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My name is Jan McQuiggan. I was born and raised in a large family in London, Ontario. I have lived, worked and volunteered in Chatham-Kent for over twenty-five years. I have been married for over thirty years and am the proud mother of three grown children and am delighted to now have grandchildren. My home is full of plants, cats, birds and a dog.
I hold a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Windsor. I have completed an intensive Play Therapy Certificate Program and I am a member of the Canadian Child and Play Therapy Association. Continuing education has always remained an interest so I have attended numerous training workshops and seminars. Likewise, I have also delivered many presentations and groups.
The foundation of my career began as a live-in houseparent in a Glencoe group home for eight male and female teens. This job and incredible life experience lasted for two and a half years. As we began our own family, my husband and I decided I would be a stay-at-home mother. During this time, we began caring for three high needs foster children. We were specialized foster parents for adolescents for 28 years.
As a volunteer, I became aware that Chatham needed a place for homeless teens so I became involved in setting up the program and office for Transition House. In this capacity, I supported youth directly and trained staff. I was very active in the development of the Kent InterDisciplinary Support Team and served on a weekly basis helping to bring additional services to families in need. I sat on the DSW advisory board for St. Clair College. In addition, I have sat on various community groups that were concerned with the delivery of social services to children and families of Chatham Kent.
As our children grew up, I decided to return to the work force and became a Resource Coordinator at a teen group home ran by Community Homes Ltd., In time, I became a Program Coordinator and started Family Custody Services which was a specialized foster care system for young offenders in Essex, Lambton and Kent counties. Shortly thereafter, my job expanded to delivering Alternative Measures and Community Service Orders for young offenders in Chatham-Kent. Given the success of the young offender foster care system, I was tasked with developing a specialized foster care system for children in the care of the Children’s Aid Society. Over the years, I became aware of the needs in our community therefore developed proposals for a number of new programs in Chatham Kent. The first such program was Community Support Services which was an outreach program designed to assist at-risk children and families in their environment. I then started the Intervention Program which was a 24/7 crisis program. Initially, this program was located at St. Joseph’s Hospital but later was restructured to be a community-based crisis response program.
At this point, I turned my attention to delivering adult Community Service Orders. I then developed the Family Respite program to support at-risk families with children to age six. The last program I began for Community Homes Ltd., was the Attendance Centre which was designed as an alternative to custody for youth in conflict with the legal system.
In each of the programs I ran, I was responsible to hire, train and supervise staff. I was responsible to select and approve all the foster homes and to ensure all licensing requirements were met. I was responsible to develop programming, to develop necessary policies and procedures and to maintain records and financial aspects of each program. I communicated and collaborated with related Ministries and involved community partners. With the exception of Family Custody, all the programs I developed are still operational.
With the sale of Community Homes Ltd., I chose to start my own business called Jan McQuiggan Play Therapy. Currently I am focused on delivering individual and group counseling and play therapy services. I specialize in helping individuals and families deal with crises through support, effective behaviour management techniques and individualized interventions. Given my broad-based experience, I am adept at dealing with school issues, anxiety, depression, trauma and loss, parent-child conflict, and life changes. I have worked extensively with children who have been traumatized, abused, or have attachment difficulties. In addition, for adults and couples, I have provided marriage counseling, individual anger management programming as well as counseling for adult victims of childhood abuse.
Maintaining a small, private practice allows me the opportunity to work closely with children, couples and families thereby ensuring they receive the services they need in a timely and effective manner. Being self-employed also provides flexibility to eliminate barriers to service where possible and I continue to volunteer my services as needed.