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Updated: May 30, 2023

Recorded February 25, 2023 in Brantford, guest speakers Sara Pot and Brenda Agnew talk with parents and caregivers about ‘Being the Voice Your Child Needs’.

Advocacy: A Caregiver Workshop

is a conversation about experiences, challenges and strategies, in advocating for children and families with special needs. The presenters share from their personal journey as family and child advocates and educators, providing guides, resources and contacts to help you communicate with others.


Brenda Agnew is the proud mother of two boys, Chase and Maclain and younger son Maclain has severe Cerebral Palsy and profound hearing loss as a result of a condition known as Kernicterus, a brain injury that results from untreated jaundice.

Sara Pot celebrates all four of her children's unique gifts and abilities, but is often challenged by the complex care needs of her two youngest, Rachel and Janneke.


This caregiver workshop was hosted by the Lansdowne Link Family Support Network with Lansdowne Children's Centre in Brantford, Ontario. Family Engagement Coordinator Renee Cochrane shared this from her experience at the event,

“Sara and Brenda were motivating, really reinforcing why the need for advocacy is so important. The conversation allowed families to ask questions, share their experiences and brainstorm ideas on how to address challenging situations. Their mixture of humor and grace made families feel at ease and their stories were so relatable to our own journeys.”

The video series is now available on the Lansdowne Children’s Centre YouTube channel for all families to enjoy at their convenience.

This is the Family Support Network’s first organized workshop event since 2020. Eager to get feedback from participants, and input from families about future events, please share your thoughts with Renee by email, at


Persons in attendance were also provided a template parent advocate letter for reaching out to government officials.

LCC - Parent Advocate Template Letter - 2023 04 03
Download DOCX • 13KB

This letter is addressed to the Minister of Children, Community and Social Services (MCCSS), as well as MPP Will Bouma (Brantford-Brant) and Rita-Marie Hadley, Executive Director of Lansdowne Children's Centre. If needed, the relevant email addresses are:


  • Empowered Kids Ontario connecting Ontario's Children's Treatment Centres, EKO represents Ontario’s publicly funded child development and rehabilitation sector, promoting investments, policies and programs based on the best research and thought leadership available.

  • Bloom Blog at Holland-Bloorview a resource for interesting and helpful stories about pediatric healthcare, supporting children and youth with special needs, and connecting with the community BLOOM combines real family stories with the best expert advice, plus the latest news and opinion on disability.

  • Parent Advocacy Link (PAL) on Facebook a parent group for sharing stories, support and strategies for supporting children and youth with special needs and their families, and advocating for inclusivity and equity in the community A place for parents of children with neurological disorders to connect, share and learn


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