Candidate Statement

Judy Newman

Toronto, Ontario

During your 2+ years of membership in SVN, describe how you have utilized your member benefits. (Networking, training, credential, etc.)

I have been a very engaged and active member of SVN since joining in 1993/4. During this time I have served on the Board including on the Executive, sat on numerous committees including Finance, Training, Governance and Nominations, Standards and Guidelines, and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI). I worked on the development of the standards and ethics and accreditation standards and the 24 hour training curriculum. I have also been involved in the Ontario Chapter of SVN. Almost every year I attend the annual conference to present a workshop and especially to meet other SV members and learn from them and make lifelong friends around the world. SVN is a unique organization that provides opportunities for learning and networking with other SV professionals.

Describe your experience in the field of supervised visitation or relevant experience that intersects with the field of supervised visitation.

In 1984 my work as a Social Worker conducting custody and access assessments led me to become aware of the need for safe, quality SV programming. I started a group to lobby for funding for supervised access services. It took a while but we were successful. From 1996-2016 I was the Manager of the Supervised Access Program for the Province of Ontario, overseeing a province wide program and developing standards and policies and best practices and training and doing research. Throughout that time I had a close working relationship with SV service providers, academics and the bench and bar. I also participated with OVW in the selection of SV grantees when the funding first became available. Since retiring I have continued to provide consultation on SV to providers and to work on research projects and articles.

SVN’s vision statement is: “The Supervised Visitation Network champions a world in which all vulnerable families have access to safe and quality visitation services.” Discuss your commitment to better outcomes for families in consideration of racial, cultural, socio-economic, gender equity and ability/disability.

Access to safe and quality service is not just about physical safety. SVN needs to ensure that its standards, trainings and materials reflect "access" to all families through consideration of differences based on race, gender, culture, language and ability. I would like the opportunity to work with the leadership and members of SVN to ensure we achieve the vision we have set for SVN.

What do you envision as the primary function of the position you are seeking and what skills, talent and experiences do you have that would most benefit SVN (and ultimately the membership) if elected to the position?

Should I be elected to the Board, I see my role as one of representing the membership, providing leadership, good stewardship and promoting innovation in the organization. I feel that I have demonstrated leadership and communication skills as well as financial management experience from my years of provincial program budget management. I also have knowledge of curriculum development and fundraising strategies. I also have strong mediation and negotiation skills which are useful in working with groups.

Regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion, what strategy(s) would you utilize to effectively engage in dialogue with the membership?

I believe that transparency and openness are critical for engaging members in the journey to increased diversity, equity and inclusion. I would like to see SVN engage in more community outreach and provider mentorship to encourage more diverse membership. We need to hear from and listen to members about barriers to participation and be willing to make necessary changes. The DEI Committee should be an integral part of the organization and DEI should be a consideration in all of our activities.

In what local, national, state, or provincial organizations (coalitions, groups, or task forces) outside of SVN or your current employer are you involved that would enhance the Networks goals?

I volunteer for the Victim Justice Network which seeks to provide information and education about victims' issues and to make the voices of victims heard. This organization partners with a range of networks to achieve its goals. I am also a member of the AFCC and AFCC-Ontario which are multi-professional organizations in the family law fields that intersect with SV. It would be useful for SVN to create stringer connections with these organizations to benefit the families we serve by increasing other professionals' understanding of the services we provide.