She began her work with Young Offenders in Waterloo who were dually diagnosed which gave her a clear and functional example of how a diagnosis “looks” in terms of real-time behaviour.  It was also where she learned, pretty quickly, that the behaviour she was providing support and programming for was not, in fact, personal. It was a hard lesson to learn as much of the behaviour of the youth she was working with was expressed personally – with lots of verbal attacks and insults, often accompanied by physical aggression

and / or threatening.

Upon moving to Toronto in the late ‘90’s, she took a job with the Ministry of Community and Social Services working with youth and adults who were also dually diagnosed with their primary diagnosis being within the Autism realm.  Although hesitant to work in such unfamiliar territory, she absolutely fell in love with the clients despite (or perhaps because of?) theire increased level of need and vulnerability.  Here she supported clients with some of the most challenging and aggressive behaviour.  Although she had a solid foundation of providing support to those expressing aggressive behaviour, she did not have experience working with non-verbal clients as she did with the Ministry.  It made ‘verbal de-escalation’ a challenge and alternate means of reaching a client, in moments of crisis, was needed.   As she found her new passion – autism – she began to take courses to better serve and support the clients with these unique needs, gaining certification in Behaviour Management and Techniques from the Geneva Centre in the late ‘90’s as well.  With this new found knowledge and ability, she also acquired a position with a private social service company which introduced her to the reality of working as a “freelance” Behaviour Specialist.  This opened up a whole new world of potential –reaching clients, typically from their home, who had fallen through the cracks of the health care and social service fields.  In other words, their behavioural and mental health needs appeared to be greater than the system was able to effectively manage. 

 

With these newest experiences under her belt, a fire was lit and she realized that she could reach a lot of the hardest to service members of our community working privately so she launched her own business providing private social supports and behavioural intervention in a community-based format working with a team of over 150 Associates who implemented these programs.  This company specialized in supports with clients with Autism who were typically dually diagnosed.  She grew this company to high success, working with a number of the community school boards, high-profile cases identified by the Ministry, as well as, with families who had exhausted all other care options for their family member.    As the company’s specialization increased, so too did the training that was incorporated for the team and it was here that Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA)was introduced as a full and highly effective programming tool.    In addition to this expanding experience, Tracey also ventured into teaching – being offered an opportunity to teach within the Child & Youth Worker program at Humber Colllege part-time, while continuing to run the business full time.  She continued her involvement with Humber College’s Child & Youth Worker Program as a member of their Advisory Committee for a number of years, contributing to the growth and advancement of the program and the efficacy of the education provided within it.  After a number of years running her company, Tracey opted to leave upon the birth of her daughter, selling her half of the business to her partner while opting to remove herself from social services entirely to focus on her own family.  But the passion stayed…

 

Within a couple years, Tracey realized that she was meant to be in the helping profession but was seeking ways to do so while nurturing a young daughter.  While visiting an indoor playground with her daughter one day she saw an unexpected opportunity – the playground was actually about to close business.  She struck up a conversation with the owner who agreed to sell her the business rather than close it and Tracey began plans to create an awesome environment for families to visit but, more importantly to her spirit, she established a full roster of workshops and training specific to family’s needs – sleep issues, parenting 101, behaviour challenges (of course!) and why they might be happening.  In addition to this, Tracey also coordinated a number of third-party facilitators, as well, bringing in some of the renowned professionals of our region (ex. Ann Douglas, author of “The Mother of All Parenting” book series).  She learned a lot – of information, of client needs and of marketing. 

 

For the past few years, Tracey returned to the private social service sector as she was given an opportunity to apply her knowledge and vast experience now to working with seniors with responsive behaviours.  Tracey always knew that she wanted to work with seniors at some point in her career, but assumed it would have to be in a voluntary capacity.  Then one day, an opportunity knocked on her door and her work with seniors began, along with a rather important expansion, again, of her knowledge.  It is during this time, she began her education in geriatric supports, attending a variety of workshops and trainings, as well as, coordinating several for her team.  She processed through the trainings for the Geriatric Certificate Program at McMaster University and is one course away from completion.  Of practical benefit though, was the hands-on experience she was gaining in providing these supports to the elderly in her community.  She quickly discovered that her experience in Applied Behaviour Analysis was profoundly beneficial to the programs she was creating for her clients.  With slight modification, ABA was exceedingly helpful in helping clients maintain abilities, leading to a decrease in depression and/or behavioural episodes.  Oftentimes, she was supporting those clients who seemed “caught in the system”, waiting in a hospital bed for any care option to come available.  It was usually their behaviour that brought them into hospital and it was, unfortunately that behaviour that tended to keep them there – with nowhere able to admit them into care again because of the escalated risk.  In her travels in this role, so many of the environments she visited asked for training for their staff, rather than 1:1 support for individual clients.  And the birth of the concept of We Are The Village Consulting began…

 

  • 25+ Years in the Mental Health Field

  • Educational Program Development

  • Individual and Group Counsellor

  • Geriatric Certification (pending)

  • Applied Behaviour Analysis

 

Education

Child & Youth Worker Diploma, Mental and Social Health Services, Fanshawe College

 

Additional Trainings and Certifications

  • Advanced Eating Assistance Training – Baycrest

  • Enable! Not disable! – Baycrest

  • UFirst – Alzheimer’s Society of Durham Region

  • P.I.E.C.E.S. Shared Solution Finding – P.I.E.C.E.S. Consult Group

  • Dementiability Methods – DementiAbility Enterprises Inc.

  • Validation Communication – DementiAbility Enterprises Inc.

  • Geriatric Training Program – Regional Geriatric Program Central

  • Cognitive Assessment Tools – Regional Geriatric Program Central

 

Additional Skills & Endorsements

  • Member of the Board of Advisors to the Child & Youth Worker Program of Humber College

  • Guest speaker at the Ontario Association of Child & Youth Counsellors

tracey ibrahim

lead consultant & behaviour specialist