Victim Services Toronto | Leadership Team
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Leadership Team

Carly Kalish

Executive Director

Carly Kalish is an advocate, innovator, and go-to thought leader for survivors of trauma. Carly currently drives Victim Services Toronto as their new Executive Director. Carly holds a Master of Social Work from the City University of New York. She attended the non-profit management program at Harvard University. Carly is the recipient of the Toronto Police Services “Leading the Path Award”, Toronto Foundation’s “Vital People Grant” and Attorney General’s “Victim Services Award” for her dedication to working with survivors of gender-based violence.

Kiran Brar

Associate Executive Director

Kiran Brar started her role with Victim Services as a Social Work student placement in 2009 and was hired as a full time Crisis Counsellor in 2010 upon completion of her placement. In 2015 Kiran became the program manager for the Crisis Response team and is currently managing one of the largest HR portfolios within the agency.


Kiran has over ten years of experience in the social services sector, speaks five languages holds a diploma in Social work, a degree in Business Management in addition to Crisis Intervention, De-escalation and Harm Reduction certificates. Kiran continues to volunteer, sits on various committees to implement an emergency response protocol and is excited to be the newest addition to the leadership team.

Wendy Castanha

Director of Finance

Wendy Castanha started with Victim Services Toronto in 2022.  Wendy is managing the financial aspects of Victim Services Toronto, including payroll. Wendy has experience in the Education, Health Care, Government and Social Services sector.  She is a CPA and holds a degree in Accounting Science and has an MBA.  Wendy is excited to be the newest addition to the leadership team.

Alyson Joseph

Program Director

Alyson Joseph is a devoted advocate, volunteer and leader for change. She has extensive front-line experience in various social service roles and is passionate and intentional with affecting lives through her many interactions. She holds a Social Service Worker Diploma from Centennial College in 2000, in addition to her BSW Honors Degree 2017. 


Alyson joined Victim Services Toronto (VST) in 2016 as a Bachelor of Social Work with Honors (BSW) practicum student from York University. Commencing her practicum, Alyson continued her journey with VST in Enhanced Services as a Case Manager.  Now serving as the Director of Neighborhood Client Services, Alyson leads VST’s newest program; Exit Route which focuses on Gender-Based Violence, Intimate Partner Violence, Human Trafficking and Sexual Assault.

Lindsay Upton

Program Director

Lindsay Upton has been working in her role as a Program Director since June 2007. She has extensive experience in crisis intervention and assists clients in navigating complex bureaucratic systems. Her responsibilities include managing a dedicated group of case coordinators who are responsible for providing timely emergency financial aid and case management services to victims of violent crime and sudden tragedy. Her team links clients to community resources and works alongside clients to challenge individual and systemic barriers.


Lindsay holds a Social Work Degree from Ryerson University. She is an active volunteer, has served on numerous committees, engages in public speaking engagements and is dedicated to developing community partnerships and community response protocols that challenge barriers experienced by diverse and vulnerable populations. 

Tasmine Fraser

Manager of Community Programs and Projects

Tasmine Fraser started her role with Victim Services Toronto as an SSW placement student in 2017 and was hired as a full time Crisis Counsellor in 2018, upon completion of her placement. In 2021 Tasmine transitioned to join the Community Programs team as the Community Programs Coordinator where she coordinated and supported the volunteer, student placement and T.E.A.R. ™ program. She assisted in pivoting the volunteer program to be accessible remotely during the pandemic, to support the crisis team. In July 2022, she accepted the opportunity to move into the Manager of Community Programs and Projects position. Tasmine will lead and develop numerous projects and committees to enhance response strategies to cyber-violence, human trafficking and be involved with development of community outreach and engagement strategies. She will also continue to support the T.E.A.R.™ Program and Trauma Dog Programs.


Tasmine is passionate about creating awareness on gender-based violence, creative prevention strategies, working with youth, anti-oppression, diversity and inclusion. She brings a variety of skills including: board experience (non-profit), crisis intervention, social media content creation and public speaking skills.


She currently holds an Honours BA in Criminology from University of Toronto and an SSW Diploma from Humber College. She will be a Masters candidate for the University of Windsor MSW Program beginning in Fall 2022.

Jacqueline Thorsen

Manager of Students, Volunteers and Compliance

Jacqueline Thorsen joined the Victim Services Toronto (VST) team in 2017 as a volunteer, using her extensive experience in violence against women, addiction and mental health, child welfare, and additional victim-facing work to support the diverse communities that VST serves. Her commitment to victims and survivors led to her joining the Enhanced Services Team as a Case Manager where she has helped victims navigate complex systems and supported them in their healing journey.


Jacqueline holds a Master of Social Work from the University of Toronto and as an educator she has created an inclusive and safe learning environment that she will now bring to over 150 volunteers at VST. In the role of Manager of Volunteers, Students, and Compliance, Jacqueline leads the charge in mentoring the next generation of social workers.