Adoptive Family Camp
Jul 9

Adoptive Family Camp

Adoptive Family Camp by Camp Hermosa is a great opportunity for families to learn, share, gain support and celebrate fostering and adoption with each other.

6:30 pm18:30

Documentary Viewing: Paper Tigers

When: March 8, 2017     6:30 - 9:00PM
Where: Auditorium, Forest City Community Church, 3725 Bostwick Rd, London, Ontario N6P 1G9

To buy tickets online, please visit: Paper Tigers Facebook Page
For any questions please feel free to contact Lisa at

Healing Hearts would like to invite you to the showing of Paper Tigers, a documentary that chronicles the challenges and successes of an alternative high school in Washington State. Consisting of a student population whose families struggle with poverty, abuse, and addiction, Lincoln Alternative School faced violence, altercations with staff that required police assistance, low test scores, and high drop-out rates until staff began to realize discipline wasn’t the answer. Understanding the effects of long-term stress on the developing brain and implementing a trauma-sensitive approach to education was the key to success. The school has had a remarkable turn-around, with a positive environment for both student and staff, and those children least likely to succeed have defied the odds. Research shows that when a child has one caring, committed adult in their life, it can reverse or protect against the effects of toxic stress.

In addition to showing this ground-breaking documentary, Lisa Highfield, founder of Healing Hearts will give a presentation on trauma, detailing the ways it manifests in children, how adults can support children through crisis, so they may move on to bright futures. Lisa spent years working with multiple child welfare agencies, in group homes, in secure custody facilities for young offenders, and offering intensive in-home support and counselling to families in crisis. She offers insight and hope, and through real life examples, will show adults how they can meet the needs of some of the most vulnerable members of society in order that they may thrive. We hope the evening encourages front line child welfare staff to see they are critically important for families and society and that their strength and skills can make all the difference to the outcome of a child.

10:00 am10:00

A4L Family Day Skating - (Times and Locations Varying)

In honour of Family Day in Ontario, we are inviting the adoption community, A4L members, family, friends, professionals, and anyone with a connection to adoption to come skating with us. You'll also be able to meet some of your new A4L Regional Parent Liaisons!

Find your region and register with us below for free.


Kitchener-Waterloo Region

When: Monday, February 20, 2017 at 1:30PM
Where: 400 East Avenue, Kitchener, ON N2H 1Z6, Canada

Meet your new A4L RPLs Heather and Lesli. Look for them at the Adopt4Life table in the lobby. They will then direct you to our exclusive meeting room. We are inviting the adoption community, A4L members, family, friends, professionals, and anyone with a connection to adoption to skate for free. All ages and skating abilities welcome. Please note: The Aud does not offer skate rentals. Thanks to A4L member Stephanie Plomp for reserving the meeting room!


London Region

When: Monday, February 20, 2017 at 10:00AM
Where: 509 Clarence St, London, ON N6A 3N1, Canada

Meet your new A4L RPLs Heidi and Joy. Social time, craft activities, and snacks (provided by A4L) will be held across from the bandshell at the First Baptist Church (568 Richmond Street). Parking is off of Clarence St. Look for Heidi and Joy at the Adopt4Life table in the church's meeting hall. We are inviting the adoption community, A4L members, family, friends, professionals, and anyone with a connection to adoption to skate for free. All ages and skating abilities welcome. Please note: the rink does not offer skate rentals. However, our RPLs will try to have some extra children's skate available. To be sure about sizing, you may have better luck borrowing from a friend.


Ottawa Region

When: Monday, February 20, 2017 at 10:00AM
Where: Tanglewood Hillsdale Community Association, 30 Woodfield Drive, Ottawa, ON K2G 3Y5

In honour of Family Day in Ontario, we're inviting our A4L members to meet each other while having fun skating! You'll also be able to meet one of your new RPLs, Lauri. She'll be greeting all members in the Hillsdale room, and providing crafts for our members that prefer to stay indoors :-) Coffee, hot chocolate, and snacks will be provided. TWe are inviting the adoption community, A4L members, family, friends, professionals, and anyone with a connection to adoption to skate for free All ages and skating abilities welcome.Parking is free! Please note, This facility does not offer skate rentals.


Toronto Region

When: Monday, February 20, 2017 at 1:00PM
Where: 175 Main Street, Toronto, ON M4E 2W2, Canada

Meet one of your new A4L RPLs, Kathryn. Look for her at the Adopt4Life table in the lobby. She will then direct you to the changing rooms.We are inviting the adoption community, A4L members, family, friends, professionals, and anyone with a connection to adoption to skate for free. All ages and skating abilities welcome. Your RPLs have reserved private ice time just for us!Please note: Ted Reeve Arena does not offer skate rentals. The arena has free parking off of Gerrard Ave. It is also accessible by TTC and GO transit.





10:00 am10:00

Nurture the Dream

Nurture The Dream is a FREE Community Resource Event presented by The Generous Host. The event offers 18,000 sq. ft. of vendor space for individuals, couples and families in the Tri-Cities & Guelph Area looking for local resources that relate to adoption, pregnancy loss, infertility, surrogacy and special needs.

Entertainment will be happening throughout the day from the Main Stage as guests enjoy cake and refreshments.  Nurture the Dream will also have 3,000 sq. ft. of the hall sectioned off for Quin’s Room, a magical Children’s Party.
More information at:
Information on vendors:

7:00 pm19:00

Beginnings Workshop with Mary-Jo Land

Beginnings is Hosting an Evening Discussion for Adoptive Parents

Are you an adoptive parent who is finding your child is bringing up adoption issues you thought were addressed when he or she was younger? Is your family in need of direction on relationships with birth family?

We invite you to an evening discussion on Thursday March 3, 2016 with Child Psychotherapist, Play Therapist and Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapist Mary Jo Land to share your current adoption needs. The event is being held at Victoria Park Golf Club, Guelph, Ontario from 7 – 9 p.m. and cost is $15 per person.

Beginnings plans to provide a follow up workshop with Mary Jo Land, tailored to your specific needs and the topics you have identified.

To register, please contact Beginnings at The deadline to register is February 18, 2016.


Apr 19


Are you an adoptive parent? Are you parenting a child who has experienced trauma, neglect or is living with attachment challenges? Have you read a lot of literature and yet still find days challenging and stressful? Do you long for some support but don’t have the time to find it & are not sure where to go? Do you wish you could talk with someone who could understand or provide support?

7:00 pm19:00



Monday December 14th
7PM - 8PM

FREE! webinar for adoptive and kinship parents and/or customary caregivers.

The Adoption Council of Ontario’s plan to develop community-based adoption and permanency support programs across Ontario is rolling out this January. This FREE webinar will provide information on the ACO's overall program, as well as our new specialized training program for parents, Pathways to Permanence 2: Parenting Children Who Have Experienced Trauma and Loss © available beginning in January.


11:00 am11:00



in support of the Adoption Council of Ontario

Sunday, September 20, 2014 11 am-3 pm 
Riverdale Park West, Toronto 

Prizes, Food, Games, Entertainment including live magic & music and of course loads of FUN.
Learn more about FunWalk.

This year's theme: 

(FREE toothbrushes will be provided!)

Come one come all, for an Adopt4Life muddy free for all!
11:00 am11:00

Come one come all, for an Adopt4Life muddy free for all!

Adopt4Life is calling interested members and families to come getting muddy with us for Mudderella in Kitchener on July 11, 2015 at 11:00am. 

Men, women and children of eligible age are all welcome! As those touched by adoption, let us join together and support one another through this muddy obstacle course in the same way we are supporting one another on our adoption journeys.  It is guaranteed to be stress reducing, crazy fun, and no one will be left behind! Like the work we are doing at Adopt4Life, we can do this together!

Let’s ‘committ to be stronger in 2015’ and ‘partner to prevent and end domestic violence’ by creating a team and what are sure to be great memories!

* Register on Team Adopt4Life!!!! -*

Adoption Knowledge Xchange
8:30 am08:30

Adoption Knowledge Xchange

  • St. Alfred Chatolic School

Adoption Knowledge Xchange

Empowering Our Families and Community


An opportunity for adoptive parents to network,

exchange resources, and build individual and community capacities.

Visit our page for more informations   EDUCATIONAL DAY

9:30 am09:30


A Family Model of Relationships based on Playfulness, Acceptance, Curiosity & Empathy

Developed by International Psychologist Dr. Dan Hughes

Saturday May 9, 2015, 9:30 am until 4:30 pm

Hosted by The Centre for Connections at St. James United Church

400 Burnhamthorpe Rd., Toronto


Dianne Mathes R.S.W. and Dawn Tracz B.S.W., R.S.W. are offering a full day workshop for adoptive parents using P.A.C.E.  This approach is based on Dr. Hughes’ experience working with children in foster care and adoptive families and those who love them.  Dr. Hughes is a world renowned psychologist and author. The workshop will provide information and concrete experience about how to use the PACE model while enjoying   a supportive environment with other parents.  This daw is also designed to provide parents with time to reconnect with themselves, each other and the reasons they chose adoption, which can become lost in the challenges of parenting children with difficult histories.  The approach, using playfulness, curiosity, acceptance and empathy as its base provides parents with the tools to enjoy being a family again. 

Dianne Mathes is a therapist with over 30 years’ experience working with children and families as well as many years’ experience in teaching, training and group facilitation.  Dawn Tracz is a social worker with 20 years’ experience working within the child welfare system supporting children and families, training new adoptive and foster parents and facilitating groups.  Both Dawn and Dianne have trained with Dr. Dan Hughes.

The Workshop will include:

  • We believe that parents are frequently stretched and limited in their free time.  Many parents have told us that they find it difficult to commit to weekly appointments when they are both working full time and the children are trying to be involved in activities.  We hope that a day long, workshop venue can allow parents to take a short period of time for maximum effect. 
  • Cost $125.00/person or $240/couple.  The early bird rate (before April 9, 2015) is $100.00/person and $180.00/couple.  This includes lunch and snacks and programming.  Please advise us of any dietary needs and/or restrictions.
  • Throughout the workshop we will learn about and discuss PACE.  Playfulness is a big part of the model and we have planned fun activities to participate in during the workshop. 
  • The church is located in west Toronto in close proximity to the Islington subway. East of HWY 427 & Burnhamthorpe Rd. Free parking is ample and available.   

Contact Dianne or Dawn for more details 416-487-2404 or 416-318-8338

 Download the registration form here!!!

Open for Discussion: A day of learning about adoption openness
10:00 am10:00

Open for Discussion: A day of learning about adoption openness

  • International Plaza Hotel & Conference Centre

Hosted by The Adoption Council of Ontario (ACO)
the Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies (OACAS).

Supported by the Ministry of Children and Youth Services

In conjunction with the Adoption Resource Exchange, this all day workshop will focus on key issues involved in planning for ongoing contact and openness that will benefit adopted children and their families- birth and adoptive.

Adoption workers, adoptive and pre-adoptive parents will learn together in an interactive workshop on this important and complex topic.

More details and registration coming soon!



Adoption Council of Ontario
The Adoption Council of Ontario is a not-for-profit providing outreach, support and education to all adoptees, adoptive parents, potential adoptive parents, birth families, and adoption professionals in Ontario. We deal with public adoption, private adoption, international adoption and relative adoption. Since 1987, we have been working towards a provincial community where all children have families forever.

Copyright 2014 Adoption Council of Ontario. All Rights Reserved.
Adoption Council of Ontario | 36 Eglinton Ave W | Toronto | ON | Canada | M4R 1A1



Nurturing Attachments
Feb 18

Nurturing Attachments

Laura Banks and Mary-Jo Land are excited to invite you to this interactive, hope-filled and engaging training

This ideal training program blends theory with strategies for parenting traumatized children was created by Dr. Kim Golding of the UK. This interactive program offers 54 hours of intensive training to help families who may be struggling in their day-to-day lives with their adoptive, foster or kinship children.

Program to run for 3 week-ends: February 2015 and April 2015 and TBA


Friday, Feb. 20th 2015 at 5pm to Sunday, Feb. 22nd 2015 at 4pm


Adoption Council of Ontario, 36 Eglinton Ave. W. Toronto ON Canada M4R 1A1

More information

Three Weekends:

Module 1- February 20, 21 and 22, 2015

Module 2- April 24, 25 and 26, 2015

Module 3: Date To be Announced


Fee is $400 per couple per module. "Couple" refers to a primary caregiver and another parent or other support person. Payment schedule: Full payment guarantees your spot but if this is difficult payment plans can be discussed with the presentors. Our goal is to share our knowledge and support families. We want to ensure those wanting to be here can come. Because of the limited enrolment, and the importance of relationship and support among the participants, we encourage all couples to enrol in all sessions. No refunds are available but may be transferred to another module.

Included in this fee is the Nurturing Attachments book, 54 hours of training and a parent membership to ATTACh (when all three modules are registered and paid for)


Understanding Grief and Loss in the Context of Adoption
9:30 am09:30

Understanding Grief and Loss in the Context of Adoption

  • Adoption Council of Ontario
Caroline Sears MSW, RSW      Adoption Therapist

Caroline Sears MSW, RSW      Adoption Therapist

During the Christmas season, parenting children who come from hard places can be even more challenging. This workshop is designed for adoptive parents to further understand the ongoing sense of loss for both the child and the adoptive parent. We will explore concepts affiliated with the grieving process and the effect loss has on children and their parents.Parents will have an opportunity to consider their own challenges related to loss and how they can move towards acceptance.  

Date & Time Saturday, Dec. 13th 9:30am - 11:30am (Registration starts at 9:15a m)

Location Adoption Council of Ontario 36 Eglington Ave. West, Suite #202 Toronto, ON

Cost $25/personb(payable at the session)

Registration To register please email

Parking Parking is available on the street or at the following Green P location:


Silent Auction Fundraiser LONDON
7:00 pm19:00

Silent Auction Fundraiser LONDON


Silent Auction Fundraiser
 PRICE: $25

Authors of THE PROMISE, 
Christen Shepherd & Lisa Highfield

All proceeds of the evening will support Adopt4Life in their advocacy work on behalf of all children and families who are impacted by 
adoption.  Adopt4Life is also committed to lobbying the government to ensure that Ontario becomes the leader in post adoption support.

Download flyer here

ACO Education Day Fall 2014
9:00 am09:00

ACO Education Day Fall 2014

  • Children's Aid Society Of Toronto

The Adoption Council of Ontario is proud to again offer the Ontario adoption community a day of education, support and connection to help professionals, pre-adoptive and adoptive families on their adoption journey. The fee for this event is $65 (or $55 for ACO Members). 

AdoptWalk 2014
9:00 am09:00

AdoptWalk 2014

Please join us September 27, 2014 in Ottawa for a great family event. Together we can make a difference in the lives of the one in five Canadians touched by adoption, and of children from developing countries where Canadians adopt.

2:00 pm14:00

The Promise Book Lanch

  • 135 Wortley Rd London. ON Canada

The Promise: The Story of an Adoptive Mother and a Support Worker 

Joined by Harpist Kathleen Gahagan 

 The Sweet Onion Grill 

135 Wortley Rd. London, ON 

Come meet authors Christen Shepherd and Lisa Highfield 

at the public launch of their book 

9:00 am09:00

Hope for healing

ATTACh presents: Hope For Healing

Children who have experienced early trauma,neglect and loss of attachment figures may struggle with trusting new parents. This loss of trust may impair new attachments which are necessary for resolving the early trauma. This workshop will help parents and workers understand the effect of trauma on the brain and physiology of the child. We will explore parenting challenges and why they occur. Parents will attain a new lens through which to see their child, themselves and the relationships among family members. This workshop is presented by The Association for Treatment and Training in the Attachment of children.

Who should attend:

  • Parents
  • Foster parents Kin-carers
  • Therapists
  • Social Workers Counselors
  • Nurses
  • Early Childhood
  • Educators
  • Child and Youth
  • Workers
  • Marriage and Family
  • Therapists
  • Pediatricians Family doctors

Outline of the Day:

  • Attachment and attachment theory
  • Attachment across the generations
  • Attachment, developmental trauma and the brain
  • Loss and grieving
  • Behavioural outcomes of developmental trauma, neglect and early separations
  • Attachment-focused parenting
  • Supporting your child in the school system

Learning Objectives:

  • Define attachment-both adult and child styles of attachment.
  • Describe the intergenerational relationship of attachment styles. Identify personal triggers for anger/ fear / rejection.
  • Describe Window of Tolerance and arousal levels associated with survival mechanisms in the brain.
  • Describe the losses felt by parents and children. Understand the relevance of grief in the lives of those affected by trauma and loss.
  • Describe the behaviours associated with attachment difficulties and developmental trauma.
  • List five strategies of attachment-focused parenting.
  • Identify five strategies that are helpful for schools.


One-day Intensive training.

Light Breakfast and Lunch Included

$75.00 per person

$125.00 per couple


To register:


Call: 1-612-861-4222 (USA) or 1-519-924-0469 (Canada)

Hope for Healing Parent Guide available for purchase

6 hours of Continuing Education credits available ($25 additional fee)

Certificates of completion provided.

Cancellation Policy: Refunds available until March 30, 2014

If you have a special need or concern or grievance please email

Mary-Jo Land at