2017 KARE Award Winners

At Kinark, we believe in recognizing individual employees and teams who exemplify our core values and consistently strive to enhance the quality of the services we provide to children, youth and families.

Consistent with our strategic goal to become an employer of choice, we held the first Kinark Annual Recognition of Employees (KARE) Awards last year. The KARE Awards complement our existing recognition program for long-serving employees, and were developed to recognize and acknowledge both individuals and teams for their commitment and contributions to continuous quality improvement, best practice development and implementation, as well as to other service and workplace improvements.

In June 2017, Kinark announced the inaugural winners of the KARE Awards at its annual celebration. Sharon Mountford, a School Support Program (SSP) Consultant working with Connections for Students (CFS) in Kinark’s Autism Program, took home the Individual KARE Award. As an SSP, Mountford helps children with autism spectrum disorder transition to schools in the community. She works in collaboration with parents, community partners and schools to ensure that these children achieve their potential using evidence-based practices.

“I was blown away to be nominated for the award,” Mountford said. “I’ve been here for 11 years now, and have great admiration for the support and encouragement provided by my Supervisors. Winning a KARE Award made me feel respected and recognized as a team player.”

Family Support and Resource Coordinators Team, Autism Services: Left to right: Frances Donovan, Nzambi Teixeira, Lindsay Hamilton, Delnaz Mistry, Kristin Hill, Helen Vieira, Nancy Milne.

The 2017 Team KARE Award went to the Family Resource and Support Coordinators (FRSC) team, also in the Autism Program. The team works closely with families transitioning to the Ontario Autism Program.

“Throughout this period, the team continued to provide excellent client services to families. They remain dedicated to providing families with up-to-date information during this time of change. They stayed positive and upbeat, maintaining Kinark’s Values and goals,” says Nancy Milnes, Program Manager, and FRSC team nominator.

“The Team KARE Award endorses our team’s ability to adapt, unite and excel as a unit to support children, youth and their families. Winning this award validates our devotion to families and challenges us to be the best service providers that we can be,” says Family Support Worker and FRSC team member Kristen Hill.

The Syl Apps Spirit Squad (SASS) claimed the Team KARE Award for Health and Safety having gone above and beyond to foster a culture of health, well-being and safety at Kinark’s Forensic Mental Health/Youth Justice facility in Oakville, Ontario.

Syl Apps Youth Centre SASS Team (left to right): Cindy Pestrak, Tinh Tieu, Amanda Green, Lu-Ann Middleton, Joanna Dickinson, Katie Tenute, Rosie Thompson, Janelle Hawes, Glenn Savage, Jessica Ducharme, Peter Oresti. Unavailable for photo: Amanda Pritchard, Jessica Halliday, Ryan Cohoe, Lyndsay Hunter, Sarah Mccallion and Tanya Martens

Program Director, Forensic Mental Health/Youth Justice Services, Gerry Watson, nominated the team: “I nominated SASS for a KARE Award because I believe that the work they accomplished and the direction they were going in and continue to go in is helping to improve staff health and morale.”

Also last year, the Inclusivity KARE Award went to David Kinitz, former Case Manager for Kinark’s Peterborough Family Interventions team, in recognition of his work to nurture a culture of inclusivity and belonging for clients, staff and volunteers.     

Congratulations to all 2017 winners! The 2018 KARE Awards winners will be announced in June.