Find a centre near you... FIND HELP

B2-1: Building the Extensive Needs Service: Bridging Gaps for Ontario’s Children

This workshop will delve into the collaborative efforts of three organizations in Ontario – Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, and McMaster Children’s Hospital – to establish the new Extensive Needs Service. This new pathway offers specialized clinical services, including multidisciplinary assessment and individualized wrap-around interventions to children and youth with extensive behavioral, developmental, mental health, medical needs, and social vulnerabilities. This workshop will explore the Extensive Needs Service and how it is transforming the way clinical services are organized for children and youth with complex needs in order to provide timely, evidence-based treatment and services. Participants will gain insights into the process standing up this service, including strategies for multi-organizational partnerships, stakeholder engagement, and outcome measurement. Concrete examples from families with lived experience, and practical tools will be shared to facilitate audience engagement and participation.


Kathryn Decker is the Director of the Extensive Needs Service at Holland Bloorview. She is a registered Occupational Therapist with 15years of clinical experience and 10years of progressive leadership experience in the areas of specialized clinical services and mental health in both the public and private sectors. Prior to joining Holland Bloorview, Kathryn was the Manager of Integrated Mental Health and Substance Use at Michael Garron Hospital. Kathryn is committed to trauma-informed and patient/family centered practice and is passionate about creating patient pathways that are accessible, equitable and well connected with community partners.  Kathryn holds Master of Science in Occupational Therapy, McMaster University and Master of Health Science in Health Administration from the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto. Kathryn is also a clinical educator and holds an adjunct Lecturer appointment in the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy at the University of Toronto.

Taylor Johansen is the Director of Neurodevelopmental Health at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario. She holds a Bachelor of Life Sciences from Queen’s University, a Master of Health Administration from the University of Ottawa, and is a Robert Wood Johnson award recipient. In 2021, Taylor was named one of Ottawa’s Forty Under 40 (by the Ottawa Business Journal and Ottawa Board of Trade) and a Young Executive Leader (by the International Hospital Federation). In 2022 Taylor was the recipient of the Telfer School of Management Young Achiever’s Award. Taylor has worked in healthcare leadership in Canada, Ireland, and Australia. Her experience spans home care, community disability services, and hospital administration. She is a proud mother to two young daughters and has a passion for supporting women in leadership.

Karen Margallo is the Director for Child & Youth Ambulatory Services at McMaster Children’s Hospital, Hamilton Health Sciences and Site Administrator for the Ron Joyce Children’s Health Centre. She is responsible for the majority of pediatric medicine/surgical clinics located at the McMaster University Medical Centre site. Within the Ron Joyce Children’s Health Centre, her portfolio also includes Supports & Services; Developmental Pediatrics and Rehabilitation, including community- and school-based rehabilitation, infant child development, and developmental services.  She also has MCH Integrated Care (MiCare), including the new Extensive Needs –Integrated Pathway and RJCHC Physician Clinics.  She has over twenty years of experience at HHS in both clinical and leadership roles. As a graduate of the University of Toronto and the University of Western Ontario, Karen holds Honours Bachelor of Science Degree and Clinical Master of Science in Occupational Therapy. She is a strong supporter of clinical education, quality improvement, research, and leadership development.



B2-2: Integrating Care for Dual-Diagnosed Youth: Learnings from Urgent Response Services

In April 2022, Children’s Treatment Network (CTN) was awarded funding by the government of Ontario, Canada to develop and implement an Urgent Response Service (URS) for autistic young people and their families. To achieve the goal of providing collaborative, evidence-based, trauma-informed, family-centred, and culturally responsive care, the processes developed afforded ongoing training, supervision, expert consultation, and regular service planning meetings for the network of interdisciplinary professionals.

In this panel, clinicians from the applied behaviour analysis and mental health teams at Kinark Child Youth Services will discuss how they deliver interdisciplinary and integrated treatment for autistic children and youth with a focus on mitigating suicidal ideation and behaviour. We begin with a high-level overview of the URS framework and contextualize our work through overarching theoretical and evidence-based practices. We will showcase how mental health clinicians apply the principles and strategies from “third wave” cognitive behavioural psychotherapies and adaptions to address internal psychological processes such as deficits in emotion identification, expression, regulation, and acceptance as well as maladaptive thinking patterns, interpretations, and beliefs. Additionally, behaviour analysts will discuss the importance of environmental interventions including identifying recurring precipitating events and implementing antecedent strategies, as well as addressing problematic contingencies that maintain unsafe behaviour. Lastly, the panelists will also share findings from an evaluation of the URS collaborative, which will include analyzing aggregate data reporting on rates of interdisciplinary service use, feedback on child and caregiver experience, treatment outcomes, and mental health clinician perceptions of job satisfaction.


Dr. Laura Goodman is a Registered Psychologist who earned a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Dalhousie University. She works in Kinark’s Child and Youth Mental Health Program and Autism Services as well as in private practice. Laura’s work focuses on providing care to neurodivergent children and youth with severe mental health needs. She co-authored the policy paper, ‘Putting Children and Youth First: Integrating Autism and Mental Health Services in Ontario’. Laura is dedicated to the development and implementation of innovative processes that support integrated, comprehensive, and responsive care to those with complex needs and their caregivers.

Carla Danziger, MSW, RSW, is a Registered Social Worker with a master’s degree in social work from the University of Toronto, specializing in mental health services for children and youth with autism. In her role as Mental Health Consultant at Kinark in the Urgent Response Services program, Carla provides consultation to a multidisciplinary team, assessment of high-risk behaviours and responsive intervention using evidence-based therapeutic modalities tailored to meet the unique needs of each individual client and their family. Carla recognizes that change happens in trusting and empathic therapist-client relationships and strives to ensure her clients feel heard, validated, and empowered.

Hima De Silva is a Board-Certified Behaviour Analyst who earned a Master’s degree in Applied Disability Studies from Brock University and a graduate level diploma in Intensive Behaviour Sciences and Technology from George Brown College. As a Kinark Behaviour Consultant with the Urgent Response Services program, Hima is passionate about helping others, namely children and youth with autism, mental health, and complex needs. Through her work and professional interests, Hima is dedicated to the science of ABA and the advancement of highly collaborative, individualized, and meaningful support for children and youth engaging in high-risk behaviour, and their families.

Dr. Samantha O’Leary (she/her) is a Senior Research Advisor within the Planning and Research department at Kinark Child and Family Services. She holds a PhD in Family Relations and Human Development from the University of Guelph and is a Registered Psychotherapist. As an applied social scientist and research-practitioner, she integrates a clinical lens into her research and evaluation portfolio which includes a focus on CYMH, Autism, and broader systems-level initiatives. Samantha has taught university courses in Social Policy for Children, Youth and Families (University of Guelph) and Children with Exceptionalities (Renison University College – affiliated with University of Waterloo).



B2-3: Breaking Down Barriers: Increasing Timely Access to Interdisciplinary Collaborative Consultation

Interdisciplinary team members from York Hills Community Consultation and Assessment Services (CCAAS) will describe our innovative service delivery model whereby service practitioners from across Ontario can access free consultation for complex children’s mental health cases. The CCAAS team is comprised of several professionals from a wide variety of disciplines, including psychology, psychiatry, speech language pathology, occupational therapy and family systems framework. Cases are brought forward by clinical professionals or case managers supporting children, youth and families from across Ontario when they are experiencing a clinical mental health or systemic difficulty. Service providers from various education, child welfare, hospital, and community mental health sectors benefit from our collaborative conversations. Services are designed to enhance service provider clinical capacity, knowledge, and provide them with guidance for treatment planning. We will discuss the CCAAS journey over the past three years where our service delivery model pivoted to be by video-platform and in doing so improved accessibility for service providers across Ontario. We will discuss lessons learned, service delivery outcomes, and share our increased knowledge about strategies to promote province wide engagement. Presenters will describe their own experience using a virtual care model and we will discuss themes from service recipients feedback forms and their experiences interacting with our team.


Dr. Jared Berger, Psy.D., C. Psych, has been providing psychological services in York Region since 2013. He is registered with the College of Psychologists of Ontario in the area of Clinical Psychology working with children, adolescents, and families. He has provided services in community mental health, hospital, and private practice settings. He provides comprehensive assessment services including gifted testing and diagnosis of learning, attentional, autism-spectrum, behavioural, and social-emotional disorders. He is a CACBT certified cognitive-behavioural therapist. He provides evidence-based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to children, adolescents and their families dealing with anxiety, depressed mood, and social skills concerns. As a CCAAS team member, he actively collaborates with services providers from across Ontario.

Sue Browne, CYW, BA, RP, is the Program Coordinator of the Community Consultation and Assessment Service at York Hills Centre for Children, Youth and Families. With over 30 years of experience working in the community mental health sector, she holds a wealth of knowledge which she imparts on service providers. She actively collaborates with providers across various primary care, schools, child welfare, and community mental health sectors.

Lesley Gorman Lemieux, RP, MA, is the Clinical Coordinator and Family Systems Specialist of the Community Consultation and Assessment Service interdisciplinary team at York Hills Centre for Children, Youth and Families. She actively collaborates with service providers from educational, community mental health, and child welfare systems to address timely access to mental health services.

Skip to content