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Family Engagement

Caring for a child with special needs can leave some parents/guardians feeling isolated and alone. Through the Family Engagement Program, parents have the ability to connect with other parents who have similar experiences of parenting a child who has special needs.

For more information, please contact:

Andrea Belanger
Family Engagement Coordinator
905-728-1673 x 2281 or toll-free 1-800-304-6180 x 2281

Join our online support group for parents/guardians of Grandview Kids!

If your child is currently receiving services at Grandview Children’s Centre, you are eligible to join this closed (non-public), members-only group.

A Facebook account is required.

Go to:

Then click on Join Group near the top right-hand corner.

Anyone can request to join the group, but only those verified as parents/guardians of Grandview Kids will be approved to join by the Group Administrator.

You can speed up the approval process by sending an email to the Group Administrator with your child’s name and/or client number:


Contact our Family Engagement Coordinator:

Andrea Belanger

Ability Awareness Program

Grandview’s Ability Awareness Program is a free service available to schools, daycares and community groups in Durham Region to enhance awareness about differences, while advocating acceptance and inclusion.

Our Ability Awareness presenter Marshall Hohmann provides group presentations tailored to various age groups to raise awareness of a variety of disabilities.

Our Family Engagement Coordinator Andrea Belanger is available to work with parents/guardians to develop a customized, positive presentation that focuses on valuing differences.

Parents/guardians, principals, teachers and staff can request an Ability Awareness presentation.

To request an Ability Awareness presentation, please contact:

Janet Isaac, Clinical Manager
905-728-1673 x 4256
toll free 1-800-304-6180 x 4256

Feedback about Grandview’s Ability Awareness Program:

From Educators

“The Ability Awareness Program promotes awareness and equity and highlights ways that students’ differences can be valued.”

“Visual aids were excellent. Interaction and questions from the students were always encouraged.”

“The presentation was engaging and interesting. Thanks!”

“This was very positive in increasing awareness of the abilities of children with various challenges.”

“I like how the presentation got the kids thinking and sharing. It was worthwhile – and the presenter was enthusiastic.”

“Excellent presentation involving students from JK to Grade 8. Everyone was able to learn and participate.”

“Overall I thought the presentation went very well. It has led to some of the students attempting to form some positive relationships with J. I think the most received and helpful part was the book about J. It led me to think that if I have/we have a student with J’s needs again it, would be great if they entered their new [school] environment with a book like this.” – Paul Switzer, Kindergarten Teacher, Glen Dhu Public School, Whitby

From Parents

“The Ability Awareness presentation that was provided by Grandview to my son Ryan’s class was exceptional! His Grade 4 classmates were very interested in the presentation and in learning ways that Ryan is just like them. They were given an opportunity to ask questions about disabilities and about Ryan. The students just wanted to understand him and his needs better so they can be a better friend to him. This presentation helped them to gain that understanding. Thank you!” – Kelly Smigielski, Ryan’s mother

“We want to thank you for the excellent presentation to our son’s class. He was thrilled, as was his brother and all of their classmates. The customized storybook you prepared was ‘bang on’ and targeted the concerns our son had [about the way his disability is perceived by peers] most appropriately. We plan to use it every year from now on to share with each classroom teacher. Your kindness, compassion and understanding of children with special needs is much appreciated in how you met with us and our son to learn about him and our family, and in how well you conducted the presentation to his class.” – parent

Advisory Committees

Grandview Children’s Centre is fortunate to have a Family Advisory Committee (FAC) that provides useful feedback and suggestions to our Executive Director and Board of Trustees.

Grandview benefits from the experience, knowledge and insight that family members and Grandview Kids contribute. Their great ideas help us to continue to improve the way we serve children and youth in Durham Region.

The FAC reports to our Executive Director, Lorraine Sunstrum-Mann.

The FAC acts as a resource to the Board and to the Executive Director, and provides an opportunity for families to have input into strategic decisions that affect families, clients and/or potential clients of Grandview Children’s Centre. The FAC also hosts networking and social events for families of Grandview Kids.

Committee members are expected to attend monthly board meetings in Oshawa on the last Thursday of each month, and to be involved in additional committee work, or events.

Co-Chair (staff) – Andrea Belanger

Co-Chair (parent) – Melodie Muir

Secretary – Amanda Wallace-Gallant

Treasurer – Leanne Osborne-Floyd

Campbell Children’s School Representative – Jodi Brawn

Committee Members

  • Dawn Potter
  • Andrea Belanger
  • Leanne Osborne-Floyd
  • Amanda Wallace-Gallant
  • Melodie Muir
  • Vickie Derby
  • Erin McPhedran
  • Katie McCreary
  • Jacki Nemisz
  • Krista Ormsby
  • Beth McBarnett
  • Jodi Brawn
  • Annette Neufeld
  • Amber Fancy
  • Barbara Sparkes
  • Claudia Nossier
  • Marilyn Robitaille
  • Kelly Smigielski


Andrea Belanger, FAC Co-Chair (staff)
905-728-1673 x 2281
toll free 1-800-304-6180 x 2281

Youth Advisory Committee

Members of the Youth Advisory Committee include current clients, siblings and grads from 12-25 years old. This motivated group of youth work to host amazing events for families as well as taking the lead on Grandview’s annual Halloween event.

Youth Advisory Committee

Committee Members

  • Ashley Muir
  • Liam Cox
  • Amanda Power
  • Nicholas Barry
  • Mackynzi Wilson
  • Sam Keane
  • Mia Belanger
  • Kurt Snow

For more information or to join the committee, please contact Youth Advisory Leader, Brad Sexton at

Invested and committed, Grandview staff, volunteers and families are moving forward together to build a strong foundation for our children’s future.