Barnes Management Group (BMG) is pleased to welcome four new placement students to the BMG Team. The four placement students are all completing their Master of Social Work program at Windsor University. Joining the BMG Team are Alysha Sheehan, Kristin Hunter, Charlene Randall, and Caitlin Carmichael. The placement students will be involved in a wide range of BMG initiatives including community building for newcomers, long-term care services, services for the Indigenous community and other key BMG services. Let us introduce you to this powerhouse team.
A Registered Social Worker, Alysha brings her social work education, interpersonal skills, conflict resolution and facilitation skills, and a passion for helping clients reach their goals, as well as her commitment to diversity, social development and building stronger communities. Through Alysha’s current role at Native Child and Family Services of Toronto, along with her current volunteer role as the secretary on the Board of Directors at Community Justice Alternatives of Durham Region, and her previous responsibilities as Resource and Information Counsellor, Alysha has developed an impressive skill set to contribute to the work of BMG.
When asked what attracted her to BMG for placement, Alysha commented, “The holistic, collaborative and community-based approach to the work BMG does, instead of focusing on a hierarchy, BMG uses an inclusive approach and elevates voices with lived experience. In addition, having a placement with the ability to be involved in a multitude of projects where I would be able to work with folks of different education backgrounds and different perspectives. Being able to be a part of research and policy development with a community-based lens – having that ability to use the new skills from my MSW program and put them into action. And lastly, I am excited to work on projects that include the community. Working in community development and engagement is something I am excited about and supporting/elevating the voices with lived experience in hearing what they need and what changes they want to see. I am pleased to be part of creating everyone as an equal and a partner.” Welcome to the BMG Team, Alysha.
Kristin is an award winning social service professional with 18 years experience working in mental health, justice, education, and community settings. She brings with her a proven history of successful advocacy for individuals, communities, and populations in both urban and rural contexts. Kristin’s critical and analytical skills are demonstrated by her execution of research and presentation of findings to policy decision makers.
Her strong interpersonal and communication skills have been displayed through her public speaking and participation in local and national media interviews. Kristin describes herself as a lifelong learner with a passion for continued educational advancement, skill enhancement, and personal and professional growth.
Kristin is looking forward to her placement at BMG and recently provided some comments regarding her placement. Kristin commented, “I am shifting future career prospects to align with a macro social work scope. My aspiration is to work within policy and bring about social justice for communities made vulnerable by structural inequities. What attracted me to BMG was the opportunity to learn innovative ways that social workers are contributing to systems changes. I feel that BMG is uniquely positioned to carry out this type of social work.”
Kristin also added, “I have aligned interests with BMG – particularly around Long-Term Care. I was a speaker for the Ontario Health Coalition highlighting the changes required to improve conditions for residents in Long-Term Care. I have also spoken about this issue through local and national news media broadcasts to bring awareness to the injustices that exist for Long-Term Care residents. Interning with BMG will allow for further skill acquisition including research, presentation and communication skills, community building, and learning new ways of elevating the voices of lived experience to bring about social change.” Welcome to the BMG Team, Kristin.
Charlene is a driven leader who has skillfully balanced organizational objectives and community partnerships, strategizing and developing collaborative ways to create positive and equitable outcomes for families, children and youth, Charlene has many outcomes she would like to take from her placement experience at BMG.
She recently commented “I was drawn to BMG as a placement opportunity after learning more about the agency’s projects and BMG’s concerted focus on community engagement outside of the traditional confounds of practice in order to benefit society. Further to that, I am highly energized and very passionate about community engagement and helping to elevate the voices of the most vulnerable among us, especially those from equity deserving groups which is highly aligned with BMG’s work.
Charlene also aded, “Having the experience of working in child welfare for over 20 years, I understand the value and importance of community collaboration and partnership in the development of projects. I am hoping to learn more about community development and how to effectively empower communities to mobilize and achieve the goals they set out. In the process, I hope to strengthen my analytical and research skills and learn more about what goes into the process of proposal writing, strategic planning and information gathering in order to lead a successful project. I am very excited for the opportunity to complete my placement at BMG and look forward to learning from the team!”
Charlene is currently Service Director, Parent & Child Capacity Building at Peel CAS. In her capacity, Charlene works with the CEO and Senior Management team to ensure implementation of service direction, strategic plan, and champions key agency initiatives. She leads a team of management staff to provide integrated services to children, youth and families which involve assessments and/or ongoing support. Charlene is also the Portfolio lead of the agency’s mental health strategy, intimate partner violence initiatives, infant wellness, kinships services and Caledon satellite team. As well, in her role Charlene champions diversity, equity and inclusion, anti-racism and anti-oppression initiatives. Charlene has held several other positions with Peel CAS in the past. Welcome to the BMG Team, Charlene.
Caitlin Carmichael has, since 2019, held the role of a Project Coordinator at Kerry’s Place Autism Service. She is currently completing a Master of Social Work at the University of Windsor. Through her experience, Caitlin has developed a strong background in leading project development, data management, resource allocation, and communications. In her current role, she coordinates a project called the Young Adults Project (YAP); this project is an employment and post-secondary support initiative for adults with autism across the GTA, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph, Halton/Milton, North York, and Simcoe. Caitlin joined the project in the pilot phase with one staff and ten clients and since joining she has grown the project over the last three years to have 10 staff and over 180 clients. With the growth, Caitlin has developed tracking systems, an online intake, and project evaluation forms to support new initiatives, their implementation as well as client and staff management. Additionally, in her role, Caitlin schedules all resources and staff, reviews all eligibility forms for incoming participants, sends welcome packages and onboards all incoming eligible participants, liaises with funders to ensure deliverables and funding transactions are on target, and conducts metric and report writing.
Caitlin is excited about her placement opportunity at BMG and recently commented, “ I have a keen interest in community engagement, policy and development and this is what attracted me to BMG. I have always been interested in understanding the impacts of policies, especially colonial policies on past and present communities. BMG is giving me the opportunity to unpack how these policies affect communities.”
Caitlin added, “I am excited to work and learn from the team at BMG as they have years of experience in working with communities and empowering different communities to rethink policy and to be the change makers in their communities.
In her Professional Profile, Caitlin lists Project Management experience of 4+ years, providing full oversight of five projects, including needs assessments, scheduling, client communication and evaluation, as well as having written, submitted and secured $250,000 of grants to support project expansion. Additionally, Caitlin has expanded a project from 1:10 staff to participants to 10:180. She has also planned, disseminated and collected evaluations that inform PDSA cycles for quality improvement initiatives.
Welcome to the BMG Team, Caitlin.
Submitted by Fernando Saldanha, Managing Director, BMG