2018 AFCC-O 10th Anniversary Conference

SAVE the dates of October 18-19, 2018 to attend our conference events, and join us in celebrating our first decade!

Conference registration is now open!!

Early bird discounts apply until July 15th!

To kick off our 10th Anniversary celebrations, we announce our

“Award of Excellence in Family Justice”

 To celebrate our 10th Anniversary,  AFCC-O will honour TEN outstanding Judges, psychologists, lawyers, social workers, financial professionals, academics and other professionals with an Award of Excellence in Family Justice. 

This award will be given to TEN (10) individuals or institutions to acknowledge their exemplary contributions to the field of family law and justice in Ontario.  The recipients will have made significant contributions demonstrated by one or more of the following principles:

  • contributions to the ability of families to access family justice;
  • research that has contributed to an understanding of the needs of families;
  • mentorship and leadership to newer professionals;
  • development and sharing of novel and innovative best practices;
  • promotion of collaborative and interdisciplinary practices;
  • creation and development of tools that assist practitioners (ie. software, screening tools, assessment tools);
  • development and promotion of information and resources that help families navigate the family justice system;
  • preparation of important educational resources, precedents and educational materials and/or commitment to continuing professional development activities;
  • community advocacy on behalf of families and children and or issues related to families;
  • advocacy, in and out of the court setting, particularly on behalf of vulnerable or underserviced populations; and/or
  • contributions specifically related to the understanding of the needs of children and advocacy for them.

Nominations for up to TEN (10) recipients of this Award can be made by a member in good standing of AFCC-O on the Nomination form.

The 10th Anniversary committee will review the applications and report to the Board, who will make the final determination of the Awards by an application of the above principles and recognition of the rich diversity found in the various disciplines and professions who practice in the area of family justice in Ontario.

The successful award recipients will be invited to attend our 10th Anniversary Reception, on Thursday, October 18th, 2018 to receive the award in person.

AFCC Ontario Chapter members are eligible for discounts to attend our chapter events

Memberships are offered via our AFCC International website at:  www.afccnet.org/become-a-member 

If you require assistance with joining or renewing your membership you may contact AFCC at:

afcc@afccnet.org or by calling 1-608-664-3750 for assistance.

Join us in celebrating our 10th Anniversary as an AFCC chapter,

at our Tenth AGM and Annual Conference,

The Future of Youth: Moving Beyond Risk to Resilience. 

Featuring Keynote Speaker: Dr. Michael Ungar

Thursday, October 18, 2018

LOCATION: The National Club, 390 Bay Street, Toronto, ON

Pre-conference Institute

Supporting Adopted Youth to Maintain Openness Connections with Birth Family and Communities

1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Elizabeth McCarty, Counsel, Office of the Children’s Lawyer; Jennifer Gallagher, Counsel, Office of the Children’s Lawyer; Pat Convery, Executive Director,
Adoption Council of Ontario; Maryanne King, Adoption Practitioner, Birth Parent Counsellor, Accredited Family Mediator (OAFM) and Family Group Conference
Coordinator; and Tara Noble, Registered Social Worker & Grief Counsellor will present on the challenges creating plans for adopted youth who benefit from
positive connections with their birth family members and their culture.

New Professionals Event

Choosing and Working with Assessors, Mediators and Other Family Professionals

4:30 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.

Christine Kim, Registered Social Worker, Accredited Family Mediator (OAFM), Julie Hannaford, Lawyer, and Justice Wendy Malcom, Senior Advisory Family
Judge of the Ontario Court of Justice will speak from an interdisciplinary perspective designed to provide counsel and family professionals working in family law matters with guidance on best practices in working with each other.

10th Anniversary

Evening of Excellence – 10 in 10 Awards

Cocktails: 4:45 p.m. to 6:15 p.m.

Dinner: 6:15 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Join AFCC Ontario Chapter as we celebrate our 10 year anniversary at an elegant dinner at Toronto’s historic National Club. Ten Awards of Excellence will be given to
the leading Judges, Mediators, Psychologists, Social Workers, Lawyers and Academics who have influenced the sphere of family justice over the past ten years.
Dinner will begin with a cocktail hour. Dress is business attire.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Location: Toronto Reference Library, Bram & Bluma Appel Salon, 789 Yonge St., 2nd Floor, Toronto, ON

10th AGM and Annual Conference,

The Future of Youth: Moving Beyond Risk to Resiliency 

8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Keynote Plenary Session: Dr. Michael Ungar

9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Dr. Michael Ungar is among the best known writers and researchers on the topic of resilience in the world. His work has changed the way resilience is understood, shifting the focus from individual traits to the interactions between people and their families, schools, workplaces, and communities. As the Canada Research Chair in Child, Family and Community Resilience and Professor of Social Work at Dalhousie University, as well as a family therapist, he has helped to determine the most important factors that influence the resilience of children and adults during periods of transition and stress.

Morning Breakout Sessions

10:50 a.m. to 12 noon (participant to choose one)

Reducing Risk and Fostering Resilience in Children and Youth Exposed to Intimate Partner Violence

Dr. Ramona Alaggia, Associate Professor, Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto, with commentary from Justice Ronald P. Kaufman, Superior
Court of Justice (Family Court Branch) and facilitation by Dr. Michael Ungar.


Understanding Risk and Practical Solutions: Youth and Drugs

Loree Hodgson-Harris, Manager of Legal Services, Chatham-Kent Children’s Services; Jodee Anderson, Director of Service, Children’s Mental Health, Chatham-
Kent Children’s Services; Dr. Tim Baker, Clinical & Developmental Psychologist; Dr. Balaji Gopidasan, Psychiatrist; Justice Brian Scully of the Ontario Court of Justice.

Lunch Session

12:15 p.m. to 12:45 p.m.

Cultural Competency in Supporting At-Risk Youth from Conflict Zones

Sahar Atalla, Project Coordinator for the Muslim Resource Centre for Social Support & Integration, London, Ontario

Afternoon Breakout Sessions

1 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. (participant to choose one)

You Can’t Make Me Go: Youth Consent in Contact Cases

Dr. Shely Polak, Registered Social Worker and Accredited Family Mediator (OAFM); Linda Popielarczyk, Registered Social Worker and Accredited Family Mediator (OAFM); Dr.
Barbara Jo Fidler, Clinical Developmental Psychologist; Robyn Switzer, Lawyer; Justice Mario Faieta, Superior Court of Justice.


Building Resilience in Indigenous Youth: Cultural and Contextual Understandings

Dr. Christopher Mushquash, Clinical Psychologist at Dilico Anishinabek Family Care and Associate Professor, Lakehead University & Northern School of Medicine;
Elaine Toombs, Doctoral Student in Clinical Psychology, Lakehead University; Kristy Kowatch, Doctoral Student, Department of Psychology, Lakehead University; Dr.
Aislin Mushquash, Clinical Psychologist, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre and Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, Lakehead University.

Plenary Pop-Ups: Your Community Initiatives

2:40 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

After brief presentations of unique community-based initiatives, Dr. Ungar will facilitate a discussion on best practices for resiliency.

Vulnerability and Resiliency in Court Involved Youth

Dr. Joyce Radford, C.Psych. Director of Clinical Intervention Services, London Family Court Clinic; Dr. Debbie Chiodo, Ph.D., Program Consultant, Centre for
Addiction and Mental Health; Research Associate (Centre for School Based Mental Health) and Mental Health Strategist – Student Experience, Western University.

Resilience In Youth: There’s an App for that!

Dr. Christine Wekerle, Associate Professor in Pediatrics, McMaster Univeristy, and Associate Member of the Oxford Centre for Child Studies in Hamilton, Ontario.

Indigenous Voice: Hopeless to Spirit

Sue Doxtator, M.S.W., Director of FNMI & Diversity Service Coordination , London Family Court Clinic.

Crossover Youth: Understanding Mental Health Difficulties

Hailey Kolpin, M.A. Candidate, Counselling Psychology, at Western University, London, Ontario.

From Traffic Lights to Traffic Circles: A Clinical / Legal Intersection Model for the Children of High Conflict Separations

Emily Comor, Family Lawyer and Mediator, OCL Panel Member , Co-Chair of the Ottawa High Conflict Forum and Victoria Norgaard, Social Worker, and OCL Panel

Win-Win is an Attitude, Not an Outcome: Family Mediation in Ontario

Presentation on AFCC Ontario Research

4 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Dr. Denise Whitehead, Assistant Professor in Sexuality, Marriage and Family Studies at St. Jerome’s University in the University of Waterloo, JD, Ph.D. in
Family Relations and Human Development and Dr. Rachel Birnbaum, Ph.D., LL.M, Professor, King’s School of Social Work at Western University will share
findings from the research taking place on family mediation.

Register online to attend our 10th AGM and Annual Conference via Cvent at:


Please direct your inquiries  to our conference planner Natalie Savage at:


Check back here for information on the status of Law Society of Ontario CPD credits.

Our conference is also recognized by both the American Psychological Association, and the Ontario Association of Social Workers for continuing education credits. Check back for approved hours for our 2018 conference.

We welcome anyone interested in sponsoring our 2018 conference and activities

Download our 2018 AFCC-O Conference Sponsorship Form

For further information please contact:

Jennifer Suzor at jsuzor@familylawspecialist.ca

or call (519)252-2772