Carol Madsen joined the team at Parent Support Services Society of BC in January 2015. Carol is steeped in community development (she has a Masters in Community Economic Development, and Bachelor degrees in Social Work and International Development). She was the Director of Pathways Information Centre and later Women’s Programming for Tradeworks Training Society for 10 years in the downtown east side of Vancouver, worked on a rural participatory action research project based in Northern Vancouver Island and Trail, British Columbia, was the BC Regional Representative for the Community Economic Development Technical Assistance Program for three years and Manager of Family Programs at MOSAIC. She has most recently been facilitating a self-sufficiency project with the Somali Women’s refugee community in Surrey involving multiple stakeholders and partners. Carol has taught in the Sustainable Community Development department of Simon Fraser University since 2002 and has also held posts at Concordia University and the School of Social Work at UBC.
Carol has been active on several community boards including the Canadian CED Network, the Network of East Vancouver Community Organizations, the Network of Innercity Community Services Society, Eastside Family Place, Learning Tree Daycare and Maison Flora Tristan women’s shelter. She is passionate about social justice, lifelong learning, travel, good food, and the arts.
As Executive Director, Carol’s primary responsibilities are the Programs, financial management, and goals PSS has charted under our strategic plan.
“As a mother of two teenage daughters, I am thrilled to join PSS. Our support circles, workshops and other resources have made a real difference for so many families for 40 years. I look forward to working to ensure we continue this important work.”
Program Director Metro Vancouver, Fraser, Coastal and Interior regions
Bella has been working with PSS as Program Director since 1995. The focus of her work is community and program development, partnership building, advocacy, volunteer training and management, and parenting education. “I enjoy my work with PSS as it provides me the opportunity to be part of a supportive team, and to work closely with families and diverse communities. From 1996 until 2001, I volunteered as a Parent Support Circle Facilitator and felt so privileged to witness and be a part of the parents’ amazing journeys in becoming the best parents they could be. I believe in the value of volunteerism in effecting change in our society and have volunteered with other non-profit organizations performing a variety of functions at the board, working committee and service delivery levels.”
Please contact Bella if you are interested in exploring volunteer opportunities, would like to start a new program or Support Circle in your community through PSS, or for more information at 604-669-1616 ext. 105 or email@example.com.
Advocate - Social Worker, Grandparents Raising Grandchildren (GRG) Support Line
Christina collaborates on the Line with Jessie Caryl (Our Advocate - Lawyer). They assist grandparents and relatives raising children to navigate complex systems such as the Ministry of Children and Family Development, Legal Aid, and the courts; to find the answers, assistance, and resources needed to prevent or solve problems; and to advise on benefits and services that will support the entire family. Christina also contributes to projects that address the systemic barriers facing grandparents in a parenting role, with the goal of equality, justice, and the safety and well-being of children.
“I am a UBC graduate with a Masters in Social Work and I have practiced community development in East Vancouver, Nigeria and Jamaica. I am also the busy parent of two preschoolers. I love to garden, knit and ride my bike to work.” Christina can be reached at 604-558-4740 or toll free 1-855-474-9777 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Advocate-Lawyer, Grandparents Raising Grandchildren (GRG) Support Line
Jessie is one of our two Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Advocates for the province wide GRG Support Line. Her work involves assisting all kinship care providers, including grandparents who are raising their grandchildren full time, in finding solutions to their day to day issues. These can include: accessing child welfare and benefit programs, navigating the legal process for getting custody and guardianship, understanding the Extended Family Program; finding available services and resources and much more.
”I am excited to join PSS. I am a member in good standing with the Law Society of BC, and am an active member of the Canadian Bar Association (CBA) – Children Law Sections Executive and is the Legislative Liaison of the CBA Social Justice Section. I also have a keen interest in art, and am on the board of an artist run centre (grunt gallery). I look forward to learning more about the unique and complex challenges faced by kinship caregivers and advocating effectively for this often forgotten group of caregivers."
You can reach Jessie at 604-558-4740 or toll free 1-855-474-9777 or by email to email@example.com
Annette De Boer
Program Coordinator Victoria (Capital Regional District)
Annette joined PSS in October 2016. She will be focusing on partnering with others to form parent support circles throughout the region.
“Much of my work and volunteer experience has been with family support, volunteer engagement and group facilitation. I have seen and experienced, the positive difference that being a part of community makes in the lives of parents and their children. I practice a strengths-based approach and acknowledge that people are the experts in their own life. Each family is unique and has its own strengths and challenges.”
Annette has worked in Victoria with the 1Up Single Parent Resource Centre from 2006 until 2014, with the Moms and Mentors Program, first as a volunteer mentor and then as Program Coordinator. She has also worked with the Family Self-Sufficiency Program at Burnside Gorge and is staff relief for the Family Centre at the James Bay Community Project. She volunteers with Bridges for Women Society as a volunteer mentor in the Career Mentoring Program as well as with the Alzheimer Society.
Annette is a Registered Social Worker who returned to university after her youngest child began grade 1 in 2005. Before pursuing her Social Work degree, Annette worked in healthcare as a Hospital Unit Assistant.
Most days, Annette takes time to get outdoors in nature, running or walking and she enjoys connecting with family/friends over a good meal.
Annette can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 250-384-8042
Program Coordinator for Central/North Vancouver Island
“I have lived on Vancouver Island almost my entire live. My husband and I live on a small acreage in Nanoose Bay, where I have a home office. Parenting is one of those “jobs” that can take a lot of twists and turns along the way, and you never really know how it is all going to turn out. After nearly 21 years we are now the parents of two young adults who we are extremely proud of and I am very grateful for all the support and encouragement along the way.”
Sandi has a background in retail banking then began her relationship with Parent Support Services in 1996 as a Parent Support Circle volunteer facilitator. In January of 1999 Sandi was hired as a part time program coordinator. In 2004 Sandi took on an additional role with a special focus on supporting Grandparents Raising Grandchildren. “I have been honoured to work with colleagues, community members, local volunteers and the grandparents themselves to see GRG Support Circles start in Port Alberni, Duncan, Nanaimo and Parksville.” Sandi assisted with the coordination of several focus groups for the GRG Legal Guide from Duncan to Campbell River and points in between in 2007, and was the primary organizer of the Grand Gathering in Parksville in the spring of 2008. More recently she has “enjoyed some truly wonderful experiences partnering with staff and volunteers at the Galiano Island Conservancy Association to host nature camps for grandparent families the past few summers”. To this day, Sandi continues to volunteer for PSS as a Circle facilitator.
Sandi can be reached at 250 468 9658; toll free at 1 877 345 9777 or by email at email@example.com.
Regional Program Coordinator Prince George
Jessica has been our part time Regional Program Coordinator in Prince George since December 2010. Her background is in early childhood education and counselling. She has several years of experience working with caregivers and children as an early childhood educator, ESL teacher and counsellor. Jessica has been a resident of Prince George since 2007. She enjoys running, swimming, being outside and most of all spending time with her daughter and family. Jessica has an early childhood education certificate, a bachelor degree in psychology and a master’s degree in education (counselling specialization). She enjoys collaborating with other agencies and programs to deliver support, education, advocacy and resources for parents, grandparents and all caregivers. Parent Support Services Prince George offers active parenting classes, systemic training for effective parenting classes, buddy up for breastfeeding support, parent and grandparent support circles and the Village newsletter. Please contact Jessica directly for more information.
Contact Jessica by writing Po Box 21106 Spruceland R.P.O, 693 West Central St., Prince George, BC, V2M 7A5 or call 250-962-0600 or toll free 1 877 345 9777 or by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Communications Coordinator & Executive Assistant
Jane started work at PSS in the Fall of 2013. A former school trustee, and Vice Chair of the Vancouver School Board, Jane is passionate about public education, and has spent her life working for a safer, more welcoming, inclusive and just society for children and youth. She has played a key role in the development and implementation of policy to end harassment based on sexual orientation and gender identity in schools – in Vancouver and across Canada.
Jane co-managed an independent bookstore in Vancouver for almost two decades, and continues to volunteer co-host and produce a current affairs radio program on community radio. With a background working in peace, anti-poverty, women’s and human rights groups, Jane is excited to use her organizational and communication skills to support the work of PSS. “PSS really understands the diversity of families. PSS walks the talk – supporting and advocating for those raising children.”
Jane can be reached at 604-669-1616 ext 110 or email@example.com
The Provincial Office Administrator
Viktor has been with PSS since August 2009. With a Master’s Degree in languages (English and French) he brings extensive experience working in the not-for-profit sector. While in Belarus, he worked for almost twelve years for Counterpart International, Inc., a US-based global development organization to forge partnerships with communities to address complex problems related to humanitarian assistance, economic development, food security and nutrition, and building effective governance and institutions. He was in charge of the Humanitarian Assistance Program to deliver assistance in the form of clothing, shelter, equipment and emergency supplies to the elderly, poor, orphans, disabled and large families. After relocating to Canada in 2007 he worked for the BC Human Rights Coalition. “I enjoy working for the Parent Support Services Society of BC as I fully support all the diverse programs at PSS and get to connect with all our amazing volunteers.”
Viktor is usually the first voice you hear when calling PSS at 604 669 1616. You can contact Viktor at: firstname.lastname@example.org.