Children at the Centre:
Their Right to Truth and Voice

The Children in Limbo Task Force in partnership with youth is holding a symposium.

Presented by the Children in Limbo Task Force, in partnership with youth.

This symposium speaks to the importance of telling children the truth about their lives, as well as hearing children’s voices as they tell their story in their own words and behaviours.


Date: Friday November 24th
Time: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Cost: $50/person. Light lunch /refreshments and parking included.
Location: Jewish Family & Child, 4600 Bathurst St., Lipa Green Building, Toronto

Register now!

Who is this for?

Frontline child welfare workers, supervisors, mental health clinicians, lawyers, adoption workers, and adoptive and foster parents will benefit from this Symposium.

Keynote Speaker

Irwin Elman, Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth of Ontario

 “Listening to Children — From Rights to Love

Irwin Elman was appointed the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth in 2008 to elevate the voices of children and youth in its mandate. Drawing on the strength of young people, the Advocate’s Office has worked to fill the gap between what government, service providers and policy-makers intend, and the reality experienced by some of the most vulnerable children and youth in Ontario.

Panel Presentation

Experts and youth will speak to different aspects of children in care being at the centre of decision-making, and of their right to truth and “voice”.

Presented by: Dr. Harriet MacMillan, Dr. Wendy Manel, Marvin Bernstein, Landy Anderson, and Youth


  • Doors open
    8:30AM – 9:00AM
  • Welcome with Dr. Gabrielle Israelievitch and special guest, Dr. Jim Wilkes, followed by keynote speaker, Irwin Elman
    9:00AM – 10:30AM
  • Panel Presentation
    10:30AM – 12:00PM
  • Lunch provided
    12:00PM – 1:00PM
  • Workshops
    1:00PM – 3:00PM
  • Youth Speak: Wrap-Up
    3:00PM – 4:00PM


All workshops run between the hours of 1:00PM and 3:00PM.

  • “Adoption with Openness”
    Presented by Dr. Gail Aitken, Pat Convery, Cheyanne Ratnam and Youth
    Children have a right to maintain connections with birth family members, culture and community through an open adoption.  This workshop will explore some of the complexities of planning and how our system can ensure the children’s voices are honoured, and that important birth family-adoptive family relationships are established and supported after adoption.
  • “Advancements in Children’s Rights under Bill 89”
    Presented by Marvin Bernstein, Mira Pilch and Youth
    The focus of this workshop is to highlight new legislative advancements in the rights of children and young persons who are either receiving services or are in care, as well as to examine the impact of the reference to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child in the Preamble. In addition, we will be canvassing with the attendees and our young person participant the potential action steps which could translate these newly minted ‘paper rights’ of the legislation into actual ‘lived rights’, so that these children and young persons are truly placed at the centre of all services and decision-making, and given a direct and meaningful voice in processes which affect them.

  • “Family Group Conferencing”
    Presented by Jeff Mintz, Dr. Sally Palmer and Youth
    Dr. Sally Palmer will describe ways of involving children in Family Group Conferencing (FGC) to help them understand and begin to accept placement in out-of-home care. Facilitators help extended family members and supportive adults to express their feelings and views and to be considered in the decisions being made by the FGC. Jeff Mintz will discuss a program developed by Jewish Family and Child, mainly for young people preparing to leave care. It uses principles from FGC to carry out Group Planning Sessions (GPS) with youth, family, community members, and potential support people. The groups focus on building supports into the lives of youth who are moving toward independence. 
  • “The Child’s Voice”
    Presented by Dr. Nitza Perlman, Dr. Michal Perlman and Youth
    The workshop will explore clinical issues related to child centered care, and the developmental effect of responding to children’s cues in a sensitive, respectful and timely manner. To illustrate empirically based methods for assessing child-centered caregiving, we will present research about the development of a measure of warm, responsive and cognitively attuned caregiving call the Caregiver Cognitive Sensitivity (CCS). The CCS measure captures in an efficient, valid and reliable way. Preliminary results from research exploring how Caregiver Cognitive Sensitivity assessments can be used to improve the quality of caregiver/child interactions will also be presented. 
  • “Truth or Consequences”
    Presented by Dr. Jim Wilkes, Jean Skelton, Gitte Granofsky and Youth
    This workshop is designed to stimulate thinking about timely and consistent information-sharing with the child about his/her story. A 40-minute video explores the importance of telling children and youth about their life experiences (the good, the bad, and the ugly) and the consequences of not doing so. Following the video, facilitators will examine all aspects of the telling including the need to tell the child, systemic and psychological impediments, preparation and timing.

Register now!

To learn more, download the flyer.

For more information please contact
Gitte Granofsky at