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Dr. Nicole Racine is a clinical psychologist and Assistant Professor in the School of Psychology at the University of Ottawa and the Chair in Child and Youth Mental Health at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario. Dr. Racine received her PhD in Clinical-Developmental Psychology at York University and completed a residency in Clinical and Pediatric Child Psychology at the Alberta Children’s Hospital. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Calgary and the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute. Her research program examines the impact of early childhood adversity on mental health and wellbeing, risk and resilience processes, and what prevention and intervention strategies break cycles of risk across generations.  Dr. Racine is also one of our Board of Trustee members and the Chair of our 0-3 Years Committee. 

Barbara MacKay Ward, M.Ed., now retired, offers a wealth of experience in infant and preschool special education, resource development as well as program management. Barb co-wrote and produced numerous educational resources and programs including Make the Connection 0-1, 1-2 and 0-3 (2006, 2009, 2013) and You Make the Difference in Helping Your Child Learn (1995).  She continues to support the development of attachment focused resources for infants 0-3 and enjoy her six young grandchildren. Past roles include Manager of Preschool and Infant programs for Easter Seal Society Ontario, Director of the First Three Years charity and Manager of 0-3 Programs at The Psychology Foundation of Canada. In addition to these roles, Barb provided educational consultation to numerous children’s television series.

Beatrice Traub-Werner is a social worker with 35 years’ experience as a clinician, an administrator and an educator. She was the Director of Admissions at the Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto for 15 years. Beatrice founded TAPE Educational Services, a continuing education program for clinicians. In 2009 she became the academic director of the Bridge Training Program for Internationally Trained Psychologists and Allied Mental Health Professionals (now BREM). Currently, Beatrice is the Dean of Continuing Education and Director of Admissions, Academic, at Adler Graduate Professional Schools. She continues teaching internationally trained psychologists and mental health professionals at the Mennonite New Life Centre’s Bridge Training Program (BREM) and MPsy students at Adler. Beatrice has served on and chaired a number of Boards of Directors. She was an elected member of the Council of the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers where she served for ten years, three as Council President. When her term ended in September 2017, she was elected to and served for two terms on the Board of the Association of Social Work Boards, in Culpepper, VA. In 2021, she was reelected to the OCSWSSW’s Council. She was Board Chair of Willow Breast and Hereditary Cancer Support until its merger in April 2016 with the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, and a director at Jewish Vocational Services where she currently serves as a member of the Governance Committee. Beatrice has been involved with the Psychology Foundation of Canada (now Strong Minds, Strong Kids) since 2005.Beatrice Traub-Werner, MSW, RSW

Diane Daley works in the Early Learning sector and has an extensive repertoire of experience in the field. Diane is the CEO at Family Day.  She is a Registered Early Childhood Educator with a BA in Sociology, Gender and Family, and also holds an Undergraduate Certificate in Women’s Studies.  Diane is passionate about access, equity and social inclusion.  She integrates this lens, to promote inclusive, quality services for children and families. 

Valerie Sterling most recently was the Manager of Family and Community Engagement-The Learning Partnership and the former Coordinator with the Toronto District-School Board.  She is a registered and certified early childhood educator, teacher, consultant/coordinator, and project manager.  She initiated, developed and implemented early childhood programs, early intervention projects, teacher education programs and coordinated readiness to learn, research initiatives (UYE and EDI). Valerie served as a member of the Toronto Centre for the Arts; elected member of the College of Early Childhood Educators of Ontario, chairing its Discipline and Registration Appeals Committees; and members of the Seneca College ECE Advisory Committee.  Valerie is a former Toronto Board of Health member; Chair, North Region Local Health Committee, Chair, Board of Health Section of all the Health Units of Ontario; President of the Association of Local Public Health Agencies (alpha) and the current Co-President of the University Women’s Club. For more than thirty years she has been a strong advocate for early childhood development; prevention and early intervention; protecting and promoting good health; addressing poverty and the determinants of health; and fostering strong partnerships and building community capacity to provide support systems for all children and families.  She has always worked together with communities and all levels of government to improve outcomes for all.

Audrey-Ann Deneault, PhD, is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Calgary. Her research focuses on the role of parents and parent-child relationships in children’s positive development. Her work seeks to expand our view of caregivers that matter in children’s lives. Notably, Audrey-Ann’s research has examined how father-child relationships contribute to child development. Her postdoctoral research is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Fonds de Recherche du Québec – Société et Culture. 

Dr. Mary Motz is a Clinical Psychologist at Mothercraft’s Breaking the Cycle program in Toronto and an Adjunct Faculty in the Department of Psychology at York University. Since obtaining her degree in clinical-developmental psychology at York University in 2003, she has been working with pregnant people, infants, young children and their mothers who are at risk for maladaptive outcomes because of challenges related to substance use and mental health difficulties, interpersonal violence and trauma, marginalization by society and systemic violence, and poverty. In collaboration with internal and community research partners, Dr. Motz has led the program evaluation and research at BTC and has supervised numerous research and clinical practicum students. Dr. Motz has authored numerous academic publications and technical reports, as well as provided training nationally and internationally related to promoting healthy infant and child development, assessing Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, and providing trauma-informed interventions for families with infants and young children who have complex needs. Her primary research interests are identifying and understanding the mechanisms by which pregnant people and mothers living in conditions of risk are able to make changes to improve their own lives and the lives of their infants and young children.

 Bhupinder Heer – MSW RSW ECE: I am a Registered Social Worker with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW) as well as Ontario Association of Social Workers (OASW).   I earned my Masters Degree in Social Work at Royal Holloway University of London in England, UK and my Bachelors Degree in Early Childhood Education at Metropolitan University, London, UK.  I have been working as a Social Worker/Therapist since 2005 with over 20 years experience (Canada and UK) in working with individuals, families, children and youth and held the position of Manager, Clinical Services for multiple programs including the 0-6 portfolio at EveryMind Mental Health Services, formerly known as Peel Children’s Centre between 2011 and 2021.  I am since been employed at SickKids Hospital as Senior Clinical Manager – Social Work Department. I am passionate about prevention, early identification and intervention and have received the Mary Neville Award (2018) in recognition of my contribution and dedication in the areas of prevention and early intervention in children’s mental health services.  I am trained in various programs that support parents including Circle of Security, Strengthening Families Strengthening Communities, Incredible Years, About Boys Program (UK) and Triple P.   I understand the importance of strengthening attachment relationships and connection between infants, children and their caregivers and am very excited to be joining the 0-3 Years Committee – Strong Minds, Strong Kids. Languages spoken:  English, Punjabi, Hindi, Urdu

Bianca is a PhD candidate and Canadian Institutes of Health Research trainee at York University within the Clinical-Developmental Psychology and Clinical Neuropsychology programs. Bianca believes in building collaborative partnerships, having been embedded at The Hospital for Sick Children and Breaking the Cycle for numerous years. She is committed to catalyzing the field of infant and early childhood development by examining early neurodevelopmental profiles and trajectories in neurologically vulnerable children, including children with histories of prenatal substance and trauma exposure, perinatal strokes, intestinal failure, and solid-organ transplantation. Broadly, Bianca is interested in how early experiences of risk and protection impact neuropsychological functioning across development, with a focus on the protective role of early intervention. At York University, Bianca has been a research scholar and leader within the Lillian Meighen Wright Maternal-Child Health Foundation and the LaMarsh Centre for Child and Youth Development. Clinically, Bianca has done extensive psychological assessment and intervention work with vulnerable pediatric populations across community mental health, early intervention, as well as tertiary care and rehabilitation hospital settings. As Bianca enters the final year of her doctoral training, she will be completing her Psychology Residency at The Hospital for Sick Children with an emphasis on neuropsychology and health psychology training. Through the intersection of her research, leadership, and clinical work, Bianca hopes to make system-level change by informing policies around screening, prevention, and early intervention to yield optimal neurodevelopment for all children.

Désirée Jones (she/her) has focused the past 18 years of her career on working within the mental health sector as both a clinical leader and Registered Psychotherapist. Much of Désirée’s career has been focused system transformation in child and youth mental health specifically in increasing access and improved resourcing. She has extensive training in the areas of Solution Focused Brief Therapy, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and Mindfulness approaches with a focus on child and youth development. Désirée’s experiences have included; long-term care settings, Clinical Trainer and Psychotherapist for an international Employee Assistance Program, Counselling Manager for a national children’s helpline, and management roles at the lead child and youth mental health agencies for two regions. Currently, Désirée is the co-chair of the Certification Committee for the Ontario Association for Mental Health Professionals and on the Board for the Brampton Library. Désirée completed both her degrees in the United Kingdom; Bachelor of Science (hons) in Psychology at the University of Wales, Cardiff and her Master of Science (MSc.) in Clinical Psychology at the University of Wales, Bangor. During her studies, her research in the areas of self-harm and how service users experience mental health services was published in both English and in Welsh.