Who We Are
The AdoptOntario program follows several key principles:
Relationships are Key
Child and Youth-Centred Focus
7 Core Issues in Adoption and Permanency
Meaningful Integration of Clinical Care and Technology
Meet the Team
Dianne Mathes was a therapist in private practice with a specialty in adoption. She has worked for the last 25 years in the area of adoption reunion, trauma counselling and attachment therapy, with counselling and retreat locations in Muskoka and Toronto.
As Program Manager, Dawn Tracz brings her experience in social work – including twenty years of child protection experience – to the AdoptOntario team. Dawn collaborates with the team, and our partners to create new and innovative ways to support Waiting Children in the province through recruitment and adoption events. With over thirty years as a social worker and lived experience in adoption, Dawn brings her insight and passion to the ongoing development of the AdoptOntario program as Program Manager. She believes that every child and youth deserves a stable family to grow up in. Dawn is a supporter of openness in adoption and completed research in the area to understand how openness impacts older child adoptions and their families.
Elaine brings over three decades of international and inter-provincial social work experience in Child Welfare and Adoption; working with all members of the adoption galaxy. Elaine has developed and trained trauma-informed curricula for permanency parents, educators, child welfare, and mental health professionals. She is a certified trainer of both the Adoption Competency Training course for professionals, and the Pathways for Parents course for adoptive parents. As a Senior Clinical Coordinator, Elaine focusses on building collaborative relationships with workers and families across the province as well as supporting the recruitment process to provide timely permanency for children and youth. Elaine is passionate about changing the trajectory of children and youth in the child welfare system by helping to establish permanent family relationships that are supportive and supported.
As a Clinical Coordinator, Erin Barlow brings her experience in Child Protection and Foster Family support work, to AdoptOntario. In her current position, Erin supports Adoption Workers with the recruitment and registration of children and families, using the AdoptOntario platform. Erin facilitates contact with prospective parents, in order to provide informative guidance regarding the adoption process. Erin is passionate about the importance of consistent support in a child’s life. This belief motivates her to explore suitable connections among prospective parents and children seeking adoptive homes
As a Clinical Coordinator, Vivian McCauley brings her social work experiences in child protection and school settings to AdoptOntario. She also has worked directly with children who benefitted from additional supports, specifically targeting life skills development. Vivian brings both local and international work experience to the team. In her position, Vivian supports adoption workers through profiling and registering children using the AdoptOntario platform. She also provides information and guidance to prospective adoptive parents regarding the adoption process. Vivian believes in the importance of the wellbeing and happiness of young people and this motivates her to find warm and supportive adoptive homes for every child and youth.
As a clinical coordinator, Virginia aims to support waiting children across Ontario by engaging with different members of the adoption community through AdoptOntario’s unique recruitment opportunities and events. With a passion for child welfare and a personal connection to the adoption galaxy, Virginia’s work is shaped by her understanding of trauma and development, and the importance of attachment in permanency. While not her first language, Virginia has a good understanding of French and is happy to assist where she can. In her free time, Virginia enjoys being active and volunteering in her community.
As ARE Coordinator, Keisha works with the team to coordinate Provincial and Regional Adoption Resource Events. Keisha has education as a Developmental Service Worker and has worked with the ACO in various roles throughout the years.
As ARE Communications Coordinator, Francesco works with the team to put together adoption events for prospective adoptive parents, where they can learn more about Waiting Children and resources that are available. With experience in various communications roles, Francesco brings creativity and authenticity to the position. He is passionate about doing his part to find permanency for children and youth in Ontario.
Nofel is the person who responds to your techsupport emails. He has worked for ACO since 2020 and helps our technology run smoothly.