President’s 2011 Conference Report

Our 2011 annual conference – “Building Bridges” was held May 9 – 15th, 2011 in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, hosted by the PEI Federation of Foster Families.  Among the 100 plus participants were foster parents – both current and retired, youth workers, social workers and organizational members.

The first of the week the CFFA held their business meetings which included the CFFA Executive meeting, the Board of Director’s meeting, and the Provincial/Territorial President’s and Executive Director’s meetings.  During the National Working group a brainstorming session was held in the morning. The Information collected will be used for our National Project, Every Child Matters. Our last meeting to be held was our Annual General Meeting.The Safeguarding committee held several meetings to work on updating of the Safeguarding manual.

Elections were held during our AGM and the Executive remains the same.  Mary Smith, 1st Vice President, Sylvia Thompson, 2nd Vice President, Sharon Joyal, 3rd Vice President, Nancy MacFarlane, Treasurer, Connie Mulholland, Secretary, and myself as President.  I look forward to working with this Executive in the coming year.  I believe we are a great team!!!

A variety of invited guests spoke to the participants throughout the conference. Robert Ghiz, Premier of PEI brought greetings from the Government and welcomed us to PEI, as did the Honorable Janice Sherry, Minister of Communications, Services, Seniors & Labor, and Sharon Cameron, Deputy Minister of Social Services and Seniors.

Many of our evenings were filled with events to get to know each other better, and to have an opportunity to network amongst ourselves…  One evening the PEI Federation of Foster Families hosted a “Kitchen Party” where all donned lobster bibs and enjoyed fresh PEI lobster and garlic mussels and all the fixings while being entertained by some local fiddlers.  It was a wonderful evening with a chance for all the delegates to have some fun and socialize amongst each other.

Our banquet was held the last evening of the conference.  The CFFA presented the PEI Federation of Foster Families with a plaque to thank them for hosting our conference.  The draw for the Two Westjet tickets was held during the banquet and the lucky winner was from the North West Territories.

“HATS OFF TO THE PEI FEDERATIOIN OF FOSTER FAMILIES CONFERNENCE COMMITTEE for all their hard work. It takes a great deal of commitment and time to put on such a conference. You all did a wonderful job, with everyone feeling right at home and very catered to!!

Next year’s conference is being hosted by the Newfoundland/Labrador Foster Families Association May 28 – June 3, 2012 in St. John’s Newfoundland.

Sheila Durnford,  President, CFFA