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Annual Intake Training Conference 2013

This year’s Annual Intake Training Conference proved to be a great hit! Held at the Sheraton Wall Centre, which was a great venue, the conference this year focussed on the new Family Law Act and professional development. From the feedback received, we can tell most of the intake assistants really enjoyed the sessions. A few of the comments were:

The sessions provided skills and tools to take away; e.g, listening skills, how to communicate with clients more effectively, identifying conflicts with clients (conflict of interest).

Food was great — not much wasted. Had a great time, learned a lot, and looking forward to going back to my office with renewed energy.

Best conference I have attended!

Good to have contact with other workers, exchange of info and ideas. It helps with feelings of isolation in small communities. Good hotel choice, healthy food. Thanks for good efforts!

Intake staff are usually the first people applicants meet when they apply for legal aid. Applicants could be facing criminal charges, going through a divorce, dealing with having their child taken away, or new refugees coming into Canada. Intake can be an emotionally taxing job. One of the big takeaways from the conference was that participants really appreciate a chance to meet and talk to each other about the problems they all face.

Many of the sessions touched on this theme. Donna, our Aboriginal community legal worker, spoke about the experiences of Aboriginal people when interacting with the system and encountering the child protection system. Other sessions included “Dealing with clients in distress,” “The Child, Family and Community Service Act,” “Self-compassion,” and “Diversity/Intercultural Communication.”

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