ConnectABILITY

Family (Support) Groups

This is a list of Family Support groups operating in the Toronto area. If you would like to be added to this list or to report any changes please contact us at webmaster@connectability.ca

Adult Sibling Support Group

In association with: Extend-A-Family
Description: An opportunity for adult siblings (ages 18 and up) to get together, share, connect, and support one another through sharing stories, information, and conversations in an informal setting.
Location: Various locations around the city
Meetings: One Thursday a month from 7:00-9:00 p.m.
Contact: Jessica Van Wyk, jvw@extendafamily.ca, 416-239-7161

Chinese Speaking Family Support Group

In association with: Spirit of Life
Description: A family network supporting Cantonese speaking individuals with families who have a son or daughter with a developmental disability in the Chinese community in the GTA.
Location: 108-1020 Denison Street, Markham, Ontario L3R 3W5
Meetings: 4th Friday of each month
Contact: 905-474-9500 info@solhc.ca

Concerned Parents of Toronto

Description: Concerned Parents of Toronto is a mutual aid/advocacy group for parents, families and friends of those with intellectual disability and mental health needs.
Location: Mitchell Field Community Centre 89 Church Ave. North York, ON M2M 6C9
Meetings: 3rd Wednesday of the month from 7:30-9:30
Contact: Jim Johnston, thejohnstons1@sympatico.ca, 416-492-1468

Dad’s Group

In association with: Extend-A-Family
Description: a gathering for Dads who have children (of any age) with a developmental disability. This informal time is designed for people to share, be together, connect and support one another.
Location: 3300 Yonge Street, Suite 200, (North of Lawrence Ave). (map)
Meetings: last Tuesday of each month from September –June from 7:00-9:00 p.m.
Contact: Salvatore Rocchese, sr@extendafamily.ca, 416-530-0272

Danforth Parent Support Group

In association with: Woodgreen Community Services
Description: Get people together to talk about what their kids are doing when school ends.
Location: Woodgreen Community Centre – 815 Danforth (map)
Meetings: once a month from January – June
Contact: Bonnie Heath, bheath@woodgreen.org, 416-645-6000 ext. 1311

DANI (developing and nurturing independence)

Description: Offers parent information sessions on various topics; housing / transition/ employment/ financial planning / medical updates
Location: 501 Clark Ave West, Thornhill, Ontario, L4J 4E5,
Meetings: held once every three months, typically on a Monday evening @ 7:30 pm
Contact: Susie Sokol
Contact: ssokol@dani-toronto.com or call 905-889-3264 ext. 226

Downtown Family Support Group

In association with: Gifted People Services and Community Matters Toronto
Description: Parent Support Group for parents of teens and adults with developmental disability. Includes speakers, discuss issues of concern to the group members.
Location: 260 Wellesley Street East, Unit 102, Toronto ON (map)
Meetings: 2nd Saturday every month from 1pm to 4pm
Contact: Dianna Jiang, info@giftedpeople.ca, 647-886-9062

Evening Parent Group

In association with: Extend-A-Family
Description: A gathering of parents and guardians of children with disabilities. Our time together is an opportunity to connect with others, share resources and gain perspectives.
When: Wednesday evenings 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Where: Birkdale Community Centre, 1299 Ellesmere Rd (Closest intersection Ellesmere and Brimley) Parking available
To RSVP or If you have inquiries please call Kim 416-757-2780 or email ksp@extendafamily.ca

Family Link

In association with: Community Living Toronto (formerly Pilot Parents)
Description: Bringing families together to offer friendship and a network of support who all share the unique challenges and experiences of parenting a child with a disability
Location: On-line at Connected Families, and various locations and times
Meetings: Various locations and times
Contact: Sarah Winter swinter@cltoronto.ca 647-729-1633
More Information: Flyer

FASD Family Support Group

In association with: FASworld Canada
Description: Mutual support for families who have a son or daughter (often adopted) with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). We work with families with children of all ages but most families reach out for help when the children are teens and acting out behaviour starts.
Location: Hospital for Sick Children (map)
Meetings: 9 x /year from Sept-June 3rd Sat of each month from 10-12
Contact: Bonnie Buxton, 416-264-8000

Group for parents of Children with Autism

In association with: Autism Ontario
Description: Partnership between TDSB, TCDSB and Autism Ontario. Structured group, Speakers, Discuss autism related issues. Professionals welcome. Offered for families of children up to 21 years of age. No fees
Location: George Webster Elementary School (2 Cedarcrest Blvd. Toronto at Dawes Road & Victoria Park)
Meetings: This group typically runs the second Tuesday of the month from 9:30 – 11:00 am., but please check with Autism Ontario for confirmation
Contact: Christa Sawyer, christa@autismontario.com, 416-246-9592 ext.236

Hand Over Hand: Parent Support Group

Description: The Hand Over Hand Parent Support Group aims to create a community of parents, welcome new parents, and establish a support circle for those who have children with a developmental disability. Regularly, we provide a venue to discuss and share resources with other parents on a multitude of topics. We also provide events which are fun and relaxing for parents to have a break and do something that is out of the ordinary routine! Hand Over Hand is proudly able to provide free child care service for Social Group members (15-30 years old) while Parent Support Group meetings take place.
Location: York Region (exact location varies from month to month depending on activity)
Meetings: Monthly, weekend afternoons, typically between 2-4pm
Contact: Yuen Ngo, parents@handoverhand.ca

Helping Adults with Autism and Developmental Differences (HAADD)

Description: Issue grants to organizations to develop a initiatives and have a fund for individuals who are in financial need. They hold fundraising events for the grants/bursaries. $40 yearly membership fee.
Location: Davisville & Yonge area
Meetings: monthly board meetings & events – sometimes less than once/month
Contact: contacthaadd@gmail.com, 416-838-3645

Malvern Woodgreen Parent group

In association with: Woodgreen Community Services & Malvern Family Resource Centre
Description: Our aim is to help families share stories, connect and network with each other and to learn about various aspects of the system. We also hope to include a wellness portion for the caregivers of children with different needs.
Location: Malvern Family Resource Centre,1321 Neilson Rd, M1B 3C2 Scarborough (map)
Meetings: third Wednesday each month from January – June from 6:00-7:30 p.m.
Contact: Bonnie Heath, bheath@woodgreen.org, 416-645-6000 ext. 1311 or Priya Senroy, 416-284-4184 ext 212 or psenroy@mfrc.org

North York Parent Group for Chinese Speaking Families

In association with: Gifted People Services
Description: Parent Support Group for parents of kids with developmental disability, including Autism Down Syndrome, ADHD, Epilepsy, etc. Free Childcare and refreshments.
Location: 511 McNicoll Ave. Unit 204, North York ON M2H 2C9
Meetings: 3rd Saturday every month from 1pm to 4pm
Contact: Lilly Wu, info@giftedpeople.ca, 647-699-8416

Online Webinars

In association with: Partners for Planning
Description: Each month Partners for Planning hosts online webcasts on a variety of topics for families. Throughout the webcasts, families can connect and have conversations through the chat and some webcasts will host a forum chat after the webcasts with the opportunity to engage with the presenters and other families.
Location: online (www.partnersforplanning.ca )
Contact: Natalie Jones, njones@partnersforplanning.ca, 416-232-9444. Check out www.partnersforplanning.ca

Parent and Caregiver Support Group

In association with: Asperger Society Ontario (ASO)
Description: Provides a forum for learning, support, and the exchange of information for parents, family members and caregivers of children with Asperger Syndrome. No fees
Location: Toronto City Hall – Committee Room #4 (100 Queen Street West, Toronto, ON)
Meetings: Monthly – last Monday of each month from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
Contact: info@aspergers.ca

Parent’s Advocacy in the School

www.parentysadvocacy.com
Description: A support group for parents and caregivers to help them advocate for the programs and services their children with exceptionalities require. Information, resources and parent training is available via PAS. A new initiative is the creation of PAAT- The Parents Advocacy Association of Toronto & GTA – Where Parents of Children With Special Needs Unite.
Contact: Dr. Norm Forman
416-429-8511 or PAAT 647-794-6679 – email: support@parentsadvocacy.com

Parent Link

In association with: Youthlink
Description: Provide parent peer support, education and information exchange related to the developmental sector.
Location: 747 Warden Avenue (map)
Meetings: Second Thursday of each month from Oct to June from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Contact: Roger Smith, Roger.smith@youthlink.ca & Blair Coombs, blair.coombs@youthlink.ca or 416.967.1773

Parent Share

In association with: Community Living Toronto & Parent Outreach Program
Description: A get-together for parents of children (of any age) who have a developmental disability. This informal time is designed for parents to share, be together and connect with each other.
Location: Cedarbrook Community Centre, 91 Eastpark Blvd., (Markham and Lawrence) (map)
Meetings: every second Thursday morning from September –June from 9:30-12:00
Contact: Janet Dunne, jdunne@cltoronto.ca, 647-729-1699, Bonnie Heath, bheath@woodgreen.org, 416 645 6000 x1311.

Safe & Secure Futures Network – East

Description: Aims to empower families to develop and nurture a support circle with their family member who has a disability. Offer opportunities to share and learn from each other. A variety of topics of mutual interest are explored through guided discussions with a facilitator.
Location: Donway Covenant United Church , 230 Donway West (Parking in church lot)
Meetings: Last Tuesday of the month from September – June from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Contact: Nusrat Motala, ssfne@extendafamily.ca or 647-292-5144

Safe & Secure Futures Network – West

Description: Aims to empower families to develop and nurture a support circle with their family member who has a disability. Offer opportunities to share and learn from each other. A variety of topics of mutual interest are explored through guided discussions with a facilitator.
Location: Royal York Road United Church, 851 Royal York Road (2 blocks s. of Bloor). Parking on side streets only (map)
Meetings: Second Tuesday of each month from September -June from 7:00-9:00 p.m but subject to change depending on availability.
Contact: Jessica Van Wyk, ssfnw@extendafamily.ca or 416-239-7161

Scarborough Residential Alternatives

Description: This is a group of parents looking at various alternatives to independent living – funding, affordability, roommates, support, etc. While the meetings are mostly about housing and supports, a decent life is also discussed and lots of question and figuring out goes on.
Location: Community Living Toronto- 1712 Ellesmere Rd (at McCowan), 2nd Floor Conference room (map)
Meetings: First Tuesday of each month in person from September -June, but a lot of the information and ideas are shared through email.
Contact: Bonnie Heath, heath_bonnie@hotmail.com, 416-550-0177

Support Group for Parents of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

In association with: Community Living Toronto
Description: For parents to come together to get support for raising a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
Location: Ancaster Community Centre (Dufferin & Wilson) 41 Ancaster Road (map)
Meetings: every second Thursday morning from September –June from 9:30-11:00
Contact: Rachele Zilli, 647-729-3634 rzilli@cltoronto.ca & Stephanie Hannaoui, shannaoui@toronto.ca, 416-392-3464

Toronto Family Network

Description: A regional family network affiliated with Family Alliance Ontario that provides support and information to families regarding how to navigate the educational system and other sectors involving children (of all ages) with additional needs. Families who seek out the Toronto Family Network are provided assistance mainly via e-mail or telephone. When possible, Toronto Family Network volunteers have accompanied parents to IPRC meetings, IEP meetings, etc. Families can also receive support when the Toronto Family Network is invited to speak at conferences and provides workshops to small groups of families.
Contact: Janis Jaffe White or Reva Schafer 416-484-1536, torontofamilynetwork@gmail.com

Ubuntu Coffeehouse

In association with: Partners in Planning
Description: Coffee houses provide opportunities for families to gather together and share conversation around the values that underpin how we live and what we do to ensure that our family members live meaningful lives of belonging. Open to families with family members of all ages.
Location: different locations depending on opportunities
Meetings: 4-6/year
Contact: Susan Beayni, sbeayni@partnersforplanning.ca, 416-232-9444 or check out www.partnersforplanning.ca

West Parents’ Support Group

In association with: Extend-A-Family
Description: A gathering for Parents/Guardians, who have children of any age who have a disability. This informal time is designed for Parents/Guardians to share, be together, connect and support one another. Sessions run once a month on Thursday evenings
Location: Humber Valley Village Junior Middle School, 65 Hartfield Rd, Etobicoke, ON M9A 3E1 Parking is located off of Hartfield Road (the school parking lot)
Meetings: Sessions run once a month on Thursday evenings
Time: 6:30—8:30pm
RSVP: Marissa Wolicki (Family Coordinator) mw@extendafamily.ca 647-292-5357

To be added to this list or to report any changes please contact us at webmaster@connectability.ca