Michele Brett, MSW, RSW, ACCFM, CPM

Michele has a passion for helping people through life's crisis. Her desire to help people motivated her to complete her Masters degree in Social Work. Her studies focused on the effects of separation and divorce on the family and she continues to remain current on this topic. Michele is a registered member of the College of Social Workers and Social Services Workers (R.S.W.). As well, she is a long standing member with the Ontario Association of Family Mediators as an Accredited Family Mediator (AccFm).

Michele began her career as a volunteer at the Rape Crisis Line and a crisis counsellor at the local women's shelter. She spent many hours working with individuals and families supporting and helping them cope with these issues. In 1998, Michele completed her mediation training and began her internship with the Mediation Centre of Simcoe County. Upon completing her internship she became an Accredited Family Mediator with the Ontario Association of Family Mediators and was invited onto the Mediation Centre of Simcoe County's panel of mediators. Michele has been a court-based mediator and continues to be a family and child protection mediator. Michele remains very passionate about helping families resolve their difference though open, honest and respectful communication. Michele considers her experience as a mediator as the cornerstone of her practice.

As an Information and Resource Co-ordinator at the Family Law Information Centre, Michele provided information on the court systems, alternative methods to resolving issues outside of the court system, and information on community resources to assist families through their separation and divorce. The Family Law Information Centre is an initiative of the Ministry of the Attorney General. Michele has also facilitated the Ministry of the Attorney General's parenting program, Considering the Children. This program provided information and strategies on helping parents cope with children and their former partners to ensure a healthy transition to their new role of being a single parent. In 2011, the Ministry of the Attorney General replaced this program with the Mandatory Information Program for separating and divorcing couples. In the past, Michele has facilitated this mandatory program.

Currently, Michele has a private counselling practise, and works with several Employee Assistance programs. Her practise consists of supporting front line responders and military personal and their families in their day to day challenges on and off duty. This includes working with work related PTSD. As well, Michele works with individuals facing complex grief, and she supports separating families through parenting and divorce coaching. Her practice centres on working with individuals and couples to help identify, cope with and strategise around various problems they are experiencing. Michele works with clients in a timely manner, so they may learn healthy ways to deal with life's problems. Michele uses various evidence based practices to help clients identify their current life challenges and to look at different ways to cope with life stressors.

As a Child Protection Mediator, Michele is on the child protection panel at Blue Hills Child and family Centre. In her capacity as a Child Protection Mediator, Michele works with families and Children's Aid Society to develop plans of care for children. These plans of care are based on the agency's concerns and the family's strengths. Michele focuses on enhancing communication between the family and the Children's Aid Society. Michele has been a Child and Protection Mediator since 2009.

As part of Michele's educational requirements, she completed her Bachelor of Social Work practicum with the Simcoe County Children's Aid Society and her Master of Social Work practicum with the Office of the Children's Lawyer.