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We are very excited to tell you that First Foundations has teamed up with Connected Parenting.  


A little background: Why FFCA and Connected Parenting? 


At FFCA, we use empathy as a tool to connect with our students.  We want our students to know that their teachers feel how they are feeling.  We use body language and tone to match a child’s affect.  This allows our students to see in our face and hear in our voice that we know how they are feeling and that we can feel their urgency.  After we are able to connect, we then move to effectively guide behaviour.    


To help support us in this approach, we have teamed up with Connected Parenting and Cindy Smolkin (a registered Social Worker and a therapist at Connected Parenting). Connected Parenting is based on the understanding that correcting and guiding behaviour works best when it is preceded by and linked to empathy.  It is a natural match with FFCA.  


Cindy Smolkin will spend 1 day a month in each of our schools modelling and supporting our team in this practice.  


More About Cindy Smolkin 


Cindy has been working with children and families for 18 years. She has been trained in the Connected Parenting model and uses its tenets in both her private practice and her own family life. In addition to her private practice, Cindy has worked as a family therapist at Jewish Family and Child Services in Toronto and at Integra, a mental health centre for children and adolescents with learning disabilities. Cindy was a social worker at the Toronto District School Board for many years where she counseled children and families, facilitated groups, ran workshops and provided training for teachers and school administrators. Cindy is also a field supervisor for the University of Toronto Faculty of Social Work. She has worked intensively with children with special needs and has assisted parents in advocating for their children.


For more information on Connected Parenting please visit