Angela Taylor

Angela Taylor is nominated in the Community, Social Activism and Volunteerism category. (Courtesy of Elliana Gilbert)

When Angela Taylor looks at the child welfare system in place to support children and families with neurological differences, she sees a gap that she wants to bridge.

"I just see such a big disconnection between the families themselves and the professionals," said Taylor.

"I have an appreciation for the professionals and service providers doing the very best they can within the confines of service that we have, but I also see families needing a different type of support, because I am also a family."

The Winnipegger is a mom of four children with their own differences, including autism and anxiety, and she herself has experienced PTSD and anxiety disorder.

But she's also a professional in the field. The trained clinician is the founder and executive director of Inspire Community Outreach, a non-profit social services agency supporting youth, families and professionals alike.

Taylor is among those nominated for CBC Manitoba's #IamMB project, which is sharing the stories of people who have shaped our province's past, lead us in the present or will create our future. You can make your own nominations here right now.

Taylor said she founded the group three and-a-half years ago as an answer to the challenges facing her own family. She wanted to see preventative services and support for parents and kids instead of the usual crisis management.

"I thought it would be much more effective if I had a place to go to ask questions or to find support before things got tough, because when we have children with neurological, psychological and cognitive challenges and differences, you need a different type of support," she said.

"You need a little bit more connection, and unfortunately we have less."

'The best thing I've ever been able to do'

In addition to programs for skill-building, coping and empowerment among families and youth living with neurological differences, the Fort Street Centre in downtown Winnipeg offers support for service providers including professional development, education and building core competencies.

"I really want to create a connection and a bridge between service providers and the families themselves, and support families with education so they know how to communicate in ways the professionals can understand and hear them," Taylor said.

"That's really missing and I really want to support that."

Of all the parts of her job, Taylor said one of her favourites is talking to families like hers and hearing how they're finding the support at Inspire.

"It's really hard to tell people that don't live it everyday how hard things are, and how little there is for us as families," she said.

"…When I support a family and I can hear in their voice even in a week the change, the hope, the empowerment they feel from finding information and having access to information is absolutely incredible. It's absolutely incredible. It's the best thing I've ever been able to do."

With files from Leif Larsen