Hello Pathways alumni!!
I hope your summers were enjoyable and that there were lots of moments of relaxation and fun family time. Hard to believe it went by so fast but September and school have certainly arrived....
A few key ACO PACT updates we thought you'd be interested in:
Pathways Training & Parent Support Groups
On August 15th, we announced our Fall Pathways offerings in the following locations:
Sault Ste. Marie
Toronto - for LGBTQ identified families
Some of the offerings are already full - yay!!- but we have room available in the Belleville, Dryden, Sault Ste Marie and Windsor offerings and a couple of spots left in Ottawa and Newmarket. If you know of any families in these areas please let them know about the course and how worthwhile it is!
We are thrilled that there is a Parent support group of some kind happening in each of the 12 communities where we have offered Pathways to date: Barrie, Richmond Hill, London, Hamilton, Thunder Bay, Kanata, Toronto, Brampton, Bracebridge, Peterborough, Kingston and Kitchener. We hope you have stayed in touch with the other families you met through the training and continue through participation in your group to support one another. This support and connection to others who understand your journeys can make a world of difference.
For those of you interested in an intensive therapeutic group for adoptive parents, please contact our clinicians at firstname.lastname@example.org. A few Changing the Scripts groups will get underway this fall in and around the GTA.
Professional ACT Training
In terms of professional training, we are offering our 8-day comprehensive ACT training in Barrie and Ottawa beginning later this month. Please tell any professionals that you know of in theses areas. The ACT course is excellent - it provides an overall framework for working with all members of the permanency and adoption constellation. The more permanency and adoption competent professionals we have in our communities the better help our families will receive.
ACO's Education Day
Our Education Day is being held on Saturday October 22 in Brampton. We have an amazing line-up of speakers and Workshops that we think you will find to be very interesting and useful. We hope to see you there!! Registration is now open and available on-line here.
NEXT SUNDAY IS FUNWALK
Next Sunday September 18 is the ACO's FunWalk!! For those of you who have never heard of FunWalk, it's the ACO's only fundraiser each year. Families from all across the province are invited to attend and participate in a short walk through the lovely neighbourhood in Toronto and then join in the fun - games, music, dancing, entertainment and a yummy BBQ. It's a lot of fun and being with so many other adoptive families all together in one place is really exciting for parents and kids alike. The theme is Superheroes this year and costumes are very much encouraged!!
It would be great if you were able to make it to the FunWalk - we'd love to have our Pathways families be a part of it this year and in the years to come. Sylvia, our Parent Liaison, tells me that some of you plan to come which is amazing!! I look forward to meeting you - please find me and introduce yourself!!
For those of you who can't make it but would like to be a part of it in some way, I've set up a Pathways Team fundraising page for FunWalk. I will walk for the Pathways Team on Sunday and you can contribute to the ACO through the Pathways Team fundraising page. Many of you have mentioned that you have wanted to do something to move this work forward - your donations will help us do that.
The ACO works hard, every day, against tremendous odds, to help ensure that all kids in Ontario have families and that the families that take on the challenges of adoption have the support they need. We do this work to support kids and families in a system characterized by an absence of sufficient and appropriate resources – something that again this year a number of newspaper articles and government-sponsored reports have borne out.
Your help means the ACO can keep working on its vision of a village of support for our families. In addition to all the work we are currently doing to this end, we hope going forward to improve our website so that Ontario resources can be found much more easily by families across the province, we hope to provide good training to our parent support group leaders, we hope to hold a 2-day conference next summer to build on our Education Days even further and we hope to bring some much needed understanding and advocacy to the issue of developmental trauma for kids in and from foster and institutional care. These are just some of our goals going forward. We'd truly appreciate your support in making these goals a reality.
If you are able, please consider making a donation to the Pathways Team - big or small or in between - whatever you are comfortable with. You can click here to donate.
And don't hesitate to reach out to your family and friends. I suspect they know that this isn't an easy road and would be very willing to support an organization like the ACO. In all the work that we do, we believe first and foremost that Kids Need Families and Families Need Support. My husband and I send out a FunWalk email each year to our circle of family and friends and their support for the ACO continues to grow year by year.
Thank you for anything you are able to contribute!! It is greatly appreciated.
And finally one last update, November is Adoption Awareness Month. We've started our planning for November and we will update you on it in the coming weeks. If you think you might like to be involved in getting our message out there, please let us know - we can all help make this happen.
Ok that's it for now!! Thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope you have a lovely Sunday and look forward to meeting some of you next weekend and hearing from any of you that would like to connect.
We wish you and your families a good Fall,
The PACT Team
Please note: If you would prefer not to receive these updates please reply to this email and let us know and we will remove you from the Pathways distribution list. Just an FYI, all Pathways participants are blind copied on these emails; only the ACO staff and ACT trainers' email addresses are visible to recipients.