings with her years of experience in English stylistics and grammar, as well as business and technical communications from various academic institutions across Canada and Europe. Her main areas of research and interest are the rhetoric of war, spinning and framing tactics in the press, grammar, persuasive writing and business communication. Perhaps more importantly, Viktoria is also a mom of two children who is no stranger to the life of a student with family responsibilities!

Karolina Szymanski is an Academic Liaison Officer at OISE at the University of Toronto. Since joining U of T as staff in 2007, she has worked with graduate and undergraduate students in both academic and student life capacities. Having once been a student parent, Karolina finds it rewarding to help student caregivers advocate for themselves within and beyond academia.

*This Event is Graduate Professional Skills (GPS) Program approved. GPS consists of a range of optional "offerings" with a time commitment roughly equivalent to 60 hours of work. Its successful completion will be recognized by a transcript notation.

* Life Management Series is Co-Curricular Record (CCR) approved. Students who complete four workshops over two academic years, will receive Life Management Certificate and Co-Curricular Record recognition. CCR connects skills to involvement opportunities. The University has introduced the Co-Curricular Record (CCR), a new official document that helps students show employers and graduate schools the skills and competencies they have gained through their involvement on campus.

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Life Management Series: Effective Study Tips

A workshop series designed to empower students to find a better balance between their academic work and caring for others.

How can I stay organized and on top of my studies this year? What's the best way to read and take notes that are useful for review? This interactive workshop will answer these questions and more. Stress related to studying can be amplified when there are distractions related to family care underfoot, in the sink, or asking for help with their own homework. Students who find ways to stay organized and study effectively are more productive, gain a deeper understanding from their readings, and have an easier time reviewing notes and thinking critically. Come to learn about studying, reading and note taking from and with other students with family responsibilities.

Facilitator: Janelle Joseph is a Learning Strategies Specialist who manages a team of eight Learning Strategists at the Academic Success Centre at the University of Toronto. She is a parent of two and well versed in the arts of time and project management, graduate level writing, and critical thinking. Dr. Joseph also teaches in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education and brings her expertise as a professor to her work on student learning

* Life Management Series is Co-Curricular Record (CCR) approved. Students who complete four workshops over two academic years, will receive Life Management Certificate and Co-Curricular Record recognition. CCR connects skills to involvement opportunities. The University has introduced the Co-Curricular Record (CCR), a new official document that helps students show employers and graduate schools the skills and competencies they have gained through their involvement on campus.

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Life Management Series: Family-Friendly Career Planning

In this interactive session we'll explore different ways of conceptualizing career. We'll focus particularly on a broad definition of career that includes non-work elements of life, like family, and discuss strategies for defining and finding meaningful careers. We'll cover job search strategies, labour market research, and self and career exploration activities.

Facilitator: Jonathan Turner is a Career Educator at the University of Toronto Career Centre. He works with all students, but primarily with graduate students and post-doctoral fellows; this includes designing and leading workshops, conducting outreach to graduate units, and meeting with students individually. Jonathan has a BA (Philosophy and History) from York University, a BSc (Physics) from the University of Waterloo, and both an MA and a PhD (History and Philosophy of Science and Technology) from the University of Toronto. Jonathan married when he was a graduate student, and is the proud father of one rambunctious toddler.

* Life Management Series is Co-Curricular Record (CCR) approved. Students who complete four workshops over two academic years, will receive Life Management Certificate and Co-Curricular Record recognition. CCR connects skills to involvement opportunities. The University has introduced the Co-Curricular Record (CCR), a new official document that helps students show employers and graduate schools the skills and competencies they have gained through their involvement on campus.

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Life Management Series: Healthy Habits: Prioritizing Self Care

A workshop series designed to empower students to find a better balance between their academic work and caring for others.

It's hard to be healthy. Most of us live in environments that our nervous systems can barely handle on a good day, and yet we are told we must stay calm, find a balance, and be productive. This may be especially true for students who are also parents. This workshop explores some of the more common health issues that students experience, and how integrating simple strategies into daily routines may make a difference for your health and wellbeing now, and into the future.

Facilitator: Judy Vorderbrugee, RN, BAAJOURN., MA, Community Health Coordinator, University of Toronto

* Life Management Series is Co-Curricular Record (CCR) approved. Students who complete four workshops over two academic years, will receive Life Management Certificate and Co-Curricular Record recognition. CCR connects skills to involvement opportunities. The University has introduced the Co-Curricular Record (CCR), a new official document that helps students show employers and graduate schools the skills and competencies they have gained through their involvement on campus.

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Life Management Series: Manage Time Manage Distractions (CCR Approved)

A workshop series designed to empower students to find a better balance between academic life and caring for others.

All of us have 24-hours in a day. How can we optimize them? Time-related stress is a fact of life for all students. This stress can be amplified when there are distractions related to children underfoot, in the sink, or when you are asked for help with their homework.

Students who find ways to manage time and manage distractions effectively are more productive, gain a deeper understanding from their readings, and have an easier time concentrating and thinking critically. This interactive workshop helps students learn to focus on goals, think strategically about time, leverage resources for childcare, and avoid unproductive procrastination. Come to learn from and with other student parents.

Facilitator: Janelle Joseph, PhD, Learning Strategist & Adjunct Professor

*Life Management Series is Co-Curricular Record (CCR) approved and may lead to Life Management Certificate. The Series consists of interactive workshops designed to empower student parents and students with family responsibilities to find a better balance in their lives by learning key life management skills, such as: goal setting and prioritization, stress and time management, self-advocacy and communicating effectively, personal wellness and more. Students who complete four workshops over two academic years, will receive Life Management Certificate and Co-Curricular Record recognition. Co-Curricular Record is designed to help students find opportunities at U of T beyond the classroom and to have their skills and experiences captured on an official document.

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Life Management Series: Procrastination (CCR Approved)

A workshop series designed to empower students to find a better balance between being in school and caring for others.

Do you avoid school work and find that all your time is taken up with family responsibilities and other commitments? Are you behind on your readings and assignments and cramming to finish at the last minute? Do you feel a great deal of stress and anxiety about deadlines and continually put them off?

If you struggle with some of these issues, this workshop can help. Through group discussion and hands-on activities, you will learn the reasons for procrastination, identify your personal procrastination habits, and learn practical strategies to develop more effective work habits.

Participants are encouraged to bring their course schedule, course syllabi, and any day-timers or family calendars they use to the workshop.

Facilitator: Meghan Litteljohn, Academic Success Centre, University of Toronto.

* Life Management Series is Co-Curricular Record (CCR) approved and may lead to Life Management Certificate. The Series consists of interactive workshops designed to empower student parents and students with family responsibilities to find a better balance in their lives by learning key life management skills, such as: goal setting and prioritization, stress and time management, self-advocacy and communicating effectively, personal wellness and more. Students who complete four workshops over two academic years, will receive Life Management Certificate and Co-Curricular Record recognition. Co-Curricular Record is designed to help students find opportunities at U of T beyond the classroom and to have their skills and experiences captured on an official document.

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Life Management Series: Stress Management (CCR Approved)

A workshop series designed to empower students to find a better balance between being in school and caring for others.

Where is the time to do all the things I want or need to do for my studies and my family? How do I stop worrying about my past mistakes and future goals? What is my learning style and how does this impact study-related anxiety? What is the best method and time for relaxation (and won't relaxing just put me further behind)? Find the answers to these questions and more in this 1.5-hour interactive workshop.

Facilitator: Janelle Joseph, PhD, Learning Strategist & Adjunct Professor

* Life Management Series is Co-Curricular Record (CCR) approved. Students who complete four workshops over two academic years, will receive Life Management Certificate and Co-Curricular Record recognition. CCR connects skills to involvement opportunities. The University has introduced the Co-Curricular Record (CCR), a new official document that helps students show employers and graduate schools the skills and competencies they have gained through their involvement on campus.

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Life Management Series: Stress Management Webinar

All of us have 24-hours in a day. How do you use yours? Time-related stress is a fact of life. Students with caregiving responsibilities must find ways to manage time effectively and prioritize stress management. Students who can manage stress are more productive; have an easier time memorizing information and concentrating on their academic work; and an overall happier disposition. This one-hour webinar helps students learn to focus on goals, think strategically about hobbies, and explore what makes them feel relaxed.

Facilitator: Janelle Joseph, PhD

* Life Management Series is Co-Curricular Record (CCR) approved. Students who complete four workshops over two academic years, will receive Life Management Certificate and Co-Curricular Record recognition. CCR connects skills to involvement opportunities. The University has introduced the Co-Curricular Record (CCR), a new official document that helps students show employers and graduate schools the skills and competencies they have gained through their involvement on campus.

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Life Management Series: Stuck in the Middle - Juggling School and Family Life (CCR & GPS Approved)

"Stuck in the Middle" is a self-discovery session on dealing with constant challenges of having family responsibilities, working and being a student.

This self-awareness session will help you understand the feelings of guilt that arise when juggling your role as a student and not always having enough time to spend with your children and/or your loved ones. It's for everyone who feels overwhelmed.

Most of the exercises are done in pairs and within the group. In this session you will discover your patterns of 'stuckness' and learn to convert feelings of being overwhelmed into action, energy and change.

Facilitator: Anna Wesolinska is a Gestalt psychotherapist who has a private practice and has been running workshops at the Gestalt Institute of Toronto, the North York Women's Centre, and the Family Care Office.

* Life Management Series is Co-Curricular Record (CCR) approved. Students who complete four workshops over two academic years, will receive Life Management Certificate and Co-Curricular Record recognition. CCR connects skills to involvement opportunities. The University has introduced the Co-Curricular Record (CCR), a new official document that helps students show employers and graduate schools the skills and competencies they have gained through their involvement on campus.

* This Event is Graduate Professional Skills (GPS) Program approved. GPS consists of a range of optional "offerings" with a time commitment roughly equivalent to 60 hours of work. Its successful completion will be recognized by a transcript notation.

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Life Management Series: Time Management Webinar

A workshop series designed to empower students to find a better balance between academic life and caring for others.

All of us have 24-hours in a day. How can they be optimized? Time-related stress is a fact of life in university and parenthood. Student parents who find ways to manage time effectively are more productive, and have an easier time memorizing information, concentrating on and understanding their readings, and thinking critically. They also find it easier to focus on their families and enjoy relaxing time. This one-hour interactive workshop helps student parents to create realistic goals for their family and academic lives.

Facilitator: Janelle Joseph, PhD, Learning Strategist & Adjunct Professor

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Legal Aspects of Separation and Divorce

This workshop is for students, staff & faculty who are considering separation and would like to construct a plan for this process. Join Suzette M. Bloom, L.L.B. and learn what is involved. Acquire tools to navigate your way through the system so you can make informed choices. Know your rights & obligations. Learn how to select a lawyer & finance the cost of your legal services.

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Living and Learning with Baby (from 6 weeks to 6 months) — for parent and baby to attend together

Come and meet other parents and talk about:

  • Adjusting to Parenthood
  • Infant Nutrition
  • Growth and Development
  • Caring for a Sick Child
  • Keeping Your Child Safe
  • Community Resources

Facilitator: Debra Williams-Conliffe, Public Health Nurse

A program by the City of Toronto Public Health Dept. in collaboration with the U of T Family Care Office.

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LGBTQ Parenting

This workshop will lend insight into the challenges frequently faced by LGBTQ families, and provide strategies for facilitating partnerships with professionals working to support U of T families.

During this workshop, you will:

  • Discuss indicators of early learning environments that are inclusive of LGBTQ issues.
  • Access information and resources for working with programs in support of children reared in LGBTQ-headed households.
  • Gain increased insight into agencies within the U of T community and the greater Toronto area that serve to support LGBTQ families.
  • Safely share and exchange common experiences within a LGBTQ-positive space.

Facilitators: Ryan Campbell and Iyana Browne

Ryan and Iyana are supervisors at the University of Toronto Early Learning Centre. Ryan is also an MA candidate in Ryerson's Early Childhood Studies program and has published and presented on various LGBTQ-related issues in early childhood education. Iyana is currently working on a BA in Equity Studies and Anthropology.

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LGBTQ Parents and their Children in Child Care Centres and in Schools

The aim of the session is to lend insight into the challenges frequently faced by LGBTQ families whose children are attending school or are in a daycare setting. Panelists will:

  • discuss indicators of early learning environments that are inclusive of LGBTQ issues and share strategies to ensure the inclusion of queer issues in the early childhood classroom
  • provide insight into current and emerging strategies for assisting a child in the Toronto District School Board (TDSB)
  • provide information and resources for working with programs in support of children reared in LGBTQ-headed households

Panelists:

  • Ryan Campbell is a supervisor at the UofT Early Learning Centre and he is the co-author of Building Bridges: Queer Families in Early Childhood Education;
  • Steven Solomon, MSW, RSW, PhD.(c) is a School Social Worker with the Human Sexuality Program, Triangle Program in the TDSB.
  • Rosa Brooksis a co-op student in the TDSB and co-facilitates COLAGE.

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Lunchtime Series For Students with Family Responsibilities

This lunchtime series consists of brief interactive sessions customized for students with family responsibilities. Students will have an opportunity to learn, share, and find support by exchanging ideas and stories in a supportive and inclusive environment.


Time Management

Where is the time to do all the things you need or want to? Find it in this hands-on workshop by learning to focus on your goals, think strategically about your time, and turn your priorities into success stories. Practical systems through which to manage your time are included.

Facilitator: Andrea Graham, a Learning Strategist with U of T's Academic Success Centre.


Stress Management

Come and take some time to relax and breathe! We will be learning and practicing different relaxation techniques, such as a guided mindfulness meditation, yoga stretches, and have a discussion of what methods we use as student parents to help de-stress throughout a busy day.


Spirituality in Schooling

Spirituality in schooling has often been misrepresented. Either rejected as unscientific and not applicable to scholars or seen as an unwanted extension of religion in schools, students have been asked to check their spirituality at the doors of the school. This workshop will look at:

  • What is spirituality?
  • How can spirituality be a part of my own student experience?
  • How can I foster spirituality in my child's schooling experience? Why is this important?

This workshop aims to be both a broad look at spirituality in schooling as well as giving practical ways to apply and foster spiritual living in your own life and in your child's life.

Facilitator:

Eric Ritskes is a graduate student in Education, writer on spirituality in education, a father of one rambunctious 2-year old girl, blogger and story teller. He lives in Toronto and enjoys the simple pleasures in life such as good espresso and the daily crossword puzzle.


Community Kitchen for Students with Family Responsibilities

The Family Care Office invites students with family responsibilities to this December session — Cooking Up the Best Possible Relationship. At this hands-on workshop, while cooking some inexpensive, quick and tasty recipes, we will discuss the necessary ingredients for the best possible relationship with your partner. Vegetarian lunch will be provided. Register


Keys to Effective Parent-Child Communication

Effective communication is an important parenting skill. Whether you are parenting a toddler or a teenager, good communication is the key to building self-esteem as well as mutual respect. This workshop will provide useful information and techniques for parents on how to use communication to strengthen their relationships with their children.


Lunchtime Session for Students Caring for Children 2 to 9 years of age

Have kids? Care for kids as if they were your own? Looking for fun & easy games and crafts for children on those days when you just need to get some reading done? In this session, we will be learning some easy craft ideas and games for kids to play on their own or with friends. Connect with other student parents and learn some simple activities to stimulate your children's development and keep them entertained! Students and postdoctoral fellows are welcome. Vegetarian lunch served!


Staying Connected - Being a student-parent and caring for your other relationships

Looking for balance? Join other student parents as we share tips and discuss the challenges of finding a balance between school, family, and connecting with friends and loved ones. Vegetarian lunch served!


Keeping your Cool: Assertive Parenting

Temper tantrums. Whining. Endless energy. How is a parent to keep their calm and help their children develop good habits in the middle of a crazy day? We will discuss how to choose our battles and calm down when the stress of family care, school, and work is piling up. We will also talk about how we can help our children to express their emotions in healthy ways.


Career Planning for Student Parents

  • Trying to decide about the career to pursue?
  • Thinking about your next steps?
  • Exploring your career options?

Come to an informal discussion to learn how the University of Toronto Career Centre can help you to plan for the future.

Facilitator: Karen Carrel Rice, M.Ed, Career Counsellor

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Maternity Leave Planning (Faculty, Staff & Librarians)

Becoming a parent is one of the most monumental experiences in a person's life. Unfortunately, children do not come with foolproof instructions!

Combining a career and family life presents special challenges. This workshop adopts a highly practical approach to preparing faculty, staff and librarians for maternity / parental / and adoption leave, and for a successful return to work. While you may attend the seminar at any point during your pregnancy or adoption process, the ideal time is about three months prior to the arrival of your child. Topics will include:

  • Forms and more forms - a guide to government maternity / parental benefits & U of T policies
  • Planning your return to work
  • Resources on campus and in the community that will make your life easier
  • Do we really need all that equipment? - a guide to baby paraphernalia
  • Helping older children and pets to adjust
  • Enjoying it all!

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Maternity and Parental Leave Planning Seminar for Postdoctoral Fellows in CUPE Local 3902 (Unit 5)

Becoming a parent is one of the most monumental experiences in a person's life. Unfortunately, children do not come with foolproof instructions!

This workshop adopts a highly practical approach to preparing Postdoctoral Fellows represented by CUPE Local 3902, Unit 5, for maternity and parental leaves, and for a successful return to work. Topics will include:

  • Forms and more forms - a guide to government maternity / parental benefits & U of T policies
  • Planning your return to work
  • Resources on campus and in the community that will make your life easier
  • Do we really need all that equipment? - a guide to baby paraphernalia
  • Helping older children and pets to adjust
  • Enjoying it all!

Facilitator: Magdalena Rydzy, Family Care Office

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Managing Flexible Work Arrangements to deal with Family Concerns (Staff Only)

Are you returning from a maternity leave or taking care of young children and are thinking of a different work arrangement? Perhaps you are caring for an aging relative and realize you just don't have enough time in the day to handle all your responsibilities. Attending this session will help staff understand:

  • The different types of flexible work arrangements that may be possible for staff
  • How appropriate flexible work arrangements can be put in place (case study examples will be used)
  • How you would proceed to request a flexible work arrangement for yourself

Facilitators: Teresa Scannell, Career/Work-Life Consultant; Kaye Francis, Manager, FCO Office

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Media & Body Image

Societal pressures on young women to look and act a certain way is increasingly affecting children at younger ages than ever before. In this workshop, you will learn about and discuss the various messages that the media sends to young girls and adolescents about body image and what it means to be a female in the 21st century. Parenting strategies for increasing communication about these messages will also be provided, along with a facilitated deconstruction activity.

Facilitator: Lina Zahreddine, BAH, M.S.W Candidate, and Parent.

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Mindful Discipline

In this two- hour workshop, we will explore how to bring mindfulness into the way we discipline our children. Through a framework of attachment and a focus on the importance of the parenting relationship, we will explore how the process of transmitting self-discipline unfolds. Drawing on the current literature on mindfulness, we will look at simple yet powerful mindfulness practices that can help us foster three essential elements of mindful discipline: acceptance and autonomy; boundaries and structure; and reconnection and repair.

Facilitator: Mari Rossi has been teaching yoga and mindfulness since 2006, and this will be her third year facilitating the Mindful Parenting series at U of T. She is currently also volunteering teaching Mindfulness for Kids at a TDSB school and for homeless clients at a downtown shelter. Mari is completing her second undergraduate degree, specializing in Psychology, with minors in Buddhism, Psychology and Mental Health, as well as Women and Gender Studies. Between her academic studies and her teaching as a mindfulness instructor, Mari balances her most important work- parenting her 4 year old son and 6 year old daughter.

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Mindful Parenting

It is possible to learn how to be present with our child while also taking care of our needs as parents. In this workshop, we will dive right into the practice of mindfulness with fun and practical exercises to increase our presence, patience, and compassion towards ourselves and our children.

Mindfulness, which simply means "paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non- judgmentally" (Jon Kabat-Zinn), has been shown to be effective in alleviating stress, decreasing anxiety and depression, and increasing overall well -being. Applying mindfulness techniques to the art of parenting is an effective way to improve the child-parent relationship, as well as well-being for both the parent and the child individually.

In this introductory workshop, parents will learn about the key elements of Mindful Parenting, including listening with full attention, increasing awareness of emotions, self-regulation in the parenting relationship, non-judgemental acceptance of self and child and clarification of values.

Facilitator: Mari Rossi has been teaching yoga and mindfulness for over a decade, and this will be her fourth year facilitating the Mindful Parenting program at U of T. Mari also has experience teaching mindfulness for kids at a TDSB school and for homeless clients at a downtown shelter. Mari is completing her second undergraduate degree, specializing in Psychology, with minors in Buddhism, Psychology and Mental Health, as well as Women and Gender Studies. Between her academic studies and her teaching as a mindfulness instructor, Mari balances her most important work- parenting her 5 year old son and 7 year old daughter.

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Mindful Parenting for LGTBQ Parents

Mindful parenting aims to enhance your emotional connection with your child. It is intended to facilitate your self-awareness, mindfulness and intentionality in responding to your child's needs at all ages. In this workshop, you will learn the fundamentals of mindful meditation as applied to parenting through reflective and experiential exercises. You will be given mindfulness practices to apply in your everyday lives as parents or caregivers.

Facilitator:

Rachael Frankford, MSW, RSW, is a Social Worker in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at St. Michael's Hospital and a lecturer for the Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Toronto. Rachael is a mother of three young children and an experienced meditation practitioner.

Sara Marlowe, MSW, RSW, is a clinical social worker in both community-based and independent practice, where she incorporates mindfulness into her work with children and adults. She has developed a mindfulness group for children and families at a children's mental health agency in Toronto. She also teaches regularly at Ryerson University in Early Childhood Education.

This workshop is sponsored by LGBTQ Parenting Network, U of T Sexual & Gender Diversity Office, and the U of T Family Care Office.

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Mindfulness for Children & Families

In this 2-part workshop, participants will learn about developing a mindfulness practice for the whole family.

In the first session, parents will be introduced to mindfulness, ways they can share mindfulness practice with their children and how to develop an ongoing practice with their children.

In the second session, children and parents together will learn about mindfulness and a range of ways to practice together at home. The practices are playful, fun and engaging for children; all the while teaching important skills such as awareness of thoughts & feelings, slowing down, paying full attention to tasks, body awareness, gratitude and compassion. Participants will receive information about resources to support their practice.

Facilitator: Sara Marlowe, MSW, RSW, is a clinical social worker in both community-based and independent practice, where she incorporates mindfulness into her work with children and adults. She also teaches regularly at Ryerson University in Early Childhood Education.

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Mindfulness for Parents (Group)

Back by popular demand, Mari Rossi will be leading an 8-week series on Mindfulness for Parents. Each session will include a discussion on the listed topic, as well as a guided meditation. Exercises to be tried at home will be offered every week. Participants are encouraged to attend all 8 sessions.

Facilitator: Mari Rossi has been teaching yoga and mindfulness for the past 7 years, and this will be her third year facilitating the Mindful Parenting series at U of T. She is currently completing her second undergraduate degree, specializing in Psychology and Drama, with a minor in Buddhism, Psychology and Mental Health. Mari is also a busy parent of two preschoolers.

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Mindfulness Week: Morning Meditation for Parents and Expectant Parents

Come join us for three mornings of guided meditations for parents, led by Mari Rossi.

Immerse yourself in mindfulness and see first-hand the benefits of a consistent practice. Start your summer on the right foot by taking the time to ground yourself and kick-start your mindfulness practice.

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Mother-Daughter Wen-Do

What is Wen-Do? Wen-Do is a self defense course designed for women, by women to learn easy to use and easy to remember methods of protecting ourselves in a wide range of situations. Techniques are designed for effective use by women of all ages, sizes, and abilities. A combination of discussion, with practical physical skills results in an integration of mental and physical preparedness.

This two day course is not just for mothers-daughters. Bring along a niece, your friend's child, your sister, your partner's daughter. The child must be over 9 yrs.

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Navigating Special Education in the Public School System

The workshop will focus on development of the Individual Education Plan (IEP) and the Identification Placement Review Committee (IPRC) process. It will also look at how learning challenges identified in the IEP are addressed in the classroom. Participants will come away with a better understanding of the language and process of Special Education in the public school system.

Facilitators Mitchell Curci has worked in Special Education for over 38 years in the public and independent school system. He is currently with the Learning Disabilities Association Toronto District (LDATD) where he is involved in Community Outreach and Education Advocacy.
Jordana Curci has taught for 5 years in both the Intermediate and Primary Division where she brings a fresh perspective on the learning issues that impact literacy. She is currently working in the area of Special Education in her school

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New Faculty Family Event

This informal family event, hosted in the U of T Family Resource Centre, is designed for new faculty parents and their families. Join us to:

  • Find out about resources and supports for new faculty parents at the University of Toronto daycare centres, home child care and nanny services
  • Meet other faculty, faculty spouses/ partners, and their children in a family-friendly environment
  • Give your children an opportunity to play together with others.

Please bring your whole family to this event!

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Nutrition for Children 4 to 8 Years old

Participants will learn:

  • Different small nutritious meals and snacks to be served everyday
  • To offer a variety of foods from the four food groups
  • The importance of providing healthy snacks and healthy food
  • Tips on how to feed a picky eater
  • The importance of being a good food role model
  • Easy recipes for children 4 to 8 years of age

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Online Chat for New Student Parents

Plan early for the upcoming school year and get the information you need from the comfort of your own computer/phone. A Family Care Advisor will be available to chat and answer questions on:

  • child care & child care subsidies
  • schools
  • children's programs
  • balancing study and family (and work too, if that is your case)
  • how to get connected with a peer mentor
  • other issues that student parents have to deal with!

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Online Chat Series: All You Want To Know About Student Parent Life @ U of T

An FCO Advisor & a Peer Mentor will be available to chat and answer questions about student parent life at U of T, including:

  • Balancing study and family
  • Strategies and insights on caring for a family member
  • Specific questions on child care and child care subsidies
  • Your newly found pregnancy!

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Online Chat Series: Balancing family and school deadlines

An FCO Advisor & a Peer Mentor will be available to chat and answer questions about student parent life at U of T, including:

  • Balancing study and family
  • Strategies and insights on caring for a family member
  • Specific questions on child care and child care subsidies
  • Your newly found pregnancy!

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Online Chat Session for Faculty, Staff and Students

Get the information you need from the comfort of your own computer/phone. A Family Care Advisor will be available to chat and answer questions on:

  • Planning for a child and leaves available
  • Child care and child care subsidies
  • Schools and children programs
  • Elder care resources
  • Balancing work/study and family
  • and more...

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Online Discussion Board For Students with Family Responsibilities

Join our hands-on (and fun!) session to learn how to make the most out of our online community utilizing the U of T Portal! Find out how to optimize the sharing and exchanging of your common experiences and resources with other students with family responsibilities.

Facilitator: Cheryl Ziegler holds the position of IT & Communications Coordinator in Student Life at U of T. Her current interests include interface design, portal applications development, improving IT/media literacy on campus and exploring the potentials of social networking and virtual worlds.

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Orientation for International Students & their Families

During the Orientation we will discuss important information for families and partners that will help them make transition to life in Canada and on campus a little bit easier. It will be a great opportunity to meet other spouses and partners of international students. We will discuss the following topics:

  • Access to health resources
  • University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP) for families
  • How to find child care, apply for subsidies, programs for children
  • Support services for international student families on campus and in the community
  • Fun activities for families in Toronto

All University of Toronto international students and their families are welcome.

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Orientation for Student Parents

Vegetarian Lunch Available.

The Family Care Office invites incoming and current student parents to Orientation 2013. Please join us to learn about the services and resources available to student parents on campus, get advice from our student mentors on how to adjust to the University, and start creating your support networks by making new friends and meeting University staff.

12:00 pm - 12:15 pm: Welcome, Lunch, and Networking with Mentors.
12:15 pm - 12:30 pm: An overview of University services.
12:30 pm - 12:45 pm: "How S/he does it?" project launch. Find out key learning strategies of highly successful student parents.
12:45 pm - 01:15 pm: Panel Discussion: How student parents manage their family life, school and work at the U of T.
01:15 pm - 01:30 pm: Informal Q & A with students & University staff.
01:30 pm: Campus tour showcasing family friendly spaces on the St. George campus.

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Orientation for Students with Family Responsibilities

The Family Care Office welcomes new student parents to Orientation 2016! Start building your support networks and learn how to be proactive, prepared and successfully navigate your degree while caring for others.

  • Meet other student parents and University staff.
  • Learn about the services and resources available to student parents on campus.
  • Get advice from student mentors on how to adjust to the University life.
  • Discover family friendly spaces on campus.

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Orientation to the Athletic Centre for Students with Family Responsibilities

Come join other students with family responsibilities and receive a tour and orientation to the Athletic Centre and its programming. Find out about their classes and drop-in programs and how to use their facilities such as their gymnasia, pools , strength and conditioning centre, indoor track, dance studio, cardio machines, and squash courts. You will also learn about the Family Programs, Camp U of T, and Junior Blues. There really is something for everybody!

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P.A. Day Event- Film Basics for Kids

Our first-ever video camera workshop, for children ages 10 to 14 years and one parent per family. Together you'll learn how to use a video camera, film a short video, and the basics of a video editing program. Participants are encouraged to bring their own Mac laptops with iMovie software, but we have a small number available just in case.

Children of University of Toronto students, staff, faculty, and postdoctoral fellows are welcome. Co-sponsored by the Family Care Office and the Hart House Film Board.

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Panel Discussion on Different Birthing Options

Join us for a panel discussion about birthing options available to women.

  • Understand the different philosophies and approaches used by the different birthing practitioners
  • Learn about the roles practitioners play throughout the pregnancy, the birth, and after the birth
  • Find out how to access the different types of birthing practitioners
  • Learn what services are covered by OHIP

This panel will include: Lisa Weston, vice president of the Association of Ontario Midwives; Ilona Fritsch, an Hypnobirthing specialist; and a prenatal educator from Mount Sinai Hospital, Matthuschka Sheedy, RN.

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Panel Discussion on the Birthing Experience

Join us for a panel discussion about some of the different birthing options available to women. Through the panel, you will:

  • Learn what to expect during the birthing process, including a home birth, from the perspective of a woman who has experienced one.
  • Learn about the role the different practitioners play throughout the pregnancy, the birth, and after the birth.
  • Learn how to access the different types of birthing practitioners and learn what services are covered by OHIP and UHIP.
  • Learn about the services a doula can provide during pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period.

Facilitators: Alanna Kibbe (Registered Mi


dwife at Seventh Generation Midwives), Kelly Maslen (birth doula at Simply Healthy Family) and a parent who has recently experienced a home birth.

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Parental Leave Planning

In this session, we will review the government legislation and U of T policy that guides a parental leave. The employment insurance application process will be explained and general information on campus and community resources for parents will be provided. This session is for faculty/staff who are same-sex partners or male faculty/staff members who are considering taking a parental leave.

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Parental Leave Planning (Staff and Faculty)

Are you a new father? Considering taking a parental leave but don't know where to start? Then attend this workshop for an overview of provincial and federal regulations and U of T policy that covers parental leave. The process of applying for Employment Insurance will also be explained.

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Parenthood Through Surrogacy

Join us for an informal information session for prospective parents led by experienced legal and mental health experts specializing in the field of fertility. During the session, we will discuss some of the following issues:

  • Legal steps involved in growing a family through surrogacy.
  • Legal landscape for surrogacy in Canada (i.e. the laws pertaining to legal parentage of the child and reimbursement of the surrogate's expenses).
  • Pitfalls and trouble spots to keep in mind when considering surrogacy.
  • Emotional and social considerations of intended parent(s) embarking on surrogacy for family-building.
  • Factors that gestational surrogates need to consider when deciding on a match with intended parent(s).
  • The latest research about the emotional and social development of children born through surrogacy.

Facilitators: Michelle Flowerday, LL.B. and Dr. Lila Z. Hakim, C.Psych.

Michelle Flowerday, LL.B. is a fertility lawyer in Toronto. Michelle works with couples facing infertility, for LGBTQ people/couples wanting to start a family, for single people looking to grow a family alone, and for surrogate mothers and egg, sperm and embryo donors assisting in the process. Michelle's expertise includes negotiating and drafting agreements related to surrogacy, co-parenting, egg, sperm and embryo donations, making court applications for declarations of parentage, and other legal issues related to third party reproduction. Michelle works with clients in the greater Toronto area, across Canada and internationally. She speaks at conferences on the topic of fertility and surrogacy law and has provided legal advice to fertility clinics and hospitals on contract laws and compliance with Canadian assisted human reproduction laws and regulations. Michelle is a member of the Canadian Bar Association, the Ontario Bar Association, the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society, Fertility Matters, the Advocates' Society and the 519 Church Street Community Centre.

Dr. Lila Z. Hakim, C.Psych. is a Registered Psychologist and conducts psychological assessment and treatment with adults and couples in private practice. She is the Clinical Director of the Centre for Interpersonal Relationships (Toronto, Canada) where she supervises psychologists and graduate students, and is active in research with publications and presentations in the areas of infertility and psychotherapy research. She has served on the Executive Committee of the Counselling Special Interest Group of the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society.

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Parenting Adult Children — What would Dr. Spock say?

Dr. Spock had much to say about toilet training, when to add solid food, and when to let our children cry. But most of the parent educators go silent after the teen years. Whether they remain in the nest, come and go, or have moved on, we remain parents to our adult children.

The goal of this session is:

  • Explore, developmentally, what is going on in the lives of our adult children
  • Examine what we can expect in our lives as this occurs, both individually and in our relationships
  • Discuss parenting strategies that are helpful
  • Discuss challenging situations and how to deal with them

Facilitator: Lynne Mitchell is a registered social worker with 25 years of experience. She conducts a private practice for individuals, couples and families and facilitates workshops both in the community and the private sector.

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Parenting Bootcamp (3 Part Webinar Series): Raising Cooperative, Respectful Children

"I need help! My kids won't listen, go to bed, eat dinner, get out the door on time or do their homework without a fuss. They dawdle, argue, have tantrums, ignore me, and fight with their siblings."

Have you ever wondered why your child is misbehaving? Why does she refuse to eat, or put her toys away? Why does he have tantrums or whine? Understanding why your child misbehaves is an essential first step in solving the problem. We like to think of this webinar series as "Behaviour 101: a Basic Primer", and a great place to begin your parenting education.

Week 1: Parenting Styles

  • The three basic parenting styles
  • Understanding your child's behaviour
  • The first goal of misbehaviour -- Undue Attention-Seeking and strategies to redirect it.

Week 2: Power and Revenge

  • Understanding and responding to the goals of "Power" and "Revenge"
  • Includes many strategies on "defusing" power struggles effectively
  • How to cope with hurt and anger using communication skills, as well as other essential strategies.

Week 3: Effective Encouragement

  • Understanding the discouraged child & coping with the fourth goal of misbehaviour, "Assumed Inadequacy"
  • Building Self-esteem
  • 7 Essential Parenting Principles

Facilitator: Karen Skinulis is a Certified Montessori Director and has worked extensively as a teacher and a parent educator. She is a co-author of two parenting books and one teacher's book on classroom management.

Webinar details and technical requirements will be sent by email to all registered participants a week prior to each webinar. Please register early, space is limited! All University of Toronto students, staff, faculty and postdoctoral fellows are welcome.

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Parenting: Teens

Building responsibility and improving the relationship between parents and teenagers will be the focus of this workshop. Topics to be covered will include: parenting styles, goals of misbehavior, personality development, emotions, encouragement, listening skills, expressing feelings, discipline, development of responsibility and selecting appropriate approaches to discipline.

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Parents of Multiples Meet-Up

Calling all parents of multiples! Here at U of T, there are many parents of multiples. Get together with people who really get how crazy things can get and how amazing (and unique) parenting twins, triplets, quads, quints... is.

This is a one-time, non-facilitated, agenda-free, expectation-free, diaper-free, peer meet-up - open to any U of T parents of multiples. Expectant parents of multiples are welcome.

Hosts: Dawn Britton, Faculty of Engineering and Magdalena Rydzy, Family Care Office. Dawn is a mom of 2-year old twin boys, while Magdalena is a mom of 3-year old twin girls.

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Parenting a Child with a Learning Disability — What's Available and What's Possible

Join us for this discussion on parenting concerns for children with disabilities. Topics that will be covered include:

  • Understanding learning disabilities, ADHD and Asperger's Syndrome
  • Management of the disability at home and at school
  • Discussing with your child about their learning disability
  • Advocating and finding supports for your child
  • Hear from 1-2 current U of T students with a learning disability about their experience growing up with a LD
  • Question and answer period

Speaker: Pearl Levey, Ph.D., Disability Counsellor, U of T Accessibility Services.

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Parenting Tweens & Teens: Saying No when the world says Yes

With warmth and humour, this workshop will explore the delicate bond between tweens and teens aged 12 -19 and their parents. Using many of the skills therapists use in their work with clients, parents will learn to balance empathy with limit setting to strengthen and deepen their relationships with their tweens and teens. Connected Parenting will offer parents effective strategies to avoid power struggles, de-escalate confrontations, help their kids make safe choices and instill in their kids the confidence and resilience to say 'No' to their peers.

Facilitator:

Jennifer Kolari, M.S.W., R.S.W. Founder of Connected Parenting and Child and Parent Therapist.

Jennifer Kolari is a therapist who has been helping children, teens and families get connected for 20 years. Jennifer published her first book in 2009 with Penguin Group USA and Penguin Canada. She has appeared in magazines such as Today's Parent and Canadian Family, and on Canada AM, Breakfast Television, and CBC's Steven and Chris. Her insightful strategies, shared with warmth and humour make her a highly sought-after speaker with schools, organizations and agencies throughout North America.

Jennifer spent several years counseling children, teens and parents for the Toronto District School Board and serving as a field supervisor for the University of Toronto faculty of Social Work. Before that she was a family therapist at Integra, a children's mental health centre in Toronto. Jennifer lives in Toronto with her husband and their three children.

This workshop is sponsored by the Organizational Development and Learning Centre and the Family Care Office.

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Parenting with the Developmental Assets

As parents, we want to raise children who are physically, emotionally and socially healthy and resilient. We want our children to thrive. But often we wonder if we are missing something. Is there something else I should be doing as a parent?

The "Developmental Assets" framework provides parents and caregivers with actionable behaviours with proven links to healthy human development. The framework focuses on assets, not liabilities and it is relevant to all types of families in all kinds of social environments.

In this workshop we will learn about the external and internal assets, and why the assets matter to children and youth. We will collaboratively discuss the assets we are already cultivating in our families, and the ones we wish to focus on next.

Facilitator: Kevin Black is a PhD student at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, where one of his research projects involves studying the social marketing of father engagement in the "early years." Prior to this, Kevin worked in the social service sector, including five years leading two community-based research and communications projects that promoted the importance of investing in early childhood development. He also gets to practice what he studies, since he is the father of two young daughters.

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Parkinson's Disease 101

In this workshop presented by the Parkinson Society Central & Northern Ontario, the facilitator will:

  • provide a brief overview of Parkinson's disease medication and will explain the importance of taking medications on time
  • review the motor and non-motor symptoms of Parkinson's
  • provide tips for caregivers as they support their loved ones with day to day living, and with medications
  • discuss the supports provided by the Parkinson Society

Facilitator: Louise LeBlanc, Coordinator of Volunteers- Toronto with the Parkinson Society Central & Northern Ontario. Louise is also responsible for providing workshops to caregivers and to people who are newly diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease.

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Peer Mentor Mix and Mingle

Are you a student parent or a student with other family responsibilities?

Take this opportunity to chat to a Family Care Office peer mentor either one on one or in a group.

  • Pizza lunch will be offered and cupcakes!
  • Fill out a raffle ticket to enter a chance to win one of two $50 U of T Bookstore Gift Cards
  • Our student librarian will be available to help direct you to resources on parenting.
  • There will also be an opportunity to participate in a mindful parenting exercise.

Not sure what you can ask a Peer Mentor?Then read more here.

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Physiotherapy & Urinary Incontinence

Are you pregnant? Are you caring for an aging relative who is experiencing urinary incontinence? Attend this session to learn more about the issue of urinary incontinence, why it occurs and how best to manage it.

Urinary incontinence is reported to affect 3.3 million Canadians with only 25% of this population seeking professional help. Physiotherapy of the pelvic floor is becoming increasingly recognized as an effective first course of intervention for the management of urinary incontinence. A physiotherapist with training specific to pelvic health can offer education, advice & support as well as manual therapy and exercise prescription to help people of all ages to tackle incontinence issues.

Presentor: Clover O'Brien is a licensed physiotherapist working since 2006 with a wide variety of conditions and rostered with the College of Physiotherapy since 2012 to carry out assessment and treatment of pelvic floor conditions.

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Pink is for Girls and Blue is for Boys? Panel Discussion on Gender Neutral Parenting

Parental and societal expectations differ for girls and boys and parenting practices often reflect these unique expectations. Should girls and boys be parented differently? Is gender neutral parenting possible? What does gender freedom look like for children and what are the advantages and disadvantages? Join us for a conversation on gender socialization and gender neutral parenting.

Panelists: Dr. Pat Durish, Women and Gender Studies; Steven Solomon, Human Sexuality Program at the TDSB; and Parent, TBA

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Planning For Parenthood Workshop Series

Join us to find out how to make healthy choices that lead to a healthy lifestyle and promote wellness during pre-pregnancy, pregnancy and postpartum. Sessions will be interactive, promoting sharing of ideas and information. Participants will be able to access resources that support the information provided in the workshops.

Session Outline:

  • Session 1: Planning for Parenthood
  • Session 2: Making Healthy Lifestyles Choices (nutrition, physical activity, etc.)
  • Session 3: Harmful Substances and Protective Measures (alcohol, tobacco, etc.)
  • Session 4: Postpartum Care (mother, family, baby)

Facilitators: Carol Burke & Vivian Hwang

Carol Burke is a Public Health Nurse who has worked with Toronto Public Health since 1988. Her work experiences include: Maternal/Child Health; School-age Health; Adult Health; TB Control Nurse; and Healthy Lifestyles. Vivian Hwang is responsible for program delivery at the University of Toronto, Rotman School of Management, including the Directors Education Program and Financial Literacy for Directors and Executives.

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Planning for Pregnancy and Beyond

Join us to find out how to make healthy choices that lead to a healthy lifestyle and promote wellness during pre-pregnancy, pregnancy and postpartum. The session, created by Dr. Yolanda Kirkham, will address participants' specific concerns on a range of topics including: questions around conceiving, health concerns and risks during pregnancy, health care provider options, antenatal care and screening tests, and post-partum issues. Participants will be able to access resources that support the information provided in the workshops.

Facilitators: Drs. Katie McLean and Dana Soroka, U of T Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

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Planning for Pregnancy and Beyond (webinar)

Join us for this webinar to find out how to make healthy choices that lead to a healthy lifestyle and promote wellness during pre-pregnancy, pregnancy and postpartum. The session, created by Dr. Yolanda Kirkham, will address participants' specific concerns on a range of topics including: questions around conceiving, health concerns and risks during pregnancy, health care provider options, antenatal care and screening tests, and post-partum issues.

Facilitators: Drs. Katie McLean and Dana Soroka, U of T Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

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Poems written by Children during March 2010

These poems were written collaboratively by the participants of the Family Writing Workshop hosted by the FCO on March 19, 2010 as part of the March Break Family Event on campus. While the format is based on the poem, "The Job of an Apple" by Ronna Bloom, the themes were chosen spontaneously by the writers.

The Job of A Dad

The Job of a Dad is to protect children,
to be good, to be holding me.
The job of a Dad is to take photos of the family,
The job of a Dad is to encourage us to do stuff,
to earn money for their family. The job of a Dad
is to be around the kid when they need you the most.
The job of a Dad is to be strong, to be healthy, to eat
and to give us the right food.
The job of a Dad is to play with me.

The Job of A Kid

The Job of a kid is to study, is to work hard, is to listen to their parents.
The job of a kid is to play.
The job of a kid is to grow, to become a good human,
on the earth, to hope for their future,
and to imagine.
The job of a kid is to learn, to have fun
and to see a lot.

These poems were written during the same event by individual children:

Mint Chocolate Ice-cream

This is a story about a forest. It was the warmest forest in New Zealand and in the forest were many mint trees. One day a man went through the forest with his pet, a dog named Joey. As he was passing through the forest he smelled the mint and this and the heat made him remember his favourite mint chocolate ice-cream.

Written by Ina Arora — 9 years old

Blue Moon

I woke up in the morning. I heard my grandma moaning. It was familiar scene to me. My grandma is sick. I know that she's suffering from pain, and I want to help her. But I can't. I am in impoverishment.

I'm a 5th grade girl. And I'm living in a small town with my grandma.
My grandma told me that my mom and dad went to the city to earn money. They will come back one day. I don't remember my parent's face.
My grandma said I resembled my dad's eyes, and my mom's nose.

I was lonely and I didn't have any friends. But once I met the blue moon, now I'm not lonely. I'm a friend of blue moon. I've never talked to him in real life but I communicate with him with my heart. I don't know why I like him.

This is the story about how I met him. I was crying beside a tree which was near the lake and I saw the blue moon reflecting on the lake. It was bright and shinny. The blue moon gave me energy and hope. Then, I suddenly became a friend of the blue moon.

Today, I had a dream. There was me and my grandma flying in the sky with the blue moon. The happiest thing is that my grandma was not sick in my dream. I was happy even if it was a dream.

I know this is a dream but I know it will happen as long as I have my friend, blue moon.

Written by Jane Kim — 10 years old

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Positive Parenting (U of T Scarborough)

This practical and informative presentation helps parents develop a strong foundation of parenting that will help their children develop skills of social development and well-being. Participants will also learn effective strategies to facilitate positive behaviour, prevent misbehaviour and to deal effectively with inappropriate behaviour.

During this 1 hour wellness session participants will:

  • Discuss how to develop a strong foundation of parenting
  • Use this foundation as a springboard to parenting practices that help your child develop skills of social development and well-being
  • Learn effective strategies to facilitate positive behaviour, prevent misbehaviour and to deal effectively with inappropriate behaviour

Facilitator: Chris Brown, Homewood Health

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Positive Parenting and Guiding your Child's Behaviour

The UTM parenting group is inviting other members of the community to join in this positive parenting workshop. Participants will learn about the importance of setting limits, implementing appropriate consequences and offering choices to children. A time to refresh your parenting skills, learn new information and make connections with other parents/caregivers in your community.

Workshop presented by Venay, a Public Health Nurse with the Region of Peel Family Services.

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Positive Discipline for Children Aged 6 to 11

Know your child; teach your child. Guiding a child's behaviour is an art. We develop our skill the more we apply the techniques. It takes knowing your child, understanding how they think and doing some problem solving together so you can understand each other.

Come discuss some key techniques that can help you understand and guide your child effectively.

Facilitator: Brian Russell is a Parent Educator with the LAMP Community Health Centre. He and his wife have raised three daughters into the teen years (and so far, so good!)

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Post-Partum Depression

The connection between pregnancy and potential depression has been medically established. Do you have questions around how the baby blues may be dealt with? Have you or anyone you know had to deal with it? Join Dr. Danielle Thomas to learn more about the topic and weed out myth from reality.

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Pregnancy Changes and Concerns

A bi-monthly drop-in for U of T expecting and postnatal parents to:

  • Gain insight into various aspects of pregnancy including nutrition, emotional and physical changes, labour and delivery, and post-partum issues such as feeding your baby and adjusting to new life.
  • Find support and access resources.
  • Meet guest speakers, exchange ideas and experiences with other women regarding various aspects of pregnancy and life with baby.

Expectant parents who are U of T students, staff, faculty, postdoctoral fellows and their partners/spouses both are welcome to attend. Pre-registration required.
This program is a collaborative initiative of the Family Care Office and the Lawrence Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing.

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Prenatal Yoga

Are you pregnant? Are you looking for some tips on how to relax and make your pregnancy a bit more comfortable and active? Join us for a rejuvenating and informative prenatal yoga session. The workshop will include a 10-minute introduction; this will allow the group to share experiences and concerns. A gentle, 45-minute yoga class will follow with a basic introduction to some simple breathing techniques and gentle postures that will help to ease the physical and mental pressures of pregnancy.

This workshop will be facilitated by Valerie Iancovich and Tara McCarthy, who are certified yoga instructors. Participants will leave with handouts outlining a sequence of postures to try at home and some basic information about the benefits of yoga during pregnancy.

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Preparing for an Academic Career

For women graduate students who are planning a career in academia. Topics include:

  • Choosing a career in academia
  • How to position yourself for an academic career
  • The academic search process
  • The application process and what search committees are looking for

Accommodation: For disability-related accommodations or assistance with child care, please contact the Family Care Office at 416-978-0951 two weeks prior to each event.

Sponsor: Convened by the Status of Women Office in collaboration with the Offices of the Vice President and Provost; Vice President, Research; School of Graduate Studies; Family Care; Woodsworth College (THE500 program); Career Centre; Graduate Student Initiatives (GSI); and Graduate Students' Union (GSU).

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Preparing Healthy School Lunches and Snacks

Preparing healthy school lunches and snacks for your child can be easy if you have a few ideas up your sleeve. Join us to:

  • Find out how to maximize nutrients in your child's lunches and snacks.
  • Discover ways to increase the chances of your child eating what you packed.
  • Learn how to become more efficient with your lunch/snack packing and spend less time in the kitchen!
  • Explore different lunch/snack container options and find out which will work best for your child.

Facilitator: Aviva Allen is a kids' nutritionist and mother of two school aged boys, specializing in helping parents address picky eating and other feeding challenges. Aviva is also the founder of Healthy Moms Toronto, a network of over 7000 moms across the GTA with an interest in living a healthy lifestyle.

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Presenting Your Case Effectively: Advocating for Oneself & One's Family (GPS)

Students have a lot on their plate. When a problem arises - be it academic, family related, personal or professional - advocating for oneself and one's family can feel like a daunting task, particularly if the stakes are high. Traditionally defined as the "art of persuasion", rhetoric is a powerful tool that students can utilize to better communicate through the written word. What is the best way to present one's case? How can emotions be conveyed strategically and diplomatically? When writing a letter, what should come first - the presentation of the problem or the suggested solution? This workshop will touch upon these questions by focusing on the strategic use of rhetoric in letter writing.

Pre-requisite: Students will prepare and bring with them to the workshop a claim letter/memo requiring adjustment when something has gone wrong.

Facilitators:

Dr. Jovanovic-Krstic teaches business communication and media rhetoric at Innis College, U of T. She has also designed and taught courses in essay and report writing, rhetoric, grammar and stylistics. Her main areas of research and interest are focused in communication studies, namely communication in the blogosphere, rhetoric of war, spinning and framing tactics in the press. Viktoria is also co-founder, Communications Director of OnPoint Communications, a strategic communications consulting company.

Karolina Szymanski — Karolina Szymanski has worked at the University of Toronto for three years in various student-life related capacities. She has been intimately involved in a number of workshops and she has sat on the FCO's Student Advisory Committee. In May, 2010, in response to student requests for more programming around self-advocacy, Karolina successfully facilitated a similar workshop at the "Embracing Effective Energies Conference" in her then role of Asst. Programming Officer with the School of Graduate Studies.

Doctoral stream students can take this course as part of the GPS Program. GPS is a new initiative from the School of Graduate Studies that comprises a variety of offerings that provide students a full range of optional opportunities for professional skills development at University of Toronto. Your successful completion of GPS will be recognized by a transcript notation.

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Professional Schools Fair For Students with Family Responsibilities

Exploring your options for graduate school and/or thinking of a professional school?

Representatives from the following University of Toronto faculties will be available to answer your questions about their admission process and their programs.

  • Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work,
  • Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing
  • Faculty of Information (will only have information available)
  • Ontario Institute for Studies in Education - Initial Teacher
  • Education Program
  • Faculty of Law
  • School of Graduate Studies
  • Career Centre
  • Toronto School of Theology

This event is sponsored by Woodsworth College and the Family Care Office.

The Family Care Office has a small fund of money that is available to assist University of Toronto students with family responsibilities who wish to attend extra and co-curricular activities (such as this one) but are unable to because of child care costs. Here are the Eligibility Criteria.

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Queer & Trans Family Planning

Come with your questions about family planning, including fertility, home and clinic insemination, sperm banks, adoption, co-parenting, single parenting, non-biological and social (non-biological) parenting, surrogacy, family configurations and family recognition.

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Raising Cooperative Respectful Children

I need help! My child won't listen, go to bed, eat dinner, or do his homework.....she dawdles, argues, has tantrums, talks incessantly, ignores me, and fights with her sister. A must for every parent seeking solutions that really work! This workshop will give you the essential tools and strategies you need to win your child's cooperation.

Facilitator: Karen Skinulis is a Certified Montessori Director and has worked extensively as a teacher and a parent educator. She is a co-author of two parenting books and one teacher's book on classroom management.

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Raising Sexually Healthy Children

A two part workshop series designed to help adults learn about children's sexual growth and development and increase their ability to answer questions and deal comfortably with challenging situations and behaviours.

Facilitator: Keba Thomas, Toronto Public Health

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Raising Healthy Vegetarian Children

Learn about the specific nutrient needs of vegetarian & vegan children, and how to ensure their good health, proper growth and development.

  • Discuss the nutrient needs of children throughout the different stages (from infants to teens).
  • Find out how to incorporate these nutrients into their vegetarian/vegan diets.
  • Learn how to make your vegetarian meals more exciting for kids.

Handouts and recipes are included and there will be lots of time for questions.

Facilitator: Aviva Allen, RHN, is a Toronto Nutritionist specializing in Pregnancy, infant and child nutrition.

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Reach Out With Words

Support your child's speech and language development from birth to 5 years old.

In this workshop, the participants will focus on:

  • Communication milestones
  • Early identification of delays
  • The referral process
  • Home language preservation
  • Learning a second language
  • Use of language stimulation strategies to support children at home

Facilitator: Joanna Rekas, Toronto Preschool Speech & Language Services.

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Ready for Reading

As parents and caregivers, you play a crucial role in helping the preschool children in your care develop important, pre-literacy skills.

Learn about Ready for Reading, Toronto Public Library's comprehensive set of free, research-based programs, services and collections. Ready for Reading is an important resource for families and caregivers helping children acquire the six key skills needed to ensure reading success.

Have fun learning some new rhymes and practical tips to get your children ready for reading.

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Reducing Anxiety in Your Children

Some children seem to navigate through life with confidence and resilience, while others are anxious, full of self-doubt. In this workshop you will learn how to:

  • Help your child deal with separation anxiety as they start JK/SK
  • Assess the state of your child's anxiety and stress level, and gain ways to lessen it
  • Easy, everyday tools that will equip your child to withstand peer pressure, cliques, and bullying
  • Lay the groundwork for self-confidence and happiness all through life

Facilitator: Doone Estey, BA, MA. Doone is a Principal at Parenting Network Inc. and an Adlerian Parent Educator. She is in demand as an international expert on parenting, giving keynotes, school and corporate talks and media appearances at leading organizations. She recently presented at the ONSAP (Toronto), NASAP (Chicago and Philadelphia), CCC Alliance (New York City) and le club b (Toronto) conferences. Doone is a co-author of Raising Great Parents, How to be the Parent Your Kids Need You to Be.

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Relationships After Kids

Please join us for a lively discussion with Sandra Rotholc on Relationships After Kids! As parents we are all faced with a to-do list a mile long with no time in the day for ourselves or to foster our relationships with our partners. As the mother of two, Sandra understands the challenges and necessity of taking time for each other amidst the chaos of everyday life in a busy household.

In this workshop, we will discuss stress and the impact of children on relationships, as well as strategies that foster the relationship with our partners, including active listening and communication, intimacy and finding time to be affectionate with each other and exercises to do with your partner around changes in relationship since having kids.

Facilitator: Sandra Rotholc holds a Masters in Social Work from the University of Toronto. She has a special interest in coaching people to have healthier relationships. She is a Registered Social Worker, a Registered Psychotherapist, Registered Marriage and Family Therapist and Registered Sex Therapist.

THIS EVENT IS FOR PARENTS OF ALL AGED CHILDREN FROM BABIES TO TEENAGERS!

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School/Work/Life Balance for Students

The Work/Life Balance workshop will explore the multiple challenges that students and student parents face in trying to balance the multiple roles they play during their every-day lives. These roles often include parenting, being a student, other family responsibilities, keeping up physical/emotional/spiritual/mental health, financial obligations, and having a social life. This workshop will include a discussion around an alternative view of the work/life balance struggle, and participants will have an opportunity to discuss their challenges. Finally, the workshop will explore tips on improving your work/life balance, and provide helpful resources for all areas of life.

After completing this workshop, students will have learned:

  • An alternative way of looking at work/life balance
  • Tips from colleagues on how to balance the different aspects of your life
  • Helpful resources

Facilitator: Jessica Barnes, M.S.W. student

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Coping after a Recent Separation & Divorce Discussion Group

An educational discussion group designed to help people deal positively with separation and divorce. Topics are driven by the need of its participants. They might include:

  • Grief and letting go (being realistic of self and others)
  • Coping with children and co-parenting
  • Anger and resentment
  • Resources for surviving the separation and moving on
  • Strengthening support systems (loneliness)
  • Exploring what is ahead

This group will be open to both parents with children and individuals without children.

Facilitator: Michael Saini is an Associate Professor, holds the endowed Chair in Law and Social Work at the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto and is the Co-Director of the Combined J.D. and M.S.W. Program with the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto. He conducts custody evaluations, he is a parent coach for separated families and he provides parent education workshops on issues related to separation and divorce.

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Coping after a Recent Separation & Divorce Support Group

Have you recently separated or divorced from your partner? Come meet and join other students, staff or faculty at U of T to offer and share support in this difficult time. Topics to be explored will include:

  • the grieving and separation process and the difficult emotions that may arise"
  • regaining and developing your self-esteem
  • relationships with family, friends, and your former partner
  • setting new goals for your future as a single person

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The Emotional Pathways of Adjusting to Separation and Divorce

This introductory workshop will explore the process and impact of separation and divorce with an emphasis on strategies for coping, and addressing the emotions that arise from this important life transition. The workshop will then be followed with a question and discussion period.

Facilitator: Michael A. Saini, PhD, is an Associate Professor at the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto. For the past 15 years, he has been conducting custody evaluations and assisting children's counsel for the Office of the Children's Lawyer, Ministry of the Attorney General in Ontario. He is a parent coach to assist parents with the transition of separation and he has written in the area of high conflict, alienation, supervised visitation, virtual visitation and parent competencies post separation and divorce

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Separation and Divorce: What About My Children?

When parents part, there are short and longer term consequences for children. Participants discuss how children react when parents decide to live apart and strategies for responding to their issues and questions. Topics include:

  • The influence of age and developmental stage
  • Role of attachment and bonding
  • Understanding loss from the child's perspective
  • Strategies for meeting children's needs

Facilitator: Family Service Toronto, Families in Transition staff member

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Siblings without Rivalry

Does this sound familiar: "Mike took my CD again without asking!" How about this: "Can we take the baby back now." Sibling fights like these can wear parents down. Learn what you can do to reduce the tattling, fighting and arguing. This workshop will also look at some of the causes of sibling rivalry, as well as the practical steps parents can take to create more harmonious sibling relationships.

Facilitator: Karen Skinulis is a Certified Montessori Director and has worked extensively as a teacher and a parent educator. She is a co-author of two parenting books and one teacher's book on classroom management.

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Sleeping Techniques for Infants

Infant sleep habits are learned early. If you are a parent who has trouble getting your baby to sleep, this workshop will provide an opportunity to:

  • Discuss some approaches/causes to night waking
  • Talk about safe sleep strategies
  • Exchange ideas on how to fend off sleep deprivation

Facilitator: Nellie Sousa works with infants and toddlers at the U of T Early Learning Centre.

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Social Networking Safety for Parents

This workshop is intended to educate and empower parents on various aspects of Social Networking Safety with practical strategies for ensuring your children are safe while using various social media and communication tools. The workshop will feature Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat, Online Privacy, Texting, Handheld Devices and Cyberbullying.

Facilitator: Paul Davis has over 24 years of experience in Information Technology and has delivered workshops for the Department of National Defence, various school boards and has been featured on both Global and CTV.

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Steps to Success in an Academic Career: Academic Choices and Challenges

Women faculty at all stages of their academic careers will reflect on their experiences. Panels will be divided into those from humanities, social sciences, life and physical sciences.

Sponsor: Convened by the Status of Women Office in collaboration with the Offices of the Vice President and Provost; Vice President, Research; School of Graduate Studies; Family Care; Woodsworth College (THE500 program); Career Centre; Graduate Student Initiatives (GSI); and Graduate Students' Union (GSU).

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Stop Fighting with your Teenager

Effective communication skills are the foundation of good family relationships, especially when it comes to teenagers. Karen Skinulis of the Parenting Education Centre of Ontario will discuss proven techniques to bring families closer. Topics include: listening skills; conflict resolution; problem-solving techniques; as well as how to conduct regular family meetings.

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"Stuck in the Middle": Managing Multiple Responsibilities

"Stuck in the Middle" is a self-discovery session on dealing with constant challenges of having family responsibilities, working and being a student.

This self-awareness session will help you understand the feelings of guilt that arise when juggling your role as a student and not always having enough time to spend with your children and/or your loved ones. It's for everyone who feels overwhelmed.

Most of the exercises are done in pairs and within the group. In this session you will discover your patterns of 'stuckness' and learn to convert feelings of being overwhelmed into action, energy and change.

Facilitator: Anna Wesolinska is a Gestalt psychotherapist who has a private practice and has been running workshops at the Gestalt Institute of Toronto, the North York Women's Centre, and the Family Care Office.

Doctoral stream students can take this course as part of the GPS Program. GPS is an initiative from the School of Graduate Studies that comprises a variety of offerings that provide students a full range of optional opportunities for professional skills development at University of Toronto. Your successful completion of GPS will be recognized by a transcript notation.

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Stuck in the Middle: Juggling the challenges of having family responsibilities and work obligations

"Stuck in the Middle" is a self-discovery session on dealing with constant challenges of having family responsibilities and work obligations.

This self-awareness session will help you understand the feelings of guilt that arise when juggling your role as a parent and not always having enough time to spend with your children and/or your loved ones. It's for everyone who feels overwhelmed.

Most of the exercises are done in pairs and within the group. In this session you will discover your patterns of 'stuckness' and learn to convert feelings of being overwhelmed into action, energy and change.

Facilitator: Anna Wesolinska has a small psychotherapy practice. She has been running workshops at the Gestalt Institute, the North York Women's Centre, and the U o f T Family Care Office.

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Student Budgeting 101 (webinar)

Budgeting is about how to effectively manage the money you have. It doesn't matter if you're living pay check to pay check or earning six-figures a year, you need to know where your money is going if you want to have a handle on your finances. Unlike what you might believe, budgeting isn't all about restricting what you spend money on and cutting out all the fun in your life. It's really about understanding how much money you have and where it goes. At the end of this webinar, you will be able to define money and how to control it by completing the four steps to building a budget.

Presenters:

Edward Xiao is currently a second year Rotman Commerce student pursuing a specialization in Finance and Economics. Edward has a passion to teach and help others understand the necessity of financial knowledge.

Jennifer Tomic has been working for TD Wealth for over 10 years and is currently a Business Application Specialist. Her role involves training Financial Planners, Investment Advisors and Private Banking on how to effectively use TD systems to run their business. Jennifer has been involved with the Financial Literacy program for 3 years and is passionate about helping others to learn how to manage their finances.

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Students Cooking Together

Enjoy a meal together while others do a cooking demo and share useful tips on how to prepare nutritious and delicious food. Learn the tricks of the trade to cook fast, inexpensive meals, pick up and share practical recipes!

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Student Financial Resources and Tips

Are you an undergraduate student parent? Strapped for money?
Every year full and part-time undergraduate student parents can apply for the Dollars for Daycare Grant. Incomplete or unclear applications often result in less funding/no funding as the committee is unable to fully evaluate your application. Join us to learn how to best fill out the Dollars for Daycare application to help pay for your childcare-related expenses (even if you are already receiving child care subsidies) and learn about additional resources to help you stretch your dollars!

We'll also have information about the UTSU Health and Dental Plan, the Free Income Tax Clinic Service beginning in March, a 3 cent photocopying service, a Food Bank Service and the many other services that are provided by UTSU designed to help save you money. The Family Care Office will bring their wisdom and expertise to help you discover gems around the University that you might not be familiar with.

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Student Parent Conference

Building a student parents community


2008 CONFERENCE AGENDA

10:00 - 10:10 a.m. Registration

10:10 - 10:30 a.m. Welcome

10:30 - 12:00 p.m. SESSION 1: NON-VIOLENT DISCIPLINE

This session will cover proven discipline strategies that go beyond punishments and rewards and focus on non-violent communication with your children. Learn helpful tips and ideas to make disciplining more effective and your children more cooperative including:

  • How to use natural and logical consequences
  • How to win children's cooperation
  • The skill of providing respectful motivation

Suitable for parents and caregivers of children 2 - 12 years of age.

Facilitator: Karen Skinulis
Karen Skinulis graduated from York University with a degree in Psychology. She is a Certified Montessori Director and has worked extensively as a teacher and a parent educator. She is a co-author of two parenting books and one teacher's book on classroom management.

12:00 - 1:30 p.m. Lunch & a Welcome Address from Lucy Fromowitz, Assistant Vice-President, Student Life.

SESSION 2: SUSTAINING FINANCIAL STABILITY


A lunch time informal peer - led discussion. Join other students to discuss tips and strategies on how to sustain your financial stability while being a student and a parent. Share information on the bursary and general financial aid application process; learn how to obtain and fill out forms; and how to maneouvre through the system.

1:30 - 2:30 p.m. SESSION 3: STUCK IN THE MIDDLE

A session on dealing with constant challenges of being a parent and a student. This session is geared towards student parents with multiple responsibilities. It will address feelings of guilt that arise when juggling your role as a student and not always having enough time to spend with your children. It's for everyone who feels overwhelmed.

This is an interactive session where most of the exercises are done in pairs and within the group. In this session you will discover your patterns of 'stuckness' and learn to convert feelings of being overwhelmed into action, energy and change. A list of parent-friendly resources and services that 'take the load off' busy schedules will be provided.

Facilitator: Anna Wesolinska
Anna Wesolinska is an Information Officer at the Family Care Office. She has a small psychotherapy practice and has been running workshops at the Gestalt Institute and the North York Women's Centre.

2:30 - 2:45 p.m. Power Break


2:45 - 3:45 p.m. SESSION 4: JOB SEARCH PANEL

A panel on how to find a job on campus. Most student parents face financial struggles and need to seek employment that fits into their busy lives. Finding a job close to or on campus would save precious time and could make your demanding lives a little more manageable. This panel will discuss options and opportunities for student parents to find employment on campus. The panel will consist of student parents employed on campus and a career counsellor.

Student Panelists: Teresa Biderman, Charity Mwebaze, Linda King
Facilitator: Karen Carrel Rice. Karen Carrel Rice, UofT Career Centre Karen received her Master of Education from OISE/UT and has over 15 years of counseling experience. She enjoys working with the diverse student body at UofT and has experience in helping students from 1st year, through to PhD, as well as career changers


2006 Student Parents Conference

A free conference for University of Toronto student parents.

  • Opening
    Francesca Dobbin, Director of the Family Care Office

  • Time Management Workshop
    For student parents, it often feels as if there are never enough hours in the day. Do you feel like you're never devoting enough time to either family or school? Come to this workshop and discover tips on how to manage your time and create a balance between your school and home life.

  • Parenting with Humour
    Catherine Lawrence, mother of three and "CLO" (Chief Laughter Officer) of Survival of the Funniest will share her insights on the critical role of laughter and humour to survive and thrive in your parenting role. She will provide some fun, practical techniques to help you SEE funny and access your funny bone at times of unavoidable stress. Don't miss this laughter-filled workshop!

  • Career Choice and Job Search Tips for Student Parents
    Learn how to find work that will offer you the life-balance you need to develop your career and support you in your role as a parent. This hands-on session will provide an exchange of career information, ideas and
    strategies that will help you with all aspects of the career development
    process such as resume writing and, identifying family-friendly employers.

  • Closing of the Conference.

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Student Parent Mix and Mingle

Join us for a social with the Family Care Office peer mentors! Relax, unwind and meet other student parents who understand your challenges and concerns. Bring your creative energy with you as you will have an opportunity to build a dreamcatcher for your child during the event.

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Student Parent Social

Join us for a social with the Family Care Office peer mentors. Relax, unwind and meet other student parents who understand your challenges and concerns! Lunch will be served.

All U of T student parents are welcome!

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Student Parents Discussion Group

WANT TO TALK WITH OTHER STUDENT PARENTS ON-CAMPUS?

The Family Care Office will be sponsoring a Discussion Group For Student Parents who are interested in finding out about resources for families on-campus, offering support, sharing ideas with other parents, and discovering the secret to successful parenting.

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Student Parents Drop-in Fridays

The Family Care Office is hosting DROP-IN FRIDAYS for student parents for those interested in finding out more about resources for families on campus. So, drop in to discover our Resource centre, have a tea or coffee and schmooze with other parents and discover the secret to successful parenting on campus.

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Student Parents Focus Group

Are you a parent and a student? Are there resources you need at the University as a student parent or are you content with the services available? Do you have issues that are affecting your studies and your life as a parent?

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Studying and Raising a Family: How to Make it Work

For student parents who are looking for strategies to be more effective, and for those students who may want to start a family while studying at University and are looking for perspectives on how their lives might look like, take this opportunity to hear from 2-3 student parents who are currently studying and raising a family.

These students will share:

  • Their experience of parenting a child while studying
  • The resources they have accessed to assist them academically, financially and personally

In the second hour after the panellists speak, you will have the opportunity to meet and socialize with the other students in the session, and talk to our student peer mentors. Resources will also be available on pre-conception health.

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Summer Potluck Picnic for Students With Family Responsibilites

Bring your spouse/partner and children, relax, play at the beautiful Hart House Farm, and get a chance to connect with other U of T students who know what you are talking about!

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Supporting a Family Member with Mental Illness

Families who have a loved one with mental illness experience significant stress, which can impact their own health, relationships, careers and financial situations. This workshop will help teach individuals/families how to navigate the mental health system and provide them with support, education, coping skills and self-care strategies. Q&A and an informal discussion will follow.

Facilitator: Christine Cooper is the Executive Director at the Family Association for Mental Health Everywhere (FAME). Christine develops programming and the awareness for Families who have been impacted by mental health. Under her tenure, FAME has grown from one site to seven locations in the Greater Toronto Area, in her ongoing efforts to continue to build upon the need to support families.

UTSC Facilitator: Sarah Robertson, Family Association for Mental Health Everywhere (FAME)

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Supporting Caregivers 55+ in Toronto

In this session, Jennifer Hardy, OT Reg. (Ont.) will:

  • Discuss and provide an overview of a seniors' mental health initiative known as "Living Life to the Full"
  • Provide information on the availability and eligibility of Living Life to the Full in Toronto for caregivers 55+, as well as some additional resources.

Facilitator: Jennifer Hardy, OT Reg. (Ont.), Program Manager, Living Life to the Full for Caregivers 55+ with the CMHA, Ontario Division. Jenny has been working at CMHA for almost 3 years in her capacity as coordinator of the Living Life to the Full program, a CBT-based mental health promotion program delivered in community settings. Jenny has worked to bring Living Life to the Full to older adults across Ontario, and is currently focused on a program roll out in Toronto with caregivers over the age of 55+. Since graduating from the University of Toronto, Jenny has spent her career working to implement community based initiatives for older adults, including a food security program, friendly visiting service, and community garden initiative.

Please note this workshop is intended for caregivers who are 55 years or older.

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Supporting Child Adjustment to Separation and Divorce

Participants discuss how parents can help children cope with separation and divorce. Topics include:

  • Divorce from the child's perspective
  • Factors affecting how children cope with separation and divorce
  • Strategies for supporting child adjustment

Facilitator: Mike Stone, MSW, from Family Service Toronto, Families in Transition

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Talking To Your Child About Sexual Orientation

Join us for a conversation about the many ways we talk about sexual orientation with our kids, and how you can create a more inclusive and hopefully welcoming environment for your child to learn both personally and about the diversity of lived experience in their communities and their city.


Open to parents with kids of all ages, this workshop aims to offer guidance and facilitate peer learning on how to communicate about sexual orientation in ways that match your own values and support your child regardless of their experience.

Topics covered will include:

  • Understanding sexual orientation (definitions, terms)
  • When and how to talk to your children
  • Responding to questions and comments inside the family and from the various communities you and your child are part of

Facilitator: Cory Silverberg

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Teens and the Family: Making it Work

Join us for an interactive discussion on how to navigate your family's needs and requirements with the developmental stages and challenges of your teen. Bring issues for discussion around how you would like things to work better in your family.

By the end of this session you will be familiar with:

  • Your teen's developmental challenges and how they play out in the family
  • Communication strategies that work in negotiating this dynamic
  • Resources and information that support active parenting

Facilitator: Lynne Mitchell. Lynne is a registered social worker in private practice. She facilitates parenting groups and has presented extensively on the topic of parenting teens.

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The ABC's of Adoption for LGBTQ People

Are you considering adoption? Wondering what the options are for LGBTQ people? Two speakers from the Children's Aid Society will discuss the adoption process; a lesbian couple will share their personal experience of adopting through Children's Aid; and Pat Fenton from the Adoption Council of Ontario will discuss some of the issues involved in international adoption and private adoption.

This workshop is being sponsored by the Family Care Office; Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, Queer, Resources and Programs, U of T; and the LGBT Parenting Network, Family Service Association of Toronto.

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The Academic Job Interview and Negotiating Your First Contract

This session will address best (and worst) practices at the interview and strategies for contract negotiations. Topics to be addressed include:

  • Interview techniques: Do's and Don'ts
  • Negotiating terms of the job offer

Sponsor: Convened by the Status of Women Office in collaboration with the Offices of the Vice President and Provost; Vice President, Research; School of Graduate Studies; Family Care; Woodsworth College (THE500 program); Career Centre; Graduate Student Initiatives (GSI); and Graduate Students' Union (GSU).

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The Footprints of Fatherhood

Dads have a unique opportunity to influence their children. This workshop will highlight the key things children need as they follow their father's footprints through life.

Facilitator: Brian Russell is a Parent Educator with the LAMP Early Years Services in Toronto and the Provincial Coordinator of Dad Central Ontario.

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The Resilient Parent and Caregiver

Learn and practice resilience based coping strategies that can help you and your family regain balance and joy in your daily life!

Caring for a child or a loved one is rewarding, but it also involves many changes, such as household and routine disruption, financial pressures as well as, long-term responsibilities. Building resilience is ensuring that you are prepared in times of high stress.

In this session, you will:

  • Learn self-care strategies.
  • Discover where you invest most of your physical and emotional energy and whether it's productive.
  • Uncover your coping style and learn practical tools that will help you and your family be more resilient in times of stress.

This workshop is designed for parents and caregivers.

Facilitator: Anna Wesolinska, M.Ed., is a Gestalt trained psychotherapist with nine years of experience in private practice. Anna works from a model of health, balance and empathy by bringing into awareness the places where we get stuck and our unique ways of getting there. Anna is a member of the Ontario Association of Consultants, Counsellors, Psychometrists and Psychotherapists (OACCPP).

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Toddler Nutrition — The tips, tricks & challenges of feeding children aged 18 months - 3 years

Learn how to maximize nutrition for your busy toddler and build a foundation for healthy eating habits. Topics covered will include:

  • Making healthy food and drink choices
  • Your toddlers changing appetite
  • Self-feeding skills
  • Feeding a picky eater
  • Dealing with resistance at the table as your toddler strives for independence and control.

Facilitator: Aviva Allen, RHN, is a Toronto Nutritionist specializing in Pregnancy, infant and child nutrition.

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Toddler Nutrition — Building Healthy Eating Habits

Participants will learn:

  • Different small nutritious meals and snacks to be served everyday
  • To offer a variety of foods from the four food groups
  • To satisfy their thirst with water
  • To understand your toddler's food needs
  • To feed a fussy eater
  • The importance of being a good food role model

In collaboration with the Woodsworth Single Parents' Group.

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Toileting Workshop

Helping children move from diapers or pull-ups into underwear is a big step for both parents and children. There are two different approaches that are usually used: Toilet training versus Toilet learning. In this workshop we will discuss both methods and the style that might be preferred by parents and their children.

Facilitator: Rochelle Dobusz-Hopkins- University of Toronto Early Learning Centre-RECE. Working with children and families for more than 10 years, Rochelle has had the opportunity to work with children and families from 0-12 years, but primarily with Toddlers and Preschoolers aged 16 mos-4. Rochelle has been working with children and their families at the ELC for the past 7 years.

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Understanding Canada's Retirement Income System — Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security

In this session, a representative from Service Canada will provide an overview of Canada's Pension Plan and Old Age Security. She will review eligibility requirements, the application process, and what your entitlements are. This session would be of benefit to those who may be retiring shortly or for individuals who may be caring for an aging relative who is entitled to these benefits.

By the end of this session you will understand how Canada's retirement income system is structured, what an individual is entitled to through CPP and OAS and what you need to do to receive these benefits.

Facilitator: Fernanda Soukas, Citizen Services Specialist, Service Canada

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Understanding Estate Planning and the Importance of a Will

Please join Lisa Sticht-Maksymec and Cecile Ko, lawyers with Pallett Valo LLP for a workshop on estate planning.

This workshop will provide an overview of estate planning and will answer your questions about Will planning, tax considerations, and Powers of Attorney.

Whether you are a new parent, recently married, in a blended family or you are caring for an aging relative, take this opportunity to learn more about estate planning and what you need to consider.

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Understanding Learning Disabilities in Children

This workshop will provide information about learning disabilities in children by addressing: what a learning disability is, common signs, assessment, and the impact of a learning disability and support services available. Participants are encouraged to send their questions or concerns to family.care@utoronto.ca ahead of time and/or to bring them to the workshop for discussion.

Facilitator: TBA

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Understanding Flexible Work Arrangement Options (for staff only)

Are you returning from a maternity leave or taking care of young children and are thinking of a different work arrangement? Perhaps you are caring for an aging relative and realize you just don't have enough time in the day to handle all your responsibilities. Attending this session will help staff understand:

  • The different types of flexible work arrangements that may be possible for a staff member
  • How an appropriate flexible work arrangement might be put in place (a case study example will be used)
  • How you would proceed to request a flexible work arrangement for yourself

Understanding the different flexible work arrangement options, will help you to determine if a flexible work arrangement might be possible in your current work environment, and if it might assist you deal with a current family concern.

Please note this workshop is not intended for managers or supervisors who are dealing with requests for a flexible work arrangement.

Facilitators: Teresa Scannell, Career/Work-Life Consultant; Kaye Francis, Manager, Family Care Office

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UTM Eldercare: Exploring Senior Housing Options

This is a workshop for family caregivers who are coming to the difficult realization that their elderly loved one may no longer be able to live in their current home and may have to relocate to a care facility.

Join, Esther Goldstein, social worker and author of Comprehensive Guide to Retirement Living®, as she explores:

  • How you discuss relocating with your loved one
  • The emotional aspects for both the caregiver and the loved one
  • The options for lifestyle choices from in-home supports to a facility
  • Retirement homes and long-term care homes

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UTM Eldercare: Understanding the Role of the CCAC

Do you have questions about community resources in the Peel region that you or your aging relative may be able to use? Join Marion Strode, Case Manager and Acting Client Services Manager for the Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) for Peel as she will provide:

  • an overview of the elder care services offered through the Peel CCAC including the process for long term care placement
  • information on caregiver stress and the resources that are available in the community to help the caregiver of an aging relative

All staff and faculty are welcome to attend.

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UTM Faculty Relocation Service Information Session (Staff Only)

All department administrative staff involved in the recruitment of tenure stream and teaching stream faculty are welcome to attend this Faculty Relocation Service (FRS) Information Session.

In this session, you will receive:

  • An overview of the services provided by the Faculty Relocation Service including how to arrange for appointments for prospective faculty
  • A description of other campus relocation services available to new faculty including Faculty Housing, Dual Career Connection, and banking services

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UTM Orientation for Students With Family Responsibilities

Join other student parents to learn about the services and resources available to students with families on campus, get advice on how to adjust to the University life, and start creating your support networks by making new friends.

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UTM Parenting: CYBER SAVVY Workshop

This workshop will address important information on how to reduce online risks to children and families. Topics include:

  • What are IM's, Chat Rooms, Blogs, Spam and Viruses?
  • What is my child doing online and who is he or she talking to?
  • What strategies do online predators use to gain access to children?
  • What precautions can I take to protect my children while they are online?

Facilitator: Judy Engle, Jewish Family and Child

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Positive Parenting and Guiding your Child's Behaviour

The UTM parenting group is inviting other members of the community to join in this positive parenting workshop. Participants will learn about the importance of setting limits, implementing appropriate consequences and offering choices to children. A time to refresh your parenting skills, learn new information and make connections with other parents/caregivers in your community.

Workshop presented by Venay, a Public Health Nurse with the Region of Peel Family Services.

Facilitator: Kasia Pytlik, M.S.W. student, Family Care Office

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UTM Workshop: Supporting a Family Member with Mental Illness

Families who have a loved one with mental illness experience significant stress, which can impact their own health, relationships, careers and financial situations. This workshop will help families and caregivers care for themselves and their loved ones by discussing the development of resilience in families living with mental illness by providing support, education, coping skills and self-care strategies.

Facilitator: Stephanie Kerr, Family Support Worker, Family Association for Mental Health Everywhere (FAME), Mississauga Office.

This workshop is brought to you by the Family Care Office and Health & Counselling Centre, University of Toronto Mississauga.

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UTM Workshop: Understanding the Support Services Available for Seniors in Peel Region

This workshop will provide caregivers of aging relatives an understanding of how to access support services that would help with the care of a loved one so that they can remain in the home longer, as well as information on accessing long-term care options if staying at home is no longer possible.

Facilitator:
  • Kevin Leet, Program Facilitator
  • Family Services of Peel

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UTSC Eldercare: Taking the 'Mystery' out of Retirement Living

Join Esther Goldstein of Retirement Residential Placement Service, Inc. for an informative and practical session on the search for a retirement home. She will discuss the following topics:

  • What is a retirement home and who needs one?
  • How to look for a retirement home, including visiting tips
  • The emotional aspects of relocation and how to make the transition easier

Esther Goldstein has worked as a hospital social worker in the Greater Toronto Area for the past 12 years. Much of her work involves counselling clients and their families about the difficult task of relocating to care facilities and assisting them with the placement process.

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UTSC Parenting Workshop: HELP!!! I am the Parent of a Teen

Join us for a discussion on what is going on in your teen's life and parenting strategies for dealing with these issues in a positive way. We will discuss:

  • Teen developmental stages and challenges
  • Internet and video games
  • Drugs and alcohol
  • Sexuality
  • Peer pressure

Facilitator: Lynne Mitchell M.E.S., M.Ed., R.S.W. Lynne is a registered social worker in private practice in the area of individuals, relationships and families with a special interest in adolescents and young adults.

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Video Gaming and Internet Gambling: How much is too much?
Understanding and identifying the issues in your family and friends.

This seminar is for those who are concerned that someone close to them has a gaming or a gambling problem. A lot of teens, adolescents and adults play video games online and gamble online. Is playing a lot of video games a problem? When does it become a problem?

Learning Outcomes:

  • Identify the difference between regular gaming and problem gaming behaviour by asking the right questions and recognizing common signs.
  • Understand the treatment options and approaches.
  • Learn about resources available in the community.

Note:
Although anyone can attend, the content of this seminar will primarily focus on youth under 24.

Who should attend?

  • University of Toronto staff, faculty and students concerned about their family member or a friend
  • University of Toronto educators and students interested in adolescent and/or addiction issues

Speakers: Dr. Bruce Ballon and Lisa Pont

Dr. Bruce Ballon is a psychiatrist and an Assistant Professor for the University of Toronto's Faculty of Medicine. Dr. Ballon is also the section Chair of Innovation in Teaching Methods for the Association of Academic Psychiatry. Dr. Ballon is the Director of the Psychiatry Simulation Innovation (P.S.I.) Centre for the University of Toronto based at the Mount Sinai Hospital. He is also the Head and developer of the new initiative Adolescent Clinical and Educational Services (ACES) from Problem Gambling, Gaming and Internet Addiction at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH).

Lisa Pont has a Bachelor of Social Work from Ryerson University and a Master of Social Work from York University. She has worked for the Problem Gambling Service at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) as the Older Adult Specialist since January 2007. Prior to that, she coordinated the Telephone Support Line at CAMH since its inception in 2003. In all of her professional roles, she has been a strong advocate for people living with mental health and/or addiction issues. Her experience in counseling, outreach, community work and training led her to her position as a Trainer/Therapist with the Problem Gambling Project and Problem Gambling Service at CAMH.

This workshop is sponsored by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and the University of Toronto Family Care Office.

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Working and/or Studying while being a Sole Support Parent: Panel Discussion

In this panel discussion we weill discuss studying and/or working while being a sole support parent. Being a lone parent has its challenges for career development as well as your approach to academic studies. Current staff and students will discuss how they approach trying to balance studies/work with parenting on their own. The panellists will also share some strategies they used to assist with their academic studies and/or move their career forward.

Facilitator and panelist: Liza Arnason, Director, Student Life and International Student Centre (UTSC)

Panelists: Malkia Mpamuki, Undergraduate student, Holly Andrews, Educational AV Coordinator, Discovery Commons, Faculty of Medicine and recent graduate, and TBD

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Working With Your Child's School

  • Are you concerned about how your child is doing in school?
  • Are you unsure about how to approach a parent-teacher conference?
  • Join experienced parent volunteers Joanne Pauli & James Barrass to discuss topics including: choice of schools, parent -teacher relationship, and parent involvement.

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Writing in The Spirit of Connection (or, When You Meet the Stranger, Say Hello)

Who is the stranger? Mostly we think of people we don't know, those new to us, as strangers. But the stranger is also myself when I do something out of character; I say 'that's not me.' How do you encounter what's unfamiliar where you find it? Fear? Curiousity? In this series, use writing to explore coming up against the other who is both within and without, and saying hello. No experience necessary.

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