National Symposium for Child Well-being in the Middle Years

National Symposium for Child Well-being in the Middle Years


Monday August 20, 2018 to Tuesday August 21, 2018


8am - 5pm

The University of British Columbia is excited to host this event! Day One will take place at the Robert H. Lee Alumni Centre. Day Two will take place at the Ponderosa Commons.


We know middle childhood is a time of enormous physical, emotional and cognitive growth, accompanied by changes in relationships and environments. We also know that positive experiences in middle childhood build the foundation for healthy adolescence and adulthood. Many across the country are working to ensure children in the middle years have the opportunity to thrive. Here at HELP, we believe that doing this successfully begins with being fully informed: How are our children doing right now, and how is this changing over time? The Middle Years Development Instrument (MDI) tells us so much, but what else is there to learn? Who can we learn it from? How can we be more effective in our goals of enhancing children’s social and emotional well-being?

We think the time to answer these questions is now!

HELP continues our tradition of hosting innovative, quality events that focus on research-to-practice perspectives with Collaborative Action: A National Symposium for Child Well-being in the Middle Years. This special, two day HELP event is designed to inspire, motivate and strengthen participant’s leadership skills by focusing on child well-being through a systems-thinking lens. We are excited to gather together leaders in the field of child well-being from across Canada to share research and practice, to learn from each other, and to generate new ideas. Join us to enhance your effectiveness as a champion for child well-being and to network with colleagues from across Canada.


The goals if this symposium are as follows:
• Inspire and motivate participants as local leaders in enhancing children’s social and emotional well-being;
• Share knowledge about Canadian initiatives underway to improve children’s well-being, and the connection to social emotional learning and mental health promotion;
• Deepen participants’ understanding of the current research on child well-being and the significance to child well-being of the five key aspects of the MDI;
• Increase participants’ confidence in using data to inform local decision-making; share practical ideas and tools for inquiring more deeply about aspects of data.
• Develop participants’ leadership strengths; provide a framework for local planning which includes practical strategies for engaging local stakeholders, identifying local priorities and taking effective action;
• Increase participants’ familiarity with both evidence-based and promising interventions to strengthen identified areas of child wellbeing; and to
• Provide opportunities for connections, networking, sharing and learning from each other.

Who should attend?

• Professionals and practitioners whose focus is in whole or part on middle childhood and who are dedicated to promoting child well-being;
• Researchers interested in child development, and social-emotional well-being in middle childhood; 
• Those with some interest in and/or familiarity with the MDI who may have experience of working with MDI data; or who may have an intention to start using MDI Data in cross-sectoral local decision making.
• Those from various levels of government (municipalities, school boards, provincial ministries concerned with child well-being, etc.) to familiarize themselves with the national landscape of child well-being and current initiatives; and
• Those who come from locations implementing MDI in British Columbia, The Northwest Territories, and MDI National sites, as well as those who have advised us on the MDI National Scale-out Project 2015-2018.


Early Bird Pricing
Day 1 only = $195* Day 1 AND Day 2 = $235*
*The Early Bird Deadline is May 31st, 2018.

Regular Pricing
Day 1 only = $250 after May 31 Day 1 AND Day 2 = $300 after May 31, 2018

Please Note: Participants may register for just Day One, or for Days One and Two. There is no single Day Two option. 
Please Note: All rates are quoted in CAD. GST (5%) and a credit card processing fee (2%) will be added to your fees at time of registration.


Day One - August 20, 2018

Day One is focused on Child Social and Emotional Well-being, generally, providing current research and information about initiatives to promote child well-being, with a particular focus on the middle childhood years. Time for reflection and discussion and enhancing one’s personal capacity as a leader in child well-being is built-in. The intent is to offer inspiration, motivation and learning.

Our schedule for Day One is still being confirmed but highlights include an opening keynote from Dr. Kimberly Schonert-Reichl, a conversation between Kim and Dr. Mark T. Greenberg, Edna Peterson Bennett Endowed Chair in Prevention Research, Professor of Human Development and Psychology, Penn State, centered on what we know about taking effective and meaningful actions to enhance child well-being, and a presentation from Dr. Jean Clinton, Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behaviourals Neurosciences, McMaster University, about sharing insights about provincial systemic approach to supporting child well-being. Dr. Michael Ungar, Canada Research Chair in Child, Family and Community Resilience and Professor of Social Work at Dalhousie University, will close the day with a presentation entitled “A Call to Action for Child Well-being: A Systemic Approach to Building Resiliency.” Day One will also include an optional Middle Years Development Instrument (MDI) 101 session.

Day Two - August 21, 2018

Day Two is a practical working session, which provides an opportunity for development of personal leadership capacity through application of systems thinking. Although the main focus of the day is on working with MDI Reports, other local data sets can also be considered. Participants will work with (and take away) practical tools and strategies to enhance use of data for local planning and decision-making to enhance child well-being. There will be a significant connection to the Discover MDI website and its resources.

The schedule for Day Two is also being confirmed. Please expect inquiry, systems thinking, group work, and facilitated discussions related to leadership and child well-being.   


We are pleased to partner with UBC’s Interprofessional Continuing Education (IPCE) who is handling our registration needs. Please CLICK HERE to register and to learn more about hotel bookings. 

BC Children's Hospital

This is an agency of Provincial Health Services Authority, providing provincial tertiary mental health services to the citizens of British Columbia. Programs include: Adult Tertiary Psychiatry, Geriatric Psychiatry, Forensic Psychiatric Services, Child & Adolescent Mental Health, Women’s Reproductive Mental Health, as well as the Provincial Specialized Eating Disorders Program for children and youth located at the BC Children’s Hospital.

Provincial Health Services Authority

Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) is one of six health authorities – the other five health authorities serve geographic regions of BC.

Ministry of Health

British Columbia Ministry of Health

RBC Children's Mental Health Project

RBC Children’s Mental Health Project is RBC's cornerstone “health and wellness” pillar; RBC Children’s Mental Heath Project is a multi-year philanthropic commitment to support community-based and hospital programs that reduce stigma, provide early intervention and increase public awareness about children’s mental health issues.

BC Children's Hospital Foundation

Through a wide range of fundraising events and opportunities, The BC Children's Hospital Foundation is united with its donors by a single, simple passion - to improve the health and the lives of the young people who enter BC Children's Hospital every day.