Staff Spotlight: Karen McGillivray, Director of Community Programs

karen McGillivray, Director of Community Programs

Karen joined the Family Service Regina team in 2011, bringing diverse experience in counselling, mental health interventions and program management in various settings. She holds a Master’s degree in social work.

As Director of Community Progams, Karen oversees the Teen Parent Program, Domestic Violence Services, Older Adult Response Service and Art for the Heart.

When she’s not busy juggling her many tasks, you can find Karen learning Spanish, playing floor hockey and spending quality time with her two unruly dogs. Learn more about Karen in our Staff Spotlight:


  1. How do you define a community?

Community is people. In a community, people belong and support one another. That’s why our community programs are available to everyone who lives in and around Regina and we make sure that cost is never a barrier to receiving service. We don’t try to do it all, but our community programs work closely with other services in the city to support everyone’s well-being. I guess the other thing is that communities recognize that every individual has strengths and brings something unique to the table. So we work “with” people instead of “on” people. We support people in their own solutions.


  1. How much time do you spend in one-on-one meetings versus team meetings?

Probably half and half, It’s important to me to stay involved in direct service as much as time allows, so I’ve got a mix of meetings with clients as well as my colleagues at Family Service Regina and outside of our agency.


  1. What characteristic do you most admire in others?

I like real people. I admire people who can be themselves – what you see is what you get. That happens when people are safe and secure and confident, but on the other hand, some people are just brave. They’re just genuine without inflating anything or concealing anything. A lot of people who come here are like that. It always amazes me how people can walk through our doors and sit down with someone they’ve just met and say, “Here’s where I’m at”.


  1. What is your preferred method of communication? Phone calls, e-mail, informally, in meetings, only when necessary?

Depends. Socially, I hate the phone, but sometimes it’s the best way in a work day. I’m a bit odd in that I actually like meetings . . . as long as there’s a good practical back-and- forth discussion happening. I like talking about ideas.


  1. What’s one thing that you’ve waited in a ridiculously long line for?

Well, the line-ups at Family Service Regina staff potlucks are pretty ridiculous sometimes. I don’t wait well. Usually if there’s a long line, I decide very quickly that I don’t actually need whatever we’re lining up for. I’ve never camped out for Black Sabbath tickets or the latest Apple device.


Do you have a question for Karen? Comment below!

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