Excellence in child and youth work celebrated

MARKHAM, ON, April 21 /CNW/ - On the eve of Children's Mental Health Week (May 2-8, 2010), Kinark Child Family and Services, a non-profit children's mental health organization in Ontario, will host the 19th annual Krista Sepp Memorial Award celebration luncheon at the Richmond Hill Country Club.

The Krista Sepp Memorial Award was established by Kinark in 1991 to honour the memory of Krista Sepp, who lost her life on February 3, 1989, while performing her duties as a child and youth counselor. Each year, the Krista Sepp Memorial Awards are held to recognize the high quality work and dedication of child and youth counselors/workers from across Ontario.

Ryan McLeod of the George Hull Centre in Toronto is the recipient of the 2010 Horizon Award, which recognizes the work of a Child and Youth Worker with no more than five years of experience working in the field.

McLeod, an Etobicoke resident, has consistently demonstrated a desire to go above and beyond in his work. At times McLeod has turned to photography, basketball and numerous other activities to connect with his clients. Recently, McLeod used a client's passion for hoops to help him re-connect with his father. In what was a turning point in their relationship, McLeod organized a trip to London, at his own expense, to participate with his client and the client's father in a 3-on-3 basketball tournament. The weekend getaway on the hardwood radically changed the father-and-son relationship.

This year's Mentoring Award recipient is Sharon Jones, also of the George Hull Centre in Toronto. The Mentoring Award recognizes the ongoing contributions of direct service staff with more than five years of experience.

Jones, a Brampton resident and first generation Canadian, has taken special interest in helping children and youth struggling to adapt to their new surroundings. She has also taken great pride in being a resource for her colleagues, continually sharing her knowledge and experience.

It is the first time that two professionals from the same agency have received both the Horizon and Mentoring awards since the two categories were adopted in 2004.

Kinark Child and Family Services

Kinark is a not-for-profit children's mental health organization in Ontario that provides expert help to children and youth, their families and communities. Kinark provides everything from parenting advice to help for children and youth with chronic and multiple mental health issues. In addition, Kinark provides intensive treatment and support to youth in conflict with the law as well as an extensive range of programs for children and youth diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Kinark's goal is to help children and youth live socially and emotionally healthy lives.

SOURCE Kinark Child and Family Services

For further information: For further information: Darryl Mathers, Manager, Communications, Kinark Child and Family Services, Darryl.mathers@kinark.on.ca, (905) 474-9595 ext. 349, Cell: (416) 918-4419

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Kinark Child and Family Services

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