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Offering hope to families raising children with special needs from birth to 21
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Mission, Vision and Values

Vision

The Children’s Link Society is committed to the development of a community where families of children with special needs and those who serve them are informed, supported, and valued.

Mission

The Children’s Link Society is known and valued for providing resources, information, parent-to-parent connections, and hope to families and professionals who care for and work with children and youth with special needs.

Values

At the Children’s Link Society, we know and believe that all children and youth with special needs are whole and have a rightful place within the community.

Connectedness

We recognize that people want to be listened to, belong, and feel supported. The Children’s Link Society provides a safe place for families to share, connect, and learn.

Compassion

We understand that people desire to be treated with kindness, empathy, honesty, and respect. We honor the hope and resiliency of families and individuals.

Collaboration

We believe in bringing together families, agencies, and professionals, to offer expertise, promote choice, enhance strengths, and to work toward common goals. Our motto is: Whatever it takes!
Who We Are And What We Do

“Staffed by parents that have been there, The Children’s Link Society is Calgary’s first and only special needs connection. Whether newly diagnosed or struggling through critical life events, our service connects parents with the services they need, when they need it.”

WE provide a no cost comprehensive service to families. Families contact our office by phone, email or through our website. We compile information specific to a family’s needs which is emailed, mailed, or discussed at a home visit. Information is drawn from a database that we have complied over the last fourteen years. Through dialogue and face to face consultation, families are given a chance to clarify their needs, assess their options, and make decisions to promote family wellness. Families and professionals working with families, access our service many times per year.

OUR agency was built around the concept of family support. The information we provide to families is unbiased and professionally offered by parents who themselves have children with special needs.

PROGRAMS we offer: Resource and Information Services, Family Support, Multicultural Family Support and Parenting Program, Transition Support for Disabled Youth, Educational Workshops/Webinars/Seminars, Coffee Socials, and Resource Fairs. All Programs are at no cost to families and those who serve families.

History

The Children's Link Society is a family-centered, community-based, central access point of information for families of children with special needs in Calgary and Area. Our service - unique to this area and Alberta - was formed in response to the question posed by parents when their child is diagnosed with special needs ... where do I start?

Calgary and Area is rich with resources, supports, programs and services for children including those with special needs. But in the past, there was little coordination of information across health, education and social services. Often families were left to negotiate their own way through the maze resulting in frustration, anger and increased stress.

As a result, families of children with special needs have long-identified a "need for a community-based, single-entry resource service to parents that would assist with needs identification, provide information about resources and referrals, support parents in meeting the needs of their child, and advocate for the child and family".

The Children's Link Society is that "place to start". We are a non-profit, charitable organization and have been in operation since April 1, 1997.

Children's Link Team
Blythe Gunn-Executive Director
Cath Petrinack-Program Manager, Family Support and Family Link Programs
Sandra Werle-Educational Consultant
Soledad Johnson-Family Link Consultant (Multicultural Supports)
Mary Fran Stoll-Family Link Consultant
Susan Shaner Cortes-Family Link Consultant/Transition Supports
Lorna Selig-Transition Consultant
Katie Hall-Summer Student
Board of Directors
Eryn Kelly-Co-Chair
Jodi Miller-Co-Chair
James Dyack-Treasurer
Sheralee Stelter-Secretary
Stevie Blake-Administrative Assistant
Allyson Dann-Board Member
Christina Ryan-Board Member
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Copyright
©2017 Children's Link Society

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