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The Counselling Foundation of Canada is pleased to inform you about the outcomes of the Strategic Review process we undertook in 2012, grants that were awarded at our December and March Board meetings, new content added to the Resources section of our website to support the third-sector, important upcoming events and a few newsworthy items.
 

Strategic Review—Process and Outcomes

Our Board of Directors recently approved a new Strategic Plan as a result of a year-long strategic review process. This initiative served to clarify the Foundation’s role and define how to most effectively direct our efforts in the coming years. The combination of research and findings surfaced during this process allowed for a healthy internal discussion leading the Foundation to clarify its mission, vision, values and guiding principles. The resultant Strategic Plan articulates, amongst others, our renewed focus on the career development sphere and an ambitious agenda to work more collaboratively across sectors, including some public policy work. Please consult the Looking Ahead: Highlights from our 2012 Strategic Review which outlines in greater detail how the outcomes of this process will guide our work in the next few years.
 

Recent Grants

The Foundation’s Board of Directors approved several grants at recent meetings:

  • The Service de placement de l’Université Laval supports its students and graduates so that they successfully integrate into the labour market. Funding from the Foundation over the next three years will allow for the implementation of a college component of the Webfolio online tool within the province’s CEGEP system. The university’s career center introduced Webfolio in 2009 to provide students with a resource for career–related reflection to ensure that they adopt the best strategies leading to the right career. This grant will also allow career and employment centers across the province to access this resource. The tool will be available in English and French.
  • York University’s Asperger & Autism Spectral Disorders Mentorship Program has been offering mentorship related support to learners with Asperger or others with High Functioning Autism Spectral Disorders (ASD) since its inception in 2008 with support from the Foundation. Funding will allow the program to continue supporting these students and to develop a new summer employment module.
  • Toronto’s Hospitality Workers Training Centre (HWTC) is an incorporated independent non-profit organization initiated by UNITE HERE Local 75. The mission of the HWTC is to facilitate career pathways in the hospitality (hotel and food service) industry through training for incumbent workers, as well as new entrants with a focus on preparing job-seekers who have experienced marginalization in the workforce with experience and in-demand skills for entry level positions. Funding will support the elaboration of a Career Pathways Demonstration Model and outlining the business case for training linked to career pathways as a strategy to reduce poverty, and add value to the hospitality industry.
  • Youth Fusion/Fusion Jeunesse is a Quebec-based charity that establishes innovative partnerships between disadvantaged schools and universities in an effort to counter dropout rates by creating and implementing projects that motivate youth and keeps them interested in school. A three year grant was awarded to allow this organization to test career development and tri-mentorship frameworks within its existing program model at a sample of schools.
  • Jane/Finch Community and Family Centre is a community based organization in Toronto driven by passion, innovation and strong commitment to social justice, community engagement and collaboration. Funding from the Foundation over the next year will support the organization’s “Financial Advocacy and Problem Solving” Project. This project intends to enhance the financial capacity and knowledge-base of low-income youth, newcomers and young moms/parents through one-to-one support and workshops. It will also support the internal capacity of the program.
  • New Brunswick’s Partners for Youth’s mission is to engage youth facing challenges and obstacles in their lives to become capable, connected and contributing members of their communities. Funding from the Foundation for three years will support the development and institution of a peer mentoring project designed for youth who are exiting State care.
  • Futureworx Society is a non-profit community based organization that works with people throughout Nova Scotia facing employment obstacles to help them realize their full potential. This grant will support testing of the organization’s Employability Skills Assessment Tool (ESAT) over the next year. ESAT is a digitized instrument that helps employment counsellors assess and develop the employability skills of their clients.

Knowledge Transfer

We have added three new resources to the “Manuals & Guides” section of our website so that third sector stakeholders can learn from the knowledge derived from the grants we have made:

  • FoodShare Toronto has published its Focus on Food—Pathways to Youth Employment Program Manual which explains the cornerstones, policies and procedures of this food-based social enterprise employment program. Content about the program’s placement model is also provided along with examples of the various administrative and marketing forms used in this initiative.
  • Partners for Youth is excited to share template materials developed as a result of its recent Financial Literacy pilot project. This initiative was designed to help at-risk youth enrolled in alternate education sites learn about budgeting, saving, credit, investing and financial planning issues that are connected to both their educational outcomes and real life situations.

Cannexus13 and Cannexus14

We are thrilled to report that a record number of delegates (over 750!) from the career development community attended the Cannexus13 National Career Development Conference in January. This yearly conference is designed to promote the exchange of information and explore innovative approaches in the areas of career counselling and career development. Cannexus is presented by the Canadian Education and Research Institute for Counselling (CERIC) and sponsored by The Counselling Foundation of Canada. Cannexus14 will be held January 20-22, 2014 at the Ottawa Convention Centre. For more information, visit www.cannexus.ca
 

Grant Recipient News

The Foundation would like to acknowledge Susanna Kislenko (Executive Director, Development of Furniture Bank) from Toronto’s Furniture Bank for receiving the Strategic Perspectives in Non-Profit Management Scholarship from The Harvard Business School Club of Toronto. Well done!
 

Congratulations

We would like to congratulate the following members of the Foundation who have been awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal: Lorraine M. Lawson (Director from 1984—1998 and Vice-Chair 1998—Present) and Winnifred Herington (Director 1992—2011 and Honorary Director 2011—Present). This award serves to honour significant contributions and achievements by Canadians. Congratulations!

 

I hope you have found this news interesting and informative. Foundation Happenings emails will be circulated every four to five months. We hope that this information will provide greater clarity and transparency about the work of our Foundation while showcasing those we support.


All the best,

Bruce G. Lawson
Executive Director

 
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