September News 2019

Date: September 6, 2019 Author: ACO Administrator Categories: Adoption Newsletter
When September rolls around it is not just the children who 'go back to school'. Education in Ontario is a whole family ​commitment. Parents and professionals also need to prepare for the new routines with a view to maximizing the opportunities to ensure that our children have the full benefit of what our education system can offer them.
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Guide for Adoptive Parents & Caregivers and Educators 

When September rolls around it is not just the children who 'go back to school'. Education in Ontario is a whole family ​commitment. Parents and professionals also need to prepare for the new routines with a view to maximizing the opportunities to ensure that our children have the full benefit of what our education system can offer them. Parents, teachers, mental health and child welfare professionals working together is what brings all the pieces together in support of the unique needs of each child. 

Sometimes it is hard to know what to tell a teacher about your child's adoption story. Parents often feel confused and easily intimidated with the language of special education programs and are at a los​s to navigate through the system in a productive and helpful way.  

Recently an adoptive mom directed us to this great guide for Parents and elementary school teachers that was developed in the UK. This guide has a lot of good information and suggestions around homework, tricky class assignments and communicating with the whole education team.

Sometimes, however, we are challenged to translate information from another area to our Ontario system. In this regard, ACO is very fortunate to have the support of Lori DeWitte, an Ontario elementary school principal and an adoptive mom in helping us navigate through the process and language of our education system. Lori took the time this summer to prepare an Ontario addendum to the UK guide for the ACO. The addendum highlights the Ontario approach to a few key areas covered in the UK guide. In particular, it reflects the law in Ontario for special education and school attendance age. Back to school resources

NBC News Report - US Schools Addressing Childhood Trauma - Welcome to the Calm Room

We also came across this interesting NBC report about US schools addressing the crisis of childhood trauma. It includes some good information, some great tips for schools and an 8-minute video called Welcome to the Calm Room about a particular US school's approach.

Webinar ACO Survey



September Orientation Day

Never Too Late for a Family (NTL) has as its mission to facilitate life-long, unconditional, safe and supportive connections for youth who have aged out of the child welfare system without them.

NTL will be having an orientation session for those interested in finding out more about the program and their potential role as “family” to these young people on Saturday, September 28th from 10-4pm in Toronto.

Save the Date for a new season of NTL training!

Want to explore more about what it may be like to become family for youth from care?  Training will start up again in October.

Our next series of sessions begin Wednesday, October 30th and will continue to meet weekly for 6 weeks ending Wednesday, December 4th. Time is 6pm-9:30pm and these will be held in Toronto (more locations to come in future hopefully).

Contact for more information or to sign up for either offerings.  

ACO is very interested in your thoughts on our educational programming. We'd love to hear your views and suggestions on the trainings and other educational offerings ACO currently has available and those you'd like to see going forward. We'd really appreciate your time in helping us meet your needs better.

Here's a quick survey for families.

Here's a quick survey for professionals.

We thank you in advance for taking the time to share your thoughts with us.

FunWalk 2019 is Almost Here!

Expression of Interest Form AdoptOntario Webinar

Once the kids are settled back into school, parents may want to consider heading back to school, too! PACT is bringing their Pathways training program to eight different Ontario locations beginning in October.

Thanks to funding from Ontario Ministry of Children, Community & Social Services, Pathways training is FREE to adoptive, kinship and customary care parents and caregivers.

Spaces are limited. Register Now!

Ottawa, Oct 05 - Nov 16
Sudbury, Oct 05 - Nov 10
London, Oct 09 - Dec 04
Guelph, Oct 10 - Dec 05 
Niagara, Oct 21 - Dec 09
Kenora, Oct 26 - Nov 3
Cornwall, Oct 26 - Nov 17
Toronto, Oct 28 - Dec 16


You are cordially invited to join the Board, staff and friends of the Adoption Council of Ontario (ACO) as we celebrate our successes of 2018, and plan for 2019/2020.

Families, Professionals, Stakeholders and Staff are welcome to attend. The AdoptOntario Team will be featuring their successes over the year. Learn more about the good they do.

Feature Presentation:

AdoptOntario: Bringing Families Together with Modern Technology and a Human Touch

When: Thursday, September 26, 2019,
Time: 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Light dinner served; meeting at 7:00 PM
Where: Fairview Mall Library (Meeting Room 3) 35 Fairview Mall Drive, North York Ontario M2J 4S4
RSVPRSVP by September 20th

Online Education AdoptOntario

We are proud to announce our newest Fall offering - Introduction to Prenatal Exposure to Alcohol & Drugs: Parenting the Child with Confirmed or Suspected FASD with Judy Archer RSW MSW.

Sign up today, and don't miss out on this and our other helpful webinars for pre-and post-adoptive families, and professionals. 

Introduction to Prenatal Exposure to Alcohol and Drugs

Making Openness Work for Kids and Families

Parenting the Traumatized Child

Transitional Planning - Contributing to Successful Adoptions and Permanency

Older Child Adoption - Journey Into the Unknown


Over the summer, AdoptOntario received a lot of interest in a few older youth on the Databank. Recruitment strategies such as our Waiting Child Listing and Kids Korner were very effective in attracting some amazing families.

One family is close to being placed with a 14-year old who has been on the AdoptOntario since 2018. He was presented at a number of AREs and Online Adoption Events. It was through the AdoptOntario Waiting Child site, however, that a family saw his picture, viewed his video, and read his profile. This family was a racial and cultural match for this teenager, and they were open to his needs.

Two other teens, 14 and 17 years old, garnered a lot of interest, too. Clinical Coordinators are already working hard to make connections. These families are not only hoping to adopt a teenager but are also open to learning more about the unique considerations and tools needed to support a youth in transitioning to an adoptive home.

It has been a wonderfully productive summer for AdoptOntario! We are thrilled with the prospect of helping youth find permanent homes.


PACT Training Educator Workshop

We know that many professionals who work with families and kids on an adoption or permanency journey would like to learn more about the issues involved so they can better help them. To address this real need, ACO has a variety of educational programming available to professionals - from short webinars on particular topics, to 1/2 or full day workshops, to our comprehensive 8-day ACT training program for child welfare and mental health professionals.

Professionals who have taken the ACT training, are included in a searchable listing on our website so that families can find ACT trained professionals in their community. 


In response to requests from parents and kids, ACO developed a Workshop for educators called - Trauma & Loss: Creating School Communities of Well-being. We had the help of parents and caregivers, kids and educators in its development. We would be very happy to bring this workshop (available in a full or half day format) to your school, school board or community. If you or an educator you know is interested, please contact us at

ACO has compiled a listing of other resources for educators that's updated periodically. 


Register Today!

COME ONE, COME ALL! It’s officially September, which means it is time to get excited about the 10th Anniversary of FunWalk! We hope you join us for this family-focused and fun-filled day to celebrate the amazing adoptive families in Ontario. This is a community event for all ages with games, music and food in Riverdale Park West, Toronto on Sunday, September 15th. Register Now!

Adoption Council of Ontario
The Adoption Council of Ontario is a not-for-profit providing outreach, support and education to all adoptees, adoptive parents, potential adoptive parents, birth families, and adoption professionals in Ontario. We deal with public adoption, private adoption, international adoption and relative adoption. Since 1987, we have been working towards a provincial community where all children have families forever.

Copyright 2019 Adoption Council of Ontario. All Rights Reserved.