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  • Bring your questions to sexual health and developmental disabilities workshop

  • January 15, 2020
  • Canadian Conference on Developmental Disabilities and Autism’s speaker series continues with Dr. Margaret Newbury Jones, a sexual health expert for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). With 25+ years of experience in the disability field, Dr. Jones will lead an informative discussion on sexual health and answer all of your questions. She loves to work with people with complex needs and their teams, and being compassionately curious comes naturally to her.

    This all-day thought-provoking event happens on Tuesday, January 28 at the Canad Inns Fort Garry in Winnipeg.

    Bring your questions, curiosity, and an open mind!

    Full details and registration is on the Eventbrite page. Seating is limited, so register early to ensure you have a spot!

    Tuesday, January 28, 2020
    9:00 AM – 4:30 PM CST

    Canad Inns Destination Centre Fort Garry, Ambassador F
    1824 Pembina Highway, Winnipeg, MB 


  • Volunteers needed for baby cuddling program

  • January 13, 2020

    We’re overwhelmed and humbled from the response of people wanting to volunteer for the baby cuddling program but we’ll no longer be accepting applications at this time. Other meaningful opportunities are available to volunteer with children and adults.

    Click here to learn more.


    St.Amant Volunteer Services is seeking volunteers for their Baby Cuddling program. The Baby Cuddler volunteer promotes the mission and values of St.Amant, and the goals and objectives of the service area in which they are involved by assisting people supported to participate more fully in program activities to maximize each person’s well-being and quality of life.

    The role of the Baby Cuddler is to assist with the comfort and needs of the infants and children on the unit. The Baby Cuddler is to provide contact and interaction with the infants and/or children, through hugging, holding, rocking, singing, talking, going for a walk etc.


    • Minimum 18 years of age
    • Strong interpersonal skills; patient
    • Physically able to push children in wheelchairs and/or strollers
    • Ability to remain seated, still, alert and calm for 1-2 hours at a time
    • Must show responsibility in meeting commitment and being reliable
    • Must be able to follow instructions, be flexible when activities change and take initiative where appropriate
    • Ability to work in a critical care environment- maintain compassionate and caring attitude in a stressful environment
    • Must be interested and willing to develop relationships with clients
    • Acceptable Criminal Record and Child/Adult Abuse Registry Checks
    • Acceptable reference checks

    Duties and Responsibilities:

    • On arrival to the unit, connect with the nurse at the nurses office to see if there are children who might benefit from some company

    Engage in age appropriate play, recreational and supportive activities


    General Guidelines:

    • Any information a volunteer may receive about any individual supported and their families must be treated as confidential
    • Volunteers should feel welcome to ask questions. If they are not sure about anything – ask! It’s better to ask questions
    • Volunteers should not answer medical questions families may have. Families should be directed to the nurses on the unit for answers to medical questions
    • Food and beverages are not allowed when volunteering
    • No cell phone use
    • Volunteers should practicing good hand hygiene before, between and after all visits. Volunteers should be aware of hand hygiene resources, and the locations of hand sanitizer dispensers and hand washing facilities within the unit.


    • General Orientation to St. Amant
    • Training & Orientation to program – Unit Supervisor


    •  Supervisor: Unit Supervisor, Volunteer Services Staff


    • Gain experience working with individuals who have developmental disabilities
    • Opportunity to develop rewarding relationships
    • A reference for employment or school upon request
    • Experience new challenges and activities
    • Certificates and appreciation events

    Time required & Length of Commitment:

    • 1 shift per week, 2-4 hours per shift
    • Minimum commitment of 40 hours over a 6 month period
    • Variety of shifts: Monday – Sunday

    Physical Demands:

    The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by a volunteer to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential functions. While performing the duties of this job, the volunteer may be required to walk, sit, stand for long periods of time, stoop, kneel, lift, and carry. The ability to write clearly and legibly may be required.

    • St.Amant welcomes and encourages applications from people with disabilities.
    • Accommodations are available on request for candidates taking part in all aspects of the selection process.
    • Please apply online at www.stamant.ca/volunteering.
    • After we receive a completed application form, we may ask you to come for an interview. Qualified applicants may be required to attend a second interview depending on placement. During the interview, you will be asked to provide two (2) references who are not Family Members.

    If a successful match is made between your skills and abilities, Volunteer Services will offer you a volunteer position. If you decide to accept the offer, we will discuss a start date with you after completing the orientation; completion of references checks and screening.

    All volunteer placements are done through the volunteer office including reassignments.

    Volunteering is an exciting and challenging experience. Volunteers are highly valued members of the St.Amant team and contribute to each program area. If you’re a first- time volunteer or just new to St.Amant’s volunteer system, you may have some questions. And we have answers!


    Thank you for your interest in offering your time, energy, and expertise to St.Amant!


  • Loss of Farzaneh Naderi and many others on Flight PS752

  • January 10, 2020
  • We are deeply grieved to share the tragic loss of a member of our staff, and her 11-year-old son, in the crash of Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752. Farzaneh Naderi, a Tutor in the Autism Programs and her son Noojan Sadr were among the passengers who died.

    Farzaneh was a volunteer with St.Amant for three years prior to becoming employed in the Autism Programs. She was generous, compassionate, and kind. She supported preschool-aged children, teaching skills to fulfill their potential. She had a big heart; genuinely caring about her colleagues and the children and families she supported.

    We are devastated by this loss and are holding Farzaneh and her son Noojan in our hearts and thoughts. Our deepest condolences go out to Farzaneh’s husband and family and to everyone grieving this tragedy.

    St.Amant is offering spiritual care support and holding space in our chapel for staff and families to honour her memory, and encouraging staff to access counselling services through our employee assistance program, if they wish to do so.

    Please join us in comforting one another.

    Photo by Farzaneh’s niece, Negysa Kalar

  • Fulfilling Potential Workshop Series now online for 2020

  • December 4, 2019
  • The Fulfilling Potential Workshop Series are FREE workshops throughout the year. These workshops are a user-friendly introduction to practical concepts and strategies for teaching skills and managing challenging behaviour with compassion and effectiveness. Classes are developed and instructed by Manitoba’s leading experts in applied behaviour analysis.

    Who are These Workshops for?

      • This series is open to any individuals or teams who support or work with people who present challenging behavioural needs – especially individuals with developmental disabilities or autism.
      • Individuals who support children will find our workshops to be especially beneficial; however, our content is also relevant to youth and adults, including those with and those without disabilities and delays.
      • Some of our most frequent workshop participants include school staff, childcare centers, and parents and caregivers – and our feedback has been very positive!
      • Participants also often include social workers, foster parents, students, summer camps, dental professionals, supported employment staff, direct support professionals, and many others.
        9:30AM-12:00PM January 21, 2020 Understanding and Managing Challenging Behaviour 1

    **This class is a prerequisite for Understanding & Managing Challenging Behaviour 2**

    Online Webinar
        9:30AM-12:00PM January 28, 2020 Understanding and Managing Challenging Behaviour 2

    **Participants must first complete Understanding & Managing Challenging Behaviour 1**

    Online Webinar  
        9:30AM-12:00PM February 4, 2020 Effective Goals and Teaching Strategies 1

    **This class is a prerequisite for Effective Goals and Teaching Strategies**

    Online Webinar  
        9:30AM-12:00PM February 11, 2020 Effective Goals and Teaching Strategies 2 *NEW*

    **Participants must first complete Effective Goals and Teaching Strategies 1**

    Online Webinar  
        9:30AM-12:00PM February 18, 2020 Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorder and ABA Online Webinar  
        9:30AM-12:00PM February 25, 2020 Potty Training Like a Pro Online Webinar  

    To register or to get more information, please contact April Plett at aplett@stamant.ca.

    In our workshops you can learn about:

    • Practical frameworks for understanding how human beings learn valuable life skills, coping mechanisms, social skills, communication, and more!
    • Models for understanding challenging behaviour – and strategies to help manage it
    • Introduction to the formal characteristics of autism spectrum disorder and how they can affect one’s quality of life.
    • The importance of data collection and how to do it.
    • Realistic tips for teaching skills that work in the classroom, home, and community settings.
    • Tips for efficiently setting goals for increased independence and long-term quality of living.
    • Many real examples and case studies are included, which support learning and extend important concepts to real-world settings, including applications with adults, children, employees, students, and those with- and without developmental or learning disabilities. 


    The Fulfilling Potential Workshop Series is now also offered electronically via live online webinar for those in rural locations or who otherwise cannot attend our in-person classes.


  • Collaboration, hospitality, excellence and respect at the heart of St.Amant – organization named a top Manitoba employer for the ninth time

  • This morning, St.Amant was officially announced as one of Manitoba’s top 30 employers in a special supplement in the Winnipeg Free Press.

    Every organization has a place on its walls where carefully-selected words describing its mission, vision, and values are on display for all to see. Rarely, however, do you find genuine truth between the words on the walls and the living DNA of a workplace’s culture. This is the ninth year that St.Amant is being recognized as a top Manitoba employer, and its investments in people continue paying off. Manitoba's Top Employers 2020 logo

    “We’re expanding our values-based culture with a people-first focus. Our staff know they’re respected and appreciated, so they consistently go above and beyond to provide outstanding support and service for more than 2000 people with developmental disabilities and autism,” said Shirley Labossiere, St.Amant’s acting president and CEO.

    Labossiere says this year’s award is another opportunity to talk about a few things many people don’t know about St.Amant. Today, 85 per cent of St.Amant’s work happens in Manitoba communities and in Winnipeg neighbourhoods; not inside the original buildings at 440 River Road in St. Vital.

    “Our teams support people with developmental disabilities and autism in approximately 80 independent homes now. We have four community-based St.Amant early learning autism sites, and we’re working with children and families in nearly 50 First Nations communities across Manitoba through Jordan’s Principle,” she said, adding that St.Amant has a mandate through Jordan’s Principle that includes providing holistic clinical supports to children, and delivering training and education to meet the learning goals that community-based programs have set for themselves.

    St.Amant was once known as a place where people with disabilities would spend most of their lives. Today, the 440 River Road location is a place where people come to receive short-term health and stabilization services, before they return to their homes. Over the past five years, St.Amant has supported families in the process of moving 55 people into their own homes, where they can choose where to live, and are supported to become more fully-included and independent in their communities. The more than 700 staff in St.Amant’s community residential program not only provide basic daily life supports, they also enable and advocate for meaningful social inclusion opportunities, jobs, and friendships. As a large, multi-faceted resource for Manitobans with developmental disabilities and autism, St.Amant now employs over 1800 staff.

    There is a strong focus on personalized and ongoing professional development, with continuous opportunities for staff to enjoy long-term, rewarding career growth. Mindfulness is now a core competency for all staff, and St.Amant is operationalizing the practice across the organization, recognizing the scientifically-proven positive benefits.  Training topics include mindfulness at work, mindful self-compassion, mindfulness-based stress reduction, and even silent retreats. Training opportunities include two-hour sessions, eight week half-day sessions, and up to five-day silent retreats.

    “Our holistic approach to work is essential. A connected and mindfully-present staff person can provide the most engaged and meaningful experiences to people we support, and their families,” said Jennifer Kilimnik, St.Amant’s director of human resources.

    St.Amant is also known for its leadership in Manitoba’s disability rights movement, and played a pivotal role in the Disability Matters Vote campaign, held during the provincial election. DMVote united thousands of Manitobans in the call for dignified incomes for people with long-term disabilities, fair wages for direct support professionals, timely access to critical services, and employment.

    To explore St.Amant, check out their Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, and browse all the exciting career opportunities at stamant.ca/jobs.

    St.Amant offers meditation classes for its staff members.

    Photo by Darcy Finley