2020 - 2021
TABLE OF CONTENTS
2 COMOX VALLEY CHILD DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION | 2020-2021 ANNUAL REPORT
TABLE OF CONTENTS
WELCOME TO THE CVCDA CVCDA PROGRAMS
Family Advocate 22
CVCDA Funders 4
About the CVCDA 5 Infant Development Program 23
Aboriginal Infant Development 24
YEAR IN REVIEW Aboriginal Supported Child Development 25
Board Chair Message 6 Early Intervention Therapy 26
Board of Directors 7 Supported Child Development 28
Executive Director Message 8 VI Regional Advisors for IDP and SCD 29
Administration Team 9 The Autism Program (TAP) 30
CVCDA in the Community 10 JumpStart Preschool 32
Community Supporters 12 Early Years Community Outreach 33
2020 CVCDA Children’s Telethon 14 Behaviour Consultation 34
Pam Crowe Retires from Board 16 Family Support Program 35
CVCDA Accessibility Project 18 Pathways to Healing Partnership 36
Community Partnership Highlight 20 The Friendship Project 37
CVCDA Staff Listing 40 Project Inclusion 38
Community Integration 39
Financial Data 42
Client Figures 43
WELCOME TO THE CVCDA
The Comox Valley Child Development Association Funds raised at the Telethon, as well as donations made
is a registered non-proﬁt society. Donations are very all year round, support the work of the CVCDA and are
important to help us serve local children and families. gratefully accepted. A tax deductible receipt is issued
Our main fundraiser is the Children’s Telethon held for all donations. Visit www.cvcda.ca/donate for details.
annually on the ﬁrst Sunday of November.
THANK YOU TO THESE ONGOING FUNDERS
The Comox Valley Child Development Association All of the services at the CVCDA are family-cen-
provides services to children, youth and adults tred. This means that we recognize that families
with diverse abilities and their families. Our pri- know their children best and play the most im-
mary location is at the corner of Third Street and portant role in their life. We support families to
Cliffe Avenue, but our work also takes us into make decisions about their child’s services; we
schools, homes, and other parts of the community. respect individual families’ values, beliefs, and
cultural backgrounds. At the CVCDA families are
equal partners in the provision of services.
4 COMOX VALLEY CHILD DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION | 2020-2021 ANNUAL REPORT
ABOUT THE CVCDA
The Comox Valley Child Development Association (CVCDA) is committed to the support
of children, their families, and caregivers so the lives of children, parents, staff and the
child care community are enriched educationally, emotionally, socially, and physically.
The Comox Valley Child Development Association (CVCDA) is and family. As well the agency expanded to serve school age
a non-profit society that has served children and youth with children and youth and now offers two programs for young
special needs since 1974. adults.
The Comox Valley Child Development Centre, later changed to Now at its present site at 3rd and Cliffe, the early intervention
Child Development Association, opened its doors in downtown therapies and Infant Development program, two of the original
Cumberland on July 12, 1974. 1974 services, are still there, although the therapists are likely
spending more time in family homes and the community than
Initially services were focused on preschool age children with in their offices. There is still a preschool program, Project Jump-
developmental delays and disabilities. Services, like Early Inter- start, offered for all children in partnership with School District
vention Therapies and preschool, were offered mainly within #71 at Courtenay Elementary. Other programs include: Sup-
the centre. Over the years the agency and the services provid- ported Child Development; Autism Program; Behaviour Consul-
ed have grown and changed to respond to the needs of the tant; Community Integration and Project Inclusion. All of them
children and families who access them. The Cumberland site are designed to not only enrich the lives of the people who
was closed and the association opened a community based access the services, but also to contribute to a stronger Comox
office with the capacity to offer inclusive services in the location Valley that welcomes and includes everyone who lives here.
(home, park, or therapy room) that worked best for the child
We respectfully acknowledge it is a privilege and an honour to live and work in the unceded
traditional territories of the Pentlatch, E’iksan and K’ómoks First Nations. Gilakas’la/Thank you
The CVCDA is fully accredited by CARF, to evaluate our service delivery
an accreditation agency with fifty years is something we do all year,
of sup- porting organizations to improve every year.
the quality of their services and meet
internationally recognized standards. Overall our accreditation
process is guided by renew-
The process of accreditation is ongo- ing plans for all aspects of our
ing. Our commitment to maintain and service delivery and business
enhance our policies and procedures and operations on an annual basis.
COMOX VALLEY CHILD DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION | 2020-2021 ANNUAL REPORT 5
YEAR IN REVIEW
MESSAGE FROM THE BOARD CHAIR
DIANE DAIGLE We began 2020 by saying goodbye to our beloved Executive Director, Joanne Schro-
BOARD CHAIR eder and welcoming our new Executive Director, Cindy Xavier! Cindy hit the ground
with her feet running.... and then so did Covid 19!! That didn’t stop the CVCDA...
Another change at the CVCDA... Our wonderful long time President Pam Crowe
retired. We are so very grateful for the decades of service and dedication.
It is important to note our newly named building, The Pam Crowe Autism Centre of
Excellence! We are so very proud to have named the centre after the woman who has
given 40 years of dedication to the children of the Comox Valley. Pam continues with
the CVCDA in the role of Ambassador!
In the ever-changing world of pandemic restrictions, virtual service and tons of hand
sanitizer, our amazing staff continued service to the children and families at every
In this difficult time, we all felt the urgency to support the children's families. There is
no denying that the stress of the pandemic was felt widely in our community.
The tireless work and the dedication of our volunteers with the telethon commit-
tee pulled off a successful virtual Telethon in 2020!!! Our Telethon brought in over
$100,000. Way to go Comox Valley!
As always, we are so thankful to the community we live in and the wonderful folks of
the Comox Valley who are continually ready to lend a hand!
For example, many have already noticed the incredible work on our outdoor play
space and our brand new accessible ramp, allowing everybody accessible and safe
access to our building!! You have probably seen volunteers working tirelessly to help
make this happen. Special mention to the Rotary Clubs of Courtenay, Comox and the
As we all are beginning to see the light to the other side of this pandemic I am re-
minded of the words of Dr. Bruce Perry “Relationships are the agents of change”
I am looking forward to watching the work of the CVCDA happen in relationship....
One-to-one therapy, facilitated groups and a bustling playground!!!
And finally, in the words of Dr. Bonnie Henry, “We are all in this together”.
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING & MEMBERSHIP
The CVCDA holds their general meeting annually in You must be a CVCDA Member in good standing to
June on the fourth Wednesday. vote at the 2021 AGM. To become a member you must
be paid up no later than Friday, July 30, 2021 (six weeks
Due to COVID-19, this year’s AGM has been post- in advance of AGM). Membership dues of $2.00 and
poned and will be held on Saturday, September 11, can be paid in person at the CVCDA’s main reception.
2021 at 5:00pm at the Comox Valley Autism Centre
and Zoom. Please email [email protected] to register.
6 COMOX VALLEY CHILD DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION | 2020-2021 ANNUAL REPORT
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The Comox Valley Child Development Association is a registered non-profit society. The
Association conforms to all requirements of the Societies Act, BC. As a registered non-profit,
agency membership is encouraged and open to anyone upon payment of a nominal annual fee.
The Board of Directors is elected from the membership for ing each year. The committee receives names of anyone
a two year term of office at the Annual General Meeting who might be interested in joining the Board. The Nomi-
held every year at the end of June. The Board is a deci- nating Committee also recommends directors for the ex-
sion-making entity, with jurisdiction over agency planning ecutive office. Directors may hold executive office for two
and policy. The Board has fiscal and legal responsibility for years or longer. The Board meets monthly in the evening.
the agency. It is the goal of the agency to have an active,
visionary board representing a wide variety of interests Daily operational decisions are the responsibility of the
and knowledge. Executive Director, who reports to the Board.
The Nominating Committee is a standing committee of
the Board appointed following the Annual General Meet-
2020/2021 BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Diane Daigle, President Jean-Marc Jaquier, Treasurer Celine Gummer, Director
Christene Evanochko, Vice President Arne Einarson, Director Duncan Muller, Director
Christine Helpard, Secretary Samantha Schneider, Director Nicole Chow, Director
COMOX VALLEY CHILD DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION | 2020-2021 ANNUAL REPORT 7
YEAR IN REVIEW
MESSAGE FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
CINDY XAVIER “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead
While this past year has come with huge challenges for our families and community as
we have worked to come through the pandemic, I want this year’s report to focus on
what we have accomplished despite the hurdles we’ve had to overcome. Never could I
have imagined, when I stepped into the ED role in January 2020 what was ahead for the
CVCDA! Within three and a half months we were closing our doors for in person ser-
vices and stepping into a virtual world to support our families. Little did we know then,
what the next year would look like or how our service delivery would change.
If there was a theme it would be “navigating unprecedented times”. And regardless the
hurdles, our Board of Directors, Program Leadership and Teams have been incredible,
trusting me to lead while supporting the changes that need to be implemented. Mov-
ing rapidly into providing virtual services with the type of work we do and the number
of families we serve was a monumental task. We were able to manage this with an
infallible team of staff members, a dedicated OH&S Team and a supportive Board as we
made the necessary changes to keep our staff and families safe while still providing as
much program delivery as possible. In addition, the families we serve have been patient,
understanding and kind as we transformed how we would meet their needs.
In the midst of world-wide changes, there were also significant shifts in the leadership
of the CVCDA this year. I am very thankful for the assistance and mentorship of previous
Executive Director, Joanne Schroeder. Diane stepped into her new role as Board Chair
with enthusiasm and grace to lead our Board in continued success. Pam retired from her
position as Board Chair after 35 years of dedication to the board. In recognition of Pam's
service, an Ambassador position was created for her. Pam now continues her valuable
service to the agency heading up the Annual Children’s Telethon and volunteering for
Our 45th Anniversary of the CVCDA Annual Children’s Telethon was initiated and orga-
nized in the span of two months. That timeline is nothing short of miraculous! Pam led
the team with determination and humour even with the uncertainty of the outcome.
And what an outcome it was! The people of the Comox Valley really showed us how
dedicated they are to us. With the help of our volunteers, local businesses, loyal donors
and hard working Rotary and Lions Clubs we achieved a goal we couldn’t imagine for
this milestone year. We beat last year’s Telethon and were completely humbled by the
community response to the CVCDA. To our amazing community of businesses and
donors, SHAW Spotlight, Sid Williams Theatre staff, the Telethon Team, volunteers and
CVCDA Staff who worked tirelessly and enthusiastically, Thank You again, for all you do
and more importantly – who you are!
With every storm there is some form of beauty in the outcome. The tsunami we will call
this past year is no different. The heart and strength of CVCDA was proven time after
time as everyone worked to continue quality services to our families. We managed to
steer the course and I couldn’t be more grateful for this agency and the people who are
an essential part of it! I am looking forward to the next year, hopefully a little calmer
one but with still the same important purpose, to help the children of the Comox Valley
thrive to the best of their ability.
8 COMOX VALLEY CHILD DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION | 2020-2021 ANNUAL REPORT
ADMINISTRATION & SUPPORT TEAM
From Maintenance to Marketing, our support team here at the CVCDA keeps things
organized and running smoothly. Our support team assist our
child development professionals in effectively performing their roles.
DONNA BACON KARASIMA BRANDS MICHELLE ERIKSON BROOKLYN GALLOWAY MATT MACEY
HOUSEKEEPING ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT HUMAN RESOURCES / COMMUNICATIONS MAINTENANCE
TANNER MCNABB CHARLENE WALLACE-DILLE ROBYN WALSH SANDI MCDONALD
DIRECTOR OF FINANCE & ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT ADMINISTRATION PROGRAM
Through out the pandemic, a number of renovations took Additionally, many of our shared office spaces had their furni-
place through out our program spaces. This was necessary to ture upgraded. This allowed us to free up space and reconfig-
uphold our COVID-19 Protocols and keep our work areas safe uring office layouts more efficiently to maintain distancing.
for our team members and families receiving essential ser-
vices with in our spaces during all stages of our restart plan. Finally, some new individual offices were constructed in
Notably and pictured here, our reception area had a complete previously open areas of our main building to provide further
upgrade. separation where needed.
COMOX VALLEY CHILD DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION | 2020-2021 ANNUAL REPORT 9
YEAR IN REVIEW
CVCDA IN THE COMMUNITY
PROUD COMMUNITY PARTNER
LEFT PAGE 4) The CVCDA was one of the lucky few of so many deserving, local non profits
to be chosen as a winner in 98.9 Jet FM’s Helping Hand giving three local
1) Some of our CVCDA team got together (COVID-19 style) on Orange Shirt Not-For-Profits the chance to spread the good word about the work they do
Day (Sept. 30) to have a conversation, share stories and create awareness in through the prize of complimentary advertising and promotion. Thank you to
support of the campaign. the community for submitting your nominations.
2) Through out the pandemic, StrongStart educators encouraged Comox Valley 5) Project Inclusion participants collaborated with the Helpard Family to start a
families to 'get up, get out, and get moving' to spot the teddy bears. The com- new, inclusive community garden at Free To Grow Farm in Comox. Erin Knipe
munity was asked to participate by displaying teddies. #GoingOnABearHunt seen here planting beds early in the season.
Additionally, CVCDA displayed our support for all the front line workers.
3) Our CVCDA Board members and their helpers represented at the 12th Annu-
al Mayor's Golf Charity Classic at Crown Isle Resort and Golf Community.
10 COMOX VALLEY CHILD DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION | 2020-2021 ANNUAL REPORT
RIGHT PAGE 11
1) Matt getting us ready for Comox Valley's Red Dress Awareness Campaign,
honouring missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls by displaying
2) In the spirit of supporting Comox Valley businesses when they needed it
most, CVCDA started up a little initiative called CVCDA Pays It Forward. Each
week for about 5 weeks, CVCDA staff, board members, friends and family
shopped a group of businesses and took selfies to post and share using our
3) Project Inclusion participants got creative with their tie-dye and produced
face mask creations they then sold to raise funds for their annual Comox Lake
camping trip. Amy B. seen here modeling her mask.
COMOX VALLEY CHILD DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION | 2020-2021 ANNUAL REPORT
YEAR IN REVIEW
OUR BIGGEST SUPPORTERS
LEFT PAGE RIGHT PAGE
1) Cindy Xavier receives a $2,500 donation from Shoreline Orthodontics. 1) Cindy Xavier is presented with a $3,500 donation following the12th Annual
Mayor’s Golf Charity Classic Golf Tournament.
2) Bruce Stewart of the Courtenay Legion #17 drops off a $500 donation to
Cindy Xavier during our 45th Annual CVCDA Children's Telethon. 2) Local COBS Bread owners, Charlotte and Dean Seal seen here presenting
Board Director, Diane Daigle with a donation following their annual Doughna-
3) Cindy Xavier with some of the Wayward Distillery team receiving the tion Day event.
WHO-recipe hand sanitizer we had applied for through the Wayward initiative
in partnership with Comox Valley Community Foundation. 3) Each year, all of our Telethon dance entertainment is provided by local Valley
dance troops. In addition to donating their time, Studio G, Triple Heat and
4) With the generosity and support of Simba Investments Ltd, CVCDA com- VIREO dance studios each held their own fundraisers on behalf of the CVCDA
pleted the next phase of our reopening plan and began seeing some of our and presented the proceeds at the event.
families, in person once again, utilizing the newly appointed outdoor meeting
space (tents, tables and chairs). Cindy and Pam seen here at the launch with 4) Russ Nelson prepares kindling for his ongoing fundraiser, 'Kindling for Kids’.
Owner of Simba Investments, Shawn Vincent.
5) Cindy Xavier receives donation (while socially distancing) from Cobs Bread
5) Diane Daigle (center) with Courtenay Royal Bank representatives, Nicole Owners, Charlotte and Dean Seal following their Summer Fundraiser.
Chow (left and also a CVCDA Board member) and Tracey Bono (right) in ada-
vance of their time contributions to Telethon and our Family Place renovation. 6) We were a recipient of the Comox Valley Community Foundation COVID-19
Emergency Response Grant receiving unrestricted operational funding to help
6) Baynes Sound Lions Club complete their 43rd Annual Walk for the Children, offset the impacts of the pandemic by providing emergency services with in The
a 30 km wheelbarrow walk down the Old Island Highway collecting donations Autism Program.
for the CVCDA.
7) Diane Daigle and Cindy Xavier (lower) seen here with Rod McKenzie (upper),
President of the Rotary Club of Comox presenting a donation towards the
CVCDA Accessibility Project.
8) Cindy Xavier seen here with Derek Schneider presenting a donation of $685
following the annual Crown Isle Resort fundraising event, 3rd Annual Romeo St.
Jacques Memorial Classic Cars on the Green.
12 COMOX VALLEY CHILD DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION | 2020-2021 ANNUAL REPORT
COMOX VALLEY CHILD DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION | 2020-2021 ANNUAL REPORT
YEAR IN REVIEW
2020 CVCDA CHILDREN’S TELETHON
clear everyone wanted to put on a tele- equipment needed to pre-record the show.
thon and from the second meeting it He volunteered to accept pre-recorded
was clear that yes, we could indeed pull performances provided by the performers
together to celebrate our 45th Telethon! and to record live, any performers that
wanted to come in to the theatre. He was
Of course, our main ingredient for a flexible and so very accommodating (and
Telethon is the TV and after several patient) to the needs of all the performers.
meetings with the “powers to be” at
Shaw, we decided to forge on tenta- And so, our monthly meetings started in
tively but optimistically. Gord Darby and early September as usual. We were still
Mary Ruth Harris were, as always, the feeling our way as to how this would all
spokespersons for us in dealing with come together. However, as each week
the Shaw Head Office and we are so went on our amazing core crew of Edwin
thankful for their continued support. Grieve, Brian Morrisette, Shirley Reynolds,
Linda McLean, Lorraine Aitken, Kenny
Our next hurdle was to talk to our contact Shaw, Joanne Schroeder, Gordon Dar-
by and Mary Ruth Harris together with
MESSAGE FROM PAM CROWE at the Sid Williams Theatre to see what the CVCDA crew of Brooklyn Galloway,
TELETHON CHAIR they thought. Well...there was no hesita-
tion from Patrick Emery and his technical Michelle Erickson and Cindy Xavier
worked together, as happens ev-
It was a pleasure and an honour to once crew at the Sid. They were somewhat ery year, to put on an amazing,
again chair the 2020 CVCDA Children's giddy, quite honestly, at the idea of safe, COVID-19 friendly event.
Telethon Committee. It was especially actually holding an event at the The-
satisfying given that, looking back to atre that had been “dark” for many Telethon 2020 was Cindy’s first
correspondence from June and July of months. Patrick has always been Comox Valley Telethon and
2020, the idea of even being able to have one of those persons that seems to at every turn she was, I think,
a telethon was in such serious doubt. Just have a positive approach to every- surprised and somewhat aston-
trying to plan a meeting with 2 or 3 people thing and that was exactly what we ished at the years of “tradition”
to discuss the event was difficult given the needed. When Shaw advised that that comprise the telethon. Due to
COVID-19 protocols in place at that time. they couldn’t provide the “manpow- the Shaw COVID-19 restrictions, it
er” at the theatre, due to their protocols, was Cindy that filmed most of our hourly
However, from the first meeting it was Patrick advised that the theatre had all the
Event Photos By: Don & Laura Tait COMOX VALLEY CHILD DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION | 2020-2021 ANNUAL REPORT
informative tapes with parents. Her time
and her filming expertise, (that she learned
“on the job”) were invaluable to high-
lighting, during the telethon, the work of
the CVCDA. Gord Darby spent hours and
hours editing the tape and the CVCDA is
so lucky and blessed to have Gord who is
not only so good at his job but has such a
dedication to the Association that he will
stay up all night editing hours of raw tape!
Our connection, by Edwin Grieve, Bri-
an Morissette and Kenny Shaw, to the
entertainment world in the Comox Valley
was again invaluable in providing the
show with the top names in the Valley.
Our online presence has increased ev-
ery year and our thanks go to Brooklyn
Galloway for her work and expertise in
ensuring our promotional presence was
in place leading up to the telethon and
on the day of. Brooklyn was also instru-
mental in ensuring both the 50/50 Lottery
and the Silent Auction (both big financial
contributors to the final total) were online
and up to date and I know she worked
long into the night, some nights, to ensure
we were current and always up to date.
And so, an 8-hour show was assem-
bled and recorded by the Sid/Shaw/
Telethon Committee team, a feat that,
back in July we could not, in hind-
sight, have envisioned possible.
Of course, our top priority was the safe- “Kindling for Kids” campaign, as well See you for the 46th Annual
ty of our performers/dancers that did as the many individual donations, big
come into the theatre and our volun- and small. The Comox Valley communi- CVCDA Children's Telethon
teers in the theatre on the day. Many ty rallied to show its support, as always,
thanks to our OH&S representative, for the incredible work that the CVCDA Sunday, November 7, 2021
Laura McCaffrey for her guidance and continues to offer to local families.
expertise in ensuring we were always in
compliance with the rules and protocols Every telethon has had its challenges but www.cvcda.ca/telethon
of the Association and the Theatre. certainly the 45th Telethon will go down as
one that not only was the most challeng- #CVCDATelethon
On November 1, 2020, we opened the ing but was definitely the most reward-
telethon at 12 noon and by 8 pm our ing...Thank you to everyone that played a
grand total was an amazing $96,260. Our part in making it such a success...Comox
thanks goes to everyone that contribut- Valley, you definitely “Did It For the Kids”!
ed to this total... the organizations that
supported us...the Pythians, the Legions,
the Lions Clubs, all the Rotary Clubs,
Cobs Bakery and of course, the wonder-
ful support of Sharon and Russ Nelson
and their substantial donation from their
COMOX VALLEY CHILD DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION | 2020-2021 ANNUAL REPORT 15
YEAR IN REVIEW
PAM CROWE RETIRES FROM BOARD AFTER 35 YEARS
This past year, team members
and colleagues came together as an essential service to the children and missed by the CVCDA leadership, her
to celebrate and honour Pam families of the Comox Valley. legacy will continue to be a guiding
Crowe’s 35 years of service Pam received many special messages from influence and the standard set by which
on the Comox Valley Child invited guests including Mary Everson, the organization can continue to achieve
representing local First Nations’ fam- exceptional work in the community.
Development Association’s Board ilies that have been supported by the The event was an opportunity to present
Of Directors. The event marked CVCDA, service club member from the Pam with a special plaque naming her
a change of tides for the Baynes Sound Lions, Jacquie Miller, who Ambassador to the CVCDA. Pam’s involve-
CVCDA as Pam metaphorically has worked closely with Pam throughout ment started with the annual Children’s
numerous fundraising initiatives, Courte- Telethon 45 years ago. Today, she contin-
nay Mayor Bob Wells and former Comox
handed over the torch to our Mayor, Paul Ives. ues to volunteer her time as telethon chair.
new Board chair, Diane Daigle, In recognition of Pam being the CVCDA’s
During Pam’s time as Chair, she worked longest standing volunteer, the Board
who was elected in April 2021. alongside four CVCDA executive direc-
tors: Heather McFetridge from 1994- created the Ambassador position to recog-
Pam’s strong and steady leadership of the 2008, Lorraine Aitken from 2008-2014, nize her dedication to the agency, and her
CVCDA has made an impact on the Co- Joanne Schroeder from 2014-2020 and continued work as a volunteer with the
mox Valley. She has led the organization current ED, Cindy Xavier. Each offered CVCDA and the telethon.
through many changes, from the original words where the common thread was On the heels of this lovely event, Pam
location in Cumberland to the current the support they all experienced through was back at it planning and preparing,
location at the corner of 3rd Street and her guidance, and the value of having a through a pandemic, for the 45th CVC-
Cliffe Avenue in Courtenay. Pam has been strong and stable board. DA Children’s Telethon, which took place
instrumental in establishing the CVCDA While Pam’s strong leadership will be Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020.
16 COMOX VALLEY CHILD DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION | 2020-2021 ANNUAL REPORT
PAM CROWE'S RETIREMENT GATHERING
COMOX VALLEY CHILD DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION | 2020-2021 ANNUAL REPORT 17
YEAR IN REVIEW
CVCDA ACCESSIBILITY PROJECT
This past year the first phase of our Phase one of construction saw our lower Our Accessibility Project Fund come
Accessibility Project was completed. We accessible ramp excavated to make room together through a number of supporters
are continually striving to provide physi- for the improved replacement. The new including fundraising done through our
cal locations for our services that are not ramps were designed to be at a much very own 45th CVCDA Children’s Telethon,
only welcoming but inclusive to all who more friendly slope for all you use them.
utilize them. Both the upper and lower Additionally, they designed to be wider Many local businesses and local Rota-
ramps were deteriorating with age and and provide more space at the entry ways ry clubs have also combined forces to
were considered dangerously steep for for maneuvering in and out. support this project. Angela Zumbo of the
those using them in wheelchairs. Not only Comox Valley Rotary Club spearheaded
were they unsafe but the ramps in some the Rotary’s collaboration of support with
instances would damage the wheelchairs. both funds and people power.
When all phases of the Project are com- “I’m so happy our volunteer Comox Valley,
plete, the CVCDA will see improvements Comox and Courtenay clubs are joining
made to the accessibility of our main forces to improve accessibility at CVCDA. We
parking lot and accessible entry ways. were inspired to take on this Rotary project
because it aligns perfectly with our goals to
For some clients and families, parking 4 help vulnerable kids and families, and it also
and accessing our buildings for essential gives us the opportunity to really roll up our
services required some ongoing varying sleeves to make a difference for the Valley.
instructions from your service providers The current wheelchair ramp is pretty treach-
in advance of their scheduled appoint- erous – it’s a serious challenge for folks today.
ments. During this time, we also made I’m excited for the new design to get built to
an exception for families to use the main see the positive impact in our community and
front entry to avoid the construction support the CVCDA.” ~Angela Zumbo, Past
zone surrounding the rear upper ramp President of Rotary Club of Comox Valley
access. We provided updates and details
about the project of all progress via our
official website and social media ac-
counts throughout the construction.
18 COMOX VALLEY CHILD DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION | 2020-2021 ANNUAL REPORT
Additionally, funding has come through a projects at the CVCDA. 34
variety of grants. The first grant came from Lacasse brought with 4
the Rick Hanson Foundation BC Accessi- them a team of supporting PHOTOS
1) L to R: Frank and Angela Zumbo of Rotary Club
bility Grants program supported by the contractors to the job in- of Comox Valley on site with Cale Lacasse of Lacasse
Province of British Columbia through the cluding Edgett Excavating, 2) Completed lower ramp.
3) Looking down the original ramp.
Ministry of Social Development and Social Valley Creative Concrete, 4) Ramp under construction.
Innovation. The program provides oppor- Dalron Home Improve-
tunity for organizations that have been ments and Cumberland
rated through the Rick Hansen Foundation Ready Mix.
Accessibility Certification TM program to
apply for funding of up to $20,000 to Finally, we were lucky
complete an accessibility infrastructure enough to once again
improvement project. The remainder of acquire the engineering
the grant funding was a $24,500 grant services of McElhanney
received through Community Living BC. and professional Architect,
Phillipa Atwood to create
“We gratefully acknowledge the financial the exterior building and
support of the Rick Hansen Foundation ramp designs (shown top
and the Province of British Columbia left) to compliment her existing Comox
through the Ministry of Social Develop- Valley Autism Centre design, located
ment and Social Innovation.” ~Cindy adjacent the courtyard.
Xavier, CVCDA Executive Director
We can’t wait to see this design come to
Lacasse Construction lead by Owner, Cale life. Phase 2 of the project including the
Lacasse once again supported the CVCDA upper ramp is scheduled to begin con-
through all construction on this project struction summer 2021. You can visit our
as they have done on many past building website to view the Phase 1 gallery.
COMOX VALLEY CHILD DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION | 2020-2021 ANNUAL REPORT 19
YEAR IN REVIEW
HIGHLIGHTING COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS
The Building Connections for Valley Families Project (Connections Project) was initiated by the Comox
Valley Early Years Collaborative in the spring of 2019. The Connections Project is a community-
driven project founded on the belief that we can work together as a community to encourage local
early years’ children to thrive and develop physically, socially, emotionally, and cognitively.
Our project has been developed in re-
sponse to the documented early childhood
(0-6) development vulnerabilities of our lo-
cal children. We recognize that a child’s first
years are fundamental for lifelong health
and development. We aim to support
families with young children in finding play
and learning opportunities and in building
social connections in the community.
The Connections Project started its work
in the North Comox Valley (NCV) and has
reached the exciting stage of developing
and implementing two innovation ideas to
better support families. These were selected
after administering surveys, focus groups,
service provider engagement sessions and
community working group sessions. The
data was evaluat-
ed, themes were
innovation ideas Members of the Early Years Collaborative presented with the $100,000 cheque
were created. A by Susan Auchterlonie, CVCF’s Executive Director.
parent council was
these areas. We delivered by the Human Early Learning
are engaging in Partnership at UBC (HELP). We are led by a
these parents were
the same process strong, committed steering committee and
as the work in have developed many strong partnerships.
the North Comox
agencies, leaders Valley and we will Please visit us online to learn about our
and organizations continue to collab- latest developments and potential oppor-
in selecting the orate to identify tunities for families to connect within their
innovations and and develop a plan communities.
starting to estab-
for the innovations
lish them. We are selected for each https//www.cveyc.ca/connections
of these regions of
ing an Innovation
the Comox Valley.
Plan and further THE TEAM
developing the The Connections
two innovations of Project was initially funded by an Island KRIS JOHNSON,
creating three rural community hubs and Health Community Wellness Grant and in BUILDING CONNECTIONS COORDINATOR
hiring a Family Connection Coordinator to early 2020, we received a three-year fund-
support families and the hubs. ing grant from the Vancouver Foundation DARCIE EMERSON,
NORTH COMOX VALLEY DEVELOPMENT COORDINATOR
We more recently expanded the project administered by the Comox Valley Commu- JOANNE SCHROEDER,
to the three other regions of the Comox nity Foundation for this research based proj- HELP RESEARCH SUPPORT
Valley (South Comox Valley, Courtenay and ect. The Comox Valley Child Development
Comox/Valley View), and we are currently Association is the sponsoring organization ALISON BRUDERER,
hosting conversation circles throughout for the Project. Research support is being BUILDING CONNECTIONS COORDINATOR (ON
20 COMOX VALLEY CHILD DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION | 2020-2021 ANNUAL REPORT
The Family Advocate is the first point of contact for all people looking for services and pro-
grams at the Comox Valley Child Development Association (CVCDA). I speak with families
and community partners daily about the services we offer and who they are available to.
The CVCDA offers a wide range of programs for a large population which means I get to
meet with a very diverse crowd. Quite a bit of my time is also spent talking to families
whos’ children need services that we do not offer and so we brainstorm together and make
a list of places they could try connecting with.
Like all of the programs offered here at young children come in and out looking
the CVCDA, I strive to be family centred for toys, snacks or company! A day in my
and offer information about programs office at the CVCDA feels like a ‘break’. I
both here and in the community, which can easily sympathize and empathize with
allows families to make their own so many of our families, who also have
informed decisions. been working hard over the past year
trying to do their best for their children.
In order to be accessible, I offer in-
person meetings, in nature meetings, Our community partners have also BETH FRASER
phone or virtual meetings and even been working hard to connect with FAMILY ADVOCATE
text and email information sharing is families and build a team of support
ongoing. This past year has been a test around our children, who are needing a
in flexibility and adaptability when it helping hand. Referrals for services have
comes to connecting with people. While primarily come from families themselves
maintaining health and safety protocols, or medical professionals.
I try and meet people when and where
they are most comfortable. This has been different than past years,
when I have been able to spend time in the
Over the past year I spoke with over community, at groups, drop in clubs and
250 families about their children. Most meet with people in the ‘real world’.
of those children are now accessing or
waiting for services here at the CVCDA. I
am a one woman team working primarily
in a small home office, while my two
SIBSHOPS SIBLING GROUP
This year we were able to continue to offer our SIBSHOP sibling support group on a virtual plat-
form. We met with a group of siblings every month to spend time together, chat, create and share
with each other about what it is like to have a sibling with a diverse ability.
We were happy to see that this format worked for a number of families and engagement was
great. It was nice to connect with familiar faces each month and to watch the group welcome
new faces into their community.
For more information visit: www.siblingsupport.org
22 COMOX VALLEY CHILD DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION | 2020-2021 ANNUAL REPORT
INFANT DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM
The Infant Development Program (IDP) is a family-centred, home-based program which provides
services for children from birth to three years of age who are considered at risk for a devel-
opmental delay, are already experiencing a delay, or have a diagnosis. This program has three
consultants; Dixie, Jennifer and Chelsey, who provide services to about 70 families per year.
Our consultants support children and their Autism Navigator – including parent coach- Our services were adapted to ensure
families in different ways. We may review ing, Regulation, Adverse Childhood Experi- that we stayed aligned with the provin-
developmental checklists to learn more ences (ACEs) and Touchpoints Parenting. cial health guidelines but also to adapt
about a child and to provide caregivers to what works best for families. As time
information to encourage their child’s de- Our consultants work closely with other passed, and the restrictions changed we
velopment. Together, with caregivers, we professionals, including: Supported Child were able to also provide some services as
plan activities that best meet the needs of Development, Speech and Language outdoor visits and some essential visits at
the child and their family. In consultation Therapists, Physiotherapists, and Occupa- the office. When safe, we used a combi-
with caregivers, we also provide referrals tional Therapists. We also support com- nation of these methods based on what
to other services such as physiotherapy or munity groups such as Healthy Babies, works best for our families.
speech and language if needed. There are Parent-Child Play, and Healthy Families.
no fees for this program and caregivers During this time, the IDP consultants con-
can self-refer. We also receive referrals CVCDA VALUES IN PRACTICE tinued to connect with Healthy Families
from other service providers such as Pedia- groups and committees which included:
tricians, Family Physicians, Public Health The foundation of the Infant Develop- The Perinatal Advisory Committee, Occu-
Nurses and Midwives. ment Program is home visiting. However, pational Health and Safety, Comox Valley
this past year the COVID-19 pandemic Early Years Collaborative and the Place-
Infant Development Consultants are restrictions resulted in adjustments to our ment Resource Committee.
trained professionals; we have degrees program.
in Child and Youth Care, Early Childhood Working remotely also provided opportu-
Development and Education. We also have In March 2020, IDP consultants began work- nities for training that may not have been
experience as Preschool Educators, Sup- ing from their homes and had only virtual available otherwise. Learning through an
ported Child Development Consultants, visits with families through Zoom, Skype or online platform made them more accessi-
Autism Interventionists and foster parents. telephone. We adapted to this new plat- ble because consultants were not required
We have a wide range of training which form and started to do assessments, parent to travel to participate.
includes: Infant Massage, Circle of Security, coaching, and infant massage this way.
DIXIE HUNT-SCOTT, PROGRAM MANAGER CHELSEY NEWTON JENNIFER MCINNES
& INFANT DEVELOPMENT CONSULTANT INFANT DEVELOPMENT CONSULTANT INFANT DEVELOPMENT CONSULTANT
COMOX VALLEY CHILD DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION | 2020-2021 ANNUAL REPORT 23
ABORIGINAL INFANT DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM
some were held remotely through phone sense of gratitude and honour when I was
or Zoom meetings. welcomed into a family home. However,
Mavis and I have been trained in Infant when restrictions on home visits were
Massage (www.iaim.net) and Circle of put in place during COVID-19 we began
Security (www.circleofsecurityinternational. to connect with families through emails,
com). The foundation of both of these pro- text, phone calls, and Zoom meetings.
grams is promoting healthy secure attach- It’s been a learning experience for both the
ments between parents/caregivers and their consultants and for caregivers…and their
children. Training opportunities this year children too….as we began to use video
G̱ ilakas'la. He'ma̱ n dłig̱ a̱ mi included: Autism Navigator training (www. platforms for meetings. Mavis and I had
Dixie. Gayutłan lax̱ T'sax- autismnavigator.com) and The Ripple Effect many opportunities to learn to navigate
̱is. Kwaguł dłu' Tlingit dłu' the world of Zoom. One of the biggest
Ma'a̱ mtigila x̱ wa̱ n. Ḵ̓ aḵ̓ ut̓ ła̱ n of Resilience (www.moniquegraysmith.
com). I have also been learning my tradi- adjustments was getting used to seeing
tional language, Kwak’wala, by participat- myself on the screen as I participated in
ing in a language group with Elders and various trainings, meetings with staff, and
meetings with families. Some families have
Welcome. My name is Dixie. I am from families in the Comox Valley.
appreciated the opportunity to use this
T’saxis, a First Nations community on north- The AIDP works together with both the video feature but it’s not for everyone.
ern Vancouver Island. I am Kwakiutl, Tlingit Aboriginal Supported Child Development
and Ma’amtigila (my First Nations heri- and Aboriginal Speech and Language Pro- One of the values of the AIDP is respect -
tage). I am learning Kwak’wala, the tradi- grams. We also work with other CVCDA so if Zoom is not a good fit for a family, we
tional language of the Kwakiutl people. programs including Physiotherapy, Speech provide alternatives to ensure our services
As the Program Manager of the Aborigi- and Language and Occupational Therapy. can be provided in a culturally safe way.
nal Infant Development Program (AIDP), I Community programs we support include Several caregivers have decided phone
have the privilege and honour to live and Child and Youth Mental Health, Comox calls work best for their families. For some
work in the unceded traditional territories Valley Family Services Healthy Families, families, juggling a baby and participating
of the Pentlatch, E'iksan and K'ómoks First Wachiay Friendship Centre and Upper in a virtual meeting meant a phone call on
Nations. Our program works with families Island Women of Native Ancestry. speaker was the best way to connect. This
who are First Nations, Métis and Inuit. This supported families to connect with their
year, Mavis and I have been providing sup- CVCDA VALUES IN PRACTICE AIDP consultant and continue to do all the
port to families with Aboriginal children things caregivers need to do such as fixing
between the ages of birth and five years During this past year, I have spent time their child’s breakfast, changing a diaper, or
who have a developmental delay or are (virtually) with many Aboriginal children helping a child get dressed. Fortunately, we
at-risk for developmental delay. Referrals and their families as we move through this have maintained connection with families
to the program come from other service journey of living during a global pandem- but we look forward to getting back to
providers such as Pediatricians, Family Phy- ic. In the many years I have been working “normal” and a return to home visiting.
with families, I have always felt a deep
sicians, and Public Health Nurses. Families THE TEAM
can also self-refer to the program.
Our academic backgrounds include First
Nations Child and Youth Care, Early
Childhood Education and Indigenous Early
Childhood Development. As part of pro-
viding culturally relevant services, we draw
on our Indigenous heritage which includes
Kwakiutl, Tlingit, Cree and Métis.
The AIDP is a home-based, visiting pro- DIXIE HUNT-SCOTT, PROGRAM MANAGER & MAVIS AUBICHON
gram providing services yearly to about INFANT DEVELOPMENT CONSULTANT INFANT DEVELOPMENT CONSULTANT
45 Aboriginal children and their families.
This year due to COVID-19 restrictions,
we adjusted our program by working
remotely. Some visits with families were
held outside in parks or backyards and
24 COMOX VALLEY CHILD DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION | 2020-2021 ANNUAL REPORT
ABORIGINAL SUPPORTED CHILD DEVELOPMENT
The Aboriginal Supported Child Devel- and necessary supports and services that As such the responsibility for children is a
opment Program (ASCD) works with will foster the family, child and community shared one.
children and their families to help support connection. Advocacy – ASCD acknowledges and
culturally relevant and safe inclusion in honours that parents, caregivers and
childcare settings. We work with children families know their children best. ASCD
ages birth to thirteen. programs work to ensure families feel
The values of the ASCD program are as empowered to be advocates in supporting
follows: their child’s development.
Relationships - ASCD programs are Family Centred Practice – ASCD
founded on relationships as it is programs follow the families lead
through healthy, safe relationships as decision makers for their chil-
that a child with diverse abilities dren and acknowledge that par-
can develop to their full poten- ents and caregivers are experts
tial. ASCD aims to support and in regards to their child. Families
nurture relationships between have choice and provide input
and among the child, parents, at all levels of service delivery
caregivers, therapists, etc. that involves their child.
Respect – Respect is the foun- Holistic – ASCD programs
dation of all ASCD services. It is honour the “whole” child, which
through mutual respect that trust- encompasses not only the physical,
ing, meaningful relationships are built social/emotional and mental, but
between families and service providers also the cultural/spiritual aspects of the
to ensure Aboriginal children are best sup- child, within the context of their family,
ported in reaching their fullest potential. extended family, community and culture.
Culturally Relevant and Safe Sup- Inclusion – ASCD acknowledges children Our team includes one Aboriginal Support-
port – Evidence demonstrates that when as gifts of the creator, appreciates the ed Child Development Consultant, Angie
programs and services are led by Aborig- unique abilities of Aboriginal children, DeJersey and Program Manager, Kathy
inal communities, this leads to greater and supports them in achieving their full Cruickshank. As the ASCD consultant I
participation, retention, and satisfaction work with children and families within
participation in community life. their home, in the community with a large
focus on the childcare setting. I currently
Access – Through relationships, ASCD Shared Responsibility - Children are not consult to five different centres including
works to support a family caring for a raised in isolation; they are influenced by the two Aboriginal Head Start Programs.
child with extra needs to access relevant
family, community and the greater society. I work to support families in recognizing
their wishes and goals for their child and
THE TEAM work alongside the family and the child-
care center to create a plan to support the
I work closely with my Program Manager
to brainstorm ideas, strategies and sup-
ports to make sure that the ASCD pro-
gram is continually striving to provide the
most culturally relevant and safe practices
for the children, their families and the
I bring a cultural lens to our SCD program
team meetings by gathering relevant
resources and adapting forms and proce-
dures so they are more culturally sensitive.
KATHY CRUICKSHANK ANGIE DEJERSEY, SCD CONSULTANT
PROGRAM MANAGER FOR ABORIGINAL CHILDREN AND FAMILIES
COMOX VALLEY CHILD DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION | 2020-2021 ANNUAL REPORT 25
EARLY INTERVENTION THERAPY
The Early Intervention Therapy (EIT) of therapy procedures and provide
Program provides community-based therapy to individual children or
services and supports to families and groups of children and their families.
their children who are between birth They have specific training in the field
and school entry. Our intervention is of child development, speech and
based on a strengths based approach, language development and therapy
where we celebrate the strengths and techniques. They are an essential and
skills the child and family bring to the highly valued part of our team, provid-
relationship. We incorporate those ing support for families and therapists.
skills into the therapeutic interactions As with other departments, COVID
and continue to build on those skills created challenges and learning
to facilitate ongoing development. We opportunities for the Therapy staff.
believe parents and families play a pri- From increased safety protocols to
mary role in their child’s development learning Zoom technology, families
and are the experts of their children. and staff navigated changes to the
best of everyone's abilities. We're
The EIT Program consists of a team looking forward to supporting more
of therapists and therapy assistants. families, sooner.
This includes Occupational Therapy
(OT), Physical Therapy (PT), Speech CVCDA VALUES IN PRACTICE
Language Pathology (SLP), Speech
Language Assistant (SLA) and Thera- supporting speech development (how When awaiting or receiving a diag-
py Assistant (TA). nosis for a child, families face many
Our Physiotherapist provides services children say words), language develop- unknowns. This time can be a very chal-
focused on the identification and promo- ment (understanding and using words) lenging and daunting process – especially
tion of optimal movement development. and social communication (how and why as families are just beginning.
She helps children develop skills so they we communicate such as greetings, asking Our team is frequently at the front line
can function as independently as possible questions, responding to questions or com- working with these families by offering
and participate actively in home, child care ments, interacting and playing with peers) support and empowering them as the
settings and community environments. and may include the use of augmentative expert on their child. Our clinicians advo-
This may include learning how to sit, crawl, communication strategies such as verbal cate and support applications for families
stand, walk, run, ride a bike, control a mo- output devices, sign language or picture to access the funding programs they are
torized wheel chair, throw and kick a ball exchange programs. The speech language entitled to, both by helping navigate the
and use outdoor play equipment. pathologist also supports a child’s eating as complicated system of how and/or when
this involves many muscles of the mouth. to apply but also completing assessments
Our Speech Language Pathologists provide
services to help children communicate Our Therapy Assistant and Speech Lan- and writing reports to outline the great
successfully with others. This includes guage Assistant perform many components need for further support.
NEW AND IMPROVED
For over 25 years, our EIT staff have dedicated themselves to providing services
in what we call, "the Therapy Space". It has served us well but definitely could
use an upgrade!” Over the years we (new staff) have painted a mural in our
family waiting area, painted our dark wood walls (more new staff) and have
recently painted the exterior gym door (a nice bright yellow), rearranged the gym
and painted yet another mural (nicely done Mel). We have such a motivated, en-
ergetic, enthusiastic team. The dream is that one day we will have a lovely new
building that better supports this amazing team and the families we serve.
26 COMOX VALLEY CHILD DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION | 2020-2021 ANNUAL REPORT
We offer to connect families, who wish of the physiotherapist (PT), the child was activities. An ISP was then created during
to do so, with other families experiencing enrolled in the BC Hip Surveillance Program a teleconference team/family meeting to
similar situations to create a broader sense (a gold standard program based in the BC guide the therapy team in the family’s top
of community. Our team answers as many Children’s Hospital aiming to monitor the
questions as possible about the diagnosis, hip health of children with CP over time). priorities of their child’s development.
prognosis, treatment pathway and services Our team advocated for the child to be ad-
available, while also guiding families to mitted onto the At-Home Program, which During this meeting, the family highlighted
they were ready for Occupational Therapy
connect with local and provincial resources provided funding for a gait trainer and an (OT) services to help support their child’s
Ankle-Foot Orthosis – both of which were daily living skills (e.g. dressing, bathing,
as needed. Most of our families receive
support from more than one of our pro- very successful in allowing the child oppor- toilet- training, and feeding) and support-
grams – if not all of our programs! They tunities for upright balance and strength- ing the development and expression of the
also often access external services from the ening activities. However, having access to child’s emotions. The OT was able to join
CVCDA. Our clinicians frequently act as this specialized equipment predominantly
service coordinators by organizing regular gave this child the independence they one of the already scheduled PT sessions
family meetings to document the family’s needed to encourage more quality social and met the child and family in person
priorities in the Individual Service Plan (ISP), time with the rest of their family. Our PT within a familiar, known environment. This
and facilitating communication between started working with this family regularly, close collaboration between service pro-
all professionals involved to continuously as well as the external Speech-Language viders is not just helpful for the child and
share strategies and updates about the Therapist (SLP) through telehealth and out- family but it is also highly beneficial for the
child. For example, one of our families door visits. These regular therapy sessions clinicians to create a strong continuity of
received a diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy (CP) transitioned indoors as soon as our Centre care between therapies.
for their toddler last year. While it was “re-opened” with COVID-19 policies and Finally, the team supported a referral for
reassuring for the family to have a clear un- procedures in place. the Supported Child Development (SCD)
derstanding of what was challenging their The SLP was able to video call into the Program to enable the child to achieve their
little one’s development, it was also a very Physiotherapy sessions to observe the full learning potential within the childcare
difficult time to get answers about what child’s language and communication. This environment. Our entire team is incredibly
services they could access as the COVID-19 combination of in-person and telehealth grateful to have the opportunity to work
pandemic was just beginning. therapy allowed the external SLP to provide closely with this wonderful family and
Our team connected with the family as our PT with strategies to incorporate the witness their child learn, grow and develop
soon as possible and with the support child’s speech-language goals within the PT more and more skills each day!
THE TEAM MISSING PHOTO: KYLEE ABRAHAMSON, OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST
JENNIFER LEWIS MARY MCKENNA TARA MOOSE OSHRAT ZEMEL
PROGRAM COORDINATOR & SLP SPEECH LANGUAGE PATHOLOGIST SPEECH LANGUAGE ASSISTANT THERAPY ASSISTANT
NIKKI HOLEKAMP TARYN CORRIE CARLIN CHRISTENSEN MELANIE DESAULNIERS
OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST PHYSICAL THERAPIST
COMOX VALLEY CHILD DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION | 2020-2021 ANNUAL REPORT 27
SUPPORTED CHILD DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM
Supported Child Development (SCD) is a Provincial program that facilitates successful
inclusion in early learning programs (preschools, group childcare, family childcare and after
school care) for children with extra support needs by supporting children, families and
early learning centre staff. At the heart of the SCD Program are the philosophies of “in-
clusion” and “family centred practice”.
We serve children from birth to 12 years of the program. during the pandemic also made it a dif-
with developmental delays or disabilities ficult year. The safety protocols continue
in their physical, cognitive, communica- We served over 250 children through- to have us adapt our services to continue
tive or social/emotional and behavioural out the fiscal year and SCD consultants to meet the needs of children and their
development. maintain caseloads of 25-50 children, families and of early learning centres in a
consulting to approximately 45 early way that is safe for all.
We may complete general developmental learning centres. Over the past fiscal
assessments and reports. When necessary, year, we provided extra staffing funds to The SCD team continued to provide
we assist families finding an Early Learn- centres for 136 children. As in the past, service and support to families and Early
ing Centre that meets their needs, we limited support funding, limited available Learning Centres virtually. We problem
provide kindergarten transition support child care spaces and limited numbers of solved, shared ideas and connected as
and planning and we make referrals to skilled, experienced, qualified child care a team over weekly ZOOM meetings.
other services. staff along with a continuing increase With limited support funding, available
in numbers of children with challenging child care spaces and numbers of skilled,
We support early childhood programs by behaviour and/or a background of trauma experienced, and qualified child care staff
providing resources, strategies, sugges- made for a challenging year for SCD combined with an increasing number of
tions and training. When appropriate we and for the Early Learning Centres in our children with challenging behaviour and/
provide funding to early learning pro- community. or a background of trauma continues to
grams to hire extra staff to facilitate the impact on the work we do.
child’s successful participation in all parts In addition, providing modified services
KATHY CRUICKSHANK ANGIE DEJERSEY, SCD CONSULTANT MARIKA GOULD
PROGRAM MANAGER FOR ABORIGINAL CHILDREN AND FAMILIES SCD CONSULTANT
KIM GRIFFITHS ALESHA GURR LINDSAY FRIIS LAURA MCCAFFREY
SCD CONSULTANT SCD CONSULTANT SCD CONSULTANT SCD CONSULTANT
28 COMOX VALLEY CHILD DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION | 2020-2021 ANNUAL REPORT
This year we developed a framework has facilitated many parenting programs • Angie and Kim have provided “Sup-
for centre-specific and centre-directed and trainings for child care centre staff. portive Conversations” training
training and support called Reflections –
Enriching Inclusive Practice and were able Some highlights include: • The Webinar “When Kids Worry &
to begin to implement it over the last few Understanding Anxiety in the Time
months of the fiscal year. We are excited • “Touchpoints Parenting Program” – of COVID” by Vanessa Lapointe was
about the potential of this program to has successfully been offered virtually offered twice in January and was well
mentor and build capacity in centres. We to parents numerous times by Angie received by parents, child care provid-
are exploring funding options to continue and Alesha ers and other community members.
to offer this support.
• “Circle of Security” – has also success- • Plans are underway to offer a “Gender
The SCD team has continued to take fully been offered virtually to parents nu- Diversity and Gender Affirming Prac-
advantage of professional development merous times and in addition to facilita- tice” webinar by Lore McLaren to take
opportunities throughout the year and tors Lindsay and Kathy, Marika has now place in May.
been trained to facilitate the program
VANCOUVER ISLAND SCD REGIONAL ADVISOR
There are regional advisors for Infant this year with the primary focus being AIDP, IDP and ASCD Advisors in offering
Development (IDP), Aboriginal Infant the impact of COVID-19 on our pro- the virtual training “The Ripple Effect of
Development (AIDP), Supported Child grams. Changes in child care such as Resiliency” by Monique Gray Smith as
Development (SCDP) and Aboriginal provincial initiatives with a focus on well as planning for a webinar “Trauma
Supported Child Development (ASCD) universal child care and inclusion and Sensitive Practice” by Kim Barthel which
in each of the five regions in the prov- the imminent switch of child care from will occur in June.
ince of BC.
MCFD to the Ministry of Education have
We receive a budget through the also been a major part of our discus-
Ministry of Children and Family Devel- sions provincially.
opment (MCFD) to provide training to I was part of a Child Care Inclusion Tool-
the programs on Vancouver Island. As kit Working Group through MCFD.
Regional Advisors we partner to provide
joint training and networking and/or we This past year networking meetings
divide the funds between programs to with SCD Programs on the Island were
held virtually and more frequently. There
provide more specific training.
was an increased need to connect due
As the Regional Advisor for SCDP, I also to the impact of COVID-19 and the
provide support to SCD programs on challenges it brought.
Vancouver Island by facilitating network-
I am planning a webinar, “Gender Di-
ing opportunities, fielding questions KATHY CRUICKSHANK
around policy and procedure and dissem- versity and Gender Affirming Practice” PROGRAM MANAGER & REGIONAL ADVISOR
inating relevant information. by Lore McLaren for all Vancouver Island
I participated in a number of Provincial SCD programs, to be held in May.
Networking meetings held by MCFD I collaborated with the Vancouver Island
IDP REGIONAL ADVISOR
The CVCDA partners with the Clements Centre in the Cowichan Valley for the
services of Terri Stamko, who is the Regional Infant Development Program Advisor.
COMOX VALLEY CHILD DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION | 2020-2021 ANNUAL REPORT 29
THE AUTISM PROGRAM
It has been a challenging year, our families. We put our thinking
to say the least. However, we caps on and had our first Zoom
are open, providing therapy and session on March 27. Then it was
our staff and families are healthy time to start on an in person plan
and safe. That’s what I want to and I’m proud to say we opened
remember! our doors to in person (only 1
At the Autism Program we provide child in the building at a time) on
Autism Intervention services to April 9th. I have to thank Cindy
children that have a diagnosis of for taking my calls and answering
Autism. We believe that each child my emails during this time. I had a
with autism has a right to equal million ideas in my head and she
opportunities to develop their abil- listened to all of them in the midst
ities to their fullest potential. of a million others.
We encourage individual growth It was really hard to balance the
and personal achievement. We very real threat of a global pan-
strive to provide a warm, car- demic with the absolute certainty
ing and safe environment that that some of our families were
provides children and teens the heading for crisis. The interruption
opportunity to develop social rela- of service left us struggling with
tionships with others, while focus- the ethics of it all. However, we
ing on each individual’s needs. continued to reach out and offer
support while slowly increasing our
All instruction is provided in a low Photo Credit: Comox Valley Community Foundation in person sessions. I was sending
student-to-teacher ratios. Our weekly emails to families. As a
goal is to support students with to play, group etiquette, reading body staff, we put together a video
varying levels of ability to become inde- language, problem solving, chores; money and sent it out letting them all know we
pendent members of their communities. exchange, job readiness skills all in an envi- were thinking of them. I have to say that
ronment which fosters fun and friendships. as much as we tried to support families,
For the under 6 child’s daily session, the they also tried to support us. The sense of
Behaviour Interventionist will work on We are available to teach all of these skills community and caring during those first
goals highlighted in the Individualized in a variety of environments home, rec- months buoyed our spirits and kept us
Program Plan. Goals in your child’s Indi- reational groups, daycare, schools and of moving forward.
vidualize Program Plan will include areas course our very own Pam Crowe Autism
such as academics, social skills, play skills, Centre of Excellence. Staffing was a very real challenge as we
receptive language, expressive language, were forced to lay off regular staff without
oral motor skills, gross motor movement, Our staff is a varied group of dedicated any idea when we would be able to bring
fine motor movement and behaviour. Data individuals. Autism Interventionists, and them back. Thankfully, I can report that all
is collected on a daily basis and progress Behaviour Consultants. Staff come with our regular staff were back by November.
will be tracked by both the Behaviour Inter- a variety of backgrounds and education Some staff members came back with news
ventionist and Early Intervention Therapists. ECE, Psychology degrees, Registered of changes in their personal lives. This news
Goals will be removed as they are mastered Behaviour technician, Positive Behaviour meant we needed to find and get people
Supports, Infant and Supportive Child
and generalized, with new goals being trained before various leaves were due to
Development certificate, Human Service start. As of now, we have had 5 people
added as needed. Your child will have
opportunity to work on social skills during Worker and most importantly for me a join our team. Behaviour Interventionists
group activities, play time and circle time. desire to support children to learn and
Samantha Hayward, Tianna Naswell, Dylan
For the children over 6, we design small grow in a positive environment. Simson, Marina Lohse and our new Assis-
social skills groups for children to learn tant Behaviour Consultant Kaitlin Brunt. I
age appropriate social skills, based on their The CVCDA officially closed our doors am so happy to have all of them here, they
needs, included but not limited to building March 16th, 2020 at noon. Our first are welcome additions.
priority was figuring out how we could
friendships, turn taking, inviting others continue to offer some level of service to I wanted to highlight one of the very
30 COMOX VALLEY CHILD DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION | 2020-2021 ANNUAL REPORT
real challenges that some of our kiddo’s met with more intense behaviour to the listening, creating moments of joy, and us
struggle with this is the ability to relin- point where families are at a loss and some- as parents/educators empowering them
quish favourite items and dealing with times in actual danger. TAP is blessed with and their choices. The way to a happy,
“No”. No, of course isn’t the literal word. amazing professionals who keep up on functioning lifestyle for families is with the
It is dealing with all those things that just research and development and are always building of skills. Big game changers are
come up in life. The world tells us “NO” looking for ways to meet our families play/leisure skills, communication, toler-
all the time. You want to play ipad but needs. Thanks to the relentless pursuit of ance, and cooperation. Once these are
it’s not working. You want to go first but ways to help these kids learn and grow acquired, it opens the gates for endless
it’s not your turn. You want to touch the we have started some of our kids on a learning opportunities. We want the chil-
pretty, red spot on the stove. You want new program we call “My Way” (Practical dren to feel I see you, I hear you, I under-
to play mini golf but it’s closed. All those Functional Assessment or PFA). This idea stand you and I am here for you.
times life just says nope, not today. In the stems from trauma informed research by TAP is committed to learning through
years I’ve worked in this field, this is the Dr. Greg Hanley. We have already seen listening, offering enriched environments
skill that if not learned can cause the most huge success with some of our kiddo’s by building on trust, following a child’s
problems as they get older and COVID has and are very excited to watch them ex- lead, listening/looking for communica-
taught all of us that sometimes the world pand and grow their skill sets. tion and looking for the learning oppor-
tunities where the child is happy, relaxed,
can tell us NO as a society in a major way. Hanley’s research aligns with my personal
As our children get bigger these No’s are belief system that children learn from us and engaged.
THE TEAM MISSING PHOTOS: SAMANTHA HAYWARD, BRITTNEY HOWARD, MARINA
LOHSE, DYLAN SIMSON, BEH INTERVENTIONISTS
APRIL STATZ KAITLIN BRUNT ROBERT CHUDLEIGH
PROGRAM MANAGER BEH INTERVENTIONIST BEH INTERVENTIONIST
JEN COOMBS TALIA KERN KATY MACDONALD-HEATH TIANNA NASWELL
LEAD INTERVENTIONIST BEH INTERVENTIONIST
ASSISTANT BEHAVIOUR CONSULTANT BEH INTERVENTIONIST
JESSIE PRIDMORE DANIELLE STATHAM MEREDITH TOWNSEND KATRINA VARDY
BEH INTERVENTIONIST BEH INTERVENTIONIST BEH INTERVENTIONIST BEH INTERVENTIONIST
COMOX VALLEY CHILD DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION | 2020-2021 ANNUAL REPORT 31
Since 2007, JumpStart Pre- each of us. We most certain-
school has been a commu- ly could not have conducted
nity-based program serving our program without their
children aged 3-5 years old. incredible leap of faith!
The preschool is located CVCDA VALUES
in Courtenay Elementary IN PRACTICE
School, and many children
attending reside in the area Covid 19 presented an
of the school's catchment. opportunity to meet the
The program provides a safe, returning) placed their trust in our staff needs of all of our families
nurturing and healthy envi- in a respectful and compas-
ronment, where each child is sionate manner. Many of
viewed as a unique indi- our families were able to
vidual. JumpStart believes quickly adhere to the many
children learn through play protocols in place this year.
and promotes play-based However, there were some
learning where children can families that were uncom-
practice literacy, numeracy fortable with new policies
and social skills, while build- such as masks (for both
ing self-confidence. staff and parents/caregivers)
and temperature taking
Due to COVID-19, it was necessary to and all of the many protocols in place. We requirements at the garden gate as the
develop enhanced safety protocols be- can not imagine how difficult it must have children were signed in.
fore opening our doors this year. Program
Coordinator, Holly Edwards met with been for our families (particularly new fam- Through calm, clear and always respect-
Program Manager, Kathy Cruickshank, ilies that had not yet developed a trusting ful conversation, we were able to bridge
Health and Safety Committee member, relationship with us) to send their children the gap with these families. We are
Laura McCaffrey and Supported Child through our school doors. eternally appreciative that they chose
Development Consultant, Alesha Gurr not to withdraw their children from our
to develop a COVID-19 Safety Protocol Historically, families support their children program. Also through open conversa-
that took into consideration those of the in entering our program and are a key tion, we were able to devise a compro-
CVCDA, the school district and Child piece in easing the transition. Our families mise that met the needs of everyone in a
Care Facilities Licensing. could no longer take ownership of their safe and consistent manner. We consider
child’s classroom. They could not even this a success during a time in our history
enter the school. For this, we are eternally
Certainly, a highlight for JumpStart was the grateful for our JumpStart families’ com- when there has been so much societal
simple fact that all of our families (new and bined support, trust and kindness towards fracture as a result of the pandemic.
THE TEAM MISSING PHOTO: KARLI DILLON
EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION ASSISTANT
HOLLY EDWARDS DONNA THORDARSON HEATHER GREALEY
PROGRAM COORDINATOR EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION ASSISTANT EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION ASSISTANT
32 COMOX VALLEY CHILD DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION | 2020-2021 ANNUAL REPORT
EARLY YEARS COMMUNITY OUTREACH
Our Early Years (EY) Program is designed to able to everyone in the valley and were
make services in the Comox Valley avail- enjoyed by families, schools, daycares and
able to all families with children under 6 even many adults on the trails. Pages of
through a variety of outreach programs. It a book are enlarged and laminated onto
has three primary components. 1. Val- chloroplast and posted along a trail. Story
ley Child is an online platform providing Walks were set up in Courtenay, Comox
information on programs and services for and Cumberland parks allowing families
young children and families in the Comox to enjoy the activity in their own time. The
Valley. 2. Supporting the Comox Valley Early Years Outreach Program participat-
Early Years Collaborative, and 3. Bringing ed in Orange Shirt Day and a Halloween
together many service providers to improve event providing Story Walks for both.
the integration of early years' programs. Both the Family Literacy Bag and the Story
The EY program is available to all young Walk program received great feedback
families in the Comox Valley from Fanny Bay from families and community partners.
to Oyster River. It attempts to reach families Parents appreciated the Family Literacy
that might face challenges accessing infor- Bags saying they gave their children new,
mation and resources. fun activities to keep them busy during the
early days of the pandemic when many
The EY program connects with families
organizations to support families during the were stuck indoors. Many families explored
through building positive relationships. At early days of the pandemic. The program “new” Valley parks as they searched out
the same time, it further supports families involved assembling bags of toys, books, the Story Walks throughout the valley ap-
with help in seeking connections to resourc- activities and COVID-19 related resources. preciating both the stories and expanding
es that families believe would be of benefit. These bags were developed for each child their knowledge of community trails.
Cheryl Jordan, the Valley Child Family Navi- and family by including items to appeal to During 2020, planning began in collabo-
gator updated the Valley Child website and various age groups and individuals. Over ration with the CVLLC for the Community
Facebook/Instagram pages. She coordinates 178 families and 256 children received Book Bike. This program involves creating
the activities of the Early Years Collabora- bags. These families were registered with a “mobile library” with a pedal bike and
tive and works in partnership delivering programs such as Healthy Families, Aborigi- trailer filled with books donated by various
the Comox Valley Lifelong Learning Centre nal Early Years, Family Services, Strong Start, organizations such as Value Village, Rotary
Valley Families program, which delivers free Transition Society, CVLLC, Young Parents Club and PacificCARE. This mobile library
activities to families in the valley. Program and various CVCDA programs. will be ridden through valley communities,
Sandra Allen, the Early Years Development The Story Walk Program encouraged fam- events and programs offering free books
Consultant brings nearly 30 years expe- ilies to enjoy community trails and green and a variety of resource/support informa-
rience as an Early Childhood Educator to ways, while spending time reading and tion to neighborhood families. Due to be
her role facilitating outreach programming learning together. Story Walks were avail- “on the road” in spring/summer of 2021.
to young families throughout the Comox
Valley. Sandra is part of the Valley Families THE TEAM
partnership programming delivering Valley
During 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic
created the need for flexibility in creating
programs for families while adhering to
health protocols and restrictions. This re-
sulted in new programs such as the Family
Literacy Bags and the Story Walk program.
The Community Book Bike program also
entered the planning stages and will hope-
fully begin visiting Valley communities in
the summer of 2021.
The Family Literacy Bag program worked SANDRA ALLEN CHERYL JORDAN
collaboratively with other community CHILD DEVELOPMENT CONSULTANT VALLEYCHILD COORDINATOR
COMOX VALLEY CHILD DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION | 2020-2021 ANNUAL REPORT 33
CYSN BEHAVIOUR CONSULTATION
The Behavioural Consultation program is a provincially-funded support program for families with
a child who has diverse abilities and presents with behaviour(s) that the family finds challenging.
An approach called Positive Behaviour Support is used to partner with families to assist them with
creating supportive environments for their child at home and in the community. Together with
families and other team members, we conduct comprehensive behavioural assessments and devel-
op individualized support plans that focus on proactive and skill-building strategies. The strategies
are then implemented by families in their own home with a consultant's support and training.
The program aims to increase the overall own children. I look forward to working routine predictable and positive for him,
quality of life for the child and family, with more families in the year ahead. and on teaching him the skills needed to
strengthen family relationships, reduce get groceries. His mom said that they later
behaviour that interferes with learning CVCDA VALUES IN PRACTICE used the same strategies to support him
and community inclusion and teach in going to a restaurant as a family, which
the child new skills. Skills taught de- I recently got a phone call from a family they now regularly enjoy doing together.
pend on the individual child and family that I worked with several years ago. The Once we had talked a bit more about
priorities, but are generally related to mom was calling to touch base with me her son’s upcoming transition to high
communication, daily living, and social about her son’s upcoming transition to school, she commented on the respect
interaction. The program serves chil- high school. I have fond memories of this and compassion she felt her family re-
dren up to the age of 19 years who are boy, who loves to tell jokes, ride his bike, ceived during the time they were involved
eligible for services for children and youth and play video games with his sister. with the CVCDA’s programs and how
with support needs through MCFD. with time and support, her confidence
I asked his mom how things were go- has grown in parenting her child.
I am the Behaviour Analyst involved with ing, and she told me that he has been
the Children and Youth with Support thriving. He is happy and engaged at MEGHAN O’ROURKE
Needs (CYSN) Behaviour Consultation school, he is using his communication BEHAVIORAL CONSULTANT
program at the CVCDA. I have enjoyed device to advocate for himself and
supporting children and families in a connect with family and friends, and he
variety of capacities for several years. I recently started proudly going for bike
have a Masters of Education in Special rides by himself in his neighbourhood.
Education with a concentration in autism
and developmental disabilities, and am She talked about how she still uses the
a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst. strategies she learned for supporting her
son when he was younger, and that she
This last year has been an interesting one has applied what she learned to new
that has presented both challenges and challenges as they came up as her son
opportunities in providing services during grew. For example, when he was involved
a pandemic. Connecting with families re- with the Behaviour Consultation pro-
motely has given me many great remind- gram, one of the family’s priorities was
ers that parents are the experts on their to have their son participate in grocery
shopping. We worked on making the
34 COMOX VALLEY CHILD DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION | 2020-2021 ANNUAL REPORT
CYSN FAMILY SUPPORT PROGRAM
The CYSN (Children and Youth with For some families though, especially those from anxiety to depression to self-harming
Support Needs) Family Support Program who cannot work with remote platforms, behavior. The family members also
receives referrals from the CYSN Social the reduction of in person services has im- expressed feeling isolated and polarized
Workers with the Ministry of Children pacted our connections with them more from each other during this time. The
and Family Development. Our program significantly. We have also provided much Family Support Worker assisted the family
serves families who have at least one more support and problem solving for to connect with multiple community
CYSN-eligible child, and who would families in the areas of isolation, reduction services, including counselling, mental
benefit from individualized family sup- of community connection and supports health, medical services, and community
port. The children range in age from 0-19 than in the past.
and school supports. We also worked with
years although, most of our families have Another area we have been working on the family to refine their reflective practice
school-aged children. this year is collaborative practice and wait- and explore new ways of problem solving.
We work from a family centered model, list management with the CYSN Social When it was time to close our services,
taking direction from the family on their Workers. We are entering our second year the family members expressed that they
priorities for our support. As such, our ser- of carrying a waitlist, and we have met now felt much more support in the
vices often look quite different from one with the CYSN team this year to devel- community and more unity than they had
op practice and procedures around new experienced in the past. They expressed
family to another. We strive to support
our families by increasing their capacity referrals and waitlist systems. We also
and skills in the areas of problem solving, reviewed and revised our referral form upon closing that they were more hopeful
now than they had felt quite a while and
parenting and community connections. and information page for CYSN in efforts that “everybody feels more connected”.
to streamline our processes.
Some areas we frequently support include The family gained confidence and trust
helping families to explore resources and CVCDA VALUES IN PRACTICE with our services as we provided sup-
port based on respect, compassion, and
referrals; problem solving and parenting In the past year, we received a referral for inclusion. Consistent with CVCDA values,
tools; arranging and participating in team a family who was experiencing challenges we worked with this family to follow their
meetings; advocacy; and practical assistance and crisis. Over the course of working lead, while providing guidance as needed
with things such as paperwork and logistics. with this family, each family member went and encouraged their capacity to grow.
Our service is typically offered to families through a period of experiencing mental They did the work to achieve a new family
for a one-year term. This year we mainly health difficulties. These manifested dynamic, while we supported them with a
provided client services by phone, Zoom, differently for each member and ranged framework to do so.
or in-person either in their home or in
a community settings. We also connect THE TEAM
regularly via text and email.
Over the past year, working through SARAH SHELIN FOREST PALUMBO
COVID-19 provided us many opportuni- CYSN FAMILY SUPPORT WORKER CYSN FAMILY SUPPORT WORKER
ties to explore new ways of connecting
with our families during times of limited
in person contact. This has created some
challenges in relationship-building and
our ability to provide logistical support to
families. It has also pushed us to problem
solve as a team and develop new ways of
connecting with families through remote
means. We have observed that with the
increase in text, phone and email contact,
communications with families can occur
in shorter and more frequent interactions.
COMOX VALLEY CHILD DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION | 2020-2021 ANNUAL REPORT 35
PATHWAYS TO HEALING PARTNERSHIP
We are an evidence-in- order to become more trauma-sensitive/ as people, and Touch-
formed program which de-stigmatizing towards our most vulner- points is a develop-
has been running able citizens. mentally-grounded
in the Comox Valley lens of relational
and North Vancouver All of our work is firmly grounded in the practice, which allows
Island since 2016. We evidence-bases of the Neurosequential us to respond in a
support perinatal fam- (NM) and Touchpoints models of practice. compassionate, trau-
ilies living with mental These two therapeutic lenses have been ma-informed way, to
health (trauma), and described as parallel tracks of practice by our most vulnerable
substance-use related some of the most prominent members clients and service
vulnerabilities. Our cli- of their communities. The NM (Dr. Bruce providers. The net
ents range in age from Perry) can be seen as an overarching way impact of combining
teen parents up to of understanding how our developmen- these models, pro-
those reaching middle tal experiences are reflected in the ways vides our team with
age, with the focus al- we function or struggle in functioning a framework of how
ways centered around to understand peo-
supporting positive ples’ functioning and
later mental health how to best support
outcomes for the it (through a devel-
child, through inten- opmentally-respectful
sive attachment-based sequence).
support of the dyad.
Our team carries this
Beyond providing work out as a group
these intensive clinical of three special-
supports to referred ly-trained clinical counsellors, and one
families (i.e. those experiencing MHSU, specially-trained administrative specialist
violence, those at risk of child apprehen- (Touchpoints coordinator). We find great
sion and street entrenched etc.), we also meaning in supporting our community
offer Touchpoints trainings and training and province through these roles, and
in trauma-informed reflective practice, to maintain strong and cohesive working
the health system and other workers who relationships with one another, as the
support these families. The synergy be- foundation of continued development
tween our clinical and system-level work, and growth in our program.
is what drives our team in being able to
offer new insight and support strategies. CVCDA VALUES IN PRACTICE
These concepts may be applied to a broad
number of specific clients or policies. They Within this past year, Pathways to Heal-
can be updated within systems of care, in ing helped to coordinate the launch of,
and co-facilitate, a weekly Mothers For
THE TEAM MISSING PHOTOS: NICOLE BURGESS AND SHANNON PASSMORE
JAN FERENCE ANDREW MCKENZIE VANESSA HITCHCOCK PAULA BAZETT
PROGRAM DIRECTOR CHILD TRAUMA CONSULTANT PERINATAL TRAUMA CONSULTANT TOUCHPOINTS COORDINATOR
36 COMOX VALLEY CHILD DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION | 2020-2021 ANNUAL REPORT
Recovery Support MFR was originally The Friendship Project is a group of over 30 adults (19+) with and
created through a collaboration between
a Kamloops mother struggling with without developmental diversities. We are a social group focusing
addiction, and her addictions counsellor. on making and keeping friends, while being a active part in the com-
MFR is rooted in the power of human
connection and is intended to compli- munity. We strive to become more than “accepted” and “included”
ment, but not replace, existing addic- but rather to truly belong. We meet throughout the Comox Val-
tions services. The concept of the group ley at community events and at the CVCDA building, where we do
continues to be based on the unique
needs of mothers and associated parent- hands on activities. We encourage members to invite friends and
ing complexities that can accompany the family, so the group grows as more people learn about us.
disease of addiction. MFR started in July
of 2006 with three women attending The 2020/21 year has Clover has also connect-
the first session. Today the group has looked much different ed the group with other
spread to multiple cities and provinces as we have been meet- virtual groups. Notably,
across Canada with approximately 10 ing virtually, via Zoom. the Friday Nanaimo
groups running in British Columbia. We have done a series Community Dance has
of cooking and baking connected members
In alignment with the CVCDA values, demonstrations. We from both communi-
a guiding principle of MFR is: “every completed several pre- ties. Also, the Vancou-
mother and child deserves a safe place sentations about internet ver Island Community
to be themselves, grow and learn”. safety and stress/anxi- Connections coding club
The COVID-19 restrictions required the ety, which have proven offers participants the
structure of the group to evolve (from an beneficial to our group opportunity to socialize,
members. while watching a meal
in-person, child friendly meetup, includ- Without organized events be prepared. The Self
ing delicious homemade muffins), to an and activities, and for Advocate Leadership
online platform. However, through the those who live alone, our Network offers infor-
value of ‘Leading Together’ PTHP and meetings are often the mation on self advocacy
our peer facilitator have proudly created only chance for con- and entertainment.
a virtual space where a harm reduction nection beyond 'staff'
approach is valued, and participants are or 'support workers'. Our group chats Although this past year
welcomed with compassion and respect. provide an opportunity for participants has provided many challenges, it has also
to connect, share their day and arrange been an amazing opportunity for cre-
Together, we have honoured: the reuni- future Facetime and phone calls. ativity and growth. We do however look
fication of parents with their children, forward to the time when we will be able
the establishment of new employment Clover, our group's facilitator arranged to dive back into the community.
opportunities, the creation of new home for a small group to attend Myles Him-
spaces, the lives of friends and family melreich’s presentation on Fetal Alcohol
members lost to addiction, COVID-19 and Spectrum Disorders (FASD) at the Wachiay
Friendship Center. Hearing first hand
other tragedies, and milestones of sobriety stories of his childhood, struggles during
including 1, 2 and 14 years. youth, and achievements in adulthood
was extremely beneficial to those in the
group living with FASD.
“I think I understand myself more
now; we have so much in common. I
learn and think differently so I now
know that I just need more time and
extra support. I’m going to try some of
his ideas for keeping track of time and CLOVER STURROCK
money” ~ 25 year old with FASD.
COMOX VALLEY CHILD DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION | 2020-2021 ANNUAL REPORT 37
At Project Inclusion we work with our mem- program, in addition to providing oppor-
bers to facilitate their access to recreation, tunities for our participants to learn skills
employment, and to promote community related to running a small business.
inclusion and the building of friendships. Our Ryan makes a change
program serves 14 Comox Valley residents
ages 19 years and older with diverse abilities. For over ten years, Ryan worked the same
We work with our participants to help them puzzle were also on offer during this period. job, washing and detailing cars at a local
make connections, reach their personal and Prizes were delivered to winners of various dealership. As his employment continued,
professional goals, and attain a sense of challenges by our Program staff. he began to feel bored with the work.
inclusion in their community. Our program In spite of having friendly coworkers and
values friendship, independence, and Throughout summer, when the weather im- bosses, he felt under appreciated and had
personal growth. Project Inclusion meets in proved and restrictions eased, we gathered received no pay increases since commenc-
the lower level of the main CVCDA build- for shorter days in the park. Participants ing his employment. He was ready for
ing, though we typically spend our days and staff arranged their camp chairs six feet something new, but didn’t know how to
out and about with many activities planned apart for Bingo, Trivial Pursuit and caught proceed and felt stuck. He wasn’t sure how
throughout the Valley. These include nature up with each other in person, finally. to make a plan to exit this job, and he was
walks, bowling, bottle returns, art classes, feeling too shy to ask for a raise. This went
or grocery shopping for cooking classes Throughout fall and winter, we’ve been on for many months while he pondered his
which take place at the CVCDA. able to modify our in-person program to options, and his peers and Project Inclusion
offer both morning and afternoon group. staff encouraged him to forge a new path.
Operating through a pandemic has pre- Each session had fewer participants but
sented opportunities for us to rethink our Ryan’s hesitance grew from his nervous
programming and find new, safer ways to feelings around change, and feeling shy
stay linked with our participants. and unprepared for the interview process at
businesses he might apply with. At Project
In spring 2020, we connected with each Inclusion we talked at length about what
other via virtual daily check-ins on Face- this process might look like, and reviewed
book Messenger. We altered our monthly allowed the capability to create physical
calendar to include activities, trivia, reflective distance in our inside space. interview skills with Ryan. We acted out
interviews, and helped him imagine how
questions and challenges to complete at Toward the end of winter, we started he might respond to tough questions. We
home instead of face to face. planning to build a community garden on talked at length about what kind of work
property belonging to the family of one of he could see himself doing, and where it
These challenges included items such as our participants. In early spring we began might take place.
'make a smoothie’, ‘go on a walk' and
'take photos of the birds you see’. We saw this project. We visit the garden weekly When the pizza place near Ryan’s apart-
our participants engage immediately using to plant, weed and water, with the goal ment was hiring, it felt like a sign. We spent
our Facebook page as a platform; posting of yielding enough produce to run a farm a couple of afternoons at Project Inclusion
collaborating with Ryan to create a fresh
photos of completed challenges and en- stand at the Wednesday Comox Valley
new resume that reflected his skill set and
gaging with each other. Several small prizes Farmer’s Market this summer. This will
such as a dozen cookies, or a board game/ create a bit of revenue to put toward our ample work experience.
THE TEAM DONNA BACON MISSING: CHRISTA HERRLING, SEAN MATTHEWS Ryan applied, interviewed, and
PROGRAM WORKER AND SHANNON SKENDER, PROGRAM WORKERS successfully obtained a job work-
WENDY HAWKSWORTH ing one shift a week. He took this
PROGRAM COORDINATOR ROBERT CHUDLEIGH on in addition to his job at the car
SUPPORT WORKER dealership. Over his first months,
he excelled in his position and was
offered more hours. He was able to
finally quit the job he’d had for over
ten years, and move into his next
chapter feeling confident, capable,
and appreciated. He’s also been en-
joying complimentary pizzas, which
have helped his monthly budget in
addition to a better hourly wage.
38 COMOX VALLEY CHILD DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION | 2020-2021 ANNUAL REPORT
COMMUNITY INTEGRATION PROGRAM
The Community Integration Program (CIP) them to monitor their own progress and Another participant, who has been with
program offers social and recreational feel in control of their own choices. It is the program for a long time, was support-
activities for youth ages 13-19, who would important for our youth to learn how to ed in person by the timely intervention and
be otherwise isolated due to a variety of produce an achievable goal. transportation to the hospital by our staff.
challenges; some with global developmental During our Zoom sessions, we ask open Since we have worked with this family for
delays and some on the Autism spectrum. ended questions to help our youth find their many years and have built a strong, trust-
passion and connect with their own motiva- ing relationship with them, we were able
We carefully create groups, that can accept tion to succeed in preparation for indepen- to provide appropriate support as a com-
and relate to each other, to provide a safe dent functioning in the community. munity to the participant and the family.
social environment by following their inter-
ests and capacity to participate. We provide Another exciting transformation will be Moreover, since we had served other
opportunities to get to know the community developing a group that will focus on transi- participants within this family, when the
through activities like bowling, swimming, tioning into adulthood through coordinated youngest child would begin transition
movies, shopping and visiting restaurants. efforts with other service providers and from youth to adult services, we were in a
We offer resources to develop familiarity families. The aim would be to ensure our unique position to assist.
with software, music, photography, arts participants are prepared for this transition
and crafts, to enhance self-exploration and and will not only adapt to this change but Transition planning and having new service
self-expression. Throughout all the activities, also thrive. Although not all the participants providers introduced to this family's was
the focus is on acceptance and relating took advantage of the remote group ses- described by the family as feeling over-
whelming and scary. Having trauma-in-
positively with each other. sions, some found it easier to communicate formed staff working alongside the family
This has been an odd year for the CIP better and more fully with me one-on-one and using a strength-based approach, we
program, as it has for the whole agency online than they did in person, or in a group.
but our staffing has been stable with no Moreover, other participants made their own were able to assist this family in navigating
changes. The past year has proven to be connections remotely and maintained their this transition. Working together to intro-
filled with many challenges, which have relationships on their own time, through duce new service providers, and explaining
driven some changes in the nature of the their own initiative, which is progress. the process when needed, has helped to
ensure the family will continue to receive
program and may even become a part of CVCDA VALUES AT THE CORE services that will strengthen and empower
our service model in the future. One ex-
ample may be the development of regular each family member moving forward. This
parent meetings on Zoom to make atten- Our support of the participants takes a vari- support also included the older sibling
dance less problematic in most cases. ety of forms in person, and as we have dis- whose services were also adjusted to meet
covered, online too. For example, one of our their present needs.
participants, who has been with the program
It was exciting to see how much progress for a while, needed volunteer hours for grad- This is an example of how long-term
we made in the span of a year using tools uation. Due to the flexibility of our program, relationships developed in CIP establishes
that enabled remote connection and collab- along with online moderating by staff, we trust. It also can be used to illustrate how
oration. It also gave us time and a process were able to offer the opportunity for them a combination of online and face to face
to volunteer with a younger participant who contact and groups provides the ability to
to review our program and has given a
voice to stakeholders and families to openly suffers from a lot of anxiety in groups but is increase program capacity and maintain
express how we can better serve the needs comfortable playing with others online. services in the future.
of our community and reset
some of the ways we operate. THE TEAM
Serving the participants re-
motely has made it possible to
involve those who do have the
capacity to discover their own
personal goals for learning.
Not only has this process aided
them in deciding on their own
personal growth and planning
for their future, it has given
participants the support needed
in working toward achieving BOB GAMBLE DEB GRAVES PENNY KAMPEN
them. This process also allows PROGRAM COORDINATOR YOUTH WORKER YOUTH WORKER
COMOX VALLEY CHILD DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION | 2020-2021 ANNUAL REPORT 39
YEAR IN REVIEW
2020-2021 CVCDA TEAM MEMBERS
Cindy Xavier, Executive Director
Tanner McNabb, Director of Finance and Operations
ADMINISTRATION & SUPPORT TEAM
Donna Bacon Sandi McDonald
Karasima Brands Matt Macey
Michelle Erikson Charlene Wallace-Dille
Brooklyn Galloway Robyn Walsh
PROFESSIONAL TEAM Marika Gould Brendan McCann
Deb Graves Jennifer McInnes
Kylee Abrahamson Heather Grealey Mary McKenna
Dianne Aikman Kim Griffiths Andrew McKenzie
Marleah Aitken Alesha Gurr Tara Moose
Sandra Allen Wendy Hawksworth Tianna Naswell
Mavis Aubichon Samantha Hayward Chelsey Newton
Donna Bacon Lesley Henderson Meghan O’Rourke
Paula Bazett Christa Herrling Forest Palumbo
Nicole Burgess Vanessa Hitchcock Shannon Passmore
Carlin Christensen Laurel Hodgins Jessie Pridmore
Robert Chudleigh Nikki Holekamp Joanne Schroeder
Jennifer Coombs Brittney Howard Sarah Shelin
Taryn Corrie Dixie Hunt-Scott Dylan Simson
Kathy Cruickshank Astrid Johnston Shannon Skender
Angie DeJersey Cheryl Jordan Danielle Statham
Karli Dillon Penny Kampen April Statz
Amy Edwards Talia Kern Clover Sturrock
Holly Edwards Jennifer Legarie Donna Thordarson
Alicia Fairweather Jennifer Lewis Mary Touey
Jan Ference Marina Lohse Meredith Townsend
Janice Forsey Katy Macdonald-Heath Debby Tutt
Aryn Franklin Sean Matthews Katrina Vardy
Beth Fraser Laura McCaffrey Oshrat Zemel
40 COMOX VALLEY CHILD DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION | 2020-2021 ANNUAL REPORT
2020-2021 Revenues By Program
24% Supported Child Development
14% Early Intervention 2% 3% 2% 2%2% 1% 1% 24%
9% The Autism Program 4% 9%
11% Pathways to Healing
7% Infant Development
6% Project Inclusion
1% Early Years Wellness
6% General Revenue
4% Early Years Outreach 6%
2% Aboriginal Speech and Language
3% Community Integration 6% 14%
2% Behavioural Consultant
2% Family Advocate 7%
2% Family Support Worker
1% Friendship Project 11%
2% Jumpstart Preschool
1% Infant Development Regional
1% Aboriginal Infant Development
2020-2200192/2102R0 eRevveennueuSeourSceos urces
Other Revenue Government 2020-2021 TTootalteaxpleEnsxeps beyntyspees By Type
Service Fees 64%
program expense 9%
42 COMOX VALLEY CHILD DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION | 2020-2021 ANNUAL REPORT
61% Courtenay 2020-2021 Clients By Community
20% Comox 2% 2% 2% 1%
6% Cumberland 6%
2% Black Creek 21% Comox
2% Campbell River 61% Courtenay
1% Fanny Bay
1% Hornby Island
1% Denman Island
1% Union Bay
2020-2021 Clients Served By Program
280 - Supported Child Development (SCD)
192 - Occupational Therapy (OT) CIP FSW BC PI
166 - Speech and Language (SLP)
106 - Infant Development (IDP) TAP SCD
105 - Physical Therapy (PT) OT
81 - The Autism Program (TAP) PT 43
62 - Aboriginal Speech and Language (ASL)
28 - Community Integration Program (CIP) IDP
22 - Family Support Worker (FSW)
21 - Behavioural Consultant (BC)
10 - Project Inclusion (PI)
COMOX VALLEY CHILD DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION | 2020-2021 ANNUAL REPORT
CVCDA.CA @cvcda @cvcdatelethon @cv.cda
237 3rd Street, Courtenay, BC V9N 1E1 | [email protected] | 250.338.4288