Based on our review of the existing system, assessments of the system by workers and users in the system, and with the interprofessional health care initiative as a helpful model, we have concluded that accessing the family justice system effectively requires a comprehensive multidisciplinary, multifunction approach that
- incorporates inclusivity,
- provides effective access to information and self-help tools,
- provides options for service delivery by lawyers
- provides services from other legally trained persons,
- incorporates trusted intermediaries,
- recognizes that family law problems may be caused by, accompanied by or be exacerbated by problems of other kinds, and
- is systematically inked to later stages of the family law process.
The Law Commission of Ontario recommends that:
- The major stakeholders responsible for the delivery of services to be found at family justice entry points, including government actors, crown agencies, professional regulators and not for profit organizations, engage in a process to develop the concept of comprehensive multidisciplinary multifunction service delivery and that the process include the following elements:
a) identification of relevant services to be offered that meet criteria of accessibility, diversity, timeliness, effectiveness, and other characteristics of the benchmarks set out in this Report;
b) identification of the challenges and creation of a plan to address the challenges;
c) Identification and leveraging of programs and services that already exist which could serve as a springboard for integration;
d) developing a process for accreditation of multi-disciplinary service centres; and
e) development of a strategic implementation plan.
- The plan outlined in Recommendation 1 incorporate both the principles of progressive realization and a method of evaluation.
- The Ontario government facilitate the creation of two pilot projects in two areas of the province, one rural and one urban, that meet the benchmarks as appropriate, applying the lessons gained from previous experience with comprehensive services as discussed in this Report and meeting the criteria set out in the Preamble to these Recommendations.
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