Coming together for children in Ottawa

Date: TBA
Learn MorePostponed - Details HERE

Uniting the city to increase our positive impact on vulnerable children and their families.

 

We ALL have a part to play in caring for Ottawa’s vulnerable children and families. We believe YOU play a key role in how we can more effectively connect and equip our community to prevent children from entering the child welfare system, intervene through foster care and adoption and restore hope as they age. Join us Friday, March 27th (7-9:30 pm) and Saturday, March 28th (8am – 4:30pm) for a day of education and collaboration as we come together for at-risk children and their families in Ottawa! Lunch is included in your registration and childcare is available for a small fee.

If you are a leader in a church, school or organization that serves vulnerable children and families we welcome you to come on Friday, March 27th (8am – 5pm) for a pre-conference day of collaboration and learning about tangible ways we can partner together to create an equipped and mobilized culture of care in our community.

Join us at The Bridge in Kanata on March 27 & 28th to work together to follow God’s heart in caring for his children and families!

Resource material for helping to promote this conference to your church or community are available here.

 

Days until the Conference

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Keynote Speaker – Tiffany Loeffler

Tiffany is the founder and director of Defending the Cause Regional Alliance which is a network of organizations in Northern California working together to protect kids and strengthen families. She firmly believes that every child deserves a family who loves them and that collaboration is the only way to see wide-spread impact. Tiffany and her husband Matt led short term mission teams to Haiti for 7 years, they founded and co-led a local church-based orphan care ministry and also have 2 adopted children from Haiti. In addition to leading a movement of regional unity though Defending the Cause, Tiffany is also a physical therapist and is part of the Church Ministry Coaching team for the Christian Alliance for Orphans.

Pricing & Registration

Schedule

Note: The schedule is still subject to change.

Leadership Day Schedule 

Friday March 27
8:00am Registration
8:30am Welcome
9:00am The Impact of Organizational Collaboration Tiffany Loeffler
10:30am What is Connect Care Ottawa?
11:00am Church Coaching Manual
12:00pm Lunch
1:00pm CareWell Academy/Forever Families
1:30pm Breakout Sessions
2:30pm CarePortal
3:15pm Panel of Partner Organizations and Churches
4:30pm Closing

Conference Schedule 

Friday March 27
7:00pm Registration
7:30pm Welcome & Worship
8:00pm Pursuing your Purpose Tiffany Loeffler
Saturday March 28
8:00am Registration
8:30am Welcome and Worship
9:00am Creating a Community of Care for Vulnerable Children and their Families Tiffany Loeffler
10:15am What is Connect Care Ottawa?
11:15am Panel of Partner Organizations and Churches
12:30pm Lunch
1:45pm Breakout Session #1
3:00pm Breakout Session #2
4:00pm Worship and Closing

Session Descriptions

Note: The details of each breakout session is still tentative.

Leadership Day – Friday March 27

Keynote: The Impact of Organizational Collaboration

Tiffany Leoffler

The needs of vulnerable children and families are widespread and complex. Within each region there are many organizations that provide valuable resources yet, when those organizations learn to work together, greater things can be accomplished. In this session we’ll explore the benefits of collaboration, the importance of Regional Alliances in the continuum of care and keys to forming healthy partnerships.

What is Connect Care Ottawa?

Be introduced to the who, what and why of Connect Care Ottawa.Aidan & Jo VanDyk

Caring for vulnerable children is not a cause to support but our calling as the church. And the church is perfectly positioned to make an impact. This manual is designed to help church leaders understand the current issues children and families in our culture face, to assess their resources, and to determine how they can uniquely answer God’s call to care for vulnerable children. These modules are clear, concise and well-thought-out. The material leans heavily on biblical texts and pulls from resources written by well-respected leaders in the field. We believe that this manual is effectively designed to ask the hard questions that will open up churches to the call to help. He’s calling each one of us to play a role in caring for the least of these…let’s learn how together.

CareWell Academy/Forever Families
Wendi Park

Churches want to care for vulnerable children & families but practical & societal barriers often prevent it from happening effectively. This session explores a new national initiative of Forever Families of Canada, called CareWell Academy, that is designed to equip local CarePortal church communities to effectively respond to ongoing needs identified by local child serving agencies.

Breakout Sessions
Understanding our Indigenous culture
Mike Hogeterp & Jonathan Maracle
Do you believe that God calls all Canadians to be engaged citizens and to stand with vulnerable and marginalized people in our communities as allies? Indigenous people are the First Peoples of this land now called Canada. In this session, we’ll reflect on the responsibilities of non-Indigenous people as treaty people. Knowing this foundation is essential as the church seeks to be salt and light in the context of the over-representation of Indigenous children in child welfare systems.

Responding to Poverty/When Helping Hurts
Hank deJong
Who are the poor? How can we help people effectively here in Ottawa? Why does Jesus speak so often of helping the poor? Poverty is in every community. Does having more mean we better of? In this session, you will learn why poverty means much more than living with less and why understanding people’s needs involves humble relationships in the community.

Trauma-informed Care
 Amy Jo Smith
Trauma is experienced in many ways and if it is not understood well, it can affect daily life in negative ways and prevent healing. This session will offer hope and practical tools for parents, primary caregivers, teachers, child and youth ministry staff, or anyone who works with children and teens from hard places. To be trauma-informed is to be better able to help those in their care reach their highest potential through trust, attachment and connection.

CarePortal

Scott PlatterThere are so many needs in our community! How can we meet them all? Get excited about an online platform that brings the needs of hurting children and families to the attention of our local churches and community.  Learn about CarePortal and how you can join the community of participating churches and organizations to make a difference in your city for vulnerable children and families.

Panel of Partner Organizations and Churches

Representatives from Safe Families, First Place Options, Partners in Parenting, Restoring Hope, The CODE, Children’s Aid Society of OttawaResurrection Church, Southeast City Church, The MET, and Chapel Ridge

Be encouraged by what organizations and churches are doing to serve vulnerable children and families and listen to them converse about how they can work together.

 

Conference – Friday March 27 7pm

Keynote: Pursing your Purpose

Tiffany Leoffler

Each one of us has a unique set of interests, abilities and past experiences that can make a difference in the life of a child. While some may be called to foster or adopt, the entire community is needed to create a support system for every child. Through prevention, intervention and restoration we all can do something!

Conference – Saturday March 28

Keynote: Creating a Culture of Care for Vulnerable Children and Families

Tiffany Leoffler

While agencies and nonprofits provide the services needed to assist vulnerable children and families, they need individuals to partner with them as volunteers, caregivers and donors. The Church is full of amazing people with hearts to serve others and in this session we’ll explore specific ways churches can develop a community of care.

What is Connect Care Ottawa?

Be introduced to Connect Care Ottawa and a fewof the initiatives they are working on. (Church Coaching, CareWell)

Panel of Partner Organizations and Churches

Representatives from Safe Families, First Place OptionsPartners in Parenting, Restoring Hope, The CODE, Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa, Resurrection Church, Southeast City Church, The MET, Chapel Ridge

Be encouraged by what organizations and churches are doing to serve vulnerable children and families and listen to them converse about how they can work together.

 

Breakout Session #1
Responding to Poverty/When Helping Hurts
Hank deJong
Who are the poor? How can we help people effectively here in Ottawa? Why does Jesus speak so often of helping the poor? Poverty is in every community. Does having more mean we better of? In this session, you will learn why poverty means much more than living with less and why understanding people’s needs involves humble relationships in the community.

Trauma-informed Care
Amy Jo Smith
Trauma is experienced in many ways and if it is not understood well, it can affect daily life in negative ways and prevent healing. This session will offer hope and practical tools for parents, primary caregivers, teachers, child and youth ministry staff, or anyone who works with children and teens from hard places. To be trauma-informed is to be better able to help those in their care reach their highest potential through trust, attachment and connection.

The Story of our Indigenous culture – Blanket Exercise (part 1) 
Mike Hogeterp and Jonathan Maracle
The Blanket Exercise program is a unique, participatory history lesson – developed in collaboration with Indigenous Elders, knowledge keepers and educators – that fosters truth, understanding, respect, and reconciliation among Indigenous and non-indigenous peoples. Learn about the heritage of our land through a powerful storytelling experience. Note: this exercise will take the full 2 hours and extend into Breakout Session #2

Foster Care and Adoption 101
Lenni Steiginga and Lauri Cabral
Are you considering bringing a child into your home (or supporting someone) through foster care or adoption but don’t know where to start and what to expect?  In this session, you’ll discuss the requirements and approval process of foster care and adoption, and will also hear personal stories as well as how to receive support after you say, ‘yes’. It doesn’t take perfect parents to provide a safe, loving home to children in need…just willing ones. You may be more able than you think. Find out more about what to expect in this session led by two well- experienced and knowledgeable foster and adoptive parents.

Breakout Session #2

Foster and Adoptive Parent Panel
Living in community with healthy support makes us stronger. Featuring local adoptive parents and siblings with a variety of experiences and perspectives, you will hear stories of joy and heartbreak and valuable lessons learned along the way regarding foster care and adoption. This will be a highly interactive session that will provide opportunities for peer-to-peer learning. This is a safe place for you to ask your hard questions about foster care and adoption. Be encouraged that there is a community of people eager to offer support to any who are considering stepping into foster care or adoption.

CarePortal
Eric Edwards
There are so many needs in our community! How can we meet them all? Get excited about an online platform that brings the needs of hurting children and families to the attention of our local churches and community. Learn about CarePortal and how you can join the community of participating churches and organizations to make a difference in your city for vulnerable children and families. There will be time for questions and answers at the end.

The Story of our Indigenous culture – Blanket Exercise (part 2) 
Mike Hogeterp and Jonathan Maracle
Note: This is a continuation from Session #1
The Blanket Exercise program is a unique, participatory history lesson – developed in collaboration with Indigenous Elders, knowledge keepers and educators – that fosters truth, understanding, respect, and reconciliation among Indigenous and non-indigenous peoples. Learn about the heritage of our land through a powerful storytelling experience.

Youth with Hope
Working with youths from hard places seems intimidating to many of us, but your offer of love and care just might save a life. Hear stories of young men and women who found hope and community through the intentional efforts of one or two key people. Learn what you can do to walk alongside youth that are struggling, whether they are in foster care or not. All people desire to belong and be loved. The youth in this session will share how you can be that one person to change the trajectory of another’s life.

Session Leader Biographies

Session Leaders

Hank deJong

Understanding Poverty

Biography

Hank de Jong lives in Hamilton, Ontario and is married to Michelle. Together they have four children. In 2012 they opened up their home to children in their community through fostering. Hank is a proven, results-driven, organizational leader with over 15 years experience in the non-profit world. He has developed expertise in marketing, branding, international development, major donor fundraising, human resources, strategic planning and team/staff development. Hank’s leadership experience is both in Canada and internationally, having travelled to over twenty different countries. His educational background includes a Master of Arts (MA) in Leadership (2013) from Trinity Western University.

Scott Platter

CarePortal

Biography

Scott has served on The Global Orphan Project team since 2016. Scott’s current role provides him the opportunity to build relationships with a wide range of ministry partners across the U.S. and Canada, while helping them expand their work through the use of the CarePortal platform. Scott’s passion and skills for managing relationships and improving operations were honed in two prior chapters of his career, spent leading organizations in telecom and financial services. Both of these marketplace experiences can now be seen as divine preparation for his current ministry work, where he is called to navigate the intersection of church, state and business. Scott also enjoys the privilege of serving his local church by leading local and global missions activities.
Scott and his wife, Lynn, have been married for over 25 years and have two teenage sons through the grace of adoption. They have also become mom and dad to two international students — young men from China and Malawi — who have been grafted into their family for the high school years and into their hearts forever.

Eric Edwards

CarePortal

Biography
Eric lives in the Niagara Region in the small town of Fenwick, Ontario. He has been married to Alex for 17 years. Together they are parents of 5 children by birth and adoption and often more through foster care. He recently left his career of over 18 years and joined the National team of Forever Families of Canada where he will build and lead teams to bring CarePortal and CareWell Academy throughout Ontario.
Eric’s heart is for the church and to see it connected to government and child-serving agencies as well as equipped and mobilized to serve children and families in their communities.

Wendi Park

Forever Families/Care Well

Biography

A Winnipeg mama bear of 5, grandmother of 2, & wife to co-founder Harold Park; Wendi is no stranger to the world of child welfare, multiculturalism & neurodiversities. She experienced most of her undergraduate studies overseas, with a B.A. in Church Planting & Certificate in Theology in South America where she also completed her practicum within an Indigenous movement. Returning to Canada, she completed her M.A. in Global Studies, where she later married Harold and grew a deep love for the Church across Canada. Wendi’s has a background in non-profit leadership, community development, settlement, anti-human trafficking, and the past 9 years has passionately focused on bridging the gap between child welfare and the Church.

Lauri Cabral

Foster Care and Adoption 101

Biography

Lauri is the mother of two teenage sons and of a 12-year-old daughter who, at age two, travelled from Kazakhstan to join her new family. Lauri has worked as a Regional Parent Liaison with Adopt4Life since its inception in 2015. She has her M.Ed. in Counselling Psychology and has focused on the crucial role of family in improving outcomes for children who suffer early trauma. In addition to her skills in attachment and trauma, she has a wealth of experience in conflict resolution. She is certified in alternate dispute resolution through the Canadian International Institute of Applied Negotiations and worked as a provincial negotiator. In supporting adoptive families, she is talented at finding mutually beneficial solutions in highly conflictual situations. Lauri works diligently to help build a sense of community, strengthen relationships and connect families with much needed resources and support.

Mike Hogeterp

Understanding Indigenous Culture

Biography
Mike Hogeterp directs the Christian Reformed Centre for Public Dialogue, a justice, peace and reconciliation advocacy office of the Christian Reformed Churches in Canada. Mike is a long-term member and former chair of the Commission on Justice and Peace of the Canadian Council of Churches and has served on a number of program committees and circles of KAIROS. Mike chaired the CRCNA’s task force on the Doctrine of Discovery (DoD) (2013-16) in which the church declared the systemic colonial injustices of the DoD a heresy. The journey of this DoD task force has drawn Mike into PhD studies on settler responsibilities for reconciliation with NAIITS-an Indigenous Learning Community. Mike is married to Michelle and is father to three adult children. In his down time he plays percussion (often in church) and enjoys gardening, canoeing, skiing and travel.

Aidan & Jo VanDyk

Church Coaching

Biography
Jo and Aidan are parents of six through birth and adoption and have been foster parents to five. The work of engaging, informing and equipping churches is a natural outflow of their personal story of foster care. They have spent ten years watching the church wrap around their foster daughters, and it’s made them eager to see more families jump into the important calling of caring for at-risk children.

Lenni Steiginga

Foster Care and Adoption 101

Biography

Lenni has both a B.A and a B.Ed. She has facilitated CAS workshops to help prepare foster parents in the past. Her main work has been as a foster parent for 20 years, and is currently a stay-at-home Mom for her adopted daughter. She also has two adult sons who were very involved in the fostering of children as they were growing up.

Jonathan Maracle

The Blanket Exercise

Biography
Jonathan is Mohawk from Ontario, Canada. His father was Mohawk elder and visionary, Rev. Dr. Andrew C. Maracle Sr. and his mother was Lillian Jane Ross, daughter of Scottish immigrants of the Bruce and Ross clans. He resides on Tyendinaga Mohawk Nation with his wife, Linda and four children. In 1995 at
Elijah Harper’s Sacred Assembly in Ottawa/Hull, Jonathan received a vision that
the walls of bitterness must be broken in the hearts of the Indigenous people. For the last 24 years, he has dedicated his life to fulfill this vision and formed Broken Walls which is now an internationally recognized First Nations ministry and band. Broken Walls has ministered and performed throughout North America and around the world. The mission of Broken Walls is to see people from cultural minorities healed and restored, embracing their identity and walking in their destiny in the Body of Christ as partners, realizing and sharing their unique gifts and abilities.

Jonathan and Broken Walls do workshops, assemblies and musical performances to raise awareness between First Nations people and today’s society with a goal of educating and bringing understanding and healing. They stress that work among First Nations is relational and building trust through redemptive relationships is an important first step. They also target major issues such as suicide prevention and social struggles among both First Nations and non -natives. For the past several years, they have partnered with Bill Pagaran, drummer for Broken Walls and president of Carry the Cure from Palmer, Alaska whose focus is suicide
prevention.

Jonathan also travels as a solo artist and guest speaker using culture, music and spoken word for those who wish to have an introduction to the work of Broken Walls.

Amy Jo Smith

Trauma Informed Care

Biography
Amy Jo is a Registered Early Childhood Educator, who is passionate about supporting children and families, and helping them to thrive. She is trained as a TBRI® Practitioner through the Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development, and as a Trauma Competent Care Trainer through Back to Back Ministries. She is currently studying Special Needs Resource Consulting, and has a growing passion to build the capacity of caregivers to understand and provide for the individual needs of each child, especially those with a history of trauma or special needs. Amy Jo loves spending time on the floor with little people, and has learned from many students and children over the years, both locally and internationally. She is excited about working together to build communities where each child is provided with the connected, responsive relationships they need to grow and to reach their potential.

Partner Organizations & Churches

Partner Organizations

Rick Harper & Melanie Banks

Description

First Place OPTIONS provides free, non-judgemental, compassionate support and information on pregnancy options for anyone faced with an unplanned pregnancy. We also provide free, confidential support for women and men experiencing grief after an abortion. Our THRIVE Community Education program works with teens in grades 7-10 to help equip them to make healthy decisions about relationships.

theCODE

Description
theCODE strives to see “No Son Left Behind” by providing trusted adult men determined to Coach, Optimize, Disciple and Encourage young men with identifiable “fatherhood” needs in their lives

Kimberly Sabourin

Description

Pastor Kimberly Sabourin has been in full time ministry for over two decades and in fostering and adoption professionally for the past 15 years. Kim has a background in education as both a teacher and Vice-Principal and has spent her entire career focused on the family. She spent three years specializing in maternal health as the Client Services Director at First Place OPTIONS and in May 2019 assumed the role as Regional Director for Safe Families Ottawa. Safe Families Ottawa is an organization that provides temporary care to children and provides a network of support to families in crisis while they get back on their feet. Kimberly and her husband Stephane have been married for 26 years and have two grown sons, Tristan and Ryan and a teenage daughter named Grace whom they adopted when she was three months old.

Jason Pino

Description
Restoring Hope Ministries is guided by the Biblical principle of “loving our neighbours”, and our mission is to provide physical, spiritual, emotional and mental supports for the complex needs of youth experiencing homelessness in Ottawa

Christine Rondeau

Description

Children's Aid Society of Ottawa

Description
The Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa is committed to protecting the children and youth of our community from abuse and neglect.We work in collaboration with community partners to ensure their well-being and to strengthen the capacity of families and the communities in which they live.

Partner Churches

Resurrection Church

Chapel Ridge

Southeast City Church

The MET

Sponsors

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