Girls' Fund resources

Here you will find all our latest research, webinars and resources for working to empower girls with self confidence.


Girls Fund 2009-2012 Evaluation Report

From 2009 to 2012, the Girls’ Fund provided support to 14 organizations across the country working with girls aged 9 to 13.  These organizations participated in an evaluation of their programs and networks with the support of external evaluators.  The evaluation looked at the process of implementing the girls programs, the impact of the programs on girls’ lives, and the influence of the networks.

     Download the Highlights Report      Download as PDF   

Download the Full Report          Download as PDF


National Skills Institute on Girls Programming

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This two and a half day event will connect leaders from across the nation and provide a venue for collaborative dialogue, skills building opportunities, program sharing and current research presentations to explore the importance and impact of girls programming and girls group mentoring in Canada.

 The event takes place April 23rd to 25th and will focus on themes of innovative girls programming, girls’ engagement & leadership, issues of violence, mental health & wellbeing, healthy relationships and girls mentoring.

Girls in Canada 2005 report

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For many years, the Canadian Women’s Foundation has funded projects focused on violence against girls and women. This research is intended to educate Foundation staff, stakeholders and donors on what is happening with girls in Canada, and why it is important to invest in girls.


Hosting and providing access to regular webinars is a significant method to build the field of girls programming throughout Canada.  Webinars provide a space where groups can connect, share and learn about issues and practices for working effectively with girls.  The webinars provide information about developing and implementing girls group mentoring programs, as well as information about general girls programming issues.

Our webinars are organized into two themes: Girls' Mentoring and Girls' Programming Information. Please click on one of the following links to view webinars on each theme. 

Listen to our webinars on girls' mentoring

Listen to our webinars on Girls' programming information


Thanks to the Nancy Baron Mentorship for Girls Program,  Canadian Women’s Foundation is not only funding Girls’ Group Mentoring in eighteen communities across Canada, but is also creating ways to share knowledge about girls’ group mentoring more broadly.  As part of this program, we have launched an online webinar series that brings groups together to develop and strengthen their programs by exploring best practices, pressing issues and programming considerations for girls group mentoring.

This opportunity has been made possible through the generous support of Mrs. Nancy Baron of The W. Garfield Weston Foundation, founding partner of the Nancy Baron Mentorship for Girls program.

Dealing with Difficult Situations in Girls Group Mentoring
Presented by: Sarah Tollefson, Program Manager, Oregon Mentors

This session offers practitioners practical tips and tools to coach mentors on how to respond to those challenging questions and situations that sometimes arise in the context of a relationship.   They look at a range of difficult topics and issues that girls might bring up, review the art of speaking your mind mindfully, apply supportive communication skills to a reflection scenario, and review a few concrete strategies to provide feedback to both youth and adults.

Helping Your Mentees Find their Spark
Presented by: Sarah Tollefson, Program Manager, Oregon Mentors

This presentation explores how we can support mentors to uncover their mentees’ "spark" and encourage its development through a train-the-trainer format. The content will showcase how much more successful youth with "sparks" are in school and life, as well as receive tips for becoming a mentee's "spark champion". Participants will leave with tangible tools to share with the mentors in their program and include in formal training. 

Matching Strategies for Girls’ Group Mentoring
Presented by Meghan Perry, MPA, Program Manager, Oregon Mentors

This 90-minute training, intended for both program managers and direct-service staff, details how to build effective matching strategies to support lasting, quality mentoring relationships. Practitioners will learn research-based, core elements of effective matching as well as techniques to utilize shared and similar interests along with personality traits as primary matching strategies. Specific considerations for group mentoring will be addressed and discussed.

Exploring Social Media in Youth Mentoring
Presented by: Ashley MacDonald, YWCA Yellowknife and Hannah Lin, YWCA Muskoka

If social media is the native language of youth, can we adequately engage and support girls in our program if we haven’t considered its use? This webinar explores strategies for leveraging social media in your girls mentoring programs. The presenters will share learning from two key presentations at the National Mentoring Symposium by Friends for Youth and social media expert Max Valiquette. The session highlights program benefits, program risks, policy & branding considerations and sector trends. They also share tips on how your program can internally build a case for using social media and why this is important.

Training Mentees for Lasting Relationships featuring BBBS Strong from the Start materials
Presented by: Karen Shaver, Vice-President, Agency Services, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada

We all know that training mentors is essential for lasting relationships, but what about training the mentees in your program? Big Brothers Big Sisters Canada has researched, evaluated and continuously refined their approach to fostering successful mentoring relationships. Based on extensive research they recently launched a new set of tools, Strong from the Start, which includes comprehensive training for mentees. Drawing on these resources, Karen will discuss why training mentees will add value to the mentoring experience and explore various approaches to developing and delivering mentee training in your programs.

Managing Positive Mentoring Relationship Closure
Presenter: Dr. Renée Spencer, EdD, LICSW, Boston University School of Social Work

We all know that mentoring relationships eventually come to an end – and sometimes earlier than planned. In order to prevent any negative effects on our mentees, it is important to be proactive in developing strategies to manage these early terminations. Dr. Renée Spencer is a leading researcher in this area and will explore what we know about early endings and what we can do within our programs to prevent negative outcomes and to promote positive relationship endings. This webinar will identify strategies, raise reflection questions and share anecdotes and research that will help you to develop approaches your organization can take in planning and managing for mentoring relationship endings.

Online Training Tools & Resources for Mentors Featuring material from Alberta Mentoring Partnership
Presenter: Jodi McKay, Provincial Coordinator, Alberta Mentoring Partnership

Alberta Mentoring Partnership is a consortium of stakeholders dedicated to supporting the development and delivery of mentoring programs across Alberta. They make mentor training look easy with their vast collection of online tools and resources. The best part is these tools and resources are free for us to use and adapt in our programs! Join this webinar to see their tools showcased, explore the online portal and ask any questions about their resources.

Mentor Recruitment: Considerations and practices for engaging, understanding and retaining your mentors
Presenters: Meghan Ferns, Program Manager, Oregon Mentors

This web-based training will help programs to determine their target volunteers, understand volunteer motivation and make the pitch to recruit suitable mentors. Oregon Mentors, an organization devoted to supporting mentoring programs in Oregon state, will share their experience developing, modifying and implementing effective recruitment strategies and will explore the ways to organize these ideas into a solid recruitment plan. Ideas regarding volunteer expectations, volunteer appreciation, and ongoing recruitment will also be discussed in this interactive training.

Building a Foundation: A discussion of effective steps for mentor screening and training
Presenters: Karen Shaver, Vice-President, Agency Services, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada

Successful mentoring programs that positively impact youth take time to develop. Big Brothers Big Sisters Canada has researched, evaluated and continuously refined their approach to fostering safe, supportive and lasting relationships between mentors and mentees. Whether matched one-on-one or in groups, one of the first steps in this process is finding and preparing the mentors. Join this webinar to learn more about practical insights and suggested tips for effectively screening and training your mentors.

Group Mentoring: An introduction and discussion of approaches, findings and practices
Presenter: Dr. Gabriel Kuperminc, Professor and Chair of Community Psychology at Georgia State University

Group mentoring is an emerging approach to youth service delivery across Canada. Join this webinar to learn more about approaches to group mentoring and the strengths, challenges and implications for practice in program delivery. Dr. Kuperminc will share the learning he has acquired through his study, development and evaluation of group mentoring programs in the U.S.A.

Girls programming webinars

Canadian Women’s Foundation is committed to helping develop the field of girls programming by sharing information and learnings.  The webinars are a forum for organizations running successful girls programs to share what they have learned.  We have also included a webinar that summarizes the results of the evaluation of the Girls’ Fund from 2009 to 2012.  Finally, some webinars contain ‘experts’ thoughts on dealing with specific issues in girls programming.

Young Canadians in a Wired World: Is the Online World Changing Relationships?
Presented by: Matthew Johnson, Director of Education, MediaSmarts   

In 2013, MediaSmarts, Canada’s centre for digital and media literacy, conducted Young Canadians in a Wired World, Phase III, a national survey of 5,436 Canadian students in grades 4 through 11, in every province and territory, to explore the role of networked technologies in their lives. With an increasing public awareness of issues such as cyberbullying and sexting, one key aspect of this study was the role of digital technology on young people’s sexuality and romantic relationships: How do students use digital media to explore and understand their sexuality and begin and maintain relationships with friends and romantic partners? Matthew Johnson, MediaSmarts’ Director of Education, will talk about the study’s findings and implications. 

From Heartbreaking to Groundbreaking: Ending Sex Trafficking in Canada Webinar
Diane Redsky, Project Director of Anti-Trafficking Strategy, Canadian Women's Foundation's

Women and girls are being trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation inside Canada, to Canada and across Canadian borders.Trafficking is a serious threat to women’s equality and the basic rights of every women and girl to live free from violence. It uses force, deception and the abuse of power to recruit women and girls into sexual exploitation.There are many links between sex trafficking – an extreme form of violence against women – and our mission to end violence against women, to help women move out of poverty, and to empower girls.

Diane Redsky, Director of the Canadian Women's Foundation's Anti-Trafficking Strategy will be hosting a webinar to discuss Sex Trafficking in Canada and the reports created from the National Task Force on Sex Trafficking of Women and Girls in Canada. These reports were, in part, developed to assist the Canadian Women’s Foundation in creating its own five-year national anti-trafficking strategy entitled “From Heartbreaking to Groundbreaking”.  It is also hoped the recommendations will inform and offer guidance to other stakeholders working in this area.  

Internet Safety Workshops for Youth
Presented by: Christina Antonick and Kevin Vowles, Program Facilitators, SWOVA

This webinar presents skills for innovative workshops that address the timely topics of online pornography, internet addiction, sexting, rape culture, and dating relationships in a cyber-world. These workshops were recently created as part of SWOVA's Respectful Relationships program, one of the Canadian Women’s Foundation’s Teen Healthy Relationships Grantees. The primary focus of this webinar is on facilitating learning about online pornography, providing you with the tools to have an open dialogue with youth on how this relates to healthy and respectful relationships. 

Innovative Ways to Engage Girls as Leaders in Your Organization
Presented by: Zondra “Zoey” Roy  

This presentation is meant to inspire advocates, mentors and leaders of girls programs to reach back into their own youth and consider the impact mentors, advocates and leaders had on their life when their path wasn't clear.  It explores how to create a plan as to how you can support girls as emerging leaders in your organizations and communities, empowering them to be unique, creative and resourceful young women.

Using Science and Technology to Engage Girls in Programs
Presenters:  Jace Meyer, Actua and Mara Fontana, SuperNOVA at Dalhousie University

Girls explore thewonders of science, engineering, and technology while learning new skills, making new friends, and gaining confidence.  Actua is a national leader in the delivery of customized science and technology programming for underserved and underrepresented youth audiences, and provides supports to many science and technology programs across the country. SuperNOVA, a member of Actua, exposes girls to a variety of career possibilities and breaks stereotypes about women in science. The girls develop skills in critical thinking, problem solving, and team work—they also build self-confidence and self-respect. This program has been so successful it is now used as a model for other girl’s programs.

On the Move - Fit: Encouraging Healthy Active Living through Girls Programs
Presenters: Tamara Roberts and Duane Dahl, Hamilton East Kiwanis Boys and Girls Club

On the Move - Fit engages girls in a variety of activities that encourage healthy living habits and physical activity, and provides an opportunity for discussion about issues girls are facing in their daily lives. The program creates a safe environment for girls to try new things and build their confidence. The program has influenced the lives of many girls in their community. Given the learnings and the significant response to this program, the organization has been able to dramatically expand the number of programs they provide for girls and reach out to new neighbourhoods and communities.

Rites of Passage: Working with Aboriginal Girls in a School Based Setting
Presenters:  Natalie Clark, Thompson Rivers University; Deb Draney, School District #73 (Kamloops/Thompson), and Susan Dixon, Coordinator of Rites of Passage programs

Rites of Passage provides programs for Aboriginal/First Nations girls aged 9 to 13 in Kamloops and surrounding areas. The program provides an opportunity for the girls to explore their experiences and challenges in a safe and non-threatening environment, and develop healthy definitions of themselves as Aboriginal/First Nations girls. This program is a dynamic partnership between Interior Indian Friendship Society, School District #73, the Aboriginal Education Council and Thompson Rivers University.

SAFE SISTERS: Working with Girls in a Community-based Setting
Presenters: Andrea Bruner and Pauline Paterson, YWCA Toronto

Safe Sisters grew from the voices of girls themselves and was developed in response to their concern about personal safety. The program helps girls feel in control of their environment and safe in their neighbourhoods through exploration of issues such as bullying prevention; family violence and sexual violence; internet safety; stress management; building healthy relationships; identifying safe spaces; and children’s rights.

Girls’ Fund 2009–2012 Evaluation Findings
Presenters: Karen Hayward and Judit Alcalde, Evaluation Consultants

From 2009 to 2012, the Girls’ Fund provided support to 14 organizations across the country working with girls aged 9 to 13.  These organizations participated in an evaluation of their programs and networks with the support of external evaluators.  The evaluation looked at the process of implementing the girls programs, the impact of the programs on girls’ lives, and the influence of the networks.  This webinar will present the results of the three year evaluation looking at overall process and outcomes.