Who We Are

Who We Are

The AdoptOntario program is centred on the core value that all children and youth in Extended Society Care should have the opportunity to experience family who can provide them with lifelong support through adoption or other permanency relationships. Our Clinical Coordinators, who are all registered social workers, are trained in Adoption Competency, and each person brings their own diverse experience, training, and skills to their role. AdoptOntario Clinical Coordinators bring clinical skills to their work from a child-centred, trauma-informed lens incorporating the framework of the 7 Core Issues in Adoption.

AdoptOntario believes that collaboration and relationship-building are essential in recruitment. In taking care to understand the needs and voice of each child and youth referred to the program, AdoptOntario assists in making critical connections between CAS workers, Adoption Private Practitioners, and prospective adoptive families across the province. The team is privileged to serve this community with passion, commitment, and drive.

 

The AdoptOntario program follows several key principles:

Relationships are Key

Relationships are Key

Child and Youth-Centred Focus

Child and Youth-Centred Focus

Trauma-Informed Lens

Trauma-Informed Lens

7 Core Issues in Adoption and Permanency

7 Core Issues in Adoption and Permanency

Meaningful Integration of Clinical Care and Technology

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.

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, 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.