Report on 2010 CFFA Annual Symposium

by Sheila Durnford, President

This year our 30th Annual CFFA Symposium was hosted by the Saskatchewan Foster Family Association in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The conference – Walking Together, Voices for Change was held June 7 – 13th.

The CFFA meetings went well, being held during the first part of the week, with the Executive meeting on Monday, the Board of Directors on Tuesday, the National Working Group on Wednesday, and the AGM Thursday morning.

During the morning of the National Working Group there was a presentation and a consultation session on our joint National project with the Child Welfare League of Canada (CWLC) – Every Child Matters. (Update report on page 11).  During the 3 year project consultation sessions will be set up in various Provinces throughout Canada. This will enable information to be collected from foster parents and others involved in the child welfare system.

During the afternoon an information sharing session was held. Directors shared information from their Provinces and reported on what is happening in their areas.

Elections were held at the AGM. I would like to welcome Mary Smith from Nova Scotia to the Executive as 1st Vice President. The following is your Executive:

  • President – Sheila Durnford – re elected (B.C.)
  • 1st Vice President – Mary Smith – elected (Nova Scotia)
  • 2nd Vice President – Sylvia Thompson (Alberta)
  • 3rd Vice President – Sharon Joyal (Man.)
  • Treasurer – Nancy MacFarlane – re elected (PEI)
  • Secretary – Connie Mulholland (Man.)

I look forward to working with the Executive and Board of Director’s in the coming year.

We are sorry to have to say good bye to Pat Norman. Pat as not able to attend this years symposium. To honor her dedication and work over the years  the President’s Award plaque was presented, and will be taken back to Nova Scotia to be given to her. She will be missed by everyone, and we hope that we will see her at some of our conferences in the future.

After our meetings ended on Thursday, we were treated to a fun filled evening with a dinner and dancing to a live band at the Saskatchewan Forestry Farm and Zoo.  For those wanting something on the “wilder” side, we were able to visit the animals in the zoo.

Conference participants were offered an array of workshops and plenary speakers on Friday and Saturday.

Saturday evening was the Banquet and Closing Ceremonies. The guest speaker was Assistant Deputy Minister, Ms. Cheryl Senecal.  The Saskatchewan Foster Parent Association presented awards honoring those who have fostered for over 20 years in their Province.

For the closing ceremonies, the CFFA Banner was passed on to Prince Edward Island, next year’s (2011) hosting Province. A short presentation was made and Prince Edward Island invited and encouraged everyone to attend next year’s conference being held May 9 – 14, 2011 in Charlottetown, PEI.

A huge THANK YOU to the Saskatchewan Foster Family Association for a wonderful symposium. Thank you to all those that worked so incredibly hard to make this such a successful conference. You were all very helpful, and made us feel right at home! What gracious hosts!

We look forward to seeing many of you at our 2011 Symposium.