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We hope you will join us online on November 19th, 20th, 26th, and 27th for OARTY's 2020 Conference!

OARTY’s key educational event, the Annual Conference is normally held each year at the beginning of June over a three day period (Wednesday through to Friday) - this year we're going digital! Geared to the child welfare and residential care sectors, the event sees individuals attend to share knowledge, connect and find opportunities to create better futures for Ontario’s children, youth and young adults

To stay informed and up to date with Conference and event news subscribe to OARTY Event Promotions and Information (login required).  Members and non-members alike can receive access to update subscriptions, contact information and view news and updates on their personal dashboards.  To get your login information set up, simply email and an email will be sent to you to set up your password and access. 

Conference Program:

Day 1 – Thursday, November 19 – 12:50 PM to 4:45 PM

12:50 – 1:00               Opening Remarks

1:00 – 2:00                 Update from the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services
  David Remington, ADM, Child Welfare & Protection Division
                                    Greg Douglas, Director, Residential Services Branch
                                    Saba Ferdinands, Director, Children and Youth at Risk Branch

Representatives from the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services will attend to provide updates and present on the MCCSS Quality Standards Framework. This session will include time to allow service providers the opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback to MCCSS.

2:15 – 4:45                 Safeguards Moving Forward: Cultivating Hope - Part 1 (2.5 hours)
Alesya Courtnage, MA, RP, CCC

Hope is the driving force behind action and it can be intentionally cultivated in conversations. This skill-based course will explore what it takes to be clinically effective regardless of the time available, setting, or presenting problem and to move through this unsettling interlude with integrity and confidence. Learn practical skills that can be implemented immediately.

Front-line practitioners all want the best for their clients, but it can be challenging to feel helpful when faced with limited time, resources, less-than-ideal situations and/or challenging times. This training will explore what it takes to be clinically effective regardless of the time available, setting, or presenting problem. Drawing on the research surrounding Hope Theory (Snyder, 1994), practitioners will be invited to consider hope as an “active ingredient” in helpful conversations and will discuss how to cultivate hope more intentionally in their work and themselves.

Although the content of this training will be generalizable to many different contexts and presenting problems, the focus will be on how to gently and sensitively kindle hopeful thinking while hearing stories of trauma survival, abuse, suicide or self-harm. This will allow clients to come away from conversations feeling more empowered as they move forward with their lives. This training is specifically intended for situations where there is an understanding that interactions with clients might be brief or informal such as case management, or residential care settings.

This training will also address how being more intentional with hope can mitigate the experience of “compassion fatigue” among the helping professionals. The importance of staying connected and grounded to our own experience of hope, especially when facing situations where hope is veiled, will be discussed.

Learning Outcomes
This is a skill-based training and learners will:
1)    Identify how, when and where the principles of Hope Theory may be most impactful
2)     Describe the key components of Hope Theory.
3)     Be able to ask meaningful questions that nurture hopeful thinking.
4)     Recognize how the intentional use of hope impacts their professional experience.

Please note that this training will be offered in two sessions (Part 1 on November 19th and Part 2 on November 26th)

Day 2 – Friday, November 20 – 9:00 AM to 12:30 PM

9:00 – 9:40                 Welcome, OARTY AGM - OARTY Members Only

10:15 – 11:15             Insurance and Risk Management Best Practices
Michael Lough & Christine Tibben-Pound, Frank Cowen Company

Representatives from OARTY’s insurance partner, the Frank Cowan Company will provide an overview of the most common claims that our association is facing when it comes to property and liability insurance. They will then address these issues with coverage and risk management techniques to prevent or minimize losses.  Real life examples and solutions will be offered in this session.

11:30 – 12:30             Know More Human Trafficking
    Wendy Gee & Jodi Mosley, A New Day Youth and Adult Services  

This session will explore human trafficking, including a review of risk factors and grooming. The presentation will look at the stages of grooming and provide insight as to how you can recognize the signs. The physical and psychological impacts of human trafficking will also be discussed. The presenters will also provide an overview of A New Day Youth and Adult Services including the criteria for admission.

Day 3 – Thursday, November 26 – 12:50 PM to 4:45 PM

12:50 – 1:00               Opening Remarks

1:00 – 2:00                 COVID-19’s Second Wave:  Keeping our Heads Above Water
Lisa Corrente, Torkin Manes LLP

The second wave of COVID-19 has seen an increase in infections to younger people in Ontario. Please join Lisa Corrente of Torkin Manes LLP as she discusses how operators can navigate the second wave of COVID-19 in order to best protect themselves, their staff and residents against the risks of the pandemic. Topics to be discussed in this session include:

  • Amendments to the Child, Youth and Family Services Act arising from the pandemic;
  • Compliance with updated government directives and guidelines;
  • Managing emerging issues with employees; and
  • Dealing with complaints, claims and insurance issues.

2:15 – 4:45                 Safeguards Moving Forward: Cultivating Hope - Part 2 (2.5 hours)
Alesya Courtnage, MA, RP, CCC

This training is offered in two sessions (Part 1 on November 19th and Part 2 on November 26th). For the full description of the course please see the session description above under Day 1.

Day 4 – Friday, November 27th – 9:00 AM to 11:45 PM

9:00 – 10:00               The PersonBrain™ Model – A Trauma Based Model of Intervention
Christy Murtha, MSW, RSW, Key Assets Ontario Inc.

Our understanding of the brain has been growing at an amazing rate. Essential information is now available to those in the helping fields that requires a practical knowledge of how relational and ecological experiences, both positive and negative, shape the brain and, as a result, how the brain drives behaviors.

The PersonBrain Model™ is a powerful, trauma informed care training that is strengths-based and provides essential positive behavior support skills within a Neuro-Transactional Model. The Model’s unique combination of powerful therapeutic skills is designed to support the comprehensive needs of even the most challenging of children and youth. These therapeutic skills are helpful within school, residential care, juvenile justice, foster care and related settings that serve children and youth from difficult histories. ‚Äč

The Model was created by Dr. Paul Baker, a developmental neuropsychologist and foster/adoptive parent. The PersonBrain Model™ provides a foundational understanding of the developing brain and a model for 'reimbursing' young people in four elements of flourishing, and is a guide for responding to various brain states in the moment.

There are many benefits to learning about The PersonBrain Model™:

  • Supports integration of the best of neuroscience and relational practice
  • Equips participants to "relate well and react less"
  • Practical and easily applied  

10:15 – 11:45             Lessons Learned from the Pandemic (Panel)
                                    David Corkery, Stepping Stones Foster Care
                                    Kim Erskine, Stewart Homes
                                    Christine Rondeau, Partners in Parenting

The global COVID-19 pandemic shifted the world from business as normal to business in a constant state of flux. This panel discussion will focus on lessons learned from the COVID-19 Pandemic in the residential care sector: what went right, what needs improvement and what we learned. The panel will examine the challenges the sector faced and overcame, and the changes being made as we move forward. We will also explore what the long-term implications may be as the pandemic continues to alter how we work, and which lessons we can take from this pandemic to create a better residential care sector.

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