About Extend-A-Family Waterloo Region
Extend-A-Family Waterloo Region (EAFWR) came into being in 1981, founded by a group of parents who wanted their sons and daughters who had developmental disabilities to have friends and be included in their community.
Out of this beginning came two foundational values, our commitment to inclusion and the recognition of the importance of relationships in the lives of those we serve.
A deep respect for the knowledge and expertise that is held by families underlies our desire to work in partnership with them, to work alongside and together with the families and adults we serve. This desire extends to working in partnership with others in the community. Our approach is person-centred, focused on the person we serve first and foremost paying close attention to their dreams, needs, abilities, hopes and contributions.
As an organization, Board and Staff, we believe strongly in Servant Leadership. We embrace continuous learning about how to improve the ways in which we serve and we believe and act in ways that are respectful and anti-oppressive.
Thank you for allowing us to serve you.
The organization receives the majority of its funding from the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services (MCCSS) and is governed by a volunteer board of directors made up of supported families and community members.
“Extend-A-Family Waterloo Region champions an inclusive community for all by working with people with disabilities, their networks and the broader community.”
“We envision a community where everyone belongs and is valued for their contributions.”
Values and Principles
- Anti-oppression: We ensure that all initiatives of EAF are inclusive and engaged with respect to all facets of anti-oppressive practice: culture, race, class, religion, ethnicity, ability, age, sexuality and gender.
- Citizenship: We regard citizenship in its broadest sense in that everyone has responsibilities, places and spaces in community where they can contribute their gifts in meaningful ways, connect with others and feel welcomed.
- Relationships: We create opportunities for healthy connections, experiences and nurture communities.
- Community: We initiate and nurture community so that people come together through place, common interests, action or purpose.
- Person Centredness: We fully honour a person’s self-determination and citizenship, and ensure their “voice” is heard and acted upon as the most important voice in their support and services, regardless of their method of communication.
- Servant Leadership: We listen actively, encourage each other, give and invite honest feedback about our work, create a culture of ownership and responsibility for our future and for our mission in serving individuals, families and each other.
- Belonging/inclusion: We advocate for and nurture a welcoming environment where people are valued, safe, recognized for what they bring and missed when they are not present.
- Learning: We embrace learning and the knowledge of families and individuals and analyze past and current patterns to inform our own growth as people and as an organization.
- Partnerships: We create mutually beneficial connections to provide unique supports and build capacity for those we serve.
- Celebration: We recognize people’s positive contributions, milestones and accomplishments through sharing stories and nourishment.
Extend-A-Family Waterloo Region works directly with several neighbourhoods within our Region. In the spirit of inclusive neighbourhoods and a community of belonging, it is important for us to acknowledge the original community builders of this land.
We would like to acknowledge the significant contributions and accomplishments of Indigenous Peoples. We acknowledge the enduring presence and deep traditional knowledge and philosophies of the Indigenous People with whom we share this land today. We respectfully acknowledge that the land on which we gather today is the traditional territory of the Anishnaabe, Haudenosaunee and Neutral peoples. We are currently on the Haldimand Tract, land promised to the Six Nations, which includes six miles on each side of the Grand River.
Discover some of the amazing people who work at Extend-A-Family Waterloo Region.
Learn more about the programs we have to offer.
Find out why we are dedicated to community development, and being grassroots.