I involve my child in some work around the house.


Comfort, Play & Teach: A Positive Approach to ParentingTM helps you encourage your child's social, emotional and intellectual development.
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Our People

Invest in Kids Management Team

Nancy Birnbaum
President & CEO
Dr. Chaya Kulkarni
Vice President, Professional Education
Lisa McKeen
Vice President, Development & Communications

Dr. Carol Crill Russell
Vice President, Research

Susan Yeates Heath, CA
Vice President, Finance

Shauna Seneca, B.S.W.
Regional Director, Alberta

Marie-France Leblanc
Regional Director, Nova Scotia

Our In-house Experts

Carol Crill Russell, B.A., M.S., M.S.W., Ph.D.
Vice President, Research

Dr. Carol Crill Russell provides leadership to all major research and evaluation initiatives and ensures that all Invest in Kids’ initiatives are based on a sound scientific or evidence-based foundation. She is the recipient of a multi-year grant from The Lawson Foundation to support the research and development of “how to” programs that translate research knowledge about social, emotional and cognitive development of young children into effective programs.

Prior to her position at Invest in Kids, Dr. Crill Russell served for over a decade as the Senior Research and Policy Advisor for Children’s Services in Ontario’s Ministry of Community and Social Services. In that capacity Dr. Crill Russell initiated and monitored population-based and intervention research on healthy child development.

Dr. Crill Russell is a member of the Core Research Team for Ontario’s Better Beginnings, Better Futures Project, the National Centre of Excellence on Early Child Development Directing Council, the Expert Advisory Group for Evaluating Ontario’s Healthy Babies, Healthy Children program and the expert Advisory Group for The Lawson Foundation’s TLC3 Project.

Dr. Crill Russell holds a B.A. in Psychology from Manchester College, a Master of Science in Sociology from Indiana University, and an M.S.W. and a Ph.D. in Social Work and Sociology from the University of Michigan.

Chaya Kulkarni, B.A.A., M.Ed., Ed.D.
Vice President, Professional Education

Dr. Chaya Kulkarni leads the development and implementation of curricula and materials to support professionals working with families of young children. Dr. Kulkarni also plays a significant role in the creation and development of parent education resources. She brings more than a decade of experience in the field of children’s services and early childhood education to this work.

Prior to joining Invest in Kids, Dr. Kulkarni served as the Senior Policy Analyst and Researcher for the Office of the Official Opposition at Queen’s Park where she was able to influence and inform practices surrounding early childhood care and education. She began her career as Executive Director of the Downsview Child Care Center where she was responsible for the programs and management of a licensed centre serving fifty families.

Dr. Kulkarni has lectured with Ryerson University and the Canadian Mothercraft Society, an organization that provides educational and support programs for mothers and their children. She is an effective and fervent facilitator for numerous training seminars and has served on a variety of boards and associations in the children’s services sector. Dr. Kulkarni is a member of the Board of Directors for Nobody’s Perfect Ontario Branch and a member of the Board of Advisors for the Canadian Child Care Federation Review of Literature on Brain Development.

Dr. Kulkarni received her B.A.A. from Ryerson University and attained her Masters and Doctorate in Education from the University of Toronto.

Nadia Hall, M.A., M.Ed., Dip. C.S.
Director, Professional Education

Nadia Hall develops and delivers curricula in response to the emerging needs of front line professionals who work with families and young children. Ms. Hall also has responsibility for the design, delivery and support of Invest in Kids’ Master Trainer Certification Program. These initiatives draw extensively on her background in prevention and early intervention and her expertise in designing activity-based training. She continually draws from her knowledge of the infant mental health field and anti-bias education for early childhood educators. Ms. Hall is also a key contributor to the development of the organization’s parent education resources.

Prior to joining Invest in Kids Ms. Hall spent close to two decades in the field of children’s services with a strong focus on infant development. She has worked as a Policy Analyst, Ontario Ministry of Health, Healthy Babies, Healthy Children program; Senior Infant Development Consultant, Durham Public Health Department; Manager, Academic Programs, Canadian Mothercraft Society; and was a partner in the creation and leadership of the Infant-Parent Learning Program. In collaboration with Native Child and Family Services, Toronto, Ms. Hall created culturally-specific child protection training to support children and families in the city’s native community. Her textbooks, The Affective Curriculum: Teaching the Anti-Bias Approach to Young Children and Creative Resources for the Anti-Bias Classroom, were developed in response to her participation on Metro Toronto’s Anti-Racist Education in Child Care Committee.

Ms. Hall is a frequent presenter at workshops and conferences and has taught curriculum and child development courses at universities and colleges in Canada, the United States and New Zealand. She has served with the First Nations Child Care Project, Child Care Visions, National Advisory Committee; Healthy Babies, Healthy Children Community Steering Committee; Infant Mental Health Promotion Project, Curriculum Development Committee; and Anti-Racist Education Committee, Metro Children’s Services.

Ms. Hall holds a M.A. from the University of Toronto; a Teacher’s Certificate, Primary Specialist, and Diploma of Child Study from the University of Toronto; and a M.Ed. from the Ontario Institute of Studies in Education, University of Toronto.

Liane Comeau, B.Ps., Ph.D.
Manager, Research & Programs

Dr. Liane Comeau manages the research and evaluation of Invest in Kids’ initiatives and is a major contributor to the management and development of content for programs and resources for parents and professionals. Her background in experimental social science enables Invest in Kids to ensure the scientific integrity of its work. Fluent in English and French, Dr. Comeau also ensures the accurate adaptation of the organization’s French-language resources.

A recipient of numerous scholarships while studying at the Université de Moncton and McGill University, Dr. Comeau was also awarded the Guy Bégin Prize for the best scientific publication by a student from the Société Québécoise de Recherche en Psychologie (Quebec Society for Research in Psychology). Currently, Dr. Comeau is a reviewer for the journal Scientific Studies of Reading.

Dr. Comeau has a Bachelor of Psychology from the Université de Moncton in New Brunswick and a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from McGill University in Montréal, Québec. Her area of expertise is language acquisition in young children and she has published articles on childhood bilingualism in peer-reviewed journals.

Greg Lubimiv, B.S.W., M.S.W., C.A.C.P.T.S*
Director, Curriculum Development

Greg Lubimiv is responsible for creating the curriculum and delivery system for Invest in Kids’ new Parenting Initiative – a comprehensive, multi-year parent education program. With over 30 years of experience as an administrator, clinician and trainer in children’s mental health and child welfare, Mr. Lubimiv is highly skilled in developing captivating and engaging resources. He is a certified play therapist who espouses the benefits of play in the lives of all individuals. Mr. Lubimiv has authored books and articles on the topic including Wings for Our Children: The Essentials of Becoming a Play Therapist and has also penned My Sister is an Angeline, to help children cope with the death of a sibling.

Mr. Lubimiv continues to serve as Executive Director, Phoenix Centre for Children and Families, a children’s mental health centre serving Renfrew County. In addition, he has held leadership roles with Children’s Mental Health Ontario, Eastern Ontario Child and Youth Network, Sparrow Lake Alliance and the Canadian Association of Child and Play therapy as well as with numerous government committees and task forces.

A certified play therapist and supervisor with the Canadian Association of Child and Play Therapy, Mr. Lubimiv earned his B.S.W. from Laurentian University and his M.S.W. from the University of Toronto.

(*Canadian Association of Child and Play Therapy Supervisor)

Shauna Seneca, B.S.W.
Regional Director, Alberta

Shauna Seneca is the Alberta-based senior staff responsible for the implementation of initiatives in Alberta and the rest of Western Canada. She seeks program and funding opportunities and works with the Invest in Kids Board of Directors to enlist volunteers in support of the creation of the Alberta chapter. Ms. Seneca is also a Master Trainer in Invest in Kids’ Professional Education Institute. As such, she has collaborated on the development of curricula and delivers Invest in Kids training to front line professionals across Canada. Over her 20-year career, Ms. Seneca has worked in various capacities to support and strengthen families, including developing curricula and workshops to support those looking for holistic interventions.

Ms. Seneca is co-founder and the current co-Executive Director of the Bent Arrow Traditional Healing Society with her husband Brad. This non-profit, charitable organization founded in 1994 serves children, youth, adults and families by helping them to achieve their goals and dreams. The society’s work is based on traditional teachings and values. It operates 14 programs and employs 75 people.

Ms. Seneca has a B.S.W. from the University of Calgary.

Our Advisors, Directors and Trustees
Our work at Invest in Kids is greatly supported by our dedicated National Board of Advisors, our Board of Directors and Board of Trustees. Their hard work and support help to ensure that we raise and manage the resources needed to achieve our goal of providing support to parents as they take on the all-important task of raising the next generation of Canadians.

Board of National Advisors

Chair, Freda Martin, MD, FRCP (C)

Dr. Freda Martin is the Founding Director of the Hincks-Dellcrest Institute (retired in 2002), Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto, Founding Member and Elected Fellows of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (England), and a Fellow, Royal College of Psychiatrists (Canada). She has worked with distinction for over 30 years in children's mental health and over her career has been the Chairman, Department of Children and Parents, Tavistock Clinic, London, England; Chief of Service, Child and Family Study Centre, Clarke Institute of Psychiatry, Toronto; and Executive Director of the Hincks Centre for Children's Mental Health, Toronto.

Ronald Barr, MA, MDCM, FRCP(C) Canada Research Chair in Community Child Health Research at the University of British Columbia, Professor of Pediatrics in the Faculty of Medicine at UBC, and Director of the Centre for Community Child Health Research at the BC Research Institute for Children’s and Women’s Health.

Dr. Ronald Barr is the Canada Research Chair in Community Child Health Research at the University of British Columbia, Professor of Pediatrics in the Faculty of Medicine at UBC, and Director of the Centre for Community Child Health Research at the BC Research Institute for Children’s and Women’s Health. In addition, he is the Director of the “Experience-based Brain and Biological Development” Program of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. Both his clinical work and research have focused on the needs of infants and young children. He is well-known for his studies on the biological and behavioral determinants of behavior, including pain, behavioral state and crying, cognition and memory, as well as for the outcomes of early clinical manifestations of these behaviors for later development (temperament, reactivity).

Yvonne Blanchard, Executive Director, Nova Scotia Council for the Family

Yvonne Blanchard is the Executive Director of the Nova Scotia Council for the Family. This provincial organization of over thirty member agencies promotes prevention and early intervention services for families through community partnerships and public education programs. Prior to joining the Council in 1994, Yvonne worked with the City of Halifax Social Planning Department for 17 years in the fields of community development, granting, research, and child welfare. In addition to her professional work, Ms. Blanchard has volunteered with provincial and national organizations, serving in board and executive positions. In 2003, she was presented with the Queen’s Jubilee Medal in recognition of her service to the Child Welfare League of Canada, “ Working Together for Canada’s Children.” Ms. Blanchard earned her Bachelor of Commerce from Dalhousie University and has a diploma in Public Administration from the University of Western Ontario.

Leanne Boyd, R.S.W., M.S.W., Advanced Certificate in Community Child/Adolescent Psychiatry, Manager of Policy Development, Research and Evaluation at the Healthy Child Manitoba Office (HCMO).

Leanne Boyd is the Manager of Policy Development, Research and Evaluation at the Healthy Child Manitoba Office (HCMO). She has worked for the Manitoba government for the past 27 years on improving the lives of children, youth and families. Leanne has also been involved on numerous Federal/Provincial/Territorial (F/P/T) committees over the past 15 years, and currently cochairs the Child and Adolescent Task Group of the Federal/Provincial/Territorial Advisory Committee on Population Health and Health Security. One of the original members of the National Children’s Agenda Working Group, Leanne continues to work on the F/P/T Early Childhood Development Working Group and its sub-committees, representing Manitoba and the ACPHHS sector.

Peter Dudding, M.M., M.S.W., R.S.W., Executive Director, Child Welfare League of Canada

Peter Dudding serves as the Executive Director of the Child Welfare League of Canada, a position to which he brings 30 years of senior management experience in child welfare, public health and international development. Mr. Dudding also brings a passionate interest in children's services and dedication to improving the quality of life for children and youth. Mr. Dudding has extensive knowledge and experience with children, youth and families at risk and with aboriginal and multicultural communities. His career has included service as the Associate Director of the Children's Aid Society of Ottawa-Carleton, Director of Finance and Administration with the Borough of East York Public Health Unit, Project Director for the Sri Lanka Soya Utilisation Project, Executive Director of the Children's Aid Society of Lanark County and Director of Social Services for the Government of Yukon.

He currently serves also as Co-Director of the Centre of Excellence for Child Welfare and a member of the International Development Committee of the Child Welfare League of America. He is a board member of Peacebridges and Ottawa-Carleton Life Skills.

Yvon Gauthier, MD, Dept. of Psychiatry, L’Hôpital Sainte-Justine; President, World Assoc. of Infant Mental Health

Dr. Yvon Gauthier is a Full Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Montreal, the current President of the World Association of Infant Mental Health and the Invitational Professor on perinatology to training sessions for psychiatrists, psychologists and pediatricians organized by Montpellier CHU. Dr. Gauthier is also a consultant to the Program Santé-Enfance-Jeunesse and a consultant to Grandir Ensemble, a replication of the Growing Together program.

Joan Grusec, Ph.D., Professor, Dept. of Psychology, University of Toronto

Dr. Joan Grusec is a Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Toronto. She has published numerous articles and an edited book on parenting and has just completed a term as Associate Editor of the journal Developmental Psychology. She is a former Associate Dean for Research in the Faculty of Arts and Science at the University of Toronto and is incoming Chair of the Examination Committee of the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards.

Daniel P. Keating, Ph.D., Director and Research Professor of the Center for Human Growth and Development, and Professor of Psychology, Psychiatry, and Pediatrics at the University of Michigan.

Dr. Daniel P. Keating is Director and Research Professor of the Center for Human Growth and Development, and Professor of Psychology, Psychiatry, and Pediatrics at the University of Michigan. He is a Fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. Dr. Keating has written extensively on human development, developmental health, and education, particularly on the developmental sources of human diversity and on the prospects for human development in a learning society.

Sarah Landy, Ph.D., C. Psych, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, and Adjunct Professor, Dept. of Psychology, York University

Dr. Sarah Landy is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Psychology at York University. Dr. Landy is also a registered Supervisor in the Canadian Association for Child and Play Therapy. Dr. Landy is the creator and former Director of the "Growing Together" model of prevention and early intervention in St. James Town, which received the 1995 Peter Drucker Award for Non-Profit Sector Innovation. She consults and trains with a number of early intervention programs in Ontario.

Carol Matusicky, Ph.D., Executive Director of the BC Council for Families

Dr. Carol Matusicky is the Executive Director of the BC Council for Families (the Council) a provincial, non-profit organization committed to increasing public knowledge and promoting public concern about the well-being of families. Through its Early and Middle Years Division, the Council coordinates several early childhood development programs within BC. Dr. Matusicky is a member of the United Way’s Success by 6 Council of Partners; the BC Medical Association’s Child and Youth Advisory Committee. She is the recipient of the Public Health Association of BC’s President’s Award in acknowledgement of leadership in increasing awareness of the need to support families and children to achieve a healthy society. Carol is the current President of the Vanier Institute of the Family.

J. Fraser Mustard, MD, FRCP (C), Ph.D., The Founders Network, Canadian Institute of Advanced Research

Dr. J. Fraser Mustard is the founding President and Bell Canada Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Advanced Research, a network that studies complex problems in the sciences and social sciences and involves over 200 researchers in Canada, the United States, Europe, Israel and Japan. He works through the Founders' Network with the individuals who helped build the Institute. Dr. Mustard was the Dean and Vice-President of Health Sciences, McMaster University and is a board member of the Aga Khan University of Karachi.

The Honourable Landon Pearson, Senator, Government of Canada

The Honourable Senator Landon Pearson is a prominent advocate for children. She is Advisor on Children's Rights to the Minister of Foreign Affairs whom she regularly advises on issues concerning children's rights in foreign policy and the impact to Canada's domestic policies on children as a result of our international commitments, notably the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Senator Pearson guided the process of preparing Canada's National Plan of Action for Children, A Canada Fit for Children, in response to the United Nations Special Session on Children.

Richard E. Tremblay, Ph.D., Titular Chair on Child Development at the University of Montreal, and Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Psychology

Dr. Richard E. Tremblay is the Canada Research Chair in Child Development at the University of Montreal, and Professor in the Departments of Pediatrics, Psychiatry and Psychology. He is the Director of the Centre of Excellence on Early Childhood Development, and Director of the Research Unit on Psychosocial Maladjustment, a consortium of Laval, and McGill universities and the University of Montreal. Dr. Tremblay is a Molson Fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Fellow of the Academy of Experimental Criminology, and a member of the United States' National Consortium on Violence Research.

Board of Directors

Judith Loeb Cohen, President (Chair)
Adroit Investments Ltd.
K. Michael Edwards
Vice Chair,Chair, Board of Trustees
Irshaad Ahmad
Director, Institutional Services
Russell Investment Group
Jeffrey Allgrove
President & CEO
Unilever Canada
Colleen R. Campbell
Executive Managing Director
BMO Nesbitt Group
Christopher Cockburn
Vice President and Relationship Manager
Capital Guardian (Canada) Inc.
Stephen Daub
Producto Systems/Proax Canada Inc.
Margaret Franklin
KJ Harrison & Partners
Kathy Grieve
Inn at the Forks
Lawrence Haber
Executive Vice President, Corporate Development and Governance
National Bank Financial
Martine Irman
Vice Chair, Global Exchange & Money Markets
TD Bank
Ron Matheson
Fraser Milner Casgrain
Susan McBroom
Health Linx Corp.
Barry J. Myers
Canadian Leader, Investment Management Industry Practice
Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP
James O'Sullivan
Managing Director and Head of Mergers & Acquisitions
Scotia Capital Inc.
Brian J. Porter
Executive Managing Director
Scotia Capital Inc.
Tom Woods
Senior Executive Vice President & CFO
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce
Board of Trustees

K. Michael Edwards (Chair)
Douglas Bassett
Windward Investments
Marshall Cohen
Cassels Brock and Blackwell
David Denison
Fidelity Investments Canada Limited
François de Gaspé Beaubien
Co-Chief Executive Officer
Télémédia Corporation
J. Gary Gladman
President & CEO
Millennium Complex Inc.
Martin Goldfarb
Chairman & CEO
The Goldfarb Corporation
Kevin Kelly
Stephens Lowden
Corporate Director
SBL Capital Corporation
The Honourable Margaret Norrie McCain
Brian McLean
Pierre Michaud
Chairman of the Board
Réno-Dépôt Inc. and Provigo Inc.
Donald H. Morrison
Chief Operating Officer
Research in Motion
J. Edward Newall
Newall and Associates
James Postl
President & CEO
Pennzoil-Quaker State Company
Gail Regan
Vice Chair of the Board
Cara Operations Ltd.
Heather Reid
Remor Inc.
Mark Rider
President and CEO
The Rider Group
Edward Rogers Jr.
President & CEO
Rogers Communications Inc.
Arthur Scace
McCarthy Tétrault
Mark Smith
Lawrence Strong
Riccardo Trecroce
General Counsel & Vice President Corporate Administration
Patheon Inc.
Francine Tremblay
Senior Vice President, Consumer Publications
Transcontinental Media
Marie Verschuuren
Tempest Marketing/Consulting
Donald A. Wright

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