About Us

Melani Carefoot, MSW, RSW

Melani is a registered social worker (RSW) with over 34 years of experience, much of this in the area of child protection. When families become involved with Children’s Services they often need immediate support from an expert in this area, especially if their child has been apprehended.  Melani is able to respond to clients quickly, providing guidance, support, education & case analysis and provide assistance with ongoing communication strategies with Children’s Services.  Clients are helped to understand the Child, Youth & Family Enhancement Act and the policies and procedures of Alberta Human Services which are the cornerstone of Melani’s work in this area. Grandparents, other extended family, kinship providers and adoptive families can also be supported by Melani and her team.

 Melani’s other areas of professional practice include divorce/separation coaching, parent coordination and mediation/arbitration, where she assists parents to explore the needs of their children, and works with families to reduce conflict and toxic stress. Melani stays current with best practices through attending national and international conferences, as well as keeping up-to-date with the latest research in the field.

melani.carefoot@positivechoicescounselling.com 

Jane Gillespie, BSW, RSW

With over 13 years of experience in her field, Jane delivers superior services to individuals and families encountering the child welfare system. Jane understands that no two families experience the same circumstances, which is why she tailors her support and expertise to meet the unique needs of each family. Jane uses a collaborative, solution focused approach to assist families in crisis and draws on her experience, as well as her comprehensive knowledge of child protection legislation, policy, case practices and court processes to educate her clients about their rights and responsibilities. Jane advocates for children and families, assisting them with their communication with involved professionals such as Children’s Services personnel,  to ensure that they are able to put forth their views and to ensure that the highest standards of professional practice are complied with.  Jane’s proven success and high ethical standards have made her a leader in her field of practice, and family law legal professionals have come to rely on Jane to provide objective and accurate litigation support. Jane is a registered social worker with additional training in mediation and conflict resolution.

jane.gillespie@positivechoicescounselling.com

Legal Aid funding for child welfare consulting services is available to individuals and families who currently have an child welfare matter before the court and are represented by a Legal Aid lawyer.  Funding is determined on a case by case basis.

 

Mike Newton, RSW, Q.Med, Q.Arb.

With over 30 years of experience in his field, Mike delivers comprehensive support services to his clients through a combination of knowledge, values and skill. Mike has held a variety of social work positions both in Canada as well as in England, from where he emigrated in 1997. Mike’s diverse experience both in leadership, as well as in front line social work roles allows him to draw on his broad skill-set to better serve his client’s individual needs. Mike has devoted his career to working with many at-risk populations including sex workers, high-risk youth and those experiencing family violence. Mike has spent the last six years working with victims and perpetrators of domestic violence, facilitating psycho-educational groups for men at YWCA Sheriff King. Mike is passionate about promoting healing to individuals and families impacted by domestic violence and continues to work with this population with Positive Choices Counselling, both in facilitating men’s domestic violence support groups, as well as providing individual support services to his clients. Mike is keenly aware of the needs of individuals and families entrenched in unhealthy relationships and has a vast understanding of the experiences of those who encounter both the criminal justice system and court system due to domestic violence.  Mike is a certified meditator and certified arbitrator specializing in separation and divorce, as well as parenting coordination. He provides practical strategies for collaboration to separating couples.