Past Initiatives

AFCC-O 2016 Research Project

Supervised Access as a Stepping Stone Rather than a Destination: A Qualitative Review of the Interventions Services and Programs that May Assist Families to Transition Away from Supervised Access.

Description of Project:
Supervised access is an important service for families involved in family disputes. Generally, supervised access may be necessary when there are concerns about domestic violence, poor parenting, alcohol and/or drug problems, and when a parent has little to no relationship with their child. Supervision of visitation can play a critical role in maintaining the relationship between children and their parents and helps to provide independent information that can be used for court purposes. However, without an assessment by a mental health professional (which is typically cost and/or time prohibitive), in addition to the supervision, it is difficult to assess parent-child relationships and/or parental behaviours. Consequently, parents may be left in supervised access longer than necessary.

Recent research identifies the reasons why supervised visitation is ordered. However, once supervision is court-ordered there are no clear guidelines for its reduction or elimination. The use of complementary services (i.e., parenting education, anger management, etc.) within the supervision setting to address the issues that led to a family’s difficulties needs to be better identified. Issues such as staff training, standardization of service delivery and decisions on how to transition out of supervised settings all need further investigation.

VIEW the “Supervised Access as a Stepping Stone Rather than a Destination” research paper by Nicholas Bala, Michael Saini and Sarah Spitz.

AFCC-O Policy Committee Environmental Scan

AFCC-O commenced an environmental scan of Ontario government agencies and non-profit organizations to better understand their policy initiatives as well as the gaps identified in the family law system. As set out below, the AFCC-O utilized the data collected from this project to create the updated Ideal Family Court Initiative (November 2014).

AFCC-O sent requests to participate in our environmental scan to the following Ontario Government agencies and non-profit organizations

AFCC O Policy Committee Letter

Responses provided by Ontario Government agencies and non-profit organizations


Information on the updated Ideal Family Court Initiative (November 2014):

In early 2010, AFCC Ontario called a meeting of its membership to develop a policy statement for the Ideal Family Court in Ontario. Two meetings were held with over 15-20 members from different disciplines sharing and exchanging ideas.

In November 2014, the AFCC-O updated the Ideal Family Court Initiative following our Environmental Scan, and a review of other government and academic publications. We attach our updated policy statement entitled the “Ideal Family Court (November 2014)”, along with the list of organizations that support each of the initiatives (see the link below). Please let us know what your thoughts are about it.


AFCC-O hosted a one day interdisciplinary colloquium to discuss Family Court Policy on November 15, 2013.  This provided an opportunity for leaders in the family court arena to meet and discuss trends for family courts and possible future steps

AFCC-O Family Justice Reform Colloquium Summary