Informed by years of practice and training in a variety of approaches, my goal is to help families and individuals to resolve the challenges that impede their ability to function either as healthy individuals, or as a family unit.  Throughout my career, I have had a great deal of experience working with families in which addiction, issues of domestic violence, mental health and anger have had serious consequences on their daily life. 


While I practice from the Signs of Safety approach, it is heavily influenced by the Brief Solution-based method of treatment. While the past can certainly impact our present lives, Brief Solution-based therapy focuses on fostering resilience, self-care, and a positive mindset that envisions success. As a Signs of Safety practitioner, I work to promote and support each person’s inner strengths and capacities through specific tools that help to chart out a path towards a healthy future. 

When deciding on a therapist, it’s especially important to feel a connection with the one you choose. My approach is caring, compassionate, and collaborative as I strive to create a safe and supportive environment in which you can discuss your situation without fear or judgment.


I have over a decade of experience with: 


  • Families and individuals experiencing domestic violence

  • Families and individuals battling mental health issues

  • Families and individuals impacted by addiction to drugs and alcohol  

  • Working with families impacted by physical abuse 

  • Families challenged by custody and access issues  





Are you Confused? Scared? Intimidated?


I can help you understand and navigate the complicated child welfare system during this difficult time.  I will help you discover, realize and demonstrate your capacity to keep your children safe.  I will work with your family and your child welfare worker to clearly define the worries, your existing competencies and ultimately the goals needed to close your file.  Child welfare workers are hard working compassionate people and have to make critical, life-changing decisions that will impact families and children for years within a very short period of time.  The child welfare system can be taxing on staff and often fosters an anxious work environment that can lead to fear-based practice.  Workers carry heavy caseloads and are accountable to countless ministerial standards leaving very little time to focus on their clients.  I will help facilitate a working relationship with your worker and help to initiate a smooth, thoughtful and reflective process that focuses on ensuring that your children are kept safe in your care.    


The suspicion of maltreatment requires the careful consideration of many intersecting factors. It is important that caregivers are able to assure their worker that they are able to provide a safe future for their children, and will take the necessary steps to accomplish this.  I am trained in the Signs of Safety framework, which is a relatively new way to approach child protection work. Signs of Safety is a safety-focused approach that is based on partnering and collaborating with families and utilizing several uniquely adapted tools that assess risks, existing strengths, existing safety and safety goals. The ultimate objective of these assessments is to help families develop comprehensive safety plans for their children. All across the world, Signs of Safety has managed to lower the rates of removal, court involvement and cases reopening while working towards keeping children safe with their families.    


I offer a consulting service that will empower families to make informed decisions. If your family is already involved with the child welfare system, I can help you navigate this complicated process. I will explain and demystify the system, helping you move forward in a direction that will provide your children with a safe environment and give your worker all the information they need for the best possible outcome.

I will act as your family safety agent and collaborate with you, your network and child welfare worker in developing a safety plan, focused on keeping your children safe in your care, or in those rare circumstances when children are removed, a plan to return your children safely back into your care.​


After you have first been contacted by a child welfare agency, give me a call and I will help break down the issues that resulted in the call in the first place and we will consider the best option for you and your family.


  • I will explain the child welfare process and help you understand what is expected of you and will assist in bridging your needs with those expectations placed on your family by your child welfare worker.

  • As an option for clients who are not local, I am available for consultation on the phone or through video.

  • If you are struggling financially and cannot afford the extended services, I offer a sliding scale for in person consults and phone and video consultations.

  • I will help facilitate a process where clarity is created around what the worries are, what is working well and what needs to happen.

  • I will work with you to develop a comprehensive family-focused safety plan involving your naturally occurring network.



  • I will be available to you during the entire process, from the initial call, through the investigation and the final recommendations.

  • I will explain the child welfare process and help you understand what is expected of you and will assist in bridging your needs with those expectations placed on your family by your child welfare worker.

  • I will accompany you to any meetings involving your child welfare worker including court appearances. 

  • I will help facilitate a process where clarity is created around what the worries are, what is working well and what needs to happen.

  • Finally, I will work with you in developing a comprehensive family-focused safety plan involving your naturally occurring network.  


I also offer consulting services to those families not involved with the child welfare system but may be at risk of future involvement if circumstances in their lives do not change. If you and your family members are struggling with serious issues that might lead to an investigation, get help beforehand. I can help prevent intervention by offering advice, safety planning and tools to create a safe, positive environment for your children.

I will meet with you in order to understand the issues impacting your unique family and assess your needs and work with you and your network of family and friends to develop a safety plan that will focus on keeping your children safe.​

Families should consider this service when: 


  • They are experiencing turmoil due to anger issues    

  • They are struggling with mental health issues

  • They are challenged by addictions to drugs and/or alcohol  

  • Children are at risk of physical abuse  

  • They are challenged by custody and access issues  


All work undertaken in this process such as case trajectories, case decisions and safety plans must be endorsed by the involved child welfare agency.  My priority is always the safety and wellbeing of your children and I am professionally and morally bound by duty to report legislation and will not compromise the safety of minors while conducting a Signs of Safety in-home service.


Tel: 416.277.6763

avi.versanov [@]

Registered Clinical Social Worker

Licensed Signs of Safety Trainer/Consultant

© Avi Versanov Training and Consulting Inc.

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