FCO Virtual Conference: Regroup, Refocus, Recharge

We look forward to welcoming family councils, caregivers, staff, and healthcare workers across long-term care to join us for our 2022 Virtual Conference: Regroup, Refocus, Recharge. Our conference will be held entirely virtually in order to reach as many possible while protecting the health of our participants.

Register Now!

Registration includes: unlimited access to every conference session, early access to session recordings, live networking and entertainment, as well as the chance to connect directly with sector leaders and professionals.

Sessions are geared toward family councils, caregivers, residents, and long-term care sector professionals however registration is open to all who are interested.

There is no fee for registration. Instead, we are asking that registrants make a one-time donation to Family Councils Ontario to support the work and cost of the conference. The suggested donation amount is $50 however any and all donations are welcome and have impact!

Click here to register by donation

If you have any questions about registration or donating, please contact us.


Enhancing Hope and Optimism with Trish Tutton

June 1st 1:00 - 2:00pm We’ll explore: the brain’s negativity bias and how to hardwire optimism without toxic positivity; a unique spin on a gratitude practice to help increase its effectivity and;

a guided mindfulness experience that can help our brain create a positivity bias.

Intentionally Inviting and Inclusive Long-Term Care Homes for LGBTQ+ Residents and Their Chosen Families with Dr. Shari Brotman and Julien Rougerie

June 8th 10:00 - 11:30am Why Are They Needed and How Can We Create Them? Our presentation will address the experiences of long-term-care homes among LGBTQ+ residents and their chosen families, and suggest avenues for creating more intentionally inviting and inclusive spaces. We will introduce participants to several key ideas, including: (1) who are LGBTQ+ people and their chosen families; (2) what does social exclusion, discrimination and intolerance look like in the context of long-term-care; and (3) what best practices and policies can we advocate for in order to change things for the better. We will share some stories from our research and practice experience in order to highlight key issues and foreground the voices of LGBTQ+ people, their chosen families, and the advocates and service providers that support them. A discussion will follow the presentation.

Leadership Matters: Making a LTC Home a “home” with Rebecca Priest

June 8th 12:00pm - 1:00pm Rebecca will share leadership lessons in opening two Green House homes serving people with complex care situations and leading the shifts for a traditionally established medical care home to create home for 455 elders. Content will include how recruitment, retention, and staff satisfaction leads to better quality of care and improved resident and family satisfaction.

The Future of Long-Term Care with Dr. Samir Sinha

June 13th 1:00 - 2:00pm Join FCO & Dr. Samir Sinha in discussion about the future of the sector.


1:00 - 1:15pm Opening Remarks

1:15 - 1:30pm Introduction to Compassionate Inquiry

1:30 - 1:45pm Icebreaker

1:45 - 2:30pm Hybrid Councils with Cathleen Edwards

In this interactive session, Cathleen Edwards (Education Manager for FCO) will discuss strategies to help Councils as they Regroup, Rebuild and Refocus to the 'new' normal post COVID-19. Participants will explore the impact of their decisions tied to meeting format, Council status, communicating with home staff, recruitment and group dynamics using a case study: A Year in the Life of the Apple Grove Family Council.

2:45 - 3:45pm Supporting Communications Across Long-Term Care with Dr. Lisa Cranley

In this session, a communication tool for family caregiver care conversations with the healthcare team in long-term care homes is presented and its use is demonstrated through simulated role play. Learning objective: Attendees of this session will learn how to use a new tool that could facilitate effective communication for resident care planning in long-term care homes.

3:45 - 4:30pm Networking Sessions

Networking sessions provide an opportunity for attendees to connect with each other as peers, share challenges and solutions, and engage in collaborative problem solving.

4:45 - 5:45pm Repairing Trust & Empowering Positive Change Together with Dr. Adriana Shnall and Vanessa Rankin

Long-term care homes are unique settings where residents, family caregivers, and staff live and work along-side one another daily. COVID-19 fundamentally altered this relationship and resulted in disconnection, disempowerment, and increased conditions for conflict and distrust. This session will provide family caregivers and staff with relevant tips and tools to move forward together to resolve conflict and repair trust in long-term care.

5:45 - 6:00pm Closing Remarks (END OF DAY OF LEARNING)

New Partnerships Between Family & Long-Term Care with Dr. James Conklin

June 16th 2:00pm - 3:00pm This presentation will briefly summarize the results of recent research concerning the integration of family caregivers into long-term care homes during the pandemic and link these results to the social science of organizational change, and will raise ideas about how family councils could act as catalysts for transformed and better relationships between families, residents, and staff in long-term care homes.

Social Work in Long-Term Care: Pandemic Experiences, a Community of Practice, and a Vision for the Future with Sam Peck, Dr. Susan Braedley MSW PhD, Michelle Fleming, and Candace Hind MSW RSW

June 20th 2:00pm - 3:00pm This presentation provides an overview of the research evidence on social work and social services contributions to quality care in long-term care homes in Canada, and a description of what these workers have been contributing during the Covid-19 pandemic in Ontario long-term care homes.

Long Term Care Book Club: Happily Ever Older with Moira Welsh

June 22nd 6:30pm - 7:30pm Join us for the third installment of our monthly long-term care book club as we continue reading Moira Welsh's Happily Ever Older: Revolutionary Approaches to Long-Term Care. For this session we will be joined by Moira herself!

Now What? A Deeper Dive with Deborah Bakti

June 23rd 1:00pm - 2:00pm Join Deborah Bakti in conversation around the emotional journey into long-term care, her personal and professional experiences, and her book What Now?

Magic Show!

June 27th 7:30pm - 9:00pm


Deborah Bakti worked as an executive in seniors’ care for 11 years, and during that time she became a resident’s family member three times, with her husband, mom and dad. That life changing experience inspired her to leave her corporate career to start her company THINK Breakthrough, to change and support relationships between families and organizations that assist families with the biggest concern in aging - Now What?

Her latest book also aptly titled “Now What?” is written to support people with their emotional journey of becoming a ‘residents’ family member, and equip the seniors care homes to develop a trusting and compassionate care partnership with their new family members.

Dr. Shari Brotman is an Associate Professor at the McGill School of Social Work and a member of the Centre for Research and Expertise on Social Gerontology (CREGÉS). Shari has worked as an educator, researcher, and practitioner in the fields of social gerontology and anti-oppressive social work practice. In 2020 Shari co-authored a book entitled Gerontological Social Work in Action: Anti-Oppressive Practice with Older Adults, Their Families and Communities published by Routledge Press. For over 20 years, Shari has undertaken research in allyship with LGBTQ+ communities in order to explore the experiences of access and equity in the design and delivery of health and social care services to LGBTQ+ older adults and their chosen families.

James Conklin is an author, educator, scientist, and consultant who specializes in the area of planned organizational change. His new book Balancing Acts: A Human Systems Approach to Organizational Change has been described as “authoritative without being didactic” and “exciting and deeply insightful.” Conklin recently led a study of how communities of practice spread innovations in Ontario’s health system, and currently leads a study of how long-term care homes are coping with change during the COVID-19 pandemic. He has authored (or co-authored) over thirty academic publications, and has also published OpEds with the Globe and Mail and PostMedia.

Lisa Cranley RN, PHD is an Assistant Professor at Bloomberg Nursing, University of Toronto. Her research aims to improve the quality of health care delivery to older adults and their quality of life in the long-term care sector. Her studies focus on building capacity of the healthcare workforce and engaging residents and family in care planning. She uses a variety of approaches in her research including interviews, focus groups, and surveys. Lisa holds a cross-appointment (status only) with the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, Institute for Life Course & Aging, University of Toronto, and is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Nursing, University of Alberta.

Cathleen Edwards holds an Honours Bachelor of Human Kinetics from the University of Windsor and a Master of Arts in Health & Physical Education from Brock University. While at Brock University, she completed the Instructional Skills Workshop (ISW) and earned her Graduate Teaching Assistant Practicum Certificate from the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Educational Technology. She is an experienced instructor, facilitating courses in Physical Education, Recreation and Gerontology at Brock University, the University of Alberta, Seneca College and Durham College.

Michelle Fleming is a Knowledge Broker with the Ontario CLRI at Bruyère. Prior to joining the Ontario CLRI in 2017, Michelle spent 12 years as Manager of Social Services in LTC homes, supporting residents and their family/care partners through the transition, and leading multiple initiatives aimed at enhancing resident quality of life. As a Certified Eden Associate, Michelle guided the implementation of the Eden Alternative philosophy at a long-term care home in Vancouver. Michelle has worked in private and non-profit long-term care homes, in both Ontario and British Columbia. Michelle currently leads the Ontario CLRI’s Supporting Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in LTC initiative. She supports the facilitation of a provincial Community of Practice for Social Workers and Social Service Workers in long-term care homes. Michelle has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from York University, Social Service Worker Gerontology Diploma from Sheridan College, Certificate in LTC Management from the Canadian Health Care Association and a Six Sigma Lean Green Belt.

Candace Hind has been proud to serve as a direct practice social worker in a long-term care home in SW Ontario for the past eight years, including frontline work throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Professional work spanning two decades includes working in five hospitals and fourteen long-term care homes as a bedside performer with Fools for Health, activity director in retirement, director of theatre about the experiences of aging, and outreach coordinator for a senior centre. Candace holds BA(H) in Dramatic Arts and Psychology (York University and University of Windsor), a Master of Social Work degree (University of Windsor) and teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in social work at University of Windsor. Currently, Candace is a doctoral candidate at the School of Social Work at University of Windsor. Her research in gerontology focuses on the role of the social worker in long-term care.

Sam Peck, Executive Director of Family Councils Ontario, is passionate about helping people and groups achieve their goals. In her 13 years with Family Councils Ontario (formerly Family Councils’ Program) she has supported thousands of family members and long-term care home staff improve their work to achieve the best possible outcomes and meaningful impacts. In her role as Executive Director, she focuses on building and maintaining relationships with funders, stakeholders, and interconnected organizations to carry out activities that support FCO's mission & developing strategies that enable the organization to create positive change within the long-term care sector.

Rebecca Priest has spent 20+ years in the senior living space, serving as a social worker, Green House Guide, and Licensed Nursing Home Administrator and Chief Operating Officer for a large non-for-profit serving elders in upstate New York. Her culture change journey began in 2005 where she became a leader of implementing the Eden Alternative in her organization, ultimately building the first community based Green House home built 12 miles away from the legacy organization. Rebecca joined The Green House Project team in 2022 as a project coach.

Vanessa Rankin MSW, RSW is a Senior Policy Advisor with the Ontario Association of Social Workers (OASW) and Staff Liaison to OASW’s Long-Term Care Subcommittee. She is a skilled policy analyst and researcher who has over 10 years of experience in innovative social service delivery, including the design, implementation, and evaluation of initiatives to meet diverse needs. Vanessa completed her MSW at McMaster University with a specialization in Social Policy Analysis and has worked alongside children, youth, and adults with an emphasis on health promotion. This work has also involved engagement with numerous stakeholders and government officials, taking place within several regions in Canada, including the Northwest Territories where she was President of the Association of Northern Social Workers. Vanessa has taught as an Adjunct Professor for the University of Regina, received the Canadian Association of Social Workers’ Distinguished Service Award, and is passionate about and committed to social justice, anti-oppressive practice, and advocating for responsive social policies.

Julien Rougerie - Appalled by the invisibility of LGBTQ+ seniors, Julien Rougerie joined Fondation Émergence in April 2017 to run the Aging Gayfully program, dedicated to raising awareness about sexual and gender diversity in senior settings. Part of his job includes giving training sessions to workers offering services to seniors in order to help them create more welcoming environments to LGBTQ+ seniors. Since May 2019, he also manages Fondation Émergence’s Chosen Family program, dedicated to support LGBTQ+ unpaid caregivers.

Dr. Adriana Shnall PhD, MSW, RSW is the Program Director of the Koschitzky Centre for Innovations in Caregiving at Baycrest. Adriana has over 30 years of clinical experience working with older adults and their families including outpatient community services, long-term care and inpatient services. She was the recipient of the Baycrest Outstanding Innovations award. Adriana is the Chair of the Caregiving Committee for the National Initiative for the Care of the Elderly (NICE) and is a member of the Ontario Caregiver Coalition, the Toronto Caregiver Coalition and the Ontario Health Teams Caregiving Working group. Adriana integrates clinical practice, education, research and leadership experience to support healthcare providers and caregivers enrich their own quality of life and those they care for.

Dr. Samir Sinha is a passionate and respected advocate for the needs of older adults. Dr. Sinha currently serves as the Director of Geriatrics at Mount Sinai and the University Health Network Hospitals in Toronto and was recently appointed the Peter and Shelagh Godsoe Chair in Geriatrics at Mount Sinai Hospital. In 2012 he was appointed by the Government of Ontario to serve as the expert lead of Ontario’s Seniors Strategy. He has consulted and advised hospitals and health authorities in Britain, Canada, the United States and China on the implementation and administration of unique, integrated and innovative models of geriatric care that reduce disease burden, improve access and capacity and ultimately promote health.

Trish Tutton: After years working in cultures where stress and burnout were seemingly the only way to success, Trish suffered a shocking loss and things became clear: stress is unavoidable, but it doesn’t have to dictate our lives. As a speaker and mindfulness teacher, Trish has taught the skills to live and work happier to thousands of professionals, and has created positive change for her clients to become happier, more productive, effective and successful without the busy badge of honour. You can find her as a teacher on the #1 free meditation app in the world, Insight Timer, and she is the author of the Mindful Mornings Journal.

Become a Sponsor

We continue to seek sponsors for our 2022 Virtual Conference. If you or your organization share our goals and values, and would like to partner with us on this event, please click here to view our sponsorship package.