Workshops

Online Chat for Prospective and Current Student Families

Dates:

  • Thursday, September 12, 2019, 10:00 – 11:00 am
  • Friday, October 25, 2019, 3:00 – 4:00 pm

Location: Online (link will be emailed)

Get the information you need from the comfort of your own computer/phone. A Family Care Advisor will be available to chat and answer questions on:

  • Child care & child care subsidies
  • Schools
  • Children’s programs
  • Balancing study and family (and work too, if that is your case)
  • How to get connected with a peer mentor
  • Other issues that student parents have to deal with

All prospective, new, current U of T student parents and their partner/spouse are welcome, registration required.

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Orientation for Students with Family Responsibilities 2019

Date: Saturday, September 14, 2019
Time: 10:00 am – 1:30 pm
Location: St. George Campus, O.I.S.E, 252 Bloor Street West, Room 5250

The Family Care Office invites incoming and current students with family responsibilities to Orientation 2019!

Start building your support networks and learn how to be proactive and prepared so you can successfully navigate your degree while caring for others:

  • Meet other students with family responsibilities and university staff
  • Learn about services and resources on campus
  • Discover strategies and insights from current student parents on how to adjust to university life

Vegetarian Lunch Available. Please let us know if you have any mobility challenges or dietary restrictions so we can accommodate your needs.

Final Schedule/Agenda
9:30 – 10:00 am Registration and Coffee; Childcare Drop-off if needed
10:00 – 10:15 am Welcome and Overview of FCO’s Services
10:15 – 11:15 am Themed Tables on topics relevant to Students with family responsibilities, including academic supports and life beyond the classroom
11:15 am – 12:15 pm Student Parents Panel Discussion: Hear from student parents about how they manage their family life, school and work at the U of T
12:15 – 1:30 pm Lunch & Networking

All incoming & returning U of T students with family responsibilities are welcome. Registration required.*

Please note that partners of students with family responsibilities are welcome to join at 11:30 am – 12:15 pm for a separate Meet & Greet event.

Limited childcare available.

To register yourself and/or your child, please email family.care@utoronto.ca or call 416.978.0951.
*At the time of registration, please let us know if your partner will be attending the Meet & Greet. Children are welcome to come with student parents’ partners for the Meet & Greet event at 11:30 am and to stay afterwards for lunch.
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Robarts Family Study Space Open House

Date: Tuesday, September 17, 2019
Time: 12:00 – 2:00 pm
Location: Robarts Library, Family Study Space, 130 St. George Street, Room #9-002

Explore Robarts Family Study Space, a secure, child-friendly, sound-proofed room in the Robarts stacks! Children are welcome and refreshments will be provided. See the Robarts library website for full details about the Open House.

About the Study Space: current students, faculty members, visiting scholars, and staff at the University of Toronto who have children 12 years old or under are eligible to use the space.

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Preparing Healthy School Lunches and Snacks

Date: Thursday, September 19, 2019 WAITLIST
Time: 12:00 – 1:30 pm
Location: Koffler Student Services Centre, 214 College St., Rm 313

Preparing healthy school lunches and snacks for your child can be easy if you have a few ideas up your sleeve. Join us to:

  • Find out how to maximize nutrients in your child’s lunches and snacks.
  • Discover ways to increase the chances of your child eating what you packed.
  • Learn how to become more efficient with your lunch/snack packing and spend less time in the kitchen!
  • Explore different lunch/snack container options and find out which will work best for your child.

Facilitator: Aviva Allen is a kids’ nutritionist and mother of two school aged boys, specializing in helping parents address picky eating and other feeding challenges. Aviva is also the founder of Healthy Moms Toronto, a network of over 19,000 moms across the GTA with an interest in living a healthy lifestyle.

Registration required. University of Toronto students, staff, faculty, postdoctoral fellows and their families are welcome. Please let us know if you have any mobility challenges so that we can accommodate your needs.

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Childcare Subsidy Information Session

Date: Friday, September 20, 2019
Time: 3:00 – 4:30 pm
Location: TBA

Learn what child care subsidy is and the eligibility requirements by the City of Toronto, including information about:

  • How the City of Toronto Children’s Services manages its wait list
  • What if you don’t find a childcare space after the subsidy interview meeting?
  • Looking for a job, self-employment and childcare subsidies
  • Recent changes and updates

Facilitator: Maricar Polintan & Aileen Carreiro, City of Toronto Children’s Services staff

Registration required. University of Toronto students, staff, faculty, postdoctoral fellows and their families are welcome. Please let us know if you have any mobility challenges so we can accommodate your needs.

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Say Goodbye to Homework Hassles (Webinar)

Date: Tuesday, September 24, 2019
Time: 12:00 – 1:00 pm
Location: Online, link will be emailed

Is the nightly hour of homework a negative experience for both you and your child? Not all homework problems are the same and each requires a tailored solution. Learn how to help your child handle this important responsibility and establish good study habits – vital tools for their future academic success.

Facilitator: Karen Skinulis has worked as a parenting counselor and parenting workshop leader for more than 20 years. She became a registered psychotherapist in 2016. She is a sought-after speaker and the co-author of Parent Talk, Practical Parenting, and Classrooms That Work, all of which are national bestsellers. Karen has been a guest parenting expert for a variety of popular news media — the Globe and Mail, CBC, Global TV, and City Life magazine. She has helped thousands of parents to develop effective strategies for behavior, based on a respectful, democratic approach to parenting.

Registration required. University of Toronto students, staff, faculty, postdoctoral fellows and their families are welcome.

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Talking with Parents and Caregivers about Sexual and Gender Diversity in Children, Youth and Families – An Introduction

Date: Thursday, September 26, 2019
Time: 12:00 – 1:30 pm
Location: Koffler Student Services Centre, 214 College Street, Room #313

This interactive workshop will describe what sexual and gender diversity means and the various ways these diversities may express themselves in children, youth and families. This session will also introduce a gender-affirmation model of care (gender expansive parenting and caring).

As an overview, the workshop will:

  • Deepen your understanding of what sexual and gender diversity is and the various ways it may express in children and youth, and specifically within 2SLGBTQIA families;
  • Deepen your understanding of affirmation as a framework to better support and celebrate children, youth and families with sexual and gender diversity;
  • Build confidence in how best to speak to other human beings (younger and older) about 2SLGBTQIA children, youth and families – especially if you are part of a cisnormative and heteronormative family; and
  • Explore gender expansive parenting as a way to promote engagement, productivity and health/well-being for everyone

Facilitator: Mx. Ashley McGhee, The 519

Please register early, space is limited. All University of Toronto students, staff, faculty, and their partners are welcome. Please let us know if you have any mobility challenges so we can accommodate your needs.

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Pregnancy/Parental/Adoption/Primary Caregiver Leave Planning Seminar
Session Date (2019)
Faculty Monday, October 7
Monday, December 2
Staff Wednesday, October 2 FULL
Monday, November 4

Time: 12:00 – 2:00 pm
Location: Koffler Student Services Centre, 214 College St., Room 313

Please register early. Registration closes 1 week prior to each workshop.

Becoming a parent is one of the most monumental experiences in a person’s life. Unfortunately, children do not come with foolproof instructions!

Combining a career and family life presents special challenges. This workshop adopts a highly practical approach to preparing faculty, staff and librarians for pregnancy / parental / and adoption leave, and for a successful return to work. While you may attend the seminar at any point during your pregnancy or adoption process, the ideal time is about three months prior to the arrival of your child. Topics will include:

  • Forms and more forms – a guide to government maternity / parental benefits & U of T policies
  • Planning your return to work
  • Resources on campus and in the community that will make your life easier
  • Do we really need all that equipment? – a guide to baby paraphernalia
  • Helping older children and pets to adjust
  • Enjoying it all!

Please register early, space is limited! All University of Toronto staff and faculty are welcome. Please let us know if you have any mobility challenges so we can accommodate your needs.

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Mindful Parenting

Date: Thursday, October 3, 2019 WAITLIST
Time: 12:00 – 1:30 pm
Location: Koffler Student Services Centre, 214 College Street, Room 313

In Mindful Parenting we apply mindfulness principles to the art of parenting as a way to build a strong child-parent relationship and increase the well-being of both parent and child. In this introductory workshop, parents will learn about the key elements of Mindful Parenting, including listening with full attention, becoming aware of emotions, developing a non-judgemental attitude, accepting difficulties and challenges, building compassion and acceptance, and embracing mistakes as opportunities. Parents will not only experience practical exercises in the workshop, but also bring home tools and techniques for increasing presence, patience, and compassion towards self and child.

Facilitator: Mari Rossi has been teaching yoga and mindfulness for parents and children since 2006. She also teaches an online Mindful Parenting course at Indiana University.  Mari has a degree in Psychology, with an specialization in Buddhism, Psychology and Mental Health, and is currently a doctoral student in the Women and Gender Studies Institute at U of T. Between her academic pursuits and mindfulness teaching, Mari finds time for her most important work: parenting her eight year-old son and ten year-old daughter.

Registration required. University of Toronto students, staff, faculty, and their families are welcome. Please let us know if you have any mobility challenges so we can accommodate your needs.

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Mindful Parenting (UTM)

Date: Tuesday, October 8, 2019
Time: 1:00 – 2:30 pm
Location: UTM Council Chambers, Davis Building, Room #3130

In Mindful Parenting, we apply mindfulness principles to the art of parenting as a way to build a strong child-parent relationship and increase the well-being of both parent and child. In this introductory workshop, parents will learn about the key elements of Mindful Parenting, including listening with full attention, becoming aware of emotions, developing a non-judgemental attitude, accepting difficulties and challenges, building compassion and acceptance, and embracing mistakes as opportunities. Parents will not only experience practical exercises in the workshop, but also bring home tools and techniques for increasing presence, patience, and compassion towards self and child.

Facilitator: Mari Rossi has been teaching yoga and mindfulness for parents and children since 2006. She also teaches an online Mindful Parenting course at Indiana University.  Mari has a degree in Psychology, with an specialization in Buddhism, Psychology and Mental Health, and is currently a doctoral student in the Women and Gender Studies Institute at U of T. Between her academic pursuits and mindfulness teaching, Mari finds time for her most important work: parenting her eight year-old son and ten year-old daughter.

Registration required. University of Toronto students, staff, faculty, and their partners are welcome. Please let us know if you have any mobility challenges so we can accommodate your needs.

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Screening of the DVD Split and Discussion

Date:  Thursday, October 10, 2019
Time:  12:30 noon – 1:30 pm
Location: Room 346, Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, 246 Bloor Street W.

This screening will allow participants to view the DVD: Split – Divorce through Kids’ Eyes.  Split  is 28 minutes in length, and is described as a video that helps parents understand the emotional needs of their children during a divorce – and helps kids understand they are not alone.

After the screening, Professor Michael Saini will be available to speak to the video and answer questions.

Facilitator: Michael Saini is an Associate Professor, holds the endowed Chair in Law and Social Work at the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto and is the Co-Director of the Combined J.D. and M.S.W. Program with the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto. He conducts custody evaluations, he is a parent coach for separated families and he provides parent education workshops on issues related to separation and divorce.

Please note, the video Split will be available to borrow from the Family Care Office library after the screening.

Registration required. University of Toronto students, staff, faculty and partners are welcome.  Please let us know if you have any mobility challenges so we can accommodate your needs.

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Adoption Seminar

Date: Friday, October 11, 2019
Time: 12:00 – 1:30 pm
Location: Koffler Student Services Centre, 214 College St., Rm 313

Have you ever considered adoption as a way of growing your family? The first step of your adoption journey is educating yourself about the process and options. This session, led by the Adoption Council of Ontario, will provide an overview of private, public and international adoption processes in Ontario. As well, information will be provided on the Home Study and the education process necessary to become eligible to adopt in Ontario. Helpful tips and strategies to ease the adoption journey will also be discussed.

Facilitator: Danielle Otchie, MSW, RSW.

After working for five years as a frontline social worker in child protection, fostering and adoption, Danielle developed a passion for ensuring that every child has a family to grow up and grow old in. Danielle brings her local and international experience to the AdoptOntario team at the Adoption Council of Ontario. She assists adoption workers in profiling children and youth, and also advocates and communicates with families about children in care and the adoption process. Danielle’s work is focused towards the ultimate goal of finding successful matches, as she cares very deeply about making the adoption process as smooth as possible for both children and families.

Registration required. University of Toronto students, staff, faculty, postdoctoral fellows and their families are welcome. Please let us know if you have any mobility challenges so we can accommodate your needs.

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Elder Care: Brain Games

Date:  Wednesday, October 16, 2019
Time:  12:00 – 1:30 pm
Location:  Koffler Student Services Centre, 214 College St., Room 313

This workshop discusses myths and facts of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. It is an interactive workshop that provides the opportunity for open discussion and questions regarding dementia.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand what are myths and facts about dementia
  • Understand signs and symptoms of dementia
  • Understand some of the research findings on reducing the risk of developing dementia
  • Recognize that lifestyle plays a role in reducing a person’s risk of developing dementia

Facilitator:  Nouchine Davarpanah, Public Education Coordinator, Alzheimer Society of Toronto

Registration required. University of Toronto students, staff, faculty, and their partners are welcome. Please let us know if you have any mobility challenges so we can accommodate your needs

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Happy Parents, Happy Kids

Date: Thursday, October 24, 2019
Time: 12:00 – 1:30 pm
Location: Organizational Development Learning Centre (ODLC), 215 Huron Street, 6th floor, Room 610 (Please note this session will be livestreamed to UTSC and UTM)
In person session is wait listed.

Ann Douglas, a Canadian best-selling parenting author, provides a guide to parenting without anxiety, guilt, or feeling overwhelmed in her latest book:Happy Parents, Happy Kids.  In this presentation she will discuss:

  • Does parenting have to be this hard?
  • How to boost your enjoyment of parenthood
  • How to feel less anxious, less guilty, and less overwhelmed; and tap into the support you need

Ann Douglas sparks conversations that matter about parenting. She is a U of T graduate, and received her degree in History in 1985.  She is the weekend parenting columnist for CBC Radio and the creator of Canada’s bestselling series of pregnancy and parenting books, The Mother of All book series. Her most recent books are Happy Parents, Happy Kids andParenting Through the Storm.  Please note her book Happy Parents, Happy Kids will be available for sale in the ODLC.

Registration required. University of Toronto students, staff, faculty, and their families are welcome. Please let us know if you have any mobility challenges so we can accommodate your needs.

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Making Your Own Babyfood

Date: Wednesday, October 30, 2019
Time: 12:00 – 1:30 pm
Location: Koffler Student Services Centre, 214 College St., Room 313

Cooking your own baby food is easy and affordable, and best of all you know exactly what’s in it! Learn to:

  • Use simple equipment to make baby food
  • Know how and when to introduce solid foods
  • Compare homemade and store-bought baby food
  • Adapt the food their family is eating to their baby’s needs
  • Handle and store food safely

Facilitator: Marcela Jaramillo, Food Share

Registration required. University of Toronto students, staff, faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and their families are welcome. Please let us know if you have any mobility challenges so we can accommodate your needs.

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Planning for Pregnancy and Beyond

Date: Wednesday, October 30, 2019
Time: 4:30 – 6:00 pm
Location: Koffler Student Services Centre, 214 College St., Room 313

Join us to find out how to make healthy choices that lead to a healthy lifestyle and promote wellness during pre-pregnancy, pregnancy and postpartum. The session, created by Dr. Yolanda Kirkham, will address participants’ specific concerns on a range of topics including: questions around conceiving, health concerns and risks during pregnancy, health care provider options, antenatal care and screening tests, and post-partum issues. Participants will be able to access resources that support the information provided in the workshop.

Facilitators: Drs. Meghan McGrattan and Dana Soroka, U of T Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

Registration required. University of Toronto students, staff, faculty, and their partners are welcome. Please let us know if you have any mobility challenges so we can accommodate your needs.

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Baby & Toddler Talks: Toilet Learning (Webinar)

Date: Thursday, November 7, 2019
Time: 12:00 – 1:00 pm
Location: Online (link will be emailed)

Toileting is a skill that needs to be learned. As a parent or caregiver, learn how to how to set your child up for success when they are ready to use the toilet. We will discuss how to establish core skills, steps to toilet learning, and how to deal with accidents, in order to keep your child motivated to continue learning. Most children will start toileting between 2 and 4 years old, and some as young as 18 months. Every child is different so learn the signs to look for to determine your child’s readiness.

Facilitator: Sharmeen Abeysinghe is a Registered Early Childhood Educator (RECE) with thirteen years’ experience working with families and children. She is also a mother of two boys ages 9 & 6. Sharmeen’s views on toilet readiness and child rearing have foundations in Early Childhood theories, however, it is her practical experience from working as a RECE and being a parent, from which she draws the most upon in finding solutions that work.

Registration required. U of T students, staff, faculty, postdoctoral fellows and their partner/spouse are welcome to attend.

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Choosing Childcare That Works for Your Family

Date: Friday, November 8, 2019
Time: 12:00 – 1:30 pm
Location: Koffler Student Services Building, 214 College Street, Room 313

A practical session to help you choose the child care option that will best meet the needs of your family. At this session you will:

  • Find out what are the childcare options available
  • Learn what factors to consider when looking at options, choices, and caregivers
  • Learn how to find a childcare centre and individual caregivers
  • Learn about the latest changes in the system
  • Find out about the financial assistance available and waiting lists

Registration required. University of Toronto students, staff, faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and their families are welcome. Please let us know if you have any mobility challenges so we can accommodate your needs.

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Faculty Relocation Service Information Session (Staff only)

Date: Monday, November 11, 2019
Time: 12:00 – 2:00 pm
Location: TBD

In this session, you will receive:

  • An overview of the service provided by the Faculty Relocation Service including how to arrange for appointments for prospective tenure and teaching stream faculty, and how to order faculty recruitment booklets
  • Information from guest speakers who will review Faculty Housing, Dual Career Connection, immigration, and recruitment

A light vegetarian lunch will be provided.

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Appointments with a Counsellor from the Alzheimer Society

Date: Friday, November 15, 2019
Time: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Location: Family Care Office, 214 College St., Main Floor

Are you coping with a loved one who may have Alzheimer’s Disease? A highly trained counsellor will be available for free 45 minute confidential appointments on Friday, November 15.  The counsellor will be able to discuss any questions or personal concerns you may have about dementia, such as getting a diagnosis, immediate and future care, family matters, ethical issues, stress and coping techniques.

To make an appointment, please call the Family Care Office at 416-978-0951.

Please register early, space is limited! University of Toronto students, staff, faculty, and their partners/spouses are welcome. Please let us know if you have any mobility challenges so we can accommodate your needs.

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Pregnancy and Parental Leave Planning Seminar for Postdoctoral Fellows in CUPE Local 3902 (Unit 5)

Date: Wednesday, November 20, 2019
Time: 12:00 – 1:30 pm
Location: Koffler Student Services Centre, 214 College St., Room 313

Becoming a parent is one of the most monumental experiences in a person’s life. Unfortunately, children do not come with foolproof instructions!

This workshop adopts a highly practical approach to preparing Postdoctoral Fellows represented by CUPE Local 3902, Unit 5, for pregnancy and parental leaves. Topics will include:

  • Forms and more forms – a guide to government pregnancy / parental benefits & U of T policies
  • Resources on campus and in the community that will make your life easier
  • Do we really need all that equipment? – a guide to baby paraphernalia
  • Helping older children and pets to adjust
  • Enjoying it all!

Facilitator: Kaye Francis, Manager, Family Care Office

Please register early, space is limited! All University of Toronto Postdoctoral Fellows represented by CUPE Local 3902, Unit 5 are welcome. Please let us know if you have any mobility challenges so we can accommodate your needs.

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Elder Care: The Role of the LHIN for the Caregiver (U of T Scarborough)

Date: Friday, November 22, 2019
Time: 12:00 – 1:30 pm
Location: University of Toronto Scarborough, Environmental Sciences and Chemistry Building, EV152, Catalyst Centre, 1st Floor

 This workshop presented by the Central East Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) will:

  • Discuss in-home and community services available to assist you in providing care to an elderly person
  • Provide you with information on the application process for admission into a long term care home and other community housing options
  • Address caregiver stress and burnout with a focus on proving specific coping strategies

Facilitator:  Sheri McKeen, Community Education and Outreach Representative with the Central East Local Health Integration Network

Registration required. University of Toronto students, staff, faculty and partners are welcome.  Please let us know if you have any mobility challenges so we can accommodate your needs.

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Elder Care: Dementia 101 (University of Toronto Mississauga)

Date: Monday, November 25, 2019
Time: 12:00 – 1:30 pm
Location: UTM, Davis Building, UTM Room (formerly the Faculty Club)

A dementia diagnosis can be overwhelming and often we don’t know where to start.

Come join us for this workshop as you begin this journey.  The topics covered include:

  • What is Dementia?
  • What changes can I expect?
  • What are some common symptoms?
  • How can I communicate effectively?
  • How can the Alzheimer Society Peel help me?

Facilitator:  Danielle Farrell, Public Education Coordinator, Alzheimer Society Peel

Registration required. University of Toronto students, staff, faculty, and their partners are welcome. Please let us know if you have any mobility challenges so we can accommodate your needs.

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Elder Care: Understanding the System

Date: Thursday, November 28, 2019
Time: 12:00 – 2:00 pm (presentation for 45 minutes followed by a question and answer period)
Location: Koffler Student Services Centre, 214 College St., Room 313

Trying to find the government, community and private resources to assist you to care for your aging relative in the home can be overwhelming. Who do you start with and what is available?

In this session, Zoe Levitt, M.S.W., R.S.W will guide you through:

  • The types of services and resources that are available for your elder relatives who are still living in their own homes
  • Finding and selecting available home care supports
  • How to access these supports and the costs that might be involved
  • Bring your individual questions/concerns and ask the facilitator for her advice

Facilitator: Zoe Levitt is an Elder Care Consultant with a Masters’ Degree in Social Work. She has been working with the elderly in their homes and in hospitals for more than 25 years.

Registration required. University of Toronto students, staff, faculty, and their partners are welcome. Please let us know if you have any mobility challenges so we can accommodate your needs.

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