That all people
enjoy a full and
meaningful life
within the community.

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Selena Blake

Manager of Emerging Practices

Welcome Selena Blake to the DAFRS Team!

We are pleased to announce a new member to our DAFRS team. Selena Blake has joined our Family Support Team as a new Manager with a focus on Emerging Practice and Evaluation, joining Teresa Dale a long time Manager who has a focus on Facilitation and Planning. Selena has come to us with a rich knowledge from her work at Extend-a-Family in Toronto, as well as a strong understanding of DAFRS from her time as past Chair of the Board for our organization.

Selena’s role will encompass the many forms of emerging practice that arise as throughout the whole Family Support team we develop new projects, test different approaches and creatively figure out next steps for and with families.

Many of our best ideas arise through one part of our Family Support Team and are worked through in other parts. For instance, facilitators have been working with families on housing for many years but began to see this as an even stronger interest over the past few years. Therefore, we were in a good position to imagine and find funding for a Housing Project that has developed to accompany the ongoing work of facilitation and planning. A focus on emerging practice will help us to determine which practices are working best for individuals and families, which will need re-working, and which are best left to others or ended in a timely fashion. Naturally, this means bringing good evaluation skills to the work at hand.

Selena in her new role is arriving at a time when we have more staff to guide and work alongside, more projects to think about more deeply, and more of a need to think in strategic and evaluative ways. Her work will not only support some team members, projects and initiatives along, but also positively affect all aspects of the Family Support Team as we continue in these uncertain times.

Our current projects include Housing, Mindfulness, Interest-based Recruitment, Storyteller to the Board, Biomedical Approaches Study, Role Developer with the Adult Respite Home, and Supportive Decision-making. At the same time, many of our ongoing, long term initiatives (DFN, Recruitment through, Making the Most Family series) and our core Facilitation and Planning resources are always strongly innovative and we consider these to be among the best of our tried and true approaches for families. A focus on all kinds of emerging practice will benefit us all.

As always, we move forward with one dynamic Family Support Team in our highly collaborative style – though now we will enjoy and benefit from the skills and experience of two Managers, in addition to our diverse and skilled team.


DAFRS works in partnership with families with a member who has an intellectual disability or a child with a physical disability, providing Family Support (services, resources, and other types of assistance) that enhance the capacity of the whole family to care for one another and to sustain and/or enhance their valued social roles as family members and as members of the community.

DAFRS believes:

  • in the essential importance of good family life.
  • that communities have a fundamental responsibility to welcome and support people with disabilities.
  • that, when provided with adequate support, families provide the safest, most consistent and loving environment for family members.
  • in the importance of promoting valued social roles for people with disabilities.

We do all this by:

  • respecting the primary decision-making role of families.
  • supporting people with disabilities to have valued and typical choices and significant and supported control over the direction of their lives.
  • promoting the importance of valued social roles for people with disabilities.
  • encouraging and supporting the capacity of the community to be responsive to people with disabilities
  • seeking to provide paid support that is of excellent quality and of sufficient intensity to maintain or enhance family functioning
  • engaging in ongoing reflection and evaluation to ensure that our work continues to take into account existing pressures and trends within the community and province and is true to our principles
  • replacing existing services and service practices only when an equal or better alternative can be provided