Connecting for Care

Using Social Network Analysis to Understand Knowledge Translation in Child Development and Rehabilitation

We are conducting a national social network analysis survey to understand how groups of people involved in child development and rehabilitation connect with others to share and use knowledge.

Take the survey now!

The overall goal of this work is to improve families’ access to safe, effective health care.

The findings can be used to create strategies and to support connections that help move knowledge into action. This project is led by researchers at the University of Manitoba and Sunny Hill Health Centre at BC Children’s Hospital, and our team includes parent and family partners, Indigenous partners, health care providers, knowledge translation support people, and researchers from across Canada.

Bear and Cub
Gratitude to Morningstar Designs for permission to use this image.

We are not affiliated with any provincial or federal government Ministries and are conducting this research independently. We would like to ensure that Indigenous peoples are represented in this work. We will abide by The First Nations principles of Ownership, Control, Access, and Possession – more commonly known as OCAP (, to the best of our ability. We have Indigenous members on our team and are committed to cultural safety and doing no harm. We are receiving guidance from Knowledge Keepers to help leave everyone in a good way.

This work relates to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada Calls to Action #19 and #20. We engage in ongoing learning about cultural safety and trauma and are striving to use the utmost care to ensure that anyone choosing to take part in the survey has a safe, confidential space to share their perspectives.

Our team’s decolonization journey is as important as every other part of this study, including the interpretation and representation of the information that comes from this work. We have an ethical duty as researchers to be as inclusive as possible, and to create a safe space for all voices and all bodies. As part of our action toward reconciliation we strive to uphold our duty and responsibility as a research team to welcome and value all the voices at the table as equal partners. We commit to applying the study findings to make sure we are walking alongside all children and families with exceptionalities, toward the best supports and outcomes. 

About the Study

This survey is Phase 1 of the project.

Phase 2 involves interviews with a small group of people who answered this survey. Phase 3 involves a group consensus process with a smaller group. If you take part in Phase 1, you may also be invited to take part in Phase 2 and 3.

The survey has 2 aims:

  1. To learn about the connections and gaps between people involved in knowledge translation in Canada, we will ask you to name up to 5 people (including researchers, health care providers, families, and knowledge translation support people) with whom you connect for knowledge translation. This will allow us to make a map that shows where strong connections and gaps in connections exist across Canada.

    Note: No names will be used in any reports of the findings. Names are needed to create the map of the connections between people who complete this survey, and then names will be deleted from the data set.
  2. To help us understand who took part in this survey from across Canada, we will ask you questions about you and your background.

The survey should take about 15 minutes to complete. You can save your answers and come back to finish the form later. Answers will be stored in a secure database called REDCap, hosted by the University of Manitoba.

Study Leads

Dr. Kristy Wittmeier, PT, PhD – Co-Lead

Kristy is a physiotherapist and a researcher, who lives and works on Treaty 1 Territory (Winnipeg Manitoba). She has 15+ years experience supporting research and evidence use among physiotherapists. Kristy is affiliated with the University of Manitoba, Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba, and Rehabilitation Centre for Children. She is co-lead of the ENRRICH Research Theme in Manitoba (Excellence in Neurodevelopment and Rehabilitation Research in Child Health).

Dr. Stephanie Glegg, OT, PhD – Co-Lead

Stephanie is an occupational therapist and an implementation scientist working from the traditional, unceded lands of the Coast Salish Peoples (Vancouver, BC). Her research examines how to move knowledge into action to improve health care. She has 15+ years’ experience as knowledge broker with the Child Development & Rehabilitation Evidence Centre at Sunny Hill Health Centre, supporting the use of evidence to inform decision-making by health care providers and leaders, students and families. Stephanie is affiliated with the University of British Columbia, and the BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute, and co-leads the Knowledge Mobilization Program with the CHILD-BRIGHT Network. She also brings perspective to her research and practice as the caregiver of a neurodiverse child. 

Symbia Barnaby – Indigenous Wisdom Translator

Symbiais an Indigenous woman of Haida and Mi’kmaq descent. She currently lives on the traditional unceded territory of the Coast Ts’msyen People, specifically the Nine Allied Tribes of Lax Kw’alaams. Her traditional Haida name is Guu Gaa Jung and her spirit name is Warrior Woman. She is a single mother of 6 children (5 of which have disabilities). She is trained as a Practical Nurse, a Birth/Postpartum Doula and a Reiki Level 3 Practitioner. She is also a storyteller, a filmmaker, and a Wisdom Translator.

Symbia volunteers with several community-based organizations aimed at supporting the growth and healing of generational and systemic trauma. She has developed and run workshops on decolonization, anti-racism, equity, inclusion and disability. She also does consultation projects with various agencies and individuals wanting to understand equity, policy and protocols through an Indigenous lens, through her business called Healing Nation Consulting.

Carrie Costello – Parent Engagement Lead/Family Partner

Carrie is a parent of three wonderful children aged 15, 11 and 8 years old. Her middle daughter, Alej, has a profound intellectual disability and a seizure disorder. Her family has spent a lot of time navigating the child health and disability world; she brings that experience to her work with parents and families in research. Carrie works as the Patient Engagement Coordinator at the Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba and works to include parents, caregivers, and patients as part of the research team. Carrie also works as a parent liaison with the CHILD-BRIGHT research network. Here, she supports parents and researchers involved in 12 pan-Canadian multi-year research projects. She has also been a partner, collaborator or co-investigator on over 10 different research projects.


This survey is for 4 groups of people involved in caregiving and/or work with children with exceptionalities or support needs for development:

  1. Families/caregivers;
  2. Health care providers;
  3. Researchers; and
  4. People who support knowledge translation

In addition, eligible participants will:

  • be ≥18 years of age
  • live/work in Canada
  • be able to complete a survey in French or English language

How to Participate:

Please contact our study site coordinator directly to learn how you can get involved. 

Email: or phone: 204-789-3372


Knowledge translation (KT) is the process of moving evidence into action. The evidence being moved into action can be research findings, health care provider expertise, families’ experience, and other ways of knowing. The goal of KT is to improve health, health care, and the health care system. Knowledge translation includes identifying the problem/issue, summarizing, sharing, and using knowledge to improve health, health care, and the health care system, and evaluating the impact of knowledge translation. This process can involve interactions between researchers, health care providers, families, and/or knowledge translation support people. You can read the definition of knowledge translation from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) here.

Child development and rehabilitation is the health field that focuses on children (0-18 years) with exceptionalities, or support needs related to their development or to their recovery from an injury that affects how they develop.

Health care providers may call these exceptionalities, developmental, behavioural or brain-based (i.e., neuromotor/neurological) conditions, disabilities, muscle/bone and/or sensory impairments, or other terms. Examples of conditions include (but are not limited to): attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism, cerebral palsy, brain injury, spina bifida, intellectual disabilities, muscular dystrophy. Note: A child does not need a specific diagnosis to have an exceptionality or support needs

Family members in this study means adult family members (including parents, grandparents, siblings), caregivers (including kinship care, foster care) of a child (any age; the child can now be an adult) who has accessed or tried to access child development and/or rehabilitation services in the healthcare system.

Health care providers are members of the health care team that provide assessment, consultation, or treatment for children with development or rehabilitation needs. Some examples of health care providers are doctors, nurses, psychologists, therapists (e.g., physical therapists, occupational therapists, recreation therapists, speech language pathologists), dieticians, social workers, traditional healers, and Medicine People.

Researchers are people who design and conduct research as part of their formal role. Researchers can work within universities, research institutes, health organizations, government, or community organizations.

Knowledge translation support people are people like knowledge brokers, knowledge keepers, Elders, librarians, nurse educators, research coordinators, parent advisors, and others whose formal role includes helping move health-related evidence into action. They may work or volunteer in health care, research, or community organizations.