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Maura Donovan, MSW, RSW

Social Worker


Maura's role on the Provincial Leadership Team is to coordinate the development of services and programs that will be offered at the IYS-NS sites.


Maura is passionate about both integrated service delivery and system transformation through equity, inclusion, and first-voice leadership. For over a decade, Maura has been looking for an opportunity to work with communities to bring integrated services to Nova Scotia. Finally that opportunity is here!

Maura has many years of leadership in developing and implementing services for under-served youth and families. In 1993, she started the Youth Project, which supports 2SLGBTQIA+ youth in NS. From the outset, Maura involved Youth Project members in decision-making, and went on to develop Heartwood’s first training program on how organizations can involve youth in governance. Later, Maura headed up Extra Support for Parents (IWK) and SchoolsPlus (Halifax Regional Centre for Education), leading both teams through significant change, expansion, and challenging times. In 2011, the Immigrant Settlement Association of NS (ISANS) presented Maura with the ISANS Community Award, in recognition of her work with newcomer families.

Maura was a founding member of the IWK Multicultural Health Committee (forerunner of IWK Diversity and Inclusion) and the co-founder of Supportive Housing for Young Mothers (SHYM). Through SHYM, Maura experienced the power of collaborating across sectors. Since that time, she has been an advocate of multi-sector collaboration and integrated service delivery. In her IYS role, she is especially excited to collaborate with youth, families, people from African Nova Scotian and Mi’kmaq communities, front-line staff, and others who aren’t typically included in service design and delivery.

 Maura studied social work at Dalhousie, earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Her studies focused on social justice, affordable housing, ADHD, and models of service. Her master’s thesis examined family service models that involve both volunteers and paid staff. 

Maura lives in Dartmouth with her partner and young adult son where, in her free time, she solves local history mysteries. As an immigrant to Canada, Maura is forever grateful for the privilege of living here in Mi’kma’ki.



Maura Donovan 2023