Family Resource Centre
Who We Are/History
St. Bernadette’s Family Resource Centre, a member of Catholic Charities, is a non-profit, non-denominational, community-based organization that has been integrating children, youth, and adults with developmental and/or physical challenges, such as Autism, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Blindness, etc., with their “able” peers since 1992.
The agency was founded in 1990. Founder, Angie Carboni, utilized her social work background as well as the experience of front line workers from various social service agencies across Metro Toronto to assess the needs of families with physically and/or developmentally challenged children. The results of the needs-assessment survey clearly demonstrated the need for ongoing parent relief for these families and thus prompted the development of our current services. In May of 1991, St. Bernadette’s Family Resource Centre formed its Board of Directors. In November that same year, the agency became incorporated as a non-profit charitable organization.
Our Charitable Registration number is: 13586 6721 RR0001
We are open to everyone who needs our help, regardless of ability, financial status, nationality, ethnicity or religion. We currently serve a variety of individuals in the community. Through programs like Little Angel’s Corner, We Need a Break, Breakfast Club, After School Club, March Break Camp and Summer Camp, we serve children from birth to age 12. Each of these services provides an inclusive environment where children with developmental/physical challenges can interact with their “able” peers. Our parent relief programs and support groups enable caregivers to better face the challenges encountered in raising a child.
Our aim at St. Bernadette’s Family Resource Centre is not only to provide supportive services to caregivers, but to enhance and improve the quality of life of each individual who takes part in any one of our programs. On average, we serve about 350 children, youth and adults in the city of Toronto. We also serve youth/adults ages 18+, through our day program called, St. Jude’s Academy of the Arts.
I felt that it was important for me to take the time and share the miraculous story of the formation of St. Bernadette’s Family Resource Centre. It was initiated out of love for His children by our Lord. In 1987, I was introduced to a spiritual woman who did not know anything about my life before she met me. At this point of my life, I had a small child, very little faith and a lot of confusion and difficulties. The lady that I had met was aware through the grace of God, of all my difficulties. Not only was she able to confirm my fears and my personal problems, but was sent to me as God’s messenger to renew and revive my lost faith.
In 1987, after suffering much heartache and losing a job, the Lord sent me a messenger to inform me that my life was going to change. He had a mission that He wanted me to complete called St. Bernadette’s. This would be successful if I focused on prayer and followed His guidance. I was told at that time that I would establish this agency for children and that I would receive a sign from God as to when it would begin.
Mr. Raymond Graham
Mr. Robert Raisp
Ms. Marilyn McGoey
Ms. Lucy Pede
Mrs. Micky Giordano
Mr. Johnny Biafore
Ms. Domenica Fiorini
Mr. Ernesto Arduini
Ms. Catherine Huebel
for the Customer Service Standard under AODA
St. Bernadette’s Family Resource Centre is committed to developing policies, practices, and procedures that provide accessible quality services to its clients and their children. Services will be provided to clients with disabilities in a manner that promotes and respects dignity, independence, integration and equal opportunity.
St. Bernadette’s F.R.C. is dedicated to ensuring all programs and services are accessible to clients and their children in accordance with Ontario Regulation 429.07 Accessibility Standards for Customer Services.
St. Bernadette’s F.R.C. will endeavour to ensure that the Policy and related practices and procedures are consistent with the following four (4) core principles:
Persons with a disability must be treated as valued clients as deserving of service as any other customer.
Equality of Opportunity
Persons with a disability should be given an opportunity equal to that given to others to obtain, use and benefit from our services.
Wherever possible, persons with a disability should benefit from our services in the same place and in the same or similar manner as any other customer. In circumstances where integration does not serve the needs of the person with a disability, services will, to the extent possible, be provided in another way that takes into account the person’s individual needs.
Services must be provided in a way that respects the independence of persons with a disability. To this end, we will always be willing to assist a person with a disability but will not do so without the express permission of the person.
St. Bernadette’s F.R.C. provides services to all children and their families including those with disabilities. Every effort will be made to ensure the following:
The service will be provided in a manner that respects the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities.
The provision of services to clients with disabilities will be integrated unless an alternative measure is necessary, whether temporarily or permanently, to enable clients with a disability to participate in the services offered by St. Bernadette’s F.R.C.
CommunicationSt. Bernadette’s F.R.C. is committed to communicating with clients with disabilities in different or alternative ways that take into consideration their disability. Staff will be trained on how to interact and communicate with clients with disabilities in a manner that is respectful of a client’s dignity and independence. Alternative methods of communication will be provided as requested. Staff will be trained to communicate with clients over the telephone in clear and plain language and to speak clearly and slowly.
Use of Assistive DevicesAssistive Devices, guide animals and/or support persons may be used by clients to assist in accessing services at St. Bernadette’s F.R.C. Bernadette’s F.R.C. may require a person with a disability to be accompanied by a Support Person where it is necessary to protect the health or safety of the person with a disability or the health or safety of others on the premises. All service animals must have proof of inoculations/vaccinations required under the Day Nurseries Act. Staff and volunteers will be properly trained in how to interact with clients with disabilities who are accompanied by a service animal a support person or an assistive device. The use of such items must be in compliance with the regulations outlined in the Day Nurseries Act and the Toronto Operating Criteria or other regional requirements.
Notice of Temporary DisruptionsSt. Bernadette’s F.R.C. will notify clients if there is a planned or unexpected disruption of a facility or service persons with a disability use to access our services. The notice will be posted at the entrance of the applicable premises and as well as being provided verbally, electronically or in person as applicable. The notice will include the following information: That a facility or service is unavailable. The anticipated duration of the disruption. The reason for the disruption. Alternative facilities or services, if available.
Feedback ProcedureAODA requires Organizations to implement a feedback method that allows clients to provide feedback on perceived barriers, including how to ask for assistance. Bernadette’s F.R.C. accepts feedback in a variety of ways including in person, by telephone, in writing or electronically. Our feedback protocol requires St. Bernadette’s F.R.C. to respond to all client inquiries within 10 business days.
Training and RecordsSt. Bernadette’s F.R.C. will provide training and ongoing training as required under the Act, to all persons to whom this Policy applies as well as to those persons charged with developing this Policy and related procedures and practices. Content of Training Training will include: A review of the purpose of the Act and requirements of the Standard. A review of the Policy. How to interact and communicate with persons with various types of disabilities. How to interact with persons with a disability who use an Assistive Device or require the assistance of a Service Animal or Support Person. How to use equipment or devices made available on our premises to assist persons with a disability to obtain, use or benefit from our goods and services. What to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty accessing our premises and/or services. Timing of Training Training will be provided to all persons to whom this Policy applies as soon as practicable after he or she is assigned the applicable duties. Documenting Training Records of the training provided, including the training protocol, the dates on which the training is provided and the number of individuals to whom the training is provided shall be maintained in accordance the requirements of the Act.
The above policies and procedures will apply to all services that are delivered by St. Bernadette’s F.R.C. including services delivered in person, by telephone, electronically, visually, orally or by written materials.
All Accessibility Policies of St. Bernadette’s F.R.C. are available to our clients. Alternative formats are available upon request.