About The SEED Initiative

What is Social Emotional Enhancement Development?

The Social Emotional Enhancement and Development website aims to increase awareness, knowledge and best practice prevention and intervention to promote social emotional competencies and mental wellness for children, youth and their families. The content of the website is managed by the Psycho-social team at the BC Centre for Ability.

Objectives of the SEED?

  • To promote social emotional competencies of children and youth with disabilities, reducing their vulnerability in experiencing a continuum of negative social emotional outcomes, including engaging in challenging behaviours, being bullied by peers, feeling socially isolated, poor school performance and having psychological and mental health difficulties. The development of positive social and emotional skills and the ability to self-regulate greatly enhances the likelihood of children and youths to have satisfying family and social relationships, experiencing success at school, actively engaging in all aspects of community life and achieving skills necessary for economic independence as they transition into adulthood.
  • To enhance accessibility of best-practice resources on social emotional interventions for families, caregivers, and professionals working with children & youth with disabilities
  • To raise awareness of the impact of cognitive functioning/neuro-development on social emotional development and the importance of social emotional competencies in enhancing the quality of life for children and youth.
  • To strengthen family and community capacity to structure supportive environments and implement strategies that will provide maximal opportunities for children and youth with disabilities to acquire social emotional competencies.
  • To work in collaboration with families, early childhood centres, schools, and the Ministry of Children and Family Development and other community partners to establish a sustainable framework for the adoption of best practices in social emotional interventions that will enhance social and emotional competencies of children and youth with disabilities.

What is the SEED philosophy?

The key components include:

  • Inclusiveness – that children and youth with disabilities belong in the community, they have the right to feel safe, and their contributions are valued.
  • Family centred practice – that the family is the constant in the child’s life; acknowledging and respecting the uniqueness of the family and building collaborative partnerships that is responsive to the needs of the family and the child/youth guide all interventions.
  • Solution and strength focused – all children/youth with special needs will do well under nurturing and supportive environments. Children and youth develop social emotional competencies by having the opportunities to acquire skills to monitor and manage their emotions and behaviours and practice their acquired skills with support and encouragement at home, school and in the community.
  • Community collaboration – we work together with caregivers, families, peers and community members to build on all our strength and pursue the best possible social emotional outcomes of children and youth with disabilities.

Where are SEED services delivered?

Social Emotional Learning Centre (SELC) at Norquay Elementary School

Contact: Erin Gibbs, VP, Norquay Elementary School, 604- 713-4666 egibbs@vsb.bc.ca

The SELC program is a 15 week program for children who require extra support focused on social emotional learning (SEL). Children learn and practice labeling and expressing emotions, self-regulation, social communications, friendship skills and problem solving and decision making.

The Stepping Stones Program at the BC Centre for Ability

Contact: Margot Merinsky, 604-451-5511 ext. 1272 Margot.Merinsky@bc-cfa.org

The Stepping Stones Program at the BC Centre for Ability provides opportunities to enhance social and emotional development and learning for children with extra needs and their families.

Key Worker Support Services at the BC Centre for Ability

Contact: Michelle Perri, 604-451-5511 ext. 1257 Michelle.Perri@bc-cfa.org

Key Worker Support Services at the BC Centre for Ability provides opportunities to enhance social and emotional development and learning for children/youth with neuro-developmental conditions. Our Program provides skill-building groups for children/youth and educational workshops for parent/caregivers and community partners.

Advisory Committee

Jennifer Baumbusch

Jennifer Baumbusch, parent representative. Jennifer has a daughter with disabilities; she sits on the Board of Directors of BC Centre for Ability. Jennifer has a doctorate degree in nursing and a background in older adult care. Jennifer will provide input on the family perspectives; ensuring training and resources are responsive to the needs of families. Jennifer will also share her expertise in research and development of training resources.

Tanya Brown

Tanya Brown, the Aboriginal Supported Child Development Coordinator of Coast Fraser North Region of British Columbia. Tanya also works for the Squamish Nation, Ayas Men Men Child and Family Services as an Aboriginal Supported Child Development Community Developer. Tanya will provide input on the resource needs of the Aboriginal communities and ensure training resources reflect and support Aboriginal culture and heritage.

Jody-Ann Edman

Jody-Ann Edman, parent representative. Jody-Ann has a child with a disability. Jody-Ann will provide input on the family perspective and the need for integrated support for the social emotional development for children with disabilities at home, in school and in the community.

Dawn Embree

Dawn Embree, Executive Director of Lower Mainland Purpose Society. Purpose Society provides a continuum of services to children, youth and families in the Vancouver Lower Mainland, including parenting programs, youth drop-in and development programs and programs for immigrants and new comers. Purpose Society will act as a liaison to community outreach programs, youth services.

Ruth James

Ruth James, parent representative. Ruth has Bachelor of Education (Primary Education) and Masters of Education in Early Childhood Education. Ruth has have experiences in setting up education program and teaching in Africa.

Angela Kwok

Angela Kwok has been the Executive Director of BC Centre for Ability since 2005. She worked as the Director of Social Work and Support Services from the Centre for Ability from 1991 to 2004. She received her Masters Degree in Social Work from the University Of Wisconsin, U.S.A. She extensive experiences in working with children, youth and adults with atypical neurological development. She has been extremely active in promoting family centred and inclusive practice for persons with disabilities in BC. She coordinated the development of the Partnerships Training Initiative for early childhood educators in BC funded by the Canada/British Columbia Strategic Initiatives Program from 1996-2000. She conducts many workshops for health care professionals on “Cultural Competency” “Family Empowerment Intervention” and “Building Effective Partnership with Families.” She has published many articles on family centred practice. She co-authored the Partnerships Training of Trainers Guide in Family Support and Family Centred Practice.   Angela sat on many advisory committees relating to service delivery to individuals with disabilities including the Persons with Disabilities Advisory Committee (PWDAC), the Advisory Committee of the Centre for Inclusion and Citizenship. At present she is a member of the Advisory Committee on Children and Youth with Special Needs of the Office of Representative for Children and Youth in BC.

Dr. Arlette Lefebvre

Dr. Arlette Lefebvre, a child psychiatrist at Sickkids Hospital and Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Centre in Toronto. Dr. Lefebrve is the founding president of Ability Online, the first online network for children with chronic illness and disabilities. Dr. Lefebrve sits on the Executive Board of the Media Awareness Network of Canada. Dr. Lefebrve will provide her expertise in child development, psycho-social issues and the use of social media for training and support.

Dr. Kimberly A. Schonert-Reichl

Dr. Kimberly A. Schonert-Reichl is an Applied Development Psychologist and Professor in the Human Development, Learning, and Culture program in the Faculty of Education at the University or British Columbia. She is also the  Interim Director of the Human Early Learning Partnership in the School of Population and Public Health in the Faculty of Medicine. She received her B.Sc. in Education from Illinois State University, her MA in Educational Psychology from the University of Chicago, and her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Iowa, Before arriving at UBC, Dr. Schonert-Reichl served as a National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Postdoctoral Fellow in the Clinical Research Training Program in Adolescence at the University of Chicago and Northwestern University Medical School in the Department of Psychiatry. Prior to her graduate work, Dr. Schonert-Reichl worked as middle school teacher and then as a teacher at an alternative high school for “at risk” adolescents. The author of more than 100 articles and two books, Dr. Schonert-Reichl studies the social and emotional development of children and adolescents, particularly in relation to identifying the processes and mechanisms that foster positive human qualities such as empathy, compassion, altruism, and resiliency. Her most recent research includes evaluations of school-based programs that integrate mindfulness practices with social and emotional learning. She is also conducting interdisciplinary research in collaboration with neuroscientists and psychobiologists examining the relation of executive functions and stress physiology to children’s social and emotional well-being. She is a fellow of the Mind and Life Institute and the Botin Foundation’s Platform for Innovation in Education, and an award winning teacher and researcher. She is active with several national and international advisory boards, including the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) Research Advisory Group. Dr. Schonert-Reichl has been internationally recognized for her collaborative work that translates research into practice, and in 2009 the Confederation of University Faculty Association (CUFA-BC) awarded Dr. Schonert-Reichl with their highest Distinguished Academic Award – the Paz Buttedahl Career Achievement Award.Sara Shaw, Program Director of Burnaby Neighbourhood House, represents community service providers and linkages to out-of-school-care programs, Neighbourhood house network, and community services.