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Catherine Van Vliet appointed to the Ontario Quality Standards Committee of Ontario Health.

January 7, 2020

We are pleased to announce that Catherine Van Vliet, Executive Director of the Roberts/Smart Centre, has been appointed for a three-year term to the Ontario Quality Standards Committee of Ontario Health. The Committee’s mandate is to improve patient/client outcomes and reduce unwarranted variation in healthcare quality through a more coordinated provincial approach to clinical care standards.

Catherine will bring her experience in youth mental health and background in integrated programming involving hospitals, primary care, palliative care, long-term care and pharmacy to this provincial directive.

RSC Congratulates Omar Alhattab on his Nomination as one of Ottawa’s Amazing People

October 18, 2017

Roberts/Smart Centre congratulates youth counsellor Omar Alhattab on his nomination as one of Ottawa’s Amazing People

Dedicating his career to helping at-risk youth, Omar Alhattab’s nomination highlights the impact social services workers have on their communities

Ottawa, ON – October 18, 2017 – The Roberts/Smart Centre congratulates youth counsellor Omar Alhattab, who has been nominated as one of Ottawa’s Amazing People.

Alhattab has been working as a youth counsellor at the Roberts/Smart Centre for eight years and also is a key team member of the Youth Outreach Worker Program through the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa.

Since 1973, the Roberts/Smart Centre has been delivering specialized treatment and clinical services to Ontario youth living with complex behavioural and emotional needs. Offering services in both English and French, the Centre supports families while in close collaboration with partners in an integrated community-based system.

“Omar is a valued member of the residential staff team at the Roberts/Smart Centre,” says Katherine Neff, Executive Director of the Roberts/Smart Centre. “But his true impact in terms of service to the community is felt through all of the additional projects and programs he leads, including the Amazing Youth Race and the Amazing Youth Worker Race, and his work leading and organizing the annual Roberts/Smart Fall Classic golf tournament.”

Neff notes that the Fall Classic is the Centre’s major fundraising event and due to Alhattab’s leadership, the proceeds have increased every year.

“Funds raised by the tournament have had immediate impact,” she says. “These funds have allowed youth living in the Centre’s residential programs to have a camping experience and have supported the inclusion of an industrial arts component in the Centre’s Day Treatment programs. None of this would have even been possible without Omar’s tireless energy.”

“Omar’s concern and commitment to the youth he works with allows youth to move past tremendous difficulties and achieve success – in some cases for the first time in their lives,” Neff says.

“Social service staff are the unsung heroes of our profession,” she adds. “Their commitment to their clients, to being there day in and day out is in many instances beyond description. It is so true in Omar’s case.”

The Amazing People gala takes place on October 21.

For more information, contact:
Katherine Neff
Executive Director, Roberts/Smart Centre
(613)728-1946 ext. 222

RSC receives Trillium Grant to provide support to Parents

June 29, 2016

$545,000 OTF Grant lends Parents a Helping Hand

Ottawa – On Wednesday, the Roberts/Smart Center welcomed members of the public to the announcement of an expansion of their Parent Group Therapy Program. Local MPP Yasir Naqvi and OTF Grant Review Team member Ruth MacKenzie were on hand to congratulate the Centre’s members and hear more about how this increased support will help Parents and families in the community.

“The Roberts/Smart Centre is a vital community resource in our city. The Centre will successfully use the $545,000 Ontario’s Trillium Foundation grant to expand the Collaborative Problem Solving parent group workshops across Eastern Ontario,” said The Honourable Yasir Naqvi, MPP for Ottawa Centre. “This program supports the positive development of children and youth facing barriers and mental health challenges, as well as the parents and guardians that care for them. This funding will directly impact almost 450 people in our community and help countless ‘high risk’ children and youth find a new, more positive path.”‎

In addition to providing the group therapy sessions to parents, a Roberts/Smart Centre youth worker will be available to support the parents in the community as they implement the techniques they are learning. The Centre uses an evidence based approach called Collaborative Problem Solving (CPS) which was developed by Think:kids at the Massachusetts General Hospital.

“The impact of this Ontario Trillium Foundation grant cannot be underestimated,” said Katherine Neff, Executive Director of the Roberts/Smart Centre. “This Grant allows the Centre to offer this unique and highly successful program to families and youth with mental health needs, who otherwise would not have this opportunity.”

The Roberts/Smart Centre is committed to serving the youth and their families with mental health needs in our community. By expanding the Parent Group Therapy Program beyond the current capacity, the Centre will have a positive impact on this population. If you wish to learn more about the Centre and its’ commitment to the community, visit our website at:

The leading grantmaking foundation in Canada, the Ontario Trillium Foundation strengthens the capacity of the voluntary sector through investments in community-based initiatives. An agency of the Government of Ontario, OTF builds healthy and vibrant communities:

For more information, please contact:
Katherine Neff, Executive Director

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