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Autism Connections & Supports for Families (Hazelton & Area, Smithers, Telkwa & Houston)

December 8, 2021 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm


December 8th, 2021 12-1:30pm

You are invited to a Lunch & Learn

We are bringing together some key community contacts that you should know if you are looking to access services in North West BC around the Hazelton & Area, Smithers, Telkwa, & Houston.  

Come hear from:
Sharon Grattan, AutismBC
Robyn Kendurkar, Family Support Institute
Brendan Barlow, Special Needs Social Worker/CYSN
Melanie & Leah, Northwest Child Development Centre

8-minute introductions, time for Q & A

Plus brainstorm ‘What’s wanted from families’

This meeting is intended for: Parents/Guardians who are residents of Hazelton & Area, Smithers, Telkwa, & Houston

Please REGISTER HERE.  You do not need to be an AutismBC member to register for this event. At the registration page, please click the ‘x’ on the member login pop-up and continue to complete the form registration page.   

We will be able to send you a registration zoom link closer to the day.  

Or contact [email protected] 778-202-1270      [email protected] 250-643-2858

Melanie Angus is the contact for Hazelton and area and Leah Macknak is the contact from Smithers to Houston.


About the Speakers on the panel: 

Sharon Grattan, AutismBC, Northern Regional Coordinator

I became a passionate advocate for the autism community after my child was diagnosed and have joined AutismBC because I am determined to bring awareness and supports to my home: Northern BC. After ten years away, my family and I returned to the North in 2017 out of our sheer love for the wildness and the people. After living in various parts of BC, I realized that each community had a different approach to the distribution of services. I am committed to connecting the North with services and am dedicated to serving each community within it.  

I have a passion for real estate, specifically craftsman character homes. My family and I have spent most of the last 14 years renovating and restoring old houses!  

Robyn Kendurkar, Family Support Institute of BC, Regional Network Coordinator, North East.  Robyn serves the communities of Prince George, Vanderhoof, Nechako-Lakes, Houston, Smithers, and the Hazeltons

My children have been my greatest teachers, and led me in my journey to becoming a Family Support Institute of BC volunteer Resource Parent in 2010 when we lived in the community of Smithers. I am a parent to two young adults who live with diverse abilities.  My lived experience as a parent and advocate for my children, along with my work role in helping other families connect to supports and resources, have given me an understanding of the unique experiences and challenges of raising children with extra support needs, while living in northern BC. I now live on the traditional and unceded territory of the Lheidli T’enneh First Nation, also known as Prince George, and work as a Regional Network Coordinator with the Family Support Institute of BC (FSI), providing outreach to communities from Prince George to the Hazeltons. With the knowledge that early intervention and early access lead to positive outcomes, my focus is to ensure all families have connections to peer support and tools for growing their advocacy and strengths.

Brendan Barlow (BSW, RSW) is a support needs social worker with the Ministry of Children and Family Development. He has been in the role three years now and comes from the Nuu-chah-nulth territory in Port Alberni, BC. He lives in Hazelton with his wife, their dog and three cats. In his role in CYSN he connects families to services including Autism Funding.

Melanie Angus (B.SW) is Gitxsan and Wet’suwet’en.  She has worked in the social work field for 20 years.  She is a mother and caring community member who believes we are deserving of all services for our northern communities.  She believes in community voice, sharing personal empowerment encouragement for all and is honoured to work for families regarding the learning and development of their children and youth.  

Leah Macknak BFA, BSW,RSW.  Leah has worked in the field of Social Work for over 20 years. She and her husband and daughter have lived in the Bulkley Valley for 14 years. Leah is passionate about working alongside children, youth and families as well as working collaboratively with other service providers. She has worked with clinical teams with CDBC/NHAN and supports families with accessing needed assessments and community intervention/resources in northern BC.


The Northwest Child Development Centre Society offers family centred health and social services to support the growth and development of our children, youth and families in the communities from Vanderhoof to Atlin.  We work collaboratively with various community partners and professionals to provide resources for all families.

Description of the Family Key Workers (FKW) program: The Complex Developmental Behavioural Conditions Program (CDBC) serves children and youth (from ages birth to 19) who would like support(s) in multiple areas of functioning, such as learning and development, mental health and behaviour, adaptive and social functioning.  The Family Key Workers for the CDBC program can support families through the intake, referral, assessment and diagnostic process.  The Key Worker also helps coordinate assessments, links families to services in the community, provides education to parents or caregivers and works to develop parent to parent support groups.




December 8, 2021
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
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