About Us

Our Mission

Starfish Family Resources assists children, teens and families with moving forward through major life transitions, by supporting appropriate programs and acting as a hub for related resources

Our Vision

Children, teens and families adjusting positively to family transitions

Starfish Family Resources: a Brief History

Starfish has its roots with Kids Kottage in 1998, when Brenda  Johnson recognized the huge need for supporting grieving families, and founded Foundation for Families in Transformation (FFIT) as a Kids Kottage spin-off. Brenda travelled all over Alberta, and set up the RAINBOWS program at dozens of schools or agencies, to help support children experiencing divorce, separation, death or abandonment. Brenda’s work was continued by Craig Leibel (author of Within a Child’s Heart) from 2000 to 2004, and by Victor Dorian, Program Director since 2004. Craig’s book offers an insightful glimpse into the journey he faced as a teenager when his parents divorced. FFIT became Starfish Family Resources Society in 2011, and launched its new, comprehensive website. In 2017, Starfish began developing a new program for divorcing parents, given their need for information and support at this challenging time in their lives.

At Starfish, we believe the well-being families and children are central to a healthy society. If they are provided with support, peer support in particular, they are better equipped to cope with and move forward though divorce, separation or death loss. Starfish supports appropriate programs and acts as a hub for related resources.

Board of Directors

Garrett Chan

Adeel Mulla

Laura Schuller

Jana Boehm

Christine Taam

Staff

Victor Dorian, Program Director

 

RAINBOWS Registered Directors

Victor Dorian

Johnathan Piska

 

Bio for Jana Boehm 2017

Jana is a social worker that has worked in the homelessness sector, health system, and most recently education system. The theme throughout her work has been walking with families through difficulties, losses, and life transitions. She has a passion for social justice through an anti-oppressive lens that holds inclusivity and intersectionality at its core. She loves to read, go to local restaurants, and enjoy all that Edmonton has to offer.

Bio for Adeel Mulla 2017

Adeel developed a fondness for the non-profit sector during his work with at-risk youth and children in Toronto in the early 2000s. He moved to Edmonton to pursue his legal studies at the University of Alberta in 2011, and although he has “sold out” to Corporate Canada working as a company lawyer, he sits on multiple boards and enjoys working pro bono cases for people and organizations that can’t afford legal services (he swears it redeems his terrible life choices). Adeel is proud of the work that Starfish continues to do in the community and is excited for all the initiatives he and his colleagues on the Board hope to achieve in the coming years.

Bio for Garrett Chan 2017

Garrett is a corporate restructuring professional who assists stakeholders of companies in financial crisis. Prior to his corporate career, Garrett assisted hundreds of Alberta individuals and families going through financial hardship. Through that experience, Garrett gained an appreciation that difficulties faced by families can have profound effects in their daily lives and that families can use all the support they can get to transition to a positive place. Although Garrett’s career is both challenging and satisfying, Garrett misses the personal contribution he once made to people’s lives. With his broad business background and financial acumen, Garrett hopes to have a positive impact on people’s lives by supporting Starfish on its board.

Bio for Victor Dorian 2017

Victor is Program Director for Starfish Family Resources. He started off as a volunteer back in 2002, recognizing the power of loss support through his own life experiences. He now manages the Starfish office, and assists parents, teachers and help professionals in finding resources for families coping with loss. He has trained about 100 new RAINBOWS support program Facilitators each year since 2006, in Edmonton and many other Alberta communities. Victor is a strong believer in the value of peer group support, as well as collaborations and building rapport with individuals and organizations. His other passions include socially and environmentally sustainable living, and a healthy life-style.

Newsletters

PDF Winter 2010

Winter 2011

PDF Spring 2012

PDF Winter 2012

# 6 Spring 2013 (2)

Winter 2013

Spring 2014 Newsletter

Winter 2014

Spring 2015

Spring 2016