News

At Carizon, we’re pleased to share our expertise and information about how we can help our community. We hope you will keep visiting our site and watch for new items, helpful information and program and service updates.

News & Updates

Looking for a Community Service Board Opportunity?

Looking for a Community Service Board Opportunity?

Carizon is looking for Board Directors with a passion for community service and a willingness to increase Carizon’s profile in the Region of Waterloo. Interested candidates with expertise in fund development, marketing and branding, risk management, or board governance are welcome to apply.

Interested candidates are encouraged to attend Carizon information sessions to be held at the following times at the Carizon head office at 400 Queen Street South in Kitchener:

  • Thursday, March 30th from 4:30pm to 6pm in Room 119
  • Wednesday, April 19th from 4:30 to 6pm in the Sehl Room

Carizon Spring 2017 Group Programs Announced

Carizon Spring 2017 Group Programs Announced

Carizon offers a wide range of group programs for men, women and youth. Spring 2017 group times are now scheduled. Registration is required for all groups, including groups with no fee. For more information on any group, please contact us at 519-743-6333. Unless otherwise indicated, group programs are based on a sliding fee scale. Course material charges may apply to some groups.

Carizon Celebrates our Social Workers

Carizon Celebrates our Social Workers

March 6 – 12, 2017 Ontario celebrates Social Workers’ Week. This year’s theme is “Social Workers: Real Expertise. Real Life. Real Impact.”

We recognize the amazing outcomes for children, individuals and families thanks to the work and dedication of our fabulous social workers at Carizon.

Check out the Ontario Association of Social Worker’s latest video that celebrates social workers:

Carizon Launches New Tagline

Carizon Launches New Tagline

Carizon Family and Community Services has launched a new tagline – “Inspiring Hope and Wellness in Our Community.”

Since a 2013 amalgamation process that resulted in the formation of Carizon, many have asked, “what exactly does Carizon do?” As a multi-service organization that provides therapeutic, supportive and preventative programs, this question doesn’t summon a simple answer. By establishing a tagline,

Carizon hopes to spark further conversation about how we inspire hope and wellness in our community.

The Carizon tagline came out of an engagement process with stakeholders, including staff, Board and community members.

So why this tagline?

  • The tagline includes words from the Carizon vision: Hope, Wellness, Community.
  • The word “Inspiring” adds an action that reflects how Carizon works alongside people to help them find the strength, skills and resilience to achieve wellness.
  • The tagline also highlights “Our Community” expressing Carizon’s commitment to serving our neighbours in this Region.

Carizon Celebrates Opening of Westmount Location

Carizon Celebrates Opening of Westmount Location

Carizon celebrated the opening of our new operating location at 645 Westmount Road East at a ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday, February 23rd.We were pleased to highlight our Pathways to Education program that is delivered from this site. As part of the celebration, we heard from two of our Pathways students, Idman Burhaan and Asia Maria Masengesho, who both shared their inspiring stories and experiences with the Pathways program. In addition, Chair Ken Seiling brought greetings from the Region. Amanda Hostler from MPP Kathryn McGarry’s office and Carly Pettinger from MPP Catherine Fife’s office joined in the celebration as well.  At the event, Carizon also unveiled its new tagline: Inspiring Hope and Wellness in our Community. The Record was present and shared our story community-wide.

Monday, February 20th is Family Day

Monday, February 20th is Family Day

Family Day is a day when we celebrate families and spend time together as we cherish our relationships with the people that mean the most to us. Many families, however, face difficult struggles and need professional help to overcome or address these challenges. On Family Day, please consider helping families by donating to Carizon’s programs and services. You can make a difference.

Upcoming Trauma Parenting Workshops

Upcoming Trauma Parenting Workshops

An educational workshop for parents/caregivers of children and youth who have experienced trauma is being offered by Front Door in elementary schools across Waterloo Region. The purpose for this workshop is to assist parents/caregivers with understanding trauma and what it means to parent their child from a trauma-informed perspective.

Upcoming Workshop Dates:

Date: March 2, 2017
Time: 6-8 pm
Location: Moffatt Creek PS, 710 Myers Road, Cambridge

Date: March 28, 2017
Time: 5-7 pm
Location: Monsignor Haller Catholic, 118 Shea Crescent, Kitchener

Date: April 20, 2017
Time: 6-8pm
Location: Manchester Public School, 455 Dundas St., Cambridge

To Register for One of the Above Dates: Contact 519-749-2932 and press 2 to speak with reception

Front Door Offers Rural Access to Children's Mental Health Services

Front Door Offers Rural Access to Children's Mental Health Services

Thanks to a new opportunity funded by the Ministry of Children and Youth Services, Front Door is making children’s mental health services more accessible to rural communities in North Dumfries, Wellesley, Wilmot and Woolwich. Front Door works with children and youth to build, strengthen and sustain mental wellness.

Rural appointments are available as follows:

Mondays:

  • The North Dumfries Community Health Centre, a satellite of Langs, Ayr

Tuesdays:

  • Wellesley Township Community Health Centre

Thursdays:

  • Interfaith Counselling Centre, New Hamburg
  • Woolwich Counselling Centre, Elmira

This single session consultation and access service will be offered in the heart of our rural communities by simply calling Front Door at 519-749-2932 to arrange an appointment on the scheduled day. Experienced counsellors can help identify issues and equip families with tools and strategies to address concerns such as behaviour, emotional state, self-harm, unsafe activities, conflicts at home, troubles at school, struggles with peers or a mental health diagnosis. Counsellors can also provide access to more intensive mental health services if needed.

Carizon's Tuesday Walk-in Counselling Increases Access to Mental Health Services

Carizon's Tuesday Walk-in Counselling Increases Access to Mental Health Services

Carizon is now offering Tuesday Walk-in Counselling at 400 Queen Street South. From 12 – 6 p.m. These 90 minute walk-in sessions will help individuals address a wide range of life’s challenges.

The goal is to respond to individuals with a plan on how they can begin to work toward practical solutions and establish a wider range of coping skills.

Like our counselling fees, walk-in sessions will be delivered on a sliding scale basis dependent on household income. Clients may have coverage for services through employment, insurance or a funding source.

 

Bell Let’s Talk Day is Coming! Keep the Conversation Going!

Bell Let’s Talk Day is Coming! Keep the Conversation Going!

January 25th is Bell Let’s Talk Day. Every time you talk, text, and join in on social media on January 25th, Bell will donate 5 cents more to mental health initiatives. This includes Retweets. Carizon has a series of tweets on mental health that we are sending out on Bell Let’s Talk day. Please watch for them and retweet away! #BellLetsTalk

Long and McQuade Support Music Therapy

Long and McQuade Support Music Therapy

Long and McQuade held another successful fundraising drive this year during the holiday season, raising $2175 to advance music therapy at Carizon.  This was part of a cross-country Long & McQuade Music Therapy Fundraising initiative that continues to raise funds annually to support numerous charities.

In music therapy, children use improvisation and song-writing as tools to connect with and communicate their feelings. Sharing musical experiences with another person builds a powerful therapeutic relationship that highlights the strengths of the child. These experiences alone build personal confidence and develop the child’s capacity to manage challenges. To learn more about the impact of music, check out this blog and/or Jack’s story in Carizon’s Annual Report.

Carizon is so grateful to Long &McQuade for leading this initiative and to their customers that have so generously supported the children in our programs that benefit from music therapy.

Thank You for supporting your community!

Thank You for supporting your community!

Thank you to all who supported our Carizon holiday campaign. Your gift helps us make a difference in the lives of kids, parents and families in our community. As we strengthen each individual and family, we build communities of wellness!

 

Carizon Nominated for Business Excellence Award

Carizon Nominated for Business Excellence Award

The KW Chamber of Commerce holds an Annual Business Excellence Awards Gala recognizing Chamber members who have made exceptional contributions through their involvement and leadership in the community. Carizon has been nominated in the Non-Profit/Charitable Awards category. Learn more about the Gala by clicking on the link below.

Only 10 Days Left Until Christmas!

Only 10 Days Left Until Christmas!

Please support Carizon as part of your holiday giving.

We are in the final stretch of our holiday campaign – but we still need your help! When you donate to Carizon, you strengthen families in your community! Read Carizon’s stories on how our programs and services have made a difference.

Front Door Featured on CTV

Front Door Featured on CTV

CTV News Reporter Nicole Lampa is featuring a series on Children’s Mental Health. The first of the series was aired on Thursday, December 8th and highlighted Front Door. Check out the link below.

Thank You Carizon Supporters!

Thank You Carizon Supporters!

Thank you to all of our supporters for Giving Tuesday donations! If you missed participating in Giving Tuesday, you can still support Carizon’s holiday campaign. Check out Rachel’s story on our Donation page and support kids, parents and families!

Carizon Launches Holiday Campaign

Carizon Launches Holiday Campaign

As we enter the holiday season, in the spirit of giving, Carizon is launching its holiday campaign, highlighting our Families and Schools Together program. F&ST helps children to be successful in all aspects of life and strengthens families through structured, research-based activities that support parents and connect families, school and community. The campaign tells the story of Rachel and her family. Learn more about Rachel’s story and the difference that F&ST made in her life by clicking on the link below.

The campaign will be launched in celebration of Giving Tuesday and the holiday season. We all have a role to play in making life a safe, happy and healthy experience for all children.

Donations mean that Carizon can support children, like Rachel, and help families to find solutions.

Carizon CEO Tracy Elop Receives Prestigious FCPA Designation

Carizon CEO Tracy Elop Receives Prestigious FCPA Designation

Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario (CPA Ontario) recently announced the election of 59 members as Fellows, including Carizon’s CEO Tracy Elop. This considerable achievement recognizes leading accountants for their professional accomplishments and contribution to their community. Fellows are bestowed with the right to use the prestigious FCPA designation, the profession’s highest distinction.

“We are extremely proud to count these Fellows as members of the accounting profession,” said Carol Wilding, FCPA, FCA, President and CEO of CPA Ontario. “Each and every one of them have made a valuable contribution to their companies and their communities and their achievements reflect the depth and diversity of the profession and the opportunity it affords to make a difference.”

“It is a unique privilege for members of our profession to receive the FCPA distinction,” said Johanne Charbonneau, FCPA, FCGA, Chair of CPA Ontario’s Council. “Fellows are nominated and elected by their peers in recognition of their outstanding achievements, and this year’s exceptional cohort reflects the breadth and talent of our profession as well as the esteem with which they are held.”

Congratulations, Tracy, on receiving this honour!

Carizon Launching Holiday Campaign on Giving Tuesday

Carizon Launching Holiday Campaign on Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday Campaign Launch

WATCH FOR IT ON NOVEMBER 29TH!

November 29th is Giving Tuesday and Carizon will be launching our holiday campaign in support of our Families & Schools Together Program. You can support this program that helps children and families succeed in their schools and communities!

Have Your Say In Kitchener's Neighbourhood Strategy

Have Your Say In Kitchener's Neighbourhood Strategy

Over the last year and a half, a project team of residents and staff from across the city have been hard at work developing Kitchener’s first-ever Neighbourhood Strategy. The goal of the Strategy is to help neighbours connect and work together to make great things happen in their neighbourhood. A major achievement of the project team was delivering a massive community engagement process to gather input and ideas for making neighbourhoods even better. There are 5 days left to complete their survey. Have your say, by participating. Complete Kitchener’s #lovemyhood Survey!

Giving Tuesday on November 29th - SUPPORT CARIZON!

Giving Tuesday on November 29th - SUPPORT CARIZON!

Giving Tuesday is coming on November 29th.  Join the Global Giving Movement that showcases how much Canada cares and how we all can make a difference. Jump on the bandwagon and donate to Carizon Family and Community Services. Want to learn more about Giving Tuesday in Waterloo Region, visit the Giving Tuesday Waterloo Region website.

Connectivity Featured in AJ (Alternatives Journal) Magazine

Connectivity Featured in AJ (Alternatives Journal) Magazine

Why is a health and social service initiative featured in a magazine that is touted as the voice of Canada’s environmental community? The most recent issue of AJ (Alternatives Journal) shares the story of The Connectivity Table, “a groundbreaking new solution that asks agencies to pool their expertise to provide innovative responses to high-risk situations.” The article is included among a slate of features about community development. This special issue was developed in collaboration with The Kitchener and Waterloo Community Foundation (The KWCF) in a shared journey of exploring the concept of “belonging.” AJ’s team wondered if the community-building stories about enhancing a sense of belonging could be transferable to the Canadian environmental community. “Nearly a half century young,” says AJ Publisher David McConnachie, “our movement is only beginning to understand the importance of collective impacts and unified voices.”

The Kitchener and Waterloo Community Foundation Supports Individuals of Elevated Risk

The Kitchener and Waterloo Community Foundation Supports Individuals of Elevated Risk

Carizon is pleased to announce that The Kitchener and Waterloo Community Foundation has awarded the agency a Smart and Caring Community Grant to assist us in furthering the working of Connectivity Kitchener, serving Kitchener, Waterloo, Wilmot, Woolwich and Wellesley. Connectivity brings health and social service agencies and Waterloo Region Police Service to a weekly meeting to proactively address situations of elevated risk and mobilize supports in a timely and collaborative approach.

Connectivity aligns with The KWCF’s commitment to build our sense of belonging through collaboration. Connectivity is helping to strengthen families’ and individuals’ sense of belonging by connecting them to treatment and supports they need.

Regional Strategy Launched on FASD Awareness Day!

Regional Strategy Launched on FASD Awareness Day!

September 9th is FASD Awareness Day – a time to remind everyone that there is no safe time, and no safe amount of alcohol consumption in pregnancy. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is the term used to describe the range of birth defects caused by alcohol use in pregnancy. When a pregnant woman drinks alcohol it crosses the placenta and can affect the developing brain and organs of the unborn baby. 50% of pregnancies are unplanned so it is critical that anyone who might get pregnant goes alcohol free. If you drink alcohol, always use a reliable form of birth control to prevent an alcohol exposed pregnancy.

Organizations and individuals from across Waterloo Region have developed an integrated strategy to address FASD. Check it out on September 9th at www.FASDWaterlooRegion.ca. This strategy lays the framework for FASD prevention, assessment, intervention and support.

Carizon offers Summer Group for Students Transitioning to New Schools

Carizon offers Summer Group for Students Transitioning to New Schools

Changing schools can be a stressful and anxiety provoking experience for some students. The Leader in Me is a unique group that helps students to prepare for transitioning into a new school environment. Through fun, cooperative, indoor/ outdoor games and confidence building activities, students will develop leadership skills, improve their self esteem,and gain communication skills in order to build new relationships. Students will also learn effective strategies to decrease stress and to help them cope through new situations.

For Students Going into Grade 7 – August 8 – 12, 1 – 4 p.m.

For Students Going into Grade 9 – August 15 – 19, 1-4 p.m.

Only 4 Days Left in the Great Canadian Giving Challenge;  Help Us Win $10,000

Only 4 Days Left in the Great Canadian Giving Challenge; Help Us Win $10,000

Children and youth who are coming from refugee camps have experienced and overcome numerous challenges. Many have come from war torn countries and have spent years separated from their families. Yet, these young people are resilient. They express their happiness, remain hopeful and dream of the same things that other children and youth in our community aspire to achieve. They want a safe and warm home, they want food on the table and they want to be part of a community.

During the month of June, every $1 you donate to us through www.canadahelps.org  qualifies us to win $10,000! These funds would provide our refugee children and youth with an art therapy program. This program would help to reduce feelings of isolation and anxiety, provide a medium to express their stories and deal with trauma, and allow for connections to develop to create a sense of belonging.

The more you give, the more chances for us to win! Please support our Challenge this June and help these children along their healing journey.

Salute to Carizon Seniors!

Salute to Carizon Seniors!

On Thursday, June 9th, two of our senior volunteers, Helen Wikki and Elaine McNeil, were honoured at the Salute to Seniors event at Kitchener City Hall. In addition, we were pleased to see a former long-time volunteer, Marnie Wharnsby recognized at this event. Kitchener Mayor Dave Jaworsky presented them with certificates.

Helen Wikki has been volunteering with Busy Babies since 2006 helping out our child minding staff with the preschool children. She is the first one at Knox every week. Her energy and compassion is inspirational! Three Carizon staff were present to honour Helen’s dedication to our program: Judy Hurst, CAPC/CPNP Coordinator, Linnea Walter, facilitator, Michelle Hirtle, Childcare Supervisor.

Elaine McNeil has been volunteering as a tutor in the Pathways to Education Program at Carizon for the past 3 ½ years. The students with whom she works, have come to love her patience and understanding as she helps them to gain confidence in their academics and their English skills. Corrie-Ann Snow was also present to honour her commitment to the Pathways program.

Marnie Wharnsby has been a long-time Carizon volunteer, playing a key role in many past fundraising events for over 12 years, and is a friend of both Helen and Elaine. Elaine, Helen and Marnie are pictured here.

Volunteer Gives Back to Carizon in More Ways Than One!

Volunteer Gives Back to Carizon in More Ways Than One!

Breanna Sweers has been a volunteer at Carizon in our Growing Healthy Two-gether Program over the past couple years. GHT is a community services program dedicated to helping pregnant women have healthy babies. They provide nutritional information, support from health care professionals and community connections. Breanna was a volunteer in the Cambridge program at Langs (1 of 4 locations where Carizon delivers this program).

Breanna also works at The Keg. She discovered that working evenings allowed her day-time hours where she could dedicate some time and make a difference in her community. “My biggest motivation for volunteering was my belief in the cause. Being a child of a young and single mother, I see the power in reaching out to the women in our community to strengthen and support them, promoting healthy development of children.”

The Keg also values volunteerism and community involvement. Across the company they look for “Keggers” that give back to their communities. The Keg selects 4 Chairman Award winners who demonstrate this quality and then The Keg donates to their charity of choice. While Breanna was not one of the four, she did win an Honourable Mention, chose Carizon as her charity of choice and The Keg has donated $1000 towards our GHT program.

“We have chosen to use the funds to print copies of our recently updated cookbook “Cooking Healthy Two-gether” for our prenatal participants,” says Program Coordinator Judy Hurst. “This way our participants have copies of the snacks we serve at our program and it also encourages them to eat healthily during their pregnancy and beyond.”

Carizon congratulates Breanna on her Honourable Mention and thanks her for both volunteering and choosing Carizon as her charity of choice!

Congratulations Pathways Graduates!

Congratulations Pathways Graduates!

Pathways 6th Annual Graduation was held on Wednesday, June 1st at the Victoria Park Pavilion. With approximately 200 people in attendance, the night celebrated the many achievements and accomplishments of this year’s 124 graduates. The highlight of the night was when each graduate took the stage to share their future plans and receive their Pathways diploma!

During his congratulatory address to the students on behalf of the volunteers, Bharat Patel shared the following heartfelt message about why he volunteers:

“I think the most frequent question students ask me, other than ‘Can you help me with my homework?’ is ‘Why do you volunteer?’ So much of the answer is the feeling I have right here, right now. Why do I volunteer? To walk alongside incredible students as they march toward their future. Why do I volunteer? To see them blossom into stand-up contributors to society. Why do I volunteer? To slowly chip away at students’ outer guards, and get to know more about them as people. Why do I volunteer? Because what I get back from it is priceless. You may think all this great help with your homework is an incredibly valuable gift. In truth the irreplaceable gift is watching you achieve what you truly thought was impossible, and even more.”

As the evening drew to a close, two of our graduates shared these inspirational messages with their peers:

“Of course, I’m still learning and I’m definitely not perfect. Don’t forget that. All of us are still learning. It takes time. University. College. The workplace. Whichever path we follow, we can be sure that it will get hectic, it will get busy, and it will get stressful; but if we seek out a support system and use the right strategies, we can get through it all!”

“We have all worked to reach this point, however, let’s not pretend that this is the end. The hard work really begins now. Some of the most challenging yet rewarding times still await us. Let us take our youthful exuberance and use it to accomplish great things. The key to a better future lies within us and let us not take that responsibility lightly.”

Carizon Awarded 4-Year Accreditation

Carizon Awarded 4-Year Accreditation

Carizon is very pleased to announce that it has been awarded a four year accreditation by the Canadian Centre for Accreditation (CCA). The programs included in this accreditation are: Child and Youth Mental Health Services, Family Counselling and Groups, and Credit Counselling.

Carizon Family and Community Services is proud to be accredited through the Canadian Centre for Accreditation, in affiliation with the Canadian/Ontario Association of Credit Counselling Services. The CCA provides a third-party review based on accepted organizational practices that promote ongoing quality improvement and responsive, effective community services. The review includes an extensive written and on-site evaluation that addresses all aspects of the organization, including governance, management, programs and services.

“There are many benefits that result from undergoing the accreditation process,” says Carizon Board Chair Vivian Zochowski, “including strengthening our organization, building a culture of continuous learning, demonstrating our accountability and implementing evidence-based services and leading practices.”

Carizon attributes its successful accreditation to great teamwork. “Engaging and including our key stakeholders throughout the accreditation process has been critical to our success,” says CEO Tracy Elop. “Our site reviewers also applauded the commitment and dedication of our staff, Board, volunteers and students to serving our clients, to striving for quality improvement, to living the Mission, Vision and Values of the organization and to treating our clients with respect and understanding the vulnerability of the population we serve.”

Thank You United Way Day of Caring!

Thank You United Way Day of Caring!

Carizon expresses thanks to the group of staff from Rogers who came to our St. Agatha site as part of the United Way Day of Caring. They beautified our flower beds, contributing to an attractive and natural environment for both our staff and the kids we serve. Kudos to United Way for this initiative and many thanks to the individuals and organizations that participate! You are awesome!

Camp for kids living with FASD

Camp for kids living with FASD

We know that the summer break can be a challenge for families living with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, so the Encompass Program at Carizon created a camp that supports the kids and helps the parents to relax, knowing that their children are in good hands. Our trained professionals have the skills, experience and expertise to provide a specialized camp that is safe, therapeutic and fun.

The camp provides opportunities for children ages 8-12 to experience indoor and outdoor play, creativity, and skill development.

For more information, parents can check out the camp flyer via the link below.

The 2016 Census is Here!

The 2016 Census is Here!

The data that is collected through the census plays a key role in supporting neighbourhoods and in the development of services for our community. It is important that every household completes a census so that accurate data reflects the needs of our neighbourhoods.

Learn more about the census by visiting their website. Resources available include a Fact Sheet and the 2016 Census questions and reasons why they ask those questions. For some quick info, check out the document “The Census and You.”

Kids and adults can also have some “Colour Me Census” fun by downloading the PDF below. Find the sixteen maple leafs and colour them red.

Join Us at Conestoga Mall in Waterloo this Saturday

Join Us at Conestoga Mall in Waterloo this Saturday

Carizon Family and Community Services will be at Conestoga Mall in Waterloo this Saturday, May 7th from 9:30 am – 6 pm. We will be one of 12 local agencies that will be sharing information at a Children’s Mental Health Services Expo. This event wraps-up Children’s Mental Health week, which is being celebrated May 1 – 7th.

The theme of the week, “aha! Wellness Works” – is about awareness, help and access to children and youth mental health services. At the mall you will learn about:

  • being well
  • local community services
  • how to get help
  • how to help friends
  • new supportive apps for you smart phone.

In addition, local 570 News Reporter, Martin Bauman, will be there on his bike trainer, as he prepares to cycle across Canada this summer in supportive of mental health.

JOIN US THIS SATURDAY!

Manulife Boston Marathon Runners Support Pathways!

Manulife Boston Marathon Runners Support Pathways!

Over the past three years, Manulife has been supporting Pathways to Education Canada. Pathways operates 17 locations nationally, including our Kitchener site at Carizon, supporting more than 5,000 students and 4,000 alumni.

Manulife employees have raised more than $300,000 to date in support of Pathways programs nationally.To further their support, 34 Manulife runners from across Canada are participating in the Boston Marathon on Monday, April 18th. 8 of those runners are from Waterloo Region, including Matt Andrews. These runners are required to raise a minimum of $1700 each to support Pathways, but collectively across Canada have raised about $100,000 this year! Matt alone has raised more than $13,000 for Pathways! Matt was featured on the Local Heroes segment of the 6 pm evening news on CTV, along with our Director of Pathways, Amy Tupling. A shout out to Matt and our local Manulife Boston Marathon runners! Thank you for your dedication and support!!!

Carizon Celebrates Our Volunteers During National Volunteer Week, Including Bharat Patel

Carizon Celebrates Our Volunteers During National Volunteer Week, Including Bharat Patel

Carizon is celebrating our volunteers this week who have contributed over 16,000 hours each year to Carizon clients, programs and services. One such volunteer is Bharat Patel.

Bharat has been volunteering in our Pathways Kitchener program since September 2014. A software engineer by profession, Bharat volunteers multiple nights each week as a volunteer tutor. “I have a pretty good life overall,” says Bharat, “but I felt that something was missing. I figured I’d volunteer to try to fill that void. I always had a passion for learning, and I was always good in academics. So I said to myself, ‘Why not tutoring?’ and tutoring with Pathways has been everything I expected, and so much more!”

Pathways to Education helps youth in low-income communities graduate from high school and successfully transition to post-secondary education or training. Pathways addresses systemic barriers to education by providing leadership, expertise and a community-based program proven to lower dropout rates. Its success is built on the dedication of its volunteer tutors and mentors.

“Bharat has a strong desire to see Pathways students succeed at school and in life and he goes out of his way to ensure that students and other volunteers are comfortable in the tutoring environment,” says Carizon Volunteer Coordinator Dale Gellatly. “He is often the first one to arrive and stays with staff until the last student goes home.”

Bharat recognizes the rewards that come with volunteering. “If you take anything from my tutor experience, know that tutoring is truly life-changing,” says Bharat. “You’ll learn so much more about yourself than you “teach” the students. Most importantly, you’ll see first-hand what difference you can make by helping others.”

Children's Mental Health Week - Visit Us at the Mall

Children's Mental Health Week - Visit Us at the Mall

Children's Mental Health Week header

To celebrate children’s mental health week (May 1-7), Carizon is joining with other other mental health providers, the Waterloo Region District School Board and the Waterloo Catholic District School Board to let families know about mental health services in our community. We are hosting two mall displays that bookend children’s mental health week.

  • Saturday, April 30th, 9:30 am – 6:00 pm, Cambridge Centre Mall, 355 Hespeler Rd, Cambridge
  • Saturday, May 7th, 9:30 am – 6:00 pm, Conestoga Mall, 550 King St N, Waterloo

The theme is “AHA! Wellness Works,” promoting Awareness, Help and Access.#ahaww

At the mall, people can learn about being well, services in our community, how to get help, how to help others and apps for mental health for young people. They will also have the opportunity to meet local 570News reporter Martin Bauman, who is cycling across Canada this summer to support mental health!

Taming Your Worry Dragon

Taming Your Worry Dragon

Carizon offers a unique group that teaches children to identify signs and triggers of anxiety. Taming Your Worry Dragon helps children to develop effective strategies and feel empowered to take control over their worries so that they can cope through difficult situations. The group if for children ages 9 – 12, and runs Tuesdays from 4:30 – 6 p.m. for 8 weeks beginning April 26th. Registration required.

Front Door Adds Saturday Walk-In Counselling for Children and Youth

Front Door Adds Saturday Walk-In Counselling for Children and Youth

As of April 9th, Front Door will be providing our Walk-in Service for children and youth on Saturdays instead of Mondays at our Kitchener location at 1770 King Street East. This will give families easier access during times that are less likely to conflict with work and school.

Front Door provides walk-in counselling, helping children and teens with the first step to strengthen and sustain mental health. Through a single family counselling session, our experienced counsellors help identify issues and equip families with tools and strategies to address their concerns. A single free counselling session can help with: behaviour, emotional state, self-harm, unsafe activities, conflicts at home, troubles at school, struggles with peers or a mental health diagnosis. These sessions also provide access to more intensive mental health services.

Front Door is a joint initiative of Lutherwood and Carizon Family and Community Services.

FRONT DOOR POSTER

 

Carizon Volunteer Publishes Poetry Book

Carizon Volunteer Publishes Poetry Book

Sana Abuleil and Aliza Jafri met when they were in Grade 7 and have been best friends for the past 10 years. The two girls shared a dream. Sana, the poet, and Aliza, the illustrator, imagined creating a book of healing that would allow them to share both their creativity and provide an avenue for young people to help them cope with the challenges of youth and isolation.Now in 3rd year University, the girls have achieved their dream and published “Writer’s Block.”

It wasn’t enough, however, for the girls to feel that they were having an impact on the well-being of youth through the publication of this book. They wanted to contribute proceeds from the sale of this book to support children’s mental health. As a volunteer in our Pathways to Education program, Sana discovered the wide-ranging services of Carizon and all the programs they have to help children and youth dealing with mental health challenges. So, Sana and Aliza agreed they wanted to support Carizon by donating a portion of the sale of their books.

Sana and Aliza have already begun creating their second book of poems, while continuing their studies at their respective Universities – Sana at the University of Waterloo in Rhetoric and Professional Writing, and Aliza at the Art Institute of Washington.

SAMPLE POEM FROM WRITER’S BLOCK

You fell in love so easily
With everything around you,
But couldn’t seem to
Fall in love with anything
Inside you.
And you wonder why
You’re so alone.
~Sana Abuleil

WRITER’S BLOCK CAN BE PURCHASED THROUGH:

The Hidden Crime in Domestic Violence: A Collaborative Response

The Hidden Crime in Domestic Violence: A Collaborative Response

The Family Violence Project of Waterloo Region is celebrating their 10th anniversary. To celebrate, the FVP is hosting a one-day event at Bingemans Conference Centre on April 14th from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The day includes:

  • an insightful panel discussion outlining the collaborative response to domestic violence, sexual assault and elder abuse
  • keynote speaker, Dr. William J. Lucas, Regional Supervising Coroner and Chair of the Domestic Violence Death Review Committee
  • presentations from experienced practitioners from across the province
  • a powerful story of a client’s journey from victim to recovery through the Family Violence Project

Lunch is included in the day’s conference, and a reception, hosted by Chief Bryan Larkin follows at 4:30 p.m.

Healthy Kids Community Challenge Supports Children's Well-being

Healthy Kids Community Challenge Supports Children's Well-being

Carizon thanks the Healthy Kids Community Challenge for supporting children served in our Encompass and Community Services programs. The goal of this Challenge is to help create communities where it’s easy for children to lead healthier lives. 45 communities across Ontario are participating and receive resources from the province to promote healthy eating, physical activity and healthy behaviours. Carizon’s Community Services will be using their funds to purchase sports equipment (mainly soccer balls and basketballs) for our program that runs in the Erb West neighbourhood at Keatsway Public School on Friday evenings.

Carizon March Break Camp Supports Children with FASD

Carizon March Break Camp Supports Children with FASD

We know that March break can be a challenge for families living with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, so we’ve created a camp that supports the kids and helps the parents to relax, knowing that their children are in good hands. Our trained professionals have the skills, experience and expertise to provide a specialized camp that is safe, therapeutic and fun. The camp provides opportunities for indoor and outdoor play, creativity, and skill development. The camp is for children living with FASD, ages 8 – 12, and runs from March 14 – 19th.

Celebrate Family Day by Helping Families

Celebrate Family Day by Helping Families

Monday, February 15th is Family Day. It is a day when we celebrate families and spend time together as we cherish our relationships with the people that mean the most to us. Many families, however, face difficult struggles and need professional help to overcome or address these challenges. Learn about how Carizon helps families. On Family Day, please consider helping families by donating to Carizon’s programs and services. You can make a difference.

Empowering Seniors

Empowering Seniors

An eight week program designed for seniors in our community to connect with other seniors and experience support is being offered on Thursday mornings from February 11 – March 31 at Carizon Family and Community Services. Topics include: elder rights, safety planning and setting boundaries, resolving conflicts, Power of Attorney and future planning, community resources and supports, financial awareness and potential fraud. Registration required.

The Spirit of Giving is Alive and Well!

The Spirit of Giving is Alive and Well!

With Christmas just around the corner, it’s time once again to think of those who will be struggling at a time of year that should be joyful.  With generous donations from the Annual Larry Kelly Toy Drive, The Kitchener Westmount Rotary Club  and individual donors and sponsors, the Carizon Spirit of Giving volunteer team prepared Christmas packages for 31 families this year who do not have other means of support. This included single working moms, isolated individuals and families who have hit hard times due to job loss or illness.  Members of the Kitchener Westmount Rotary Club delivered the packages on Monday, making Christmas brighter and sharing the true spirit of Christmas in our community.

Christmas Budgeting Tips

Christmas Budgeting Tips

Every year, the focus of the holiday season is on consumerism and the need to spend money on the perfect gifts, the perfect decorations and creating the perfect dinner. And every year, Canadians end up spending too much money, putting them at risk for financial difficulties once the holiday season is over.

Heather Cudmore, Manager of Credit Counselling at Carizon spoke with Doug Hoyes, Hoyes, Michalos & Associates Inc. on limiting Christmas spending, budgeting, and establishing new holiday traditions that don’t break the bank.

How To Deal With Depression & Anxiety Over The Holidays

How To Deal With Depression & Anxiety Over The Holidays

The holidays are known for being a time of happiness and joy. But for those struggling with depression, anxiety or loss, the holidays can be a difficult time. Theresa Karn, Carizon’s Manager of Clinical Services, spoke with Doug Hoyes, Hoyes, Michalos & Associates Inc., on this topic on a Podcast. You can listen to the podcast by clicking the link below.

Carizon Launches Holiday Campaign

Carizon Launches Holiday Campaign

As we enter the holiday season, in the spirit of giving, Carizon is launching its holiday campaign to support our trauma client assistance fund. This fund provides the critical foundation that allows us to help children and families dealing with trauma. The campaign tells the story of Ali and her Mom. Learn more about Ali’s story by clicking on the link below.

The campaign includes a mail campaign, an e-campaign that will be launched in celebration of Giving Tuesday, and social media initiatives to support the campaign. We all have a role to play in making life a safe, happy and healthy experience for all children.

Donations mean that Carizon can support children, like Ali, and help families to find solutions.

Connectivity Initiative Wins International Award

Connectivity Initiative Wins International Award

The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) awarded the 2015 IACP/Motorola Solutions Webber Seavey Award for Excellence in Law Enforcement to the Waterloo Regional Police Service in partnership with Langs Health and Wellness Centre and Carizon Family and Community Services. The award recognizes a collaborative, community-based initiative called “Connectivity.”

Connectivity brings health and social service agencies to a weekly meeting to collaboratively and proactively address situations of elevated risk and support individuals to access the services they need. There are currently two situation response tables – one in Cambridge hosted by Langs Health and Wellness Centre, and the other in Kitchener, hosted by Carizon Family and Community Services. The partner organizations, which support the discussions and identify the response, come from areas such as health, education, justice, mental health assistance, family supports, police, and community services.

Support a Family This Holiday Season

Support a Family This Holiday Season

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Carizon Family and Community Services Appoints CEO

Carizon Family and Community Services Appoints CEO

The Board of Directors at Carizon Family and Community Services proudly announces the appointment of Tracy Elop as CEO, effective January 4, 2016. “The Board of Directors is thrilled to have Tracy taking the helm at Carizon as we embark on a new year,” says Vivian Zochowski, President, Carizon Board of Directors. “Tracy’s expertise in developing and executing collaborative, innovative strategies and her strength in building strong partnerships will increase the capacity of Carizon to serve our community.”

When Bad Things Happen - Trauma Counselling

When Bad Things Happen - Trauma Counselling

Lesley Barraball, Carizon’s Director of Children’s Mental Health, and Theresa Karn, Manager of Clinical Services, spoke with Dave Callander at 570 News about Trauma on the show “Ask the Experts.” Lesley and Theresa shared their insights about trauma: what it is, its impact on the lives of children and adults, and when and how to get help. You can hear the Podcast by clicking on the link below.

Carizon Radio Ads on CHYM

Carizon Radio Ads on CHYM

In an effort to help people know where to turn when facing life’s challenges, Carizon has placed an ad on CHYM radio this fall to create awareness about our counselling services. The ad highlights Carizon’s expertise in helping people manage stress, relationships, anxiety, depression and traumatic events.

New FASD classroom for students Grades 8 - 12

New FASD classroom for students Grades 8 - 12

We are very pleased to announce that Carizon and the Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB) will be providing the community with a FASD classroom for students grades 8-12 beginning in the 2015-16 school year.

The program name is Temenos.* Temenos will provide a specialized classroom environment designed to meet the needs of youth living with FASD. It will be uniquely equipped and structured to meet the social/emotional, sensory and learning needs of the youth in the program.

The classroom will be designed based on the successful FASD classroom (The Fort) which has been in operation for the past two years by the Waterloo Region District School Board and Carizon.

A multi-professional team will support the youth and their families through various aspects of the program; including a teacher, child and youth workers, and a child and family therapist and an occupational therapist.

The program will start in the fall with a group of pre-selected students from our local school boards. In the future, referrals for this program will be accepted through Front Door. We will keep you informed as these details emerge.

*Temenos – sacred enclosure or precinct

Group for Teens with Autism & Asperger's

Group for Teens with Autism & Asperger's

Autism Teenage Partnership is now here in Kitchener-Waterloo! A Saturday night hangout for teens with high functioning autism or Asperger’s.

Their program starts Saturday, June 6th – MAKE SURE YOU REGISTER!!!! And, make sure you register soon to not miss their special guest on June 13th – the Aspie Comic, Michael McCreary, is coming to talk about just how cool it is to be aspie!!! Check him out!

 

Vulnerable Persons Registry Launched

Vulnerable Persons Registry Launched

The Vulnerable Persons Registry (VPR) is a community based policing initiative in partnership with the Waterloo Region Police Services, KidsAbility, the Waterloo Region Family Network and local agencies. The registry promotes communication between vulnerable persons, the people who support them and the police. This information will assist officers when responding to an emergency involving the vulnerable individual. The registry provides quick access to critical information about a registered person, such as who to call in an emergency, a detailed physical description, and any particular sensitivities that the person may experience. Registration is completely voluntary. The database is to help alleviate safety concerns for those that are vulnerable in our community.

The goal of the VPR is to provide police with quick access to critical information about a registered person so the officer can assist in an emergency situation. When a Vulnerable Person is thought to be at risk, his or her personal information will be shared with relevant organizations, enabling them to quickly respond and provide effective assistance to the registrant.

Shh...It's Mental Health

Shh...It's Mental Health

Your Children’s Mental Health Week

One in five Canadian children and youth have a treatable mental health issue. The stigma forces many to suffer in silence. Join us as we talk about mental health and break that silence. The free children’s mental health series is presented by Carizon, KW Counselling, Langs and Lutherwood. Also, join more than 15 Waterloo Region agencies to learn more about the variety of services for children, youth and parents struggling with mental health.

During National Volunteer Week, U of W profiles Carizon volunteer

During National Volunteer Week, U of W profiles Carizon volunteer

As part of the #UWCommunity National Volunteer week series, the University of Waterloo is profiling its members who give their time and talent by volunteering in our community. Cristy Aponte, a Carizon volunteer is one of those students. Cristy is incredibly inspiring. She is currently gearing up to start her Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) this September at Waterloo’s Renison University College after just completing her honors undergraduate degree in the Social Development Studies program last Saturday. Cristy came to Canada 7 years ago from Colombia as a refugee and uses her background to help mentor, support, and teach a range of skills to new immigrants in our Waterloo Region community.

Waterloo Region Special Needs Surveys

Waterloo Region Special Needs Surveys

Waterloo Region Special Needs Strategy Planning Table has a vision for a Waterloo Region where all children and youth with special needs get the timely and effective services they need to participate fully at home, at school, in the community and as they prepare to achieve their goals.

To help them achieve this vision, they are asking families, caregivers, youth and service providers to share their experience by taking a few minutes to complete the following surveys.

Survey #1: Values
What’s important to you? As a caregiver, as a family, you know what services and resources your child has benefited from. You know what has worked and what hasn’t worked and what can be done to make special needs services in Waterloo Region better. Please let us know what values we should be mindful of.
Deadline: Monday, April 27th

Survey #2 (I’m a Parent/Caregiver/YouthI’m a Service Provider): Feedback on a New Model
The Waterloo Region Special Needs Strategy Planning Table has a first draft of a new Coordinated Service Plan Model. As a family of children with special needs, an individual or staff member, your insight is crucial. Please tell us what you think about the model.
Deadline: Thursday, April 16th at 5pm

Wellesley’s new Community Food Cupboard opening soon!

Wellesley’s new Community Food Cupboard opening soon!

The Wellesley Community Food Cupboard opens in less than a month, thanks to the collaboration of local foodbanks, a committee of people from local churches, businesses and organizations, and Carizon’s own Sue Martin, Family Outreach Worker. This food cupboard will be an emergency stopgap for people who need groceries, but can’t get to the bigger food banks in Elmira or New Hamburg. The cupboard’s hours will be every Monday from 10 a.m. to noon and every Thursday from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. People who need support are able to call the Wellesley Community Food Cupboard directly at 519-616-3663 (Food). Learn more about this venture by reading the article featured in the New Hamburg Independent.

Carizon Announces Spring Group Programs

Carizon Announces Spring Group Programs

Carizon offers a wide range of group programs this Spring including Managing Stress for Managing Moods, Moving Towards Healthy Relationships and Taming Our Anger: The Hero’s Journey. All Spring groups and times are listed on our Group Program page. Registration is required for all groups, including groups with no fee. For more information on any group, please contact us at 519-743-6333. Unless otherwise indicated, group programs are based on a sliding fee scale. Course material charges may apply to some groups.

Ignite the Night - Youth Coffee House

Ignite the Night - Youth Coffee House

Front Door is supporting a Youth Coffee House called “Ignite the Light” in partnership with the City of Kitchener and the Kitchener Youth Action Council. This event is a performing opportunity for youth that is designed to shatter the stigma around mental health. Ignite the Light will take place on Saturday, March 28, from 6 -8 p.m. at the Queen Street Commons, 43 Queen Street South in Kitchener. It is a free event. If youth would like to perform, they are asked to RSVP to youth@kitchener.ca.

Thank you United Way for the Community Spirit Award recognition!

Thank you United Way for the Community Spirit Award recognition!

On February 27th, the United Way of Kitchener Waterloo & Area announced the Community Spirit Awards. These awards recognize individuals and organizations that have made a difference in our community through their involvement with United Way KW. This year Carizon Family and Community Services and the City of Kitchener received the Community Impact Award that recognizes organizations that demonstrate exceptional support of United Way KW by helping to change community conditions for the better.

The Fort Meets the Needs of Kids Living with FASD

The Fort Meets the Needs of Kids Living with FASD

Operated in partnership with the Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB), The Fort is a program for students ages 8-12 with a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) diagnosis. We are very pleased to share that as a result of a successful two-year pilot project, Carizon and the WRDSB are moving forward and will provide The Fort program to the community on an ongoing basis.

“I am thrilled,” says a  parent of a Fort Student, “that (my child) is receiving the care and supervision he needs and is staying in school, developing positive relationships and is fully engaged in his education.”

For additional information about the Fort, including eligibility criteria and how to make a referral, please see the Fort Fact Sheet below.

Conestoga Mall Supports Children's Mental Health!

Conestoga Mall Supports Children's Mental Health!

Carizon sends a shout-out to Conestoga Mall. Over the years, Conestoga Mall has been committed to supporting the community and has raised funds for numerous charities. This year, they dedicated the money raised at their Santa Set to support children’s mental health programs at Carizon Family and Community Services. Through their endeavours, the campaign generated $15,000 to provide children with programs and services related to mental health, youth engagement and development and family wellness. Carizon thanks the team at Conestoga Mall including Marketing Director Rhonda Richmond, General Manager Sandra Stone, the Gemini models whose enthusiasm encouraged donations, and all the parents and individuals that donated to the program when visiting Santa at the Mall. We truly are grateful for your support. These funds will go a long way in providing direct support and services to children, youth and their families.

Conestoga Mall donates to Carizon

(L to R): Lesley Barraball, Carizon Director of Children’s Mental Health, Sue Gillespie, Carizon CEO, Rhonda Richmond, Conestoga Mall Marketing Director, Leah Hall, Gemini Model, Sandra Stone, Conestoga Mall General Manager

 

Father Daughter Ball 2015 Tickets Now Available

Father Daughter Ball 2015 Tickets Now Available

96.7 CHYM FM and Hoyes Michalos and Associates proudly announce that tickets are now available for the 2015 Father Daughter Ball in support of Carizon Family and Community Services. This popular event celebrates the extraordinary relationship between fathers and daughters. Scott Schaefer and his daughters Alexis and Katelyn have made this event an annual tradition, and are pleased to be this year’s honorary co-chairs. The event offers dads and their daughters (recommended ages 5 – 12) an evening of fun, food and dancing – all to raise much-needed funds to support programs and services that strengthen children and families, ultimately providing long-term, community-wide benefits.

Please mark Thursday, April 16, 2015 on your calendar as a magical night to be hosted by George and Tara from CHYM FM, and filled with great auction prizes, entertainment and a special time that fathers and daughters will never forget.

Learn more, visit our events page.

Passion for Fashion

Passion for Fashion

Come join us for an evening of fashion, food and fun and assist the Relocation Program supported by Family Violence Project of Waterloo Region and Carizon Family and Community Services. This event includes a 3-course dinner, fashion show, silent auction, door prizes and VIP shopping at La Creme. The event will be held on Monday, March 30th (doors open at 5 p.m; dinner is at 6 p.m.) at St. George Banquet Hall, King Street North, Waterloo. Tickets are $75/person.

It's A Girl Thing

It's A Girl Thing

Many teen girls who have been exposed to abuse, neglect or witness to family and community violence subsequently experience a range of emotional and behaviour mental health difficulties, including engaging in behaviours that place them at risk of experiencing or re-experiencing sexual assault, exploitation and/or unhealthy relationships. Many girls are not ready or willing to engage in treatment focusing on their earlier experience, but are willing to participate in a group to discuss issues of relevance to them. It’s a Girl Thing is a group for teen girls (ages 13 – 17) that often serves as an introduction for many girls to get further individual treatment.

This group aims to:

  • Enhance future safety
  • Enhance recovery and coping skills by focusing on skill building such as self-protection, self-soothing, affect regulation, creating and maintaining boundaries and developing healthy sexuality and relationships
  • Strengthen girls overall functioning
  • Engage girls into future trauma treatment where applicable.

Topics include: Mindfulness, Coping and Relaxation Techniques, Substance Use, Bullying, Body Image and self-worth, Self-care, Feelings Identification, Healthy Sexuality, Internet Safety, Connections Between Thoughts, Feelings and Behaviours, Healthy Relationships, Problem Solving, Assertiveness and Self-Esteem, Enhancing Future Safety.

The group is scheduled to begin at Carizon, 400 Queen Street South, on March 4, 2015, running for 12 weeks on Wednesdays, 3:30 – 5 p.m., and is co-led by facilitators from The Sexual Abuse Treatment Program at Family and Children’s Services and Carizon Family and Community Services. While the group is free, participants must be referred to It’s a Girl Thing and participate in an initial needs assessment to determine their treatment needs and fit for the group.

Carizon Schedules Winter 2015 Counselling Groups

Carizon Schedules Winter 2015 Counselling Groups

Carizon has scheduled Winter Group Programs for 2015. Carizon offers a wide range of group programs for men, women and children.  Registration is required for all groups, including groups with no fee. For more information on any group, please contact us at 519-743-6333. Unless otherwise indicated, group programs are based on a sliding fee scale. Course material charges may apply to some groups.

Carizon Launches Holiday Campaign

Carizon Launches Holiday Campaign

As we enter the holiday season, I am reminded of a remarkable story that occurred last year at this time, and the incredible response of our amazing and caring staff at Carizon. Just a few days before Christmas Day, a young mother and her two children came through our doors at Carizon. Sarah was escaping a domestic violence situation. Immediately, Sarah was connected to a shelter and a safety plan was established. As Sarah’s healing journey progressed, she was provided with subsidized emergency housing, financial assistance and attended counselling and a therapy group for women at Carizon. In addition, Sarah received some job-readiness support and credit counselling to help her manage her new financial situation. Today Sarah and her children are thriving and, while there are still challenges ahead, they are managing their lives in a new home where they feel safe and are taking steps to a healthier and happier future.

We did everything at Carizon that we always do to support individuals and families that come through our door. But, what was particularly moving about Sarah’s story was, not only did the Carizon staff support Sarah through this traumatic time, they went the extra mile to ensure that Sarah and her children would get to celebrate Christmas. Every year, Carizon has a Spirit of Giving program to support our clients that are in the greatest need of an expression of caring at holiday time. With only a few days to Christmas, however, the program had concluded and all gifts were wrapped and delivered. That didn’t stop our staff. They rallied to pull together a Christmas package for Sarah and her children. Through this act of kindness, they gave Sarah much more than gifts, they gave her hope and the knowledge that her community cares for her and her family.

During this season of giving, please consider donating to Carizon’s Trauma Client Assistance Fund so that we can continue to provide support, skills and hope to individuals like Sarah and her children.

The Fort: For Kids Living with FASD

The Fort: For Kids Living with FASD

Operated in partnership with Waterloo Region District School Board, The Fort is a pilot Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder class for students ages 8—12 years that has been operating since September 2013. The name “The Fort” was recently created to reflect a classroom that is a safe place, guided by the needs of the students where students can learn and have fun together because they are understood and supported. The name also echoes its French derivative “forte” – meaning strong point.

Carizon Introduces new Vision and Mission Statements

Hope~Wellness~Community

Carizon is a multi-service community organization committed to improving the future of individuals and families through supportive, therapeutic and preventative programs.

Director of Children’s Mental Health Talks About Troubled Youth

Lesley Barraball, Carizon Family and Community Services’ Director of Children’s Mental Health, talks to Gary Doyle on 570 News about troubled youth.

The Empty Nest Syndrome

Carizon Director of Clinical Services, Theresa Karn, speaks with CBC about The Empty Nest Syndrome. and why empty-nester parents need to focus on themselves once children leave for university, or they run the risk of missing out on an exciting time in their lives.

8 Tips to Keep Your Budget on Track in 2014

A new year is here, and with it comes a new chance to do things right when it comes to your finances. For many of us, a few pointers on budgeting couldn’t come at a better time. According to Statistics Canada, the ratio of Canadians’ household credit debt to disposable income reached an all-time high: 163.7 per cent. CBC Kitchener-Waterloo spoke to Heather Cudmore, the Manager of Mosaic Credit Counselling, a program of Carizon Family and Community Services in Kitchener. Click the box below to read a synopsis of some of her tips to keep your budget on track in 2014.

Pathways to Education Canstruction 2014 – A Great Success!

Pathways to Education Canstruction 2014 – A Great Success!

This past Saturday at Conestoga Mall in Waterloo, eleven Pathways to Education students met to complete the fire pit made from cans that they had spent months designing. The students were incredibly hard working, patient and easy going. They had a blast building all afternoon!

Their hard work paid off as their build was awarded “Best Use of Labels” by the Canstruction judges.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ct9kO1K1aK4&feature=youtu.be

If you’d like to vote for their structure by making a donation to the Food Bank. Go to: http://www.thefoodbank.ca/en/donate/donateonline.aspx?o=34 or visit the build in the mall and make a donation in person.

All of the Canstruction builds will stay standing in the mall until next Sunday, March 16th, so feel free to check them out yourself.

Pathways Volunteers Saluted at Kitchener Awards Ceremony!

Pathways Volunteers Saluted at Kitchener Awards Ceremony!

The City of Kitchener recognizes the great passion of active older citizens and their role as community champions. As such, the City hosts a special Salute to Seniors awards presentation to honour seniors for being role models through active involvement and contributing to a healthy community. Two of the individuals being recognized at this year’s ceremony on June 13th are Abdullah and Farida Mohibuddin. Abdullah and Farida are both tutors in the Pathways to Education program at Mosaic Counselling. The couple emigrated from Bangladesh two years ago to be with their 3 children, all of whom came to Canada for University and decided to stay. Abdullah and Farida, both in their 60s, are making a difference by bridging the generation gap and contributing to the success of students. Only four months after arriving in Canada, they began exploring ways to volunteer in their new community. Pathways to Education drew their attention because the program involves youth and education. Farida was a teacher in two English schools in Bangladesh, so she is able to draw from her own experience when working with Pathways students. For Abdullah, however, it is something new. He was a commercial pilot prior to coming to Canada. They share a passion for working with the students, and have many stories to impart.They will soon have been with the program for two years. When asked what keeps them going, the answer is simple says the Mohibuddins: “To be with the students, as we love children. Tutoring the students is interesting and brings pleasure for us, especially when we find the students are eagerly waiting for us.” It is a rewarding experience. Farida shares a story of a Grade 10 student who was struggling with Geography. The student said she didn’t like it and found the homework, assignments and tests really hard. At that point, she wasn’t passing and was disheartened. Farida started working with her once per week for three hours and used many encouraging techniques. After only one month, the student came back and told Farida happily that she had improved her mark so much that she passed Geography!Farida and Abdullah strongly believe they are making a difference and are happy to share their experience with the students. They say it all comes down to patience, love and affection.

Children’s Mental Health Week

Todd Nutbrown from kidsLINK talks to Gary Doyle about Children’s Mental Health.

CTV Investigates Dealing with Debt

CTV anchor Rosie Del Campo looks at the warning signs of financial trouble in the first part of a three part series exploring Canada’s rising household debt to income ratio. Carizon’s Credit Counselling Manager Heather Cudmore shares her insights.

Theresa Karn Talks about Couples & Chores on Gary Doyle’s Show

Listen to the Gary Doyle Show on 570 News as Gary and Theresa talk about a study about Couples and Chores.

Merger strengthens ability for  service delivery!

Merger strengthens ability for service delivery!

Mosaic Counselling and Family Services and kidsLINK (Notre Dame of St. Agatha Inc.) are pleased to announce today the amalgamation of these two long-standing and successful social and mental health service leaders. The Ministry of Government Services has approved the incorporation of the new organization that will operate as Carizon Family and Community Services as of April 1st, 2013. “Both kidsLINK and Mosaic are recognized for their leadership in providing a multitude of services that strengthen individuals, families and neighbourhoods,” says Carizon’s President of the Board of Directors, Rich Steinmann. “This merger will allow these two agencies to enhance their ability to contribute positively to the well-being of children, youth, adults, families and communities.” CEO Sue Gillespie, who will lead Carizon, identifies the ability of the new organization to provide a continuum of care that meets the changing needs of our community. “Combined, kidsLINK and Mosaic have the experience of providing services to our community for more than 216 years. As a leader in social and mental health service delivery,” says Gillespie, “we will draw on that expertise to leverage complementary strengths and proactively pursue an even more impactful future.” The name Carizon, a combination of the words care and horizon, was designed to capture the nature of the services provided by the agency, as well as its hope and vision for the future of this community.

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