Meet Our Team
For more information on the support our Provincial and Regional Liaisons can provide, please visit our Parent2Parent Support page.
Provincial Parent Liaisons
.Get to know Erin | Associate Director
Erin is a mother to three boys, two of whom joined their family by adoption through Children’s Aid and privately. Erin and her husband have strongly advocated for post adoption services and support for their youngest boys and continue to do so. Having a network of support, resources and contacts through a local peer support group made a significant difference for their family. Experiencing firsthand the value of early intervention, peer support and knowledge exchange, Erin knows this is important for all adoptive families and their children.
Even before becoming a parent through adoption, Erin was active in learning about issues surrounding adoption, including attachment and trauma. She has lived experience with toddler and infant adoption, varying degrees of openness, transitioning from care, adoption outside a local CAS, attachment parenting, reactive attachment disorder, parenting a child with special needs, the importance of early intervention, and advocating in the school system for services and supports. As well, when their youngest son joined their family as an infant Erin induced lactation and is now a part of an online community supporting others seeking to breastfeed without birthing. Erin also assisted in forming a local youth group that has been running since Fall 2013.
Professionally, Erin is an Ontario Certified Teacher with a Bachelor of Education degree from OISE at the University of Toronto. She is also a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CGA) and has a Masters in Business Administration. Erin has been very involved in the development of Adopt4Life’s Parent2Parent Support Network and is thrilled to see it grow province-wide for the benefit of all adoptive families and children in need of permanency in Ontario.
Erin is our Associate Director and Provincial Parent Liaison (PPL)
She can be reached by email at Erin@Adopt4Life.com or by phone: 888.274.6222, 103
Get to know Kathryn | Team Lead
Kathryn is an adoptive mom to 3 young children, two of which are biological siblings, adopted through the Children’s Aid Society. Through her unique adoption experience, Kathryn and her husband have embraced the various levels of openness as well as the intricacies of the foster-to-adopt process.
Kathryn holds a Master’s Degree in Critical Disability Studies as well as a Bachelor of Social Work. Her previous work experience includes supporting families of children with special needs and providing crisis intervention to young adults with developmental disabilities. She is also certified as a Triple P–Stepping Stones instructor and a Crisis Prevention Intervention (CPI) facilitator. Kathryn has extensive experience in the special needs and mental health field both from a personal and professional level. It is through this journey, that she developed an in-depth understanding and focus on the advocacy of children and their families.
Kathryn is also one of our Regional Parent Liaisons (RPL) for Toronto.
She can be reached by email at email@example.com or by phone 888.274.6222, 106
Get to know Joy | Team Lead
Joy is a parent of three children, adopted as a sibling group at ages one, two, and three. For over a decade, Joy practiced as an occupational therapist in adolescent mental health, and now provides community-based occupational therapy services to individuals experiencing the effects of injury.
Through her occupational therapy career and parenting journey, Joy has maintained a focus on promoting connection, validation, adaptation, identity, and hope. Since becoming a parent through adoption she has pursued ongoing learning opportunities addressing these issues. Joy has particular interests in attachment, trauma, connected parenting, pre-natal substance exposure, trans-racial and First Nations adoption, and sibling adoption.It is Joy’s desire for individuals, families, and systems to have barrier-free and timely access to preventative and responsive supports, strategies, and opportunities in order to meet their needs and promote well-being.
She can be reached by email at Joy@adopt4life.com or by phone 888.274.6222, 113
Regional Parent Liaisons
Get to know Shannon | Algoma RPL
With over twelve years of special needs respite service provision, a background in Early Childhood Education and a career in Infant and Child Development, Shannon has long been passionate about supporting families and fostering connections. As a newly adoptive parent herself, Shannon has firsthand experience navigating the public adoption process and is now committed to creating access and opportunities for adoptive families to connect with peers
and mentors as they move through their own adoption journey. Advocating for and connecting families of all shapes, sizes and backgrounds to a wide range of mental health, child development and social services is a role in which Shannon is actively engaged, both personally and professionally.
Shannon holds an Honors degree in Community Economic and Social Development, an Honors degree in Fine Arts, a certificate in Social Welfare and Anti Oppressive Practice and both education and over fourteen years of hands-on experience working in Early Childhood Education. Shannon and her partner are the proud new parents of a beautiful three-year-
old little girl.
Shannon is our Regional Parent Liaison (RPL) for the Algoma region.
She can be reached by email at Shannon@adopt4life.com or by phone 888.274.6222, 115
Get to know Heather | Kitchener-Waterloo RPL
Heather has years of knowledge and experience as an adoptive and foster parent. She and her husband have 3 beautiful children and are currently fostering children ages 0-3. They are also kin parents and have one heart child who is 22yrs old. Given their experience, they have been chosen to mentor through a program called Wraparound for children leaving care.
Having spent years learning about issues surrounding adoption and fostering (attachment, trauma, safeguarding, lifebooks, FASD and more), Heather now uses her knowledge gained to facilitate an adoptive parent support group, KW Adopts, and as a PRIDE trainer. Heather is also on the Board of Directors for her foster family association and is an active member of various focus groups and committees. Always seeking to make a difference for adoptive families’ journeys, Heather has become sought after for speaking engagements on the topics of openness and transitions. She has also obtained certification in Critical Incident Management and is trained in advocacy.
Heather is one of our Regional Parent Liaisons (RPL) for the Kitchener-Waterloo Region
She can be reached by email at Heather@Adopt4Life.com or by phone 888.274.6222, 107
Get to know Lesli | Kitchener-Waterloo RPL
Lesli is a proud mother of 8 children; 4 by birth and 4 who grew in her heart. Lesli and her husband, Jeff, have been foster parents for over 15yrs and she has spent more than 10yrs working in child and youth mental health. Her passion makes her a strong advocate for youth in and out of care. She is the co-founder and executive director of Wraparound families, which seeks to find families and support within communities for youth who are moving on to independent living or have aged out of foster care. Leslie's involvement in the First Nations community and her passion for helping families who have adopted First Nations children learn more about their child's heritage are of critical importance for her, including helping adoptive families connect with their First Nations community. Lesli is also a PRIDE co-facilitator and continuously attends training related to addictions, attachment, trauma, FASD, advanced facilitation and more.
Lesli strongly encourages having a good support system, as she is very thankful for her church and aboriginal communities who have been a constant source of support for her family.
Lesli is one of our Regional Parent Liaisons (RPL) for the Kitchener-Waterloo Region
Get to know Heidi | London RPL
Heidi lives in London with her husband and is the adoptive mom of 2 children. Heidi’s family is a trans-racial, trans-cultural family grown through international adoption from South Africa. Heidi adopted her children, son in 2008 and daughter in 2014.
She has over 20 years of educational and professional experience including childhood & family relations, developmental services work and early childhood education. She has always had a focus on promoting inclusion and diversity, fostering empathy, increasing resilience, and developing secure connections.
Heidi is involved with the Families with Children Adopted from South Africa Parent Support Network and sits on the Networks Leadership Circle. She is committed to providing quality support and services to adoptive families through her new role at Adopt4Life.
Heidi is one of our Regional Parent Liaisons (RPL) for London.
She can be reached by email at Heidi@adopt4life.com or by phone 888.274.6222, 114
Get to know Joyce | Ottawa RPL
Joyce is both a biological and adoptive mother. She and her husband of 32 years, have five adopted children and one biological child. The children have been adopted through the local Children’s Aid Society, as well as through private adoption, and two of her children are kin adoptions. Her children range in age from 31 years of age, right down to 7. She and her husband know what it means to “adopt for life”! They have also fostered children and youth, in the past, and are still in relationship with their foster children (now adults).
Joyce is a Social Worker and has years of experience working with the Children’s Aid Society and more recently with the Queensway Carleton Hospital in Ottawa. Joyce and her now, 30 year-year- old son, often speak at the CAS Pride panels and they have a passion for advocating for older adoptions. Joyce also has experience with open adoptions and realizes this type of adoption involves challenging, but rewarding experiences. She also has experience with Attachment issues and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder and Learning Disabilities, including Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. She brings a myriad of experience both as an adoptive mother, foster mother and professional Social Worker.
Joyce is one of our Regional Parent Liaisons for the Ottawa region.
She can be reached by email at Joyce@adopt4life.com or by phone 888.274.6222, 105
Get to know Lauri | Ottawa RPL
Lauri is both a biological and adoptive mom. She has two teenage sons and a nine year old daughter who, at age two, travelled from Kazakhstan to join her new family. After a long career in human resource management and conflict resolution, Lauri returned to her studies where she focused on how to increase capacity and outcomes for children who suffer early trauma. She recently completed her M.Ed. in Counselling Psychology. She considers that her eight month placement at the Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa was invaluable in giving her the practical knowledge she needs to be an effective and passionate advocate for children and their families.
Lauri is one of our Regional Parent Liaisons for the Ottawa region.
Get to know Jessica | Toronto RPL
Jessica is the adoptive mother of three beautiful children through the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto. Jessica is very familiar with the domestic adoption process and post adoption issues. Jessica’s daughter has special needs and requires a lot of support within the medical and mental health community, as well as at school. As a result Jessica has learned to advocate and has gained a lot of experience with finding her daughter the resources and support she needs to thrive.
After Jessica adopted her children she became very involved with post adoption support. She has been matched with newly adoptive families to provide support and mentorship. She has also spoken to new and perspective parents on panels for the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto and the Adoption Council of Ontario which she finds very rewarding. As a Family Support Services Specialist with Shepell-fgi, she assessed the childcare or eldercare needs of various families in order to connect them with resources and services they needed.
Jessica is one of our Regional Parent Liaisons (RPL) for Toronto.
She can be reached by email at Jessica@adopt4life.com or by phone 888.274.6222, 110
Marketing and Communications
Get to know Van
Van is a former Youth in Care and Kin-in-Care-Caregiver to her siblings. As a creative with a background in advocacy work in Ontario and child-welfare organizations, she is interested in design that is able to support communities and tell cross cultural narratives. Van is a recent graduate of the YSDN design program from York University.