The Power of Parenting

Wednesday, 19 August 2020

Our In-House Experts

Our In-House Experts

Carol Crill Russell, B.A., M.S., M.S.W., Ph.D.
Senior Research Associate

Dr. Carol Crill Russell provides leadership to Invest in Kids' two major research initiatives: The Parenting Initiative and The Community Vitality Initiative, helps maintain Invest in Kids' ties with Canada's foremost researchers, academics, clinicians and policymakers in early child development; and, as a member of the Management Team, contributes to Invest in Kids' strategic, operational and fund development planning. She has been 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 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 has served as a member of a number of Canada's leading applied research projects, including 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 M.Sc. in Sociology from Indiana University, and an M.S.W. and a Ph.D. in Social Work and Sociology from the University of Michigan.

Karon Foster, R.N., BScN, M.Ed.
Director of The Parenting Partnership

Karon Foster provides expertise in prenatal education, maternal infant nursing, adult education and curriculum design. Her responsibilities encompass supervision of the project staff, supervision and training of teams of parent educators, curriculum design of The Parenting Partnership Program and the design of Parent Educator training.

Ms. Foster brings to this role over 30 years of combined nursing and teaching experience. As a nursing instructor, she has designed courses and taught nursing students in baccalaureate programs at the University of Toronto, York University and Ryerson Polytechnic University. Her academic experience provided an opportunity for learning the complexities of engaging students in on-line education. She has contributed as an author to several community nursing textbooks. She is intimately familiar with the needs of expectant and new parents through her work conducting prenatal and parenting classes, supervising prenatal classes and working with parents as a public health nurse.

Ms. Foster obtained her baccalaureate in Nursing Science (BScN) from the University of Toronto, and her Masters in Education (M.Ed) from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) where her focus was in the area of adult education.

Chaya Kulkarni, B.A.A., M.Ed., Ed.D.
Child Development and Parenting Expert

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 has also worked directly with children and families in the childcare sector.

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 also sits on the selection committee for the Prime Minister’s Awards for Teaching Excellence.

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

Krisanne Langille, RN, BScN
Invest in Kids Expert

Kris Langille provides expertise in prenatal education, early infant and maternal postnatal assessment and intervention and adult education. She has assisted the Director of The Parenting Partnership with curriculum design, training and supervision of teams of parent educators, and team teaching with a Parent Educator-Counselor during the Program’s pilot phase.

Kris has many years of nursing experience, ranging from intensive care and operating room to, recently, public health (Toronto), where she worked as both a Prenatal Educator and as a Public Health Nurse in the Healthy Babies/Healthy Children Program. Her teaching experience, in addition to prenatal education, includes city-wide seminars for Public Health Nurses in Toronto (pre- and postnatal topics) and as a fitness instructor.

Kris also performs in amateur musical theatre productions.

Kris received her diploma in Nursing from the Halifax Infirmary School of Nursing, and her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) degree from the University of Toronto.

Greg Lubimiv, B.S.W., M.S.W., C.A.C.P.T.S*
Site Consultant

Greg Lubimiv is responsible for finding sites, Parent Educators and developing partnerships with community based agencies. He also contributes to the curriculum for The Parenting Partnership, as well as in the training of Parent Educators. 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 supports 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)