Kelsey is a natural and talented advocate with over 17 years of experience in serving young people, their families, and the systems they interact with, including the child welfare, residential, mental health, education, and criminal justice systems. This has included engaging in community development, managing residential care homes, licensing group and foster care homes for the Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services, and working as a child and youth advocate at the Ontario Child Advocate’s office. Within residential care, Kelsey co-lead a program revitalization grounded in recent research about effective ways to treat relational trauma in adolescents and was unique in Toronto residential programs. At the Ontario Child Advocate’s office, she partnered with young people in individual advocacy projects, while challenging systems that oppressed their rights under a variety of provincial and federal acts, and international conventions and declarations.
Building bridges and common understanding are at the heart of Kelsey’s style in interacting with others. Kelsey is reflective, open to challenge and possesses a self-awareness that enables her to engage in complex advocacy work. She engages in open and transparent dialogue and collaborative problem solving that lead to mutually beneficial results. She is always excited to build authentic relationships with a variety of people and organizations to work towards advancing children’s rights in Canada. Kelsey’s passion and thirst for knowledge is a defining feature of her character, so don’t be surprised if her eyes twinkle as she listens intently to you discussing what you’re passionate about.
Kelsey is a woman of many societally-constructed privileges who recognizes that the privilege she experiences, oppresses others. Kelsey is on a committed journey to decolonize services for children and youth and considers if decisions promote equity prior to making them.
Kelsey lives in Toronto, Ontario, the traditional territory of many nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Huron Wendat peoples and is now home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. Toronto is covered by Treaty 13 signed with the Mississaugas of the Credit, and the Williams Treaties signed with multiple Mississaugas and Chippewa bands. Kelsey is in a relationship with the love of her life, is a loving smommy to two wonderful boys (smommy is her sons’ word for step-mom), and is a dog-mom to a sweet golden retriever named Pearl. She is highly competitive in family board games, loves to travel, be in nature, and is constantly awed by the beauty of Canada. She is often found reading historical fiction, spy novels, and non-fiction books related to social justice and developmental trauma.