COVID-19 Update

Contact Hamilton is here for you during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information on the COVID-19 pandemic and resources available to you, please visit your program home page.

Our Commitment to Diversity and Anti-Racism

Contact Hamilton welcomes you.  Here, you are safe.  We will listen and learn from you. 

We promise you respect and understanding.

We know that many people we work with experience ongoing injustices.

We are actively learning about racism and the ways it impacts people. 

We value when you let us know how we are doing.

Contact Hamilton Board of Directors Statement Regarding Anti-Racism

Child and Youth Services System Committee Statement Regarding Anti-Black Racism

About Us

Contact Hamilton for Children’s and Developmental Services administers 3 programs:

  • Children and Youth Services
  • Developmental Services Ontario Hamilton Niagara Region (DSO HNR)
  • Passport Funding Program, Hamilton-Niagara

Children and Youth Services

Our Children and Youth Services program helps children, youth, and their caregivers in the following ways:

  • Connect to the mental health, FASD and/or developmental services that they need. (Access Program)
  • We help children and youth aged birth to school exit who have multiple and complex needs, and their caregivers, coordinate their multiple services. (Coordinated Service Planning)
  • We help families of children and youth with FASD (fetal alcohol spectrum disorder) or possible FASD access services in the community. We work closely with the Hamilton FASD Collaborative, and help families get connected to the services that they provide: case conferencing, training/education, and caregiver support.  (FASD Service)

DSO HNR Services

Our DSO HNR program helps people aged 16+ years with a developmental disability looking for adult developmental services, in the following ways:

  • We confirm a person’s eligibility for adult developmental services that are funded by the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services
  • We help eligible people apply for adult developmental services by completing the provincial Developmental Services application
  • For people aged 18+ years, we make referrals to adult developmental services

For more information, please visit

Passport Funding Program, Hamilton-Niagara

Our Passport Funding Program provides funding to adults with a confirmed developmental disability for community participation supports, respite and skill development.  Referrals come through the DSO.  If you are interested in applying for Passport funding, please connect with the DSO. 

Vision, Mission, and Service Principles and Values 

Our Vision
Thriving children and youth, empowered adults, strong families, inclusive communities.

Our Mission
To enhance quality of life by providing access to information and available services and supports

Service Principles and Values
Contact Hamilton is a values and principles-based organization and strives to adhere to these through its work and conduct.

To this end, Contact Hamilton’s central I.D.E.A. is:

Contact Hamilton board, staff and volunteers will be trustworthy, honest, responsible and will treat people with dignity and respect

Contact Hamilton board, staff and volunteers will be inclusive, fair, equitable, welcoming and provide a safe place to request and receive service

Contact Hamilton board, staff and volunteers will act with compassion, patience and will provide support and guidance

Contact Hamilton board, staff and volunteers will be transparent, responsive and strive for service excellence

Board of Directors

Joanne Bergin


Joanne represents lived, and previous work and Board experience. Joanne works at Hamilton Health Sciences as a Senior Project Manager in Health Information Technology Services.

Michael Lawlor


Michael lives in Hamilton and is a school administrator with the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board. He has undergraduate degrees from McMaster and Brock Universities and a Master of Education degree from the University of Toronto. Michael is particularly passionate about the wellbeing of youth and is a regular liaison between adolescents and Contact Hamilton.

Ella Benedetti


Ella grew up in Hamilton, and currently lives in Kingston, Ontario. She completed a master’s degree in Criminology at the University of Toronto in 2019 and is now a law student at Queen’s University. She is passionate about supporting children and families and improving their access to, and treatment within the legal system. Ella is a family member and represents lived experience. 

Dino Di Marcantonio


Dino lives in Hamilton and works for Goodfood Market Corp. as Sr. Director National Supply Chain planning. He has over three decades of retail and food experience and has sat on four not for profit boards and committees that have helped families with lived experience. He has an B Sc in Electrical Engineering from the University of Western Ontario.

Rita Othman


Rita is a retired Head of Special Education for the Halton District School Board. She was actively involved in various initiatives including the Regional Literacy Committee, Bullying Prevention Program, and conducted several presentations with regards to learning disabilities and the education system. Prior to this position Rita worked as the Head of Special Education for the Toronto Catholic District School Board working primarily with students that had Developmental Disabilities. Rita developed the World of Work Program, a program that trained and obtained employment for students that had various developmental disabilities. This program continues and is in its 25th year. She also worked regionally on various literacy initiatives. Most of her experience focuses on writing federal proposals, creating programming, budgeting, creating regional and local strategies to meet specific targets and provide staff with both training and professional development.

Michaela Ralston


Michaela lives in Hamilton and works as a Residential Counsellor at Dawn Patrol Child and Youth Services.  She has an Advanced Diploma & Certification of Apprenticeship in Child and Youth work, as well as currently completing her Bachelor's degree in Social Work, with the intention of completing her Master's following that  She is interested in working with at risk youth and has a strong desire to create a safe, inclusive environment for all.

Kyle Whalen


Kyle is a proud “born and raised Hamiltonian” and a Mohawk College alumni. As a Child and Youth Worker, Kyle has been able to assist hundreds of individuals and their families at various stages in their lives over his twenty plus year career. Specializing in acute care, Kyle has experience in youth justice, children’s metal health and intellectual developmental disabilities sector striving to be an effective member of the multidisciplinary team. Currently Kyle is a Manager of Supportive living and staff trainer in Safe Management and ASIST within the adult developmental disability sector in Oakville Ontario. Kyle is committed to offering his knowledge, experience and passion to his community in hopes to make his community stronger. 

Paula Whitlow


Paula is from the mohawk nation and resides at Six Nations of the Grand River.  She holds a double diploma in Native Community Care: Mental Health and Substance Abuse as well as a B.Ed. from Brock University.  She is currently the Executive Director of Native Women's Centre.

Mary Zawadzki


Mary lives in Hamilton and works in the Health Care industry as a Patient Care Specialist with a focus on melanoma and skin cancer. Mary has 8 years experience in the not for profit sector. Throughout her social support practice she engages in counselling clients at various stages of their healing journeys from a trauma informed lens. 

Contact Hamilton is governed by a voluntary board of directors, operating under a policy governance model. Board meetings occur monthly and are open to the public to observe.

For further information about the meeting dates or to enquire about attending a meeting, please call Dayna Setzkorn at 905-522-3304 ext. 229 or 1-877-376-4674 ext 229 or e-mail

If you are interested in becoming a board member, please click here for more information and complete the application package.

Board Strategic Priorities

In 2017 and 2018, the Board of Directors undertook a review of the organization's Vision, Mission and Service Values and Principles. To support this process, they engaged stakeholders (consumers, families, staff, agency partners and funders). Revisions were made to the Vision, Mission and Service Principles and new Board Priorities were identified.

Governance Priorities

  1. To be a well informed Board
  2. To be a well governed Board
  3. To be a collaborative Board

Last Revised September 7th, 2021

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How to Reach Us:
140 King Street East, Suite 4
Hamilton, ON, L8N 1B2
Phone: 905-570-8888