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Message from the CEO

May 2022

“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.” — Audrey Hepburn


I’m pleased to share that we have a number of exciting initiatives, with a focus on delivering the best programs and services for our JMCC children and families. 

New Autism Services

Our Autism services have expanded to include caregiver-mediated early years programs such as The PLAY Project™  that provides evidence-based, parent-implemented programing in the home to help children develop social interaction and communication skills.  And our Entry to School Program, located at Central Park Athletics is a group-based skill-building program to help children with Autism who are entering school for the first time.

Windsor/Essex SmartStart Hub

This past March the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services (MCCSS) introduced SmartStart Hubs – the first step toward greater integration in the child development services system, under the leadership of Children's Treatment Centres across Ontario.  A SmartStart Hub will provide a clear point of entry for families concerned about their child's physical, intellectual or communication development. We’re in the planning process and looking forward to launching our SmartStart Hub by the end of this year.

Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Accessibility and Anti-Oppression Statement of Commitment

As a Centre, we’re committed to an environment that is diverse, fair and inclusive of everyone. We recently published our Statement of Commitment, developed by our IDEA Committee and approved by our Board of Directors.  I invite you to read it here

Professional Development

Professional development continues to be a priority at JMCC. Each month we host training sessions that cover a variety of topics.  In April, the focus was on Trauma-informed Care, co-created by our managers and Family Advisory Committee members.  The stories shared by our parent presenters and other guest speakers helped us to realize the widespread impact of trauma that comes from constantly having to advocate for your child, and the constant pressures and stress associated with caring for a child with complex developmental or physical needs. As a Centre, we plan to respond to this greater understanding and awareness by integrating knowledge about trauma into our practices and policies. 

Heather’s Helping Hand Fund

This month, we launched a new program to raise funds for families struggling to make ends meet. “Heather’s Helping Hand” was created to honour Heather McFadden, our long-time staff member who passed away in January. Also new is a matching feature where all donations made up to the end of May will be matched dollar for dollar by our generous board director Allan Cohen through the Charles & Ethel Cohen Family Foundation! You can read more about it here.

New Strategic Plan

And finally, we are currently engaged in the strategic planning process which will be finalized this fall, signaling our focus for the next few years.  I’m looking forward to more innovative ways we can help our children and youth reach their full potential, and I’m grateful to our compassionate and dedicated board of directors and staff who truly put the wellbeing of our children and families at the centre of everything they do.

I wish you a safe, relaxing summer!  Remember, our fully-accessible Play McGivney playground is here and ready to be enjoyed!

Sincerely,

Jessica Sartori
Jessica Sartori, Chief Executive Officer
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