Youth Counsellor Wins 2020 Family Advocacy Award

Published on: 2020/02/18 - in News

Family and Children’s Services of Frontenac, Lennox and Addington has announced that youth counsellor Brian Howell of Kingston has been awarded the 2020 Family Advocacy Award – the highest award bestowed by the organization. He will be presented with the award on Wednesday, February 19 at a 1pm event.

Issued every year in celebration of Family Day, the award – which recognizes an individual, group or organization for their contribution in making the lives of families in KFL&A better –
went to Howell this year in recognition of his 30+ years of work with at-risk youth in the Kingston area.


“It takes a special person to do what Brian Howell does. For three decades he has been quietly and passionately serving this community helping at-risk youth and their families,” said Sonia Gentile, Executive Director of Family and Children’s Services. “In the process, he’s made a difference in the lives of so many people, and in the life of our community. Brian Howell is a very special family advocate and that’s why we’re so pleased to honour him with the 2020 Family Advocacy Award.”

Originally a telephone lineman for Bell Canada, where he is due to retire in March, Howell began his history of volunteering at an after-school program for at-risk children in Belleville. He then went to Loyalist College to get a diploma in their Social Service Worker program and then joined what is now Resolve Counselling Services of Canada in 1984 after graduating.

While at Resolve, Howell worked in a number of programs helping children and youth, including the RISE@one4nine youth housing project and Kingston’s One Roof Youth Services Hub – the 2018 Family Advocacy Award winner.

“Brian has assisted so many youths and their caregivers through some of the most difficult life circumstances one can imagine. Brian has always had a special way of connecting with everyone who meets him, but there is something uniquely special about the way young people respond to Brian’s approach,” wrote one of the people who nominated him.

Another person who nominated Howell said: “Many of the young people he meets with are dealing with homelessness, substance use, trauma, and significant mental health issues. Brian has shown them that their stories are worth hearing, that their experiences matter, and that someone is there for them. Brian has brought kindness, compassion, respect and empathy to each client he works with, allowing them to uncover the potential within themselves, and to begin to heal.”

More information on the Family Advocacy Award and Family and Children’s Services can be found at