Fall Expo 2015 - Waitlist registration announced

We are full! Please register and add your name to the waitlist.



Join us on Wednesday, November 4, 2015 at UBC Robson Square for a full day of research highlights and hands-on learning.

Our Fall Research Expo is the most important day in HELP’s annual calendar and we are very excited to share this year’s theme and program - Explore and Engage: Evidence for policy and practice in child well-being.

The full day event will provide participants with an opportunity to learn more from, and dialogue with, HELP faculty and research staff including Kimberly Schonert-Reichl, Paul Kershaw, Brenda Poon, Martin Guhn, Lori Irwin and HELP’s Aboriginal Steering Committee. This year we are also pleased to announce panel presentations by Kiley Hamlin, Associate Professor in the UBC Department of Psychology, and Maria LeRose, Director of Programs at the Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education.

We are also thrilled to be hosting an afternoon workshop series. Participants will choose from five different workshops, each representing a particular research theme. The workshops will provide an opportunity for participants to increase their knowledge and exchange ideas in a facilitated learning environment with faculty, affiliates and researchers on a variety of HELP’s current research and tools.

A complete schedule is included below. This event is one of our most popular. We encourage you to register now to ensure your space. Click here to register. And please join the conversation on social media in the lead up to the event with #HELPExpo2015. We look forward to seeing you on November 4.



Welcome and Blessing, with special guest Shane Pointe
Welcome on behalf of the Aboriginal Steering Committee - Elder Jessie Nyberg
Opening Remarks - Pippa Rowcliffe, Deputy Director, HELP, and Dr. Kimberly Schonert-Reichl, Director, HELP

9:30 - 10:50 Panel Session 1: What do we know about Children’s Social and Emotional Wellbeing?
The emotional benefits of behaving pro-socially:  Studies with 1-4 year olds
Dr. Kiley Hamlin, Associate Professor in the UBC Department of Psychology

Trends in children’s early social and emotional wellbeing: What does HELP’s data tell us?
Dr. Martin Guhn, Assistant Professor, Human Early Learning Partnership, SPPH

New evidence, new ideas: Thinking differently about development across the early life course
Dr. Kimberly Schonert-Reichl, Director, HELP

10:50 - 11:10 COFFEE BREAK

11:10 - 12:30 Panel Session 2 - Exploring Solutions at Every Level
Building a Canada that works for all generations
Dr. Paul Kershaw, Founder, Generation Squeeze and Associate Professor, HELP

Community Systems that support children and families
Dr. Brenda Poon, Assistant Professor, HELP

Promoting Heart-Mind Well-Being: Inspire, Engage, Inform!
Dr. Maria LeRose, Program Consultant, Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education

12:30 - 1:30 LUNCH

1:45 - 3:45 Workshops
This year's Fall Expo will include five different workshops, each representing a particular research theme. Each workshop will provide an opportunity for participants to engage in dialogue and hands-on learning with faculty, affiliates and researchers on a variety of HELP’s current research and tools. Workshops will run once, concurrently.

You will be asked to select your top two choices on the registration form. Please review the descriptions and learning objectives below (also attached here) in anticipation of the registration form. We will do our best to accommodate your first preference. Workshops will include either two, 50 minute sessions or one session that will last 1.5 hours. A 30 minute coffee break will be included.

Social and Emotional Learning: Recent Research Findings and Practical Strategies for Helping Children Thrive
Facilitator: Dr. Kimberly Schonert-Reichl, Director, HELP, and Lisa Pedrini, MDI National Scale-Out Project Manager

Workshop description: Take a deep dive into the current research and practical strategies related to social and emotional wellbeing in early and middle childhood. This workshop will include an exploration of the latest research on children's social and emotional learning and development, and how it can be promoted at home, in school, and in the community. Participants will learn about specific programs and practical strategies that educators and practitioners can implement with families and children across these environments, and how to create the contexts that will encourage the development of these skills, with or without programming support. Opportunities for discussion and experiential learning will be woven throughout the workshop.  

Audience: This workshop is geared for educators and practitioners who work children and families in various contexts, and who want to strengthen their capacity to support and enhance these competencies in the early and middle years.

Participants in this workshop can expect to:
a.    Increase their understanding of the cutting edge research on the key dimensions of social and emotional competence and well-being in the early years, and the impact of these dimensions on later adjustment in adolescence and adulthood;
b.    Increase their knowledge of social and emotional competencies in early childhood;
c.    Identify and compare evidence-based programming that supports the development of social and emotional competence and well-being in the early years.

Embedding a parent perspective in understanding children's early development: the Toddler Development Instrument and the Childhood Experiences Questionnaire

Audience: This workshop will be of value ECD professionals, service providers, policy makers, and researchers with an interest in community-based ECD monitoring and/or a desire to make a contribution to the development of a new instrument at HELP

Session 1 (50 minutes): The Toddler development Instrument -- Implementing a universal 18 month ECD context monitoring survey
Facilitator: Dr. Martin Guhn

Workshop description: The TDI has been developed to collect parent survey data about social family and community context factors related to the health and wellbeing of toddlers. The TDI promises to add a critical component to HELP's longitudinal, population-based child development monitoring system. The workshop will explore the development, community-based focus groups and piloting of the Toddler Development Instrument (TDI). Opportunities for inter-sectoral collaboration and challenges for implementation will be discussed.

Participants in this workshop can expect to:
a.    Identify relevant child-specific and contextual factors at 18 months that predict developmental outcomes in kindergarten;
b.    Recognize the validity of early screening measures and gain familiarity with items/questions on the TDI pilot version;
c.    Learn about the results from TDI focus groups with parents and ECD professionals from across BC;
d.    Reflect on ideas about potential synergies related to universal ECD monitoring.

Session 2 (50 minutes): The Childhood Experiences Questionnaire — The New EDI Companion
Facilitators: Dr. Lori G. Irwin and Dr. Alisa Almas

Workshop description:  The Childhood Experiences Questionnaire (CHeq) is designed to help gather information in specific areas related to the experiences of children in British Columbia from birth to Kindergarten entry. Parents will fill out the questionnaire at the beginning of the school year.  Parents will be asked about children’s experiences related to areas of early child development that matter for children’s long-term developmental success.  As a companion to the Early Development Instrument (EDI), the CHeq represents a critical component to HELP's longitudinal, population-based child development monitoring system capturing previously untapped information. This workshop will highlight the instrument development and seek input from ECD professionals related to content and implementation.

Participants in this workshop can expect to:
a.    Identify relevant childhood experiences that predict developmental outcomes;
b.    Gain familiarity with items/questions on the CHeq (pilot version);
c.    Learn about initial results from CHeq to EDI linkage;
d.    Contribute to the ongoing development of the CHeq.

Exploring EDI Data through a First Nations Lens: Community Stories and Teachings from the Cowichan First Nation
Facilitators: Kimberley Bayer, Aboriginal Community Liaison Coordinator, HELP , Diana Elliott, member HELP Aboriginal Steering Committee, Ada Mawson, HELP ASC

Workshop description: HELP has been collecting EDI data on the wellbeing of BC's First Nations, Metis and Inuit children since 1999. This workshop will provide an in-depth exploration of various topics related to Aboriginal EDI data including: the process and principles guiding access to Aboriginal EDI Data (OCAP: Ownership, Access, Control, Privacy); community experiences with interpreting and applying EDI data in a local context; and the relationship between the values and teachings in the early years from the Cowichan Tribes and the EDI. In addition, participants will have an opportunity to learn about the work of HELP's Aboriginal Steering Committee (ASC) in advising on core research projects, administration, and knowledge translation. Expect an afternoon of community voices and opportunities for dialogue.

Audience: This workshop is geared to anyone working with First Nations, Metis and Inuit children and families in BC the fields of child development, education, health, or social services, in frontline, policy, resource allocation, or funding development capacities, particularly Aboriginal communities and organizations who are interested in accessing EDI data.

Participants in this workshop can expect to:
a.    Identify the protocols and guidelines for accessing Aboriginal EDI data, which is not shared publicly;
b.    Increase their knowledge of approaches to using Aboriginal EDI data to guide planning and investments in communities;
c.    Recognize the ASC’s role with HELP, advising on core research projects and the cultural safety within instruments, administration, data sharing, and knowledge translation;
d.    Increase their awareness of the values and teachings of the Cowichan Tribes and their relevance with the EDI child development scales.

What We Think About When We Think About Data
Facilitators: Barry Forer, Research Methodologist, HELP and Jay Douillard, Geospatial Technical Lead

Description: HELP gathers and reports on a lot of data – six waves of provincial EDI data, MDI data from 26 School Districts (so far), and pilot data for the Childhood Experiences Questionnaire and Toddler Developmental Instrument. Sometimes it is hard to navigate it all.  HELP's ongoing challenge is to make all of our data available to the community in a meaningful and useful way. This workshop is designed to support data users to locate and use HELP data, maps, and calculators (e.g. interactive maps, SES data, Critical Difference calculator), avoid some persistent data misconceptions, and understand and engage with uncertainty in the data. Participants will also be introduced to the 15 EDI subscales and, through discussion and feedback, help to make those data as meaningful and useful as possible.

Audience: This workshop is best suited to anyone who would like to be better equipped to use HELP data. It will be particularly interesting to those who want to gain a better appreciation of how we at HELP think about our data. Those with a particular interest in subscales are very welcome, to help us work out the best way to make these data meaningful.

Participants in this workshop can expect to:
a.    Increase their knowledge and skills in accessing and applying all HELP data resources on the website as intended;
b.    Identify how uncertainty plays a role in the patterns of results that we find with HELP data;
c.    Describe the 15 EDI subscales, have an appreciation of the strengths and weaknesses, both of the subscales themselves and how subscale results can be represented.

Facing upstream: Addressing the roots of health and well-being

Session 1: Health Inequity: Why is it bad for all of us
Facilitators: Dr. James (Jim) Frankish

Description: This session will present current evidence on the non-medical, social determinants of health in the BC and Canadian context.  It will highlight the social and economic implications of existing health inequities; and challenge participants to identify and discuss a ‘preferred’ future regarding health equity.

Audience: This workshop is geared to anyone interested in understanding the concepts and social justice ideas that lie beneath a social determinants of health approach.
Participants in this workshop can expect to:
a.    Increase understanding of current evidence about the non-medical determinants of health;
b.    Relate the determinants to the BC and Canadian context;
c.    Discuss the implications of existing health inequities; and
d.    Identify and reflect on a ‘preferred’ future.

Session 2: Supporting young children and families: Promoting coordinated and collaborative approaches in communities to improve our practice
Facilitators: Dr. Brenda Poon, Assistant Professor, HELP, Joanne Schroeder, Executive Director, Comox Valley Child Development Association, and Pippa Rowcliffe, Deputy Director, HELP

Description: The purpose of this workshop is to explore ways that organizations and agencies at the community level work together to improve services and programs for young children and families through enhanced coordination and integration of service delivery.  Based on the wealth of information we have gained from over 20 years of early years programming and practice in BC and also HELP's latest program of research on community systems-level supports for young children and families, we will discuss with workshop participants the following:  How can our practices be improved so that services are less fragmented? What do we know about ways that organizations across sectors work together to achieve shared objectives? What have we learned about facilitators and barriers to achieving effective collaboration and service integration?

Audience: Members of schools and school districts, health authorities, government, community groups or organizations, or collaborative tables who are engaged in collaborative efforts to promote more integrated services for young children and families at a community level.

Participants in this workshop can expect to:
a.    Describe various ways that effective collaboration has been conceptualized;
b.    Reflect upon factors that help or hinder service integration efforts; and
c.    Discuss practical ways that community organizations work together to develop and mobilize a shared vision for improving services and supports for children and families.