Consultation results to help shape recommendations


A report by the LCO on Ontario’s family law system is an accurate reflection of the realities faced by parents, children, social workers and health professionals, says a 20-year veteran of the field.

“Every day, I meet women who are very much challenged and marginalized by the present system,” says Marianne Park, a group facilitator, trainer and researcher in the field of violence against women who serves as an Advisory Group member for the project. “I wasn’t involved in the consultations, but I could imagine women saying those things. It rang very true.”

The consultation results, released in September, highlight the experiences of 100 social workers, lawyers, judges, counsellors and individuals involved in family law. They will be paired with the LCO’s own research, commissioned background papers and other public and constituency input to help the LCO develop recommendations on family law reform.

“Participants shared invaluable information about how they were affected by the family justice system and brought to light issues that will warrant further consideration in the final stages of the project,” explains LCO executive director Patricia Hughes.

The LCO is now inviting feedback on the consultation results. The next step is an interim report, which will be released for feedback.

“They’re lending credence to what many of us have been saving for years,” says Park. “At last we have the political will and influence to make change happen.”



View all stories from Liaison: Fall 2010