News / Articles


AFCC-O Members Receive Awards from AFCC International

Each year AFCC International recognizes outstanding contributions of leaders in the field at its Annual Conference. This year’s awards were presented virtually, and AFCC Ontario Chapter members were honoured to receive two awards: Irwin Cantor Innovative Program Award, and Tim Salius President’s Award. Irwin Cantor Innovative Program Award The Irwin Cantor Innovative Program Award was created to recognize innovation in court-connected or court-related programs created by a member…

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Annual Conference Logo Contest

Calling All (Child) Artists! AFCC-O announces its first logo/artwork competition for our 2020 Annual Conference!    AFCC-O members are invited to submit artwork created by a child (up to age 14) in their family (e.g. daughter, son, niece, nephew, grandchild) for use in promotion of the 2020 Annual Conference, scheduled for October 16, 2020, the theme of which is “Staying Connected in a Changed World”. More…

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Courthouse Facility Dogs and Child Witnesses

Last year, Ellie — a cockapoo puppy — became our family dog as a birthday gift to our young son. She became his best companion and filled our home with joy and laughter. Ellie started to accompany me to the office, and in no time the office atmosphere became warmer and more affectionate. Ellie became the star attraction for my child clients, whom I represented…

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Bill C-78: Reforming the Parenting Provisions of the Divorce Act

On 22 May, 2018, the Liberal government introduced Bill C-78 to Parliament. This Bill will, if enacted, amend the parenting provisions of the Divorce Act, the first significant change to this part of the legislation since it came into effect in 1986. There have already been similar statutory changes to the parenting laws in a few provinces, as well as appeal court decisions in Ontario…

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Meeting and Interviewing Children

In April of this year, Debra Rodrigues, Dr. Dan Ashbourne, and Dr. Kim Harris presented a comprehensive three-day training entitled “Meeting and Interviewing Children for ADR”.   The three trainers have extensive experience working with children and families involved with the family and child protection legal systems. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which Canada is a signatory, underscores that hearing from…

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The Peel Parenting Collective’s Story

Canada has witnessed ethnic shifts in migration, with 6,264,800 immigrants identifying themselves as a member of a visible minority group (2011 National Household Survey). Of this demographic, 65.1% were born outside of Canada. The Region of Peel is one of the most diverse ethno-cultural populations in Ontario, with a steady flow of newcomers. This reality underlines the need for inclusive community development and for all…

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FRO Enforcement as an A2J Barrier

Operating in a jurisdiction where students are not permitted to represent clients in Family Court, the Queen’s Family Law Clinic (QFLC) uses a limited scope retainer to maximize the number of clients served while also providing students with a challenging and dynamic learning opportunity. In the course of their work at the QFLC, the staff and students have come across a significant and largely unknown…

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Peacebuilding: Think Globally, Act Locally

Over the last two decades, I have been working in the field of family conflict resolution as a family lawyer and mediator.  I want to share my journey from local to global-acting locally with my gender equality work, and thinking globally for sustainable development and peacebuilding work. Mediators Beyond Borders International When I joined an international not-for-profit organization “Mediators Beyond Borders International” (“MBBI”), I committed…

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Age of Protection – CYFSA Legislation Changes

On January 1, 2018, the Ontario Youth, Child and Family Services Act was amended to increase the “age of protection” to include all children under the age of 18 years.  Under these amendments, 16 and 17-year-olds who are in need of protection are now eligible for a full range of child protection services.  A key change is the availability of a new voluntary agreement (a…

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Canaries in the Coal Mine: Pets and Family Violence

“A single woman entered the shelter; she had 3 dogs who were being taken care of by a neighbor while she was seeking safety with us. She came in and was hiding from her abuser, and was working on a restraining order to keep him away. Her plan was to return home once it was safe and she had the RO. Her abuser was harassing…

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