Our Annual Conference has become a key event in our calendar, both literally and figuratively. Figuratively, in that it is a part of our identity as an Association. This is particularly so given the theme of our Conference, “Strengthening Today, Building Tomorrow.” What this means is that we are present and future focused, and that we possess both strengths, and a vision for the future, just like our kids and families.These strengths and vision are essential to our sector, for we are, and will be, surrounded by change. Our strengths and vision will sustain us, and make us leaders in supporting the wellness of our Province’s children and families.
We know that we will have another exceptional line up of presenters who will stimulate our learning and our ability to help children and families. As importantly, the conference is an opportunity to reconnect with each other, and renew our commitment to our work, and our compassion for those we serve. Be entertained, learn, share, renew your friendships, and make a few new ones. Most of all, celebrate what you do and the impact you have.
Dr. Michael Ungar is among the best known writers and researchers on the topic of resilience in the world. His work has changed the way resilience is understood, shifting the focus from individual traits to the interactions between people and their families, schools, workplaces, and communities. As the Canada Research Chair in Child, Family and Community Resilience and Professor of Social Work at Dalhousie University, as well as a family therapist, he has helped to identify the most important factors that influence the resilience of children and adults during periods of transition and stress. He is the author of 14 books that have been translated into five languages, numerous manuals for parents, educators, and employers, as well as more than 135 scientific papers. Dr. Ungar’s immense influence comes from his ability to adapt ideas from his research and clinical practice into best-selling works like Too Safe For Their Own Good: How Risk and Responsibility Help Teens Thrive and I Still Love You: Nine Things Troubled Kids Need from Their Parents. His blog Nurturing Resilience appears on Psychology Today’swebsite.
Dr. Ungar is also the founder and Director of the Resilience Research Centre where he coordinates over five million dollars in research in more than a dozen countries. Dr. Ungar regularly provides consultation and training to organizations like the World Bank, UNESCO, and the Red Cross. He is the former Chair of the Nova Scotia Mental Health and Addictions Strategy, executive board member of the American Family Therapy Academy, and a family therapist who works with mental health services for individuals and families at risk. In 2012 Dr. Ungar was the recipient of the Canadian Association of Social Workers National Distinguished Service Award for his outstanding contribution to clinical work with families and communities.