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About Hands

Hands – TheFamilyHelpNetwork.ca is an organization dedicated to helping our community members achieve the best possible care and help they need when they need it the most. Our team is comprised of the most caring, and committed individuals whose primary concern is solving the tasks at hand with compassion, respect and the utmost knowledge and professionalism.

We have over 200 pairs of hands, therefore over 200 leaders. Complete trust and confidence is instilled in all members of Hands to make a difference and it is this culture that fosters our very forward, ever-changing ways in which to service our clients.

Our community based approach through offices across Nipissing, Parry Sound and Muskoka regions ensure that all services are delivered equally to all members of our broad region. Servicing an area as large as ours is something we are very proud of as one of the leading service organizations in Northeastern Ontario. We are proud to be part of the communities we serve and have the privilege to deliver a comprehensive range of professional services and programs to infants, children, youth, families and developmentally challenged adults. It is through these services that we deliver on our Mission to support and improve the quality of life of all those we touch, and strengthen the families and communities we all belong to.

Hands is a not for profit bilingual charitable organization, affiliated and accredited with Children’s Mental Health Ontario, governed by a Board of Directors, and funded by the Ministry of Children and Youth Services.

Our Mission

To provide comprehensive client-centered, professional and skilled services to infants, children, youth, families and developmentally challenged adults that address social, emotional, behavioural, physical and developmental difficulties, and make a positive difference on their quality of life.

Our Vision

To improve the well being of individuals, families and our community through clinically effective partnerships.

  • Client Centered
  • Accessible
  • Responsive
  • Integrated
  • Strength Based
  • Comprehensive

Hands’ Strategic Directions and Goals (2011 – 2015)

Our History

Hands, formerly known as Algonquin Child and Family Services, is a provincially recognized organization employing over 200 staff who share a legacy built upon the amalgamation of Concordia Centre incorporated in 1983 and Parry Sound District Children’s Mental Health Services incorporated in 1979.

In 2000 these two organizations became one, creating a new agency known as Algonquin Child and Family Services; cutting across a large geographic area and mandated to provide multiple services and programs in Nipissing and Parry Sound / Muskoka Districts.

Hands’ Annual Reports:    2013-2014   2012-2013   2011-2012   2010-2011   2009-2010

Hands Executive Leadership Team

The Executive Leadership Team is the decision-making body relating to organizational matters and operational planning.

Jeffrey Hawkins – Executive Director
Diane-Brown Demarco – Director of Programs and Services
Paul Laperrière – Director of Corporate Services

Board of Directors

Hands Board of Directors

Hands is governed by a Board of Directors, with the Executive Director furthering their objectives and providing executive leadership to Hands’ operations on behalf of the Board of Directors.

The Board of Directors is mandated to ensure Hands is successful in the following areas:

  • Providing efficient systems of client service.
  • Maintaining a professional and highly skilled workforce.
  • Having a positive community profile/presence.
  • Advocating for needs services and resources on behalf of clients.
  • Optimizing use of limited capital and human resources in provision of service.
  • Utilizing “best practices” in delivery of service.

Board Members 2014-2015

President Wendall Fisher North Bay/Nipissing
Vice President Jim White East Parry Sound
Sherry Bush Muskoka
Signing Officer Leah Toth East Parry Sound
Signing Officer Michael Mancari North Bay/Nipissing
Heather Adamson West Parry Sound
Josef Bossart West Parry Sound
Caite Bourque West Parry Sound
Frank Brouse Muskoka
Nancy Cunningham West Parry Sound
Rick Thorne North Bay/Nipissing

Nipissing Corporate Advisory Board

Bruce Knox President, Knox Insurance Brokers
Lori Burns Director, Atmosphere Design Group
Shelley Lechlitner Faculty for Criminology, Nipissing University
Marcus Wheeler B.E.D.S., M. Arch ., OAA, MRAIC Evan Bertrand Hill Wheeler Architecture Inc
Lauri Petz Regional Vice President, RBC
Ben Farella President & CEO, The Ben Farella Group
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