What’s happening at BFO-MR?

A lot has been going on at Midwestern Region since our last newsletter!

Professional Advisory Committee
We’ve transitioned our Program Advisory Committee to a Professional Advisory Committee. This group is representative of professionals from social work, nursing, spirituality, funeral industry and/or education fields.  The new PAC is tasked with ensuring all programs operate within the BFO-MR mission, mandate, goals, beliefs and values. PAC will also help identify opportunities to improve/develop our programming to ensure we evolve to meet the needs of the bereaved community.

The staff and board are excited about what this new committee will mean for our organization, and how we serve the community.

For more information about PAC’s role in strengthening our organization, please click here.

Facilitator Training
One of our top priorities for 2016 is building our team of facilitators. Our facilitators are incredible volunteers who give generously of their time and compassion to support others along their grief journey.

We are actively recruiting facilitators for our Parents Grieving the Death of an Infant and Parents Grieving the Death of a Child Program. Our volunteers play a critical role in us being able to offer these peer grief support programs to families in the community.

Plans are underway for our next round of Facilitator Training, happening in the fall. If this is something you’re interested in, please contact us. We would be happy to provide more information, and connect with you as soon as the date and location has been firmed up.

Outreach activities continue in Wellington County as our Ontario Trillium Foundation grant comes to a close. We are proud to have launched the Mount Forest Living with Loss Group and it is one of the major successes resulting from this work. Midwestern Region continues to explore opportunities for other possible groups to serve Wellington County.

Healing Little Hearts – Fall Group
With thanks to the generous support of the Brenda and Dave Walden Family Foundation, we are pleased to announce that we will be running our Healing Little Hearts Program again in the fall. We typically only run this program once per year, but we continue to experience a long waiting list for families wanting their pre-school children to participate in this group. Being able to run this program a second time in 2016 will mean we can provide grieving children with timely grief support.

Annual General Meeting
Mark your calendars for our upcoming AGM. It will be taking place on Monday June 20th at 5:00 p.m. at The Family Centre. Watch for more details coming soon.

Team Update
We are excited to announce that Alex welcomed a healthy baby girl into her family on Valentine’s Day. Mom, dad and baby are all doing well. While Alex is on maternity leave, Jenna Bewick will be filling the role of Program Coordinator. You can reach her at 519-603-0196 or

Bereaved Families of Ontario in the news
Bereaved Families of Ontario affiliates have recently been in the news providing comments and insight around two separate issues:

Extended bereavement leave for grieving parents
YouTube Video: NDP MPP, Peter Tabuns speaks about the private members bill.

CBC Article: Ontario bill seeks to extend bereavement leave for grieving parents: Private member’s bill would allow parents who have lost child to have up to 52 weeks of leave.

Global News Video: Jonathan’s Law pushes for extended leave for bereaved parents

Interim Human Rights Tribunal rules miscarriage a disability
CBC Radio KW interview: Midwestern Executive Director Jaime Bickerton was interviewed on The Morning Edition on April 1 and spoke about the impact the decision could have on families and employers. CBC KW also wrote an article about the ruling.

CBC Metro Morning interview: BFO Toronto Executive Director speaks  on the Metro Morning show.
Global News also aired a segment on the decision.