In this family-themed issue, you will learn about our Mothers in Mind program for mothers who have experienced trauma, and find out how a generous donor supported families in our School Liaison Program.
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Featured Program:
Mothers in Mind

While there are many parenting support groups available in Ontario, Mothers in Mind delivers specialized programming specifically for mothers who have experienced trauma.

CDI’s Mothers in Mind® (MIM) is an innovative mother and child group program specifically designed to meet the parenting needs of mothers, with children under the age of four, who have experienced family violence, childhood abuse, neglect or sexual assault.

The 10-week program focuses on the needs of mothers who find that these hurtful experiences are making parenting difficult. The program helps mothers learn ways to manage stress and other challenging feelings, foster healthy self-esteem and respond to their children in a sensitive, supportive and effective manner.

“Safety is crucial when parenting young children. How would your parenting be affected if you never felt safe?” asks Lisa Sura-Liddell, Manager of CDI's Family Violence Services. “At Mothers in Mind, mothers find support through their shared experiences in a non-judgemental, caring environment.”

MIM is available at the Child Development Institute in Toronto, and through over 20 licensed affiliates across Ontario. For a list of MIM locations, please click

If you or someone you know has experienced trauma and is interested in finding out more about how trauma can impact parenting, please visit the “For Moms” section of the MIM website for more information and tips to support children.

How you can help

Our Mothers In Mind program is seeking donations to purchase storybooks that moms can take home to read to their children. Reading at home together on a regular basis helps families feel connected, talk about their thoughts and feelings and learn strategies to manage the stresses of everyday life.

A $100 donation provides 10 children with a copy of a storybook used in the program. 

Donate Now

February CDI donor profile

This month we are proud to feature Alison Holt, a member of CDI’s Foundation Board of Directors. 

"It's a great feeling to impact people directly," says Alison Holt. Last September, Alison stepped up to help two families in CDI’s School Liaison Program cover unexpected expenses for school supplies.

Our School Liaison social workers partner directly with teachers and school social workers to ensure our shelter-partner children, who have been uprooted because of family violence, make a smooth transition to their new schools and communities academically, emotionally and socially.

Alison explains, “I know what a difference our unrestricted and campaign giving makes to CDI's programs, but when I heard about this urgent need I wanted to help right away. I'm the mother of three children, and I've worked at schools. Uniforms, agendas and hot lunch programs aren't 'extras,' they're necessities. I was glad to help the children and their mothers take one issue off their minds at a time of transition." 

In December, CIBC Children’s Foundation, through CIBC’s Miracle Day, came on board with a generous investment to the School Liaison Program.

We are very grateful to Alison and her family, and the employees of CIBC -- who contribute to CIBC’s Miracle Day initiative -- for their generosity and compassion.

SNAP Expansion update

The goal of our SNAP Expansion is to reach 140 communities over five years.  
One year ago, the Child Development Institute Board of Directors approved the SNAP Implementation Plan to expand SNAP across Canada. Under the leadership of our Honorary Chair, The Honourable Margaret McCain and our Co-Chairs Lyn Baptist and Janet and Steven MacPhail, we have raised $1.4 million toward our campaign goal of $12 million.
Our new Business Development Lead will be starting to travel throughout Ontario next month in order to meet with potential affiliate sites, with a focus on children’s mental health and community organizations.

We are very pleased to be working with Cossette on a set of promotional SNAP videos which will help us share the significant benefits of SNAP to a wider audience. These videos will be available soon on our

Learning opportunity

Learning disabilities are very common and affect 5 to 10 per cent of Canadians. They are brain-based problems that affect one or more ways that a person takes in, stores or uses information.
Dr. Marjory Phillips, Director of the Integra Program, will be delivering a webinar in partnership with the Learning Disabilities Association of Ontario on the relationship between learning disabilities and mental health in children and youth.

Date: Thursday, February 26
Time: 6:00pm – 7:15 p.m.

here to register online. 
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Child Development Institute
197 Euclid Ave
Toronto, On M6K 2J8

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