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Safeguards Training for Children and Adult Services is a unique training program that began in 1995 as a joint training project by five provincial associations in Ontario. It was designed to meet the highly specialized training needs of staff serving vulnerable children, youth, adults and families in Ontario.

To remain responsive to changing training needs and evidence-based practice training, Safeguards develops customized and in-service training and a new provincial training program each year.

Now close to 20,000 staff from over 360 agencies across Ontario are affiliated with Safeguards' five association partners and many other organizations participate in the training. People attending training work in: children's mental health centres, residential treatment facilities, group homes, foster care, associations for community living, native child and family services, abuse programs, maternity homes, children's aid societies, detention facilities, custody and observation homes, schools, hospitals and private practice.


Vision & Values


Excellence in Knowledge Exchange


Safeguards Training for Children and Adult Services is a unique collaborative partnership dedicated to providing culturally-sensitive knowledge exchange to improve the well-being of vulnerable children, youth, adults, families and communities through activities that offer:

Skill Improvement:  Enriching the skills of service providers to improve the delivery of services by workers and families to safeguard against all forms of abuse.

 New and Innovative Approaches:  Providing the most current information and effective innovations in training delivery to service providers.

Professional Development Advancing professional development by providing education and learning opportunities to professionals, support service providers, licensing / accreditation bodies and stakeholders.

Management Development:  Providing training and ongoing skill development to supervisors, managers and other leaders to advance the quality of leadership.


The following were identified during the last strategic planning process as the principles or values that would guide Safeguards’ work.  

 Accessible and Affordable: Continually enhancing accessibility to training through offering a variety of training delivery methods and providing training that is affordable.

 Excellence: Ensuring that our training programs are based on sound research and are evidently valuable and relevant to participants.

Innovative and Practical: Ensuring ongoing innovation in our training programs and their practical application in meeting the needs of the participants.

 Responsive and Flexible: Providing training that is responsive and flexible to the range of needs of the sectors served collectively and individually.

 Culturally Relevant: Providing training that is relevant to aboriginal communities, and actively responds to the changing ethnocultural perspectives of our communities.

Accountable: Being accountable to our stakeholders for our decisions, use of resources and outcomes.



Partners & Members

Safeguards’ five association partners are:

Children's Mental Health (CMHO)

CMHO agencies list


Ontario Association of Child, Youth and Young Parent Centres (Ontchild/YPRO) 

Ontchild/Ypro agencies list


Community Living Ontario

Community Living Ontario agencies list


Ontario Association of Residences Treating Youth (OARTY)  

OARTY agencies list


Association of Native Child and Family Services Agencies of Ontario (ANCFSAO)

ANCFSAO agencies list

The decision to create such a partnership in 1995 was ground-breaking and it has caused a positive ripple effect at both the provincial and local level. Collaboration amongst associations continues to increase on a number of fronts including: research, advocacy, policy development and conferences. Local training gives staff from various agencies the chance to meet in an informal manner and subsequently many local partnerships and shared resources have developed.

Safeguards grew from a training project to a permanent training program and incorporated as a not-for-profit corporation in 2004 with full support from the association partners. Each association nominates two representatives to sit on the on Safeguards’ Board of Directors. These representatives ensure training meets the needs of their sector.


Those who are eligible for reduced member fees for training are the staff of agencies who are members of one of the five association partners (see above).

Members pay further reduced fees for training related to trauma and abuse based on funding provided by the Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services (MCYS) and the Ontario Ministry of Community of Social Services (MCSS). 


Benefits of Safeguards Training


For the Individual…

Professional development can help you grow personally and professionally. It can expose you to new ideas and methods that will assist you in realizing your career goals.

For the Organization…

By having your employees participate in professional development, you are showing your commitment to maintaining and enhancing the professional competence of your staff. This demonstrates that your organization is committed to provide the best possible service and professionalism to your own clients. And your commitment to PD will enhance your staff retention and recruitment efforts.

Professional development promotes employee motivation, productivity, morale and creativity. It is a good way to groom employees for advancement, and helps managers realize the full potential for their teams.

For your clients…

You can ensure that you are providing the best possible care and service to the clients you serve in your community. Your clients benefit by having your service based upon recognized best practices in the field.


Safeguards’ Board

Children's Mental Health Ontario

Wendy Fairley, President of Safeguards, Representative of CMHO Board               

Bill Helmeczi, Pathstone Mental Health  

Ontario Association of Child, Youth and Young Parent Centres

Maritza Sanchez, Jessie's - The June Callwood Centre for Young Woman 

Kelly Potvin, Humewood House

Community Living Ontario

Tina Williams, Community Living Upper Ottawa Valley

Keith Dee, Community Living Ontario

Ontario Association of Residences Treating Youth

Andrea Rifkin, A Circle of Support

Leo Hopkins, Eagle's Nest: A Place to Soar

The Association of Native Child & Family Services Agencies of Ontario

Steven Vanloffeld, Association of Native Child and Family Services Agencies of Ontario


Barry Gang, Psychological Associate


Safeguard's Staff

Leslie Atkinson, Executive Director 

Donna Stevens, Training Coordinator 

Rafael Moiseev, Marketing Coordinator

Debbie Sliwinski, Knowledge Exchange Manager

Amanda Hart, Respite Registrar


Virtual Library

Linda Wilcox, Librarian 






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