Holland Bloorview has a 20+ year history of strong family partnerships with teaching and learning, including families sharing lived experiences at new staff orientation and the medical home visiting program. In recognition of the unique skill sets asked of Family Leaders (lived experience volunteers) to adopt educational roles, Client and Family Integrated Care and the Teaching and Learning Institute partnered to develop an innovative formalized training program for Family Leaders called the “Teaching and Facilitation Course for Family as Faculty”. Launched in 2019, this innovative series of workshops prepares Family Leaders to become Family as Faculty where they co-teach and facilitate key discussions around the experience of paediatric caregiving and childhood disability in clinician and family-focused educational settings. Since 2019, this program has trained 24 lived experience volunteers from multiple hospitals and social service agencies. Family as Faculty have co-designed and/or co-facilitated 45 initiatives and/or workshops across Holland Bloorview and University of Toronto.

This is the first known program of its kind in Canada to prepare families with lived experience in disability to take on “faculty” roles in a learning environment. This training program was co-created with families and system organizations in health care and education to meet the growing needs of Family Leaders who currently share their lived experience in an educational way. Further, this program enriches the learning experience of future clinicians through embedding family leaders into classrooms as co-teachers and facilitators.

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