Meet the Trainers

Who are the Ontario ACT & Pathways 2 trainers? 

We have 30 trainers who have over 700 years of combined experience in the child welfare and mental health fields. They also represent the different regions of Ontario. All of our trainers demonstrated that they are highly qualified professionals many having both child welfare and mental health experience as well as experience training professionals and/or families. They also exemplified the following attributes we hoped to attract in our team of trainers:

  • a rich understanding of and experience with the issues involved for adoptive and kinship families
  • a heart for our kids and families and a real commitment to improving the status quo
  • a commitment to ensuring lasting permanency for our kids
  • a commitment to work within their communities to bring these trainings to professionals and caregivers and to help the ACO further broaden support to families through the establishment of, for example, support groups, peer mentor programs, buddies, youth networks, and respite programs
  • an interest in working and growing as a team together with the other trainers and the ACO

Among the group there are mental health professionals, child welfare professionals, adoptees and adoptive parents.  Their individual years of experience range from 15 to over 40 years.

Our trainers have all completed the ACT training and comprise the first group of permanency and adoption competent professionals in Ontario.


Dannielle Samuel

Teresa Jarosz

Sylvia Gibbons

Melissa Pye

Laura Banks

Jackie Robertson

Jacquie Tjandra

Dr. Charlie Menendez

Elaine Quinn

Elaine Ash

Dianne Mathes

Debbie Burk

Darby Crosby

Cindy Stewart

Caroline Sears MSW, RSW

Barbara Jones Warrick