Ms. Johnson brings 20 years of leadership experience in the area of child welfare in Ontario. Ms. Johnson served for 15 years with the (former) Ministries of Children and Youth Services and Community and Social Services, leading and developing various child welfare transformational policy changes, including as the Project Lead overseeing the amalgamation of children’s aid societies in Ontario between 2011 and 2014. Ms. Johnson has dedicated her career to the child protection program, always with the goal of improving outcomes for vulnerable children, youth and families. She has worked closely with Indigenous partners, in the spirit of Truth and Reconciliation. Most recently, Ms. Johnson worked as the Director of Government & Stakeholder Relations and Child Welfare Service Excellence at the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies where she spearheaded a number of continuous improvement initiatives, including as the executive sponsor for a initiative aimed at reducing disproportionality and disparity for African Canadian families involved with the child protection system. Ms. Johnson holds a Bachelor of Science, Mathematics from McMaster University, and is currently studying to complete her Masters of Public Administration at Western University. Sally also successfully completed the Executive Leadership Program at the Ivey School of Business at Western University in 2007.
Brant FACS currently has two Directors of Service, one Director of Indigenous Services, and one Director of Administration. These four Directors combined have over 70 years of service with Brant FACS. They support a leadership team of 21 Managers and 140 support staff and frontline workers who carry out parental decision-making authority for 309 Children in Care (2018).
Jill has worked as a Social Worker for over thirty years both inside and outside the child welfare sector. She began her career in child welfare and later worked in Employee Assistance Programs, in direct service and training. She later worked with various private companies offering Management Training. She returned to direct service working with young pregnant and parenting youth through a Young Parenting Resource Center in Hamilton. During her 12 years working with young mothers and fathers, she learned a great deal about the experiences of youth with child welfare from a user’s perspective. In 2001, Jill returned to child welfare at Brant FACS as the Foster Care Recruiter and Trainer and then later served as Manager of the Child Development Unit.
Jill is currently Director of Service with Brant Family and Children’s Services. With service users as teachers, she is committed to promoting critical thinking and innovation with a field that often defaults to mediocracy for compliance purposes. With a vision of having hope replace fear in child welfare, she works to support innovation within a system that has the power to create as many problems as it solves. While completing her M.S.W. at Master University in 2010, Jill’s thesis “A Kingdom in Trouble” focused on the Integration of Child Welfare and Community Development which was recognized and awarded the University’s Judge Hugh C Arrell Prize.
Sarah has been working in child welfare for 25 years. She has held a variety of positions within the sector and has worked briefly in British Columbia, Hamilton CAS, and Kitchener Waterloo FACS prior to joining Brant FACS in 2003 as a Manager of a community-based child protection team located in a high priority area of Brantford. Working within a community office setting where child welfare staff and support services are more accessible to families has been one of Sarah’s passions. Building relationships and connections with people are critical in providing meaningful child protection services. Sarah has been a trainer with the OACAS for new child protection staff entering the field and has presented at a number of different conferences. Sarah has a strong equity and social justice perspective and believes child welfare is a shared responsibility. Working collaboratively with families and community service providers to improve the safety, well-being and equitable outcomes with families is a key tenet of her leadership approach.
Gissele is currently the Director of Administration and Quality Assurance. Her portfolio includes Human Resources, Information Technology, Finance and Quality Assurance. She has worked at Brant FACS for over 5 years managing the Quality Assurance Department. Previously, she had experience with online learning, strategic planning, program evaluation, project management (including budget development and tracking), statistics, and research.
Provincially, Gissele has chaired the OACAS project on psychotropic medications among children in care and is involved in the Residential Services Review Workgroup for the OACAS.
Her publications include research on ADHD, Psychotropics, and Children in Care, Quality Assurance, Worker and Client engagement and Youth Voice.
Gissele is currently enrolled as a part-time M.S.W. student at Laurier University for the Fall of 2017.
Leslie has more than 18 years’ experience working at Brant FACS in the Native Services Branch. Prior to coming to Brant FACS, Leslie worked in Social Services field with the Six Nations community for eight years. She is currently serving as Director of Aboriginal Services, overseeing 4 managers and approximately 30 staff. She has an M.S.W. achieved through her studies at Wilfred Laurier University and a Bachelor of Social Work and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology achieved at McMaster University. Leslie held various positions with Brant FACS a Family Service and Children’s Services before becoming a Protection Service Manager. She also served as a Resource and Children’s Service Manager for a number of years.
Leslie worked with the traditional leadership at Six Nations in the early development of Customary Care agreements. A Cayuga and advocate of indigenous peoples’ right to self-government and self-determination herself, Leslie has been concentrating on the transition of child welfare services to Six Nations of the Grand River. Leslie’s priority has been to ensure that the needs of all clients are met and that families and children remain safe during the transfer process. Leslie remains focused on finding a path to reconciliation in Child Welfare for Indigenous people.