SOURCE: Adoption Council of Canada

Adoption Council of Canada

Adoption Council of Canada

August 06, 2013 11:02 ET

North American Adoption Conference in Toronto This Week

The North American Council on Adoptable Children Holds 39th Annual Conference; Co-Sponsored by the Adoption Council of Canada and the Adoption Council of Ontario

TORONTO--(Marketwired - Aug 6, 2013) - More than 750 child welfare professionals, foster and adoptive parents, foster and adopted youth, and kinship caregivers will attend the North American Council on Adoptable Children's annual educational conference at the Sheraton Centre in Toronto August 8-10, 2013.

Thinking Differently: New Hope for Our Kids is co-sponsored by the Adoption Council of Canada, headquartered in Ottawa, and the Adoption Council of Ontario, based in Toronto. The conference educates and supports participants as they learn about the particular needs of adopted and foster children and youth and adoptive, foster, kinship and customary care families. In addition, the conference promotes the need for all children and youth to have a permanent, loving family, and encourages best practices to find families for children and youth in care who cannot return home. 

A panel of youth talking about their experiences in foster care and the importance of permanency on Friday, August 9, from 8:30 until 10 a.m., is among the conference highlights. Other keynote speakers include Daniel Hughes and Jonathan Baylin, speaking about Brain-Based Parenting: A Message of Hope on Thursday, August 8, from 8:30 a.m. until 10 a.m. 

During pre-conference sessions on Wednesday, August 9, Hughes and Baylin will speak about Creating a Love to Last a Lifetime: Understanding the Neuroscience of Attachment" and Sue Badeau, Denise Goodman, and Pat O'Brien will address the issue of why "Permanency Matters: Tools to Find Families for Older Children and Youth."

There are roughly 30,000 children and youth in foster care across Canada who are awaiting permanent families -- many of whom will age out of the foster care system without them. Being in foster care is a major contributing factor to homelessness in both Canada and the United States.

Recognized as the most comprehensive adoption conference in North America, the event will feature leaders in the adoption field presenting almost 100 workshops, institutes, and general sessions.

NACAC will also present a series of awards to adoption advocates in Canada and the United States and to friends of children and youth. This year's recipients include Marv Bernstein, chief policy advisor to UNICEF Canada; two youth advocates, Alisha Badeau of New Brunswick and Alisha Bowie of Ontario; Cindy Blackstock, executive director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society; and Sandra Scarth, the 2013 Child Advocate of the Year.

NACAC, the ACC and the ACO are grateful for the support of Jockey International and the Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services for scholarships to help adoptive parents and youth attend the conference.

The media is welcome to attend the pre-conference and keynote sessions, as well as the award ceremony on Saturday, August 10 from 12:30 until 2:30 p.m. NACAC and the Adoption Council of Canada can also facilitate interviews with professionals speaking at the conference, as well as with adoptive families and youth.

The Adoption Council of Canada is a federally incorporated charitable body that raises public awareness of adoption, promotes placement of waiting children and stresses the importance of post-adoption services.

The North American Council on Adoptable Children is a non-profit organization founded in 1974 by adoptive parents. NACAC is dedicated to the belief that each child and youth has the right to a permanent, nurturing, and culturally sensitive family. NACAC's mission is to promote and support permanent families for children and youth in the United States and Canada who have been in care -- especially those in foster care and those with special needs. 

The Adoption Council of Ontario is a not-for-profit organization that provides Ontarians with support and education about adoption.

For further information about the conference, please visit http://www.nacac.org/conference/schedule.html. All sessions take place at the Sheraton Centre, 123 Queen Street West, M5H 2M9. Phone: (416) 361-1000.

Background Information: North American Council on Adoptable Children's 39th Annual Conference August 8-10, 2013 in Toronto - Pre-Conference Sessions August 7 at the Sheraton Centre

Pre-Conference session and Thursday's keynote speakers

Dan Hughes, PhD is an internationally acclaimed expert and speaker on attachment issues. He works primarily with foster and adopted children and their parents, and specializes in the treatment of children and youth with severe emotional and behavioral issues.

Jonathan Baylin, PhD is a clinical psychologist and expert on the neurobiology of attachment and caregiving. He trains mental health practitioners to incorporate knowledge of the brain in psychotherapy.

Together, Hughes and Baylin have formed a dynamic collaboration that recently led them to co-author the book Brain-Based Parenting: The Neuroscience of Caregiving for Healthy Attachment.

Their pre-conference session on Wednesday, August 7, is entitled "Creating a Love to Last a Lifetime: Understanding the Neuroscience of Attachment" and runs from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Sheraton Centre.

"Permanency Matters: Tools to Find Families for Older Children and Youth," also runs from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Wed. August 7 at the Sheraton Centre. It is delivered by the following three child welfare professionals:

Sue Badeau has served as an advocate for youth and family engagement for three decades. She is a national child welfare trainer and consultant with more than 30 years of experience in the field, as well as an adoptive parent.

Denise Goodman, PhD has been a child welfare professional for more than 30 years, and regularly offers workshops and consultations across the U.S. and Canada.

Pat O'Brien is the founder of You Gotta Believe!, an agency that attempts to prevent homelessness by finding families for older youth. He is currently an independent consultant who if in the process of founding The Independent Laughing Center in his effort to bring more joy to both home and work life.

Friday's youth panel

Alisha Badeau is a former foster youth who aged out of care. She is a graduate of St. Thomas University's Psychology program, is a member of the Adoption Council of Canada's Youth Speak Out team, and works with Partners for Youth.

Kashawn Little is a third-year student in the social work program at North Carolina A&T State University. He is committed to advocating for child welfare reform.

Donna Macias is an African American youth who was adopted transracially by a Latino family. She is currently working toward her undergraduate degree and plans to pursue a master's degree in social work.

Miranda Eggertson is an Ojibway youth and a member of the Adoption Council of Canada's Youth Speak Out team. She grew up in northwestern Ontario and was adopted transracially at age 8. She lives in Ottawa, where she is busy parenting her two toddlers.

Media wishing further information about the conference, or to arrange interviews, please contact Laura Eggertson, President, Adoption Council of Canada, at leggertson@gmail.com or 613-878-9336 or at the Sheraton Centre as of August 5, 2013 416-361-1000.

Joe Kroll, executive director of the North American Council on Adoptable Children, can also be reached at 612-867-2650 and joekroll@aol.com.  

Pat Convery, executive director of the Adoption Council of Ontario, can be reached at on her cell at 416-579-0472

Contact Information

  • CONTACT:
    Laura Eggertson
    613-878-9336 (cell)
    Email Contact
    Or Joe Kroll:
    cell # 612-867-2650