about us

Our Mission
Our Philosophy
Core Values
Our Program
History of Lead Foundation
Board of Directors

about04Thank you for your interest in Lead Foundation. Our teams provide high quality supports to children and families.

Our experienced teams work with children and their caregivers to help children develop the best possible language, social, play, and motor skills. We work with all children who have mild speech, language, motor or social delays to children with more complex challenges.

We are happy to share information our Lead Foundation programs. We are also connected with many community programs so please feel free to touch base to help navigate the best supports for your child.

Please contact us with any questions at 403- 270- 7912 or admin@leadfoundation.ca.


Lead Foundation enriches the lives of children and families dealing with developmental challenges through play-based programs. We are committed to helping children show the world what they can do.


  • We believe in creating partnerships with the families and children that we work with based on mutual respect, trust, and support.
  •  We honor each child’s and family’s uniqueness and together, we aim to help them build their confidence and reach their potential.
  • We value the importance of belonging and assist our families and children in developing a sense of community.
  • We believe that growth and success is based largely on the wellness of our staff, and the children and families that we work with, as well as on perseverance and open and honest communication.
  • We are an agency of professionals dedicated to empowering all families through early intervention, multidisciplinary evidence-based practice, continued learning, and goal-focused programming that results in measurable gains


  • Respect
  • Empowerment
  • Compassion
  • Hope
  • Growth
  • Innovation
  • Accountability
  • Community
  • Wellness

Our core values are at the heart of our commitment as an agency. They encompass our dedication to our staff and the children and families that we work within our program.


  • We follow your child’s lead in their own learning—using their interests and strengths as part of our program. This can also be described as being child-centered.
  • We follow each family’s lead by collaborating with parents to set goals and program priorities. Families are a vital part of the child’s team.
  • We are activity based—using family routines, play and activities to work toward goals.
  • We use a developmental approach. We evaluate the child’s current developmental skill level, and use activities and strategies to encourage skill development.
  • Your programs may include a Child Development Specialist (CDS), Occupational Therapist (OT), Speech and Language Pathologist (SLP), Psychologist / Program and Behaviour Specialist (PBS), Clinical Coordinator, Counsellor, and/or Physical Therapist (PT).
  • We use an evidence based treatment approach, drawing from proven social communication and behavioral theory.

The services provided by Lead Foundation are based on the following beliefs:

  • All children learn best in play based activities at their developmental level.
  • Children with learning challenges and/or a developmental disability have the same rights as other children in society.
  • Every child is an individual with his/her own special strengths and needs, and these must be recognized in the support given to the child and the family.
  • Learning challenges can affect the whole family.
  • Support is best provided to children and their families when parents and professionals work together in a spirit of mutual respect and cooperation.
  • The interests of the family are best provided for by incorporating opportunity’s for parents to grow in their understanding of their child’s unique learning needs and have access to a range of support mechanisms.

about05History of Lead Foundation

Lead Foundation has provided high quality programs to children and their families in Calgary and area since 2002. Today, we offer both FSCD and Alberta Education programs to families of children with a variety of learning challenges.

From its humble beginnings in 2002, Lead Foundation has grown to support approximately 150 families every year in Calgary and area. We have been in our current locations in the SE and SW Calgary since 2007. Over the past years, our Lead Foundation teams have worked with more than a thousand families within their home and communities.

Lead Foundation operates as a non-profit registered charity (Charity No. 863831467RR001).

Board of Directors

Sandy Evans is a longtime member of Lead Foundation’s Board of Directors. She works in private practice as a registered psychologist and has three children. Her strong interest in strategic planning and organization development, in conjunction with her experience in a number of service agencies has supported her role with our agency. She has been a key support for our strategic planning committee. Sandy enjoys traveling, skiing, kayaking and running. Sandy’s extensive board and life experiences have been an invaluable resource to Lead.

Sue Robinson is a current board member. She worked with Lead for 10 years as an occupational therapist and clinical manager, leaving 2 years ago for “semi-retirement”. She still dabbles in occupational therapy with children and is also pursuing her interest in mediation. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, travelling, and being outdoors walking, biking or skiing. Her vast experience in the field and with Lead are incredibly helpful in her role on Lead’s board of directors. 

Koreen DAndrea is a current member of our board. Koreen has a long history of working with children with challenges and their families and brings this knowledge to her role on Lead’s board. Koreen has life coach training as well as training as a Crisis Prevention Intervention instructor. She currently works with a school board in High River as well as within her family business. Koreen has recently become a proud grandma. She has two children and many pets within her family. She enjoys walking her dogs and spending time with friends. Koreen’s vast experience within the field, as well as her life experience, has provided a strong governance support within our board of directors.

Wendy Mitchell is a current member of our board. Wendy is a speech language pathologist and PhD candidate with over twenty years experience with children and adults and brings this knowledge to her role on Lead’s board. She currently works as the National Program Development Manager with Community Works Canada. She enjoys walking her dog and spending time with friends and family. Wendy’s vast experience within the field, as well as her life experience, has provided a strong governance support within our board of directors.

Arlene Klooster is the Executive Director and founder of Lead Foundation. Following completion of her Master’s degree in Speech Language Pathology, Arlene has worked with children with special needs and their families. In 1998, Calgary families approached her to coordinate programs as both a Speech Language Pathologist and Clinical Coordinator for their children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. In 2002, Arlene lobbied the government to create Lead Foundation as a non-profit agency for children with disabilities.

Arlene is the mom of a son with a degree in Education. She is proud of his carrying on the tradition of teaching and working with children. She enjoys running, travel and sunny days spent outside.

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