FSIO is all about communication and co-ordination among many fragmented ‘players’ in the field of family supports. FSIO provides a ‘voice’ for families and for ourselves.
-FSIO Board Members, reflecting in June 2016
Board members include frontline practitioners and managers working in programs across the family support sector and the province. Board activities are supported by a number of standing and ad hoc committees, such as the Communications Committee. Descriptions of standing committees are available in our bylaws.
Interested in joining a committee to support the work of FSIO, learn more about the Board, and have your voice heard? Please email email@example.com or call 416-538-0628, ext. 3, and we will be in touch to discuss your interests, skills, and availability.
Caroline Côté (South East)
Priscilla Dutt (Toronto)
Ellie Murphy (Toronto)
Erin O’Dacre (Central)
Nick Petten (Toronto)
Cindy Smith (Central)
Catherine Moher (Toronto)
Chanel Tsang (South Central)
Margaret Megitt (Toronto)
Toni Travo (South West)
Cecilia Nisell (Toronto)
Erin O’Dacre – Durham Farm and Rural Family Resources
Erin is the Executive Director of Durham Farm and Rural Family Resources in Uxbridge, a non-profit organization that delivers family support programs in north Durham, as well as an On-Farm childcare service. She began her career in downtown Toronto as an ECE, followed by roles as a Resource Teacher, and Childcare Consultant. Erin has more than 15 years’ experience supporting children and families in their communities and is registered with the College of Early Childhood Educators.
Catherine Moher – Manager Gerrard Resource Centre – Catherine has been the Manager of the Gerrard Resource Centre since its inception in 1982. Her current activities include the management of the drop-in centre, emergency child care program, information and referral services, toy lending library, and the consultation program. Catherine also holds the position of Academic Coordinator for the Course Series in Family Support and Community Engagement at the G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education.
Catherine is a current board member of Family Supports Institute Ontario and a past board member of FRP Canada, an organization supporting family support programs in Ontario and Canada. Catherine also participates on many local planning tables to support early childhood systems integration. Catherine has extensive experience in providing workshops and seminars to professionals working in both early learning and family support programs. Her professional interests include the inclusion of children with disabilities and the further growth and expansion of family support programs both provincially and nationally.
Caroline Côté – Program Coordinator, EarlyON Centres, Ottawa-Carleton District School Board.
Caroline has worked in the Family Support field as a program coordinator for an EarlyON Centre within a community health setting for several years. In 2007, Caroline was hired as the program coordinator, responsible for the start up of the PFLC program in the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board, where she currently works.
Ellie Murphy – RECE, Program Coordinator at South Riverdale Child-Parent Centre
Ellie is a Program Coordinator at South Riverdale Child-Parent Centre, where she works directly with families and shares administrative responsibilities with other members of the staff collective. Her work and volunteer experience has been focused on working with families and supporting children with disabilities. Her background is in early childhood studies. Ellie is registered with the College of Early Childhood Educators.
Chanel Tsang – Dufferin Peel Catholic District School Board
Chanel is the Parent Worker at the EarlyON Centre at Christ the King Catholic Elementary School, Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board. She works directly with children and their parents and caregivers in the community, partnering with the school and other community organizations to connect families to services and support. As a past participant of family support programs, she understands the need and value of these programs and applies this to her work of building community, empowering families, and creating an inclusive and safe space for families to explore and enjoy together.
Chanel completed the Family Supports and Community Engagement Course Series at the G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education at Ryerson University and joined FSIO’s Board of Directors in the fall of 2016.
Priscilla Dutt – Coordinator, Early Childhood Education Programs, Parents for Better Beginnings
Priscilla has a degree in Early Childhood Education with a Minor in Sociology (Ryerson University), a degree in Education Primary/Junior Division (OISE), and a Certificate in Infant Mental Health (York University). She has worked in multi-service community-based agencies for over 10 years. Priscilla has developed a strong sense of fulfillment and satisfaction in the early years field.
Cindy Smith – Seneca College
Cindy has worked in the field with children and families for over 20 years in various roles, such as a nursery school teacher, special needs consultant, early literacy specialist and a professor at Ryerson University. Currently, she is a professor at Seneca College in both the early childhood education diploma and bachelor of child development degree programs.
Nick Petten – Consultant, Petten Consulting
Nick is a researcher, consultant and evaluator with over 10 years’ experience working with culturally diverse populations in multiple roles and positions. He is primarily concerned with how to meaningfully and ethically involve children and youth in research and program design. Nick has extensive knowledge and demonstrated research ability developed through a masters-level education in early childhood studies. He regularly conducts and advises on program evaluations and research projects focusing on youth engagement, peacebuilding, play-based learning, children’s rights, health equity, and other social justice issues.
He is also dedicated to building the capacity of the organizations he works with through several volunteer and board engagements, including board membership for the Ontario Chapter of the Canadian Evaluation Society and the Canadian Student Association for Children’s Rights. Nick has in-depth and front-line experience working with children and adolescents with multiple needs and capabilities through parent education programs, early childhood education centres, youth programs, adolescent treatment centres and many other community programs.
Margaret Megitt – ECE, EarlyON Centre at TDSB
Margaret is a Registered Early Childhood Educator. For the past six years, she has worked as a parenting worker in a EarlyON Centre within the Toronto District School Board. Prior to finishing her early childhood studies program at George Brown, she worked and volunteered in the violence against women sector for 5 years. She holds a degree from the University of Toronto in Women and Gender studies as well as Equity Studies (Social Justice). She came to the field of family support with an interest in supporting all children and families realize their full potential and achieve optimal well-being. As a member of the FSIO board, Margaret hopes to make a larger structural change in our sector. In times of change, she hopes to work with her peers to highlight the importance of our family resource programs in the larger early years and care sector.
Toni Travo – Connections Early Years Family Centre
Toni has worked in the Family Support field for over 35 years. Her early experience in the field included working as an early childhood educator in a nursery school program and a parent cooperative. For the past 29 years, Toni has been employed with Connections Early Years Family Centre in the EarlyON Centre where she is the Program Manager and Volunteer Coordinator. Toni’s educational background includes a diploma in Early Childhood Education and certificate in Family Supports from Ryerson University.
From 2006 to 2008, Toni was an Ontario Leader in the Listening to Families – Reframing Services research project conducted by the School of Early Childhood Education, Ryerson University in partnership with FRP Canada and Family Supports Institute Ontario (FSIO).
Toni also participates on many network groups, such as the Windsor-Essex Local Immigration Partnership, Dads Matter Steering Committee, Family Support Network group, and the Ontario Early Years Network of Windsor-Essex.
Cecilia Nisell, Manager Heart Beatz Family Resource Centre
Cecilia holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communications and Economics (University of Stockholm, Sweden), a Diploma in Food and Nutrition Management (Centennial College) and a Family Supports Certificate (Ryerson University).
Cecilia has been working with diverse families in a variety of community settings for more than 20 years. For the last 14 years, she has been the Family Resource Services Manager at Heart Beatz Family Resource Centre in Scarborough. Cecilia is passionate about her job, serving immigrant families with young children. She is especially sensitive to the families’ needs as she herself came to Canada as a young mother and knows some of the issues they struggle with.
The Board’s work is supported by Executive Assistant Sara Lewicki.
Sara Lewicki, BSW
Sara’s experience in the family supports sector began in 2010 where she worked directly with families at the Gerrard Resource Centre drop-in program. Sara has also assisted in coordinating professional learning activities and events for family supports professionals and students. She is currently Communications Coordinator at the Gerrard Resource Centre, producing monthly e-newsletters for professionals, policymakers, researchers, and students on the topics of family supports and the inclusion of children with disabilities.
Sara has worked with vulnerable populations, specifically in crisis intervention, advocacy, intake and referrals. Sara had also developed and facilitated community-based programs in Toronto and York.
Sara holds a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) with a minor in psychology and is currently completing her second degree at Ryerson University: Politics and Governance, specializing in Family Supports and Community Practice. She is also completing a certificate in Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Management.