CHILDREN AND YOUTH SERVICES
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DSO SERVICES
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PASSPORT
FUNDING PROGRAM
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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 www.dsontario.ca


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:

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

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

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

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

Board of Directors

Michael Lawlor

Chair

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.

Mary Zawadzki

Vice-Chair

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. 

Nagham Azzam

Director

Nagham lives in Hamilton and is a Registered Social Worker in Developmental Pediatrics and Rehabilitation at Hamilton Health Sciences. Nagham earned her Bachelors of Science in Psychology Neuroscience and Behaviour and Masters of Social Work in Critical Social Work practice from McMaster University. Nagham has previous non-profit board experience and is the founding President of Mishka Social Services. Nagham is committed to bringing an intersectional approach to the work of the board to create equitable and inclusive pathways for those experiencing marginalization and systemic barriers to accessing care.

Ella Benedetti

Director

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. 

Jennifer Blakely

Director

Jennifer lives in St. Catharines, Ontario and works in Human Resources with Ontario Power Generation. Most recently she completed a post-graduate certificate in Human Resources from the University of Toronto. She has a Masters degree in International Business from Bond University, Queensland Australia; and she completed her undergraduate degree from Queen’s University in Political Science. She is passionate about improving access to mental health services in the community. 

Kudzanai Chasosa

Director

Kudzie lives in Hamilton and works as a Service Delivery Manager for a software company.
He has lived and worked in Zimbabwe, the United States of America and Canada.
Kudzie has over 20 years’ experience in Accounting and Finance, spanning over different industries from non-profit, financial services, consultancy and tech.
He has a Masters degree in Professional Accountancy from Indiana University, USA and several accounting certifications from Zimbabwe, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.
Kudzie is committed to offering his knowledge, expertise and passion to his community.

Dino Di Marcantonio

Director

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.

Deborah Hagan

Director

For the past 10 yrs Deborah has resided in the North End of Hamilton. Deborah is a seasoned Child and Youth Worker, graduated from Mohawk College. Over the past 20 yrs she has had the privilege to do the work she is most passionate about. Working in both non-profit and for profit. Deborah’s career started within Children and youth, working in youth justice, and child welfare. This has lead her to work within the adult sector, with addictions/mental health, domestic abuse, human sex trafficking, homelessness, and at risk seniors. Deborah has been actively involved and collaborated with local agencies, Ministry of Community and Social Services, and the LHIN to develop and start up an Adult Residential Program to support individuals diagnosed with Schizophrenia, Dual Diagnosed, and complex mental health.
Most currently she is working in adult Developmental Disabilities Sector, supporting persons diagnosed with a Dual Diagnoses, FASD, Autism, and Dementia. Deborah is passionate about change, and ensuring all person’s/families/caregivers have the supports required to have best quality of life.

Karen Johnston

Director

Karen is a manager with the Medical Diagnostic Unit at Hamilton Health Sciences. She has undergraduate degree from the University of Toronto and a Master of Clinical Science (Occupational Therapy) from the University of Western Ontario. Karen has held previous roles in children services and leadership and is passionate about the quality of life and wellbeing of children, youth, and their families.

Rita Othman

Director

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

Director

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.

Jaime Slack

Director

Jaime lives in Hamilton and is the active Living and Day Camp Supervisor at BGC Hamilton-Halton, formerly known as Boys and Girls Clubs of Hamilton.  She completed an honours specialization in Psychology and also received a minor in Criminal Justice, from the University of Western Ontario.  Jaime has a passion for creating programs for children and youth that break down barriers, provide opportunity and create safe and inclusive environments for all.  She is a true believer that opportunity changes everything!

Kyle Whalen

Director

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. 

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 dayna.setzkorn@contacthamilton.ca.

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
Email: info@contacthamilton.ca