OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - March 19, 2015) - Department of Justice Canada

Today, Justice Minister Peter MacKay announced funding for projects that will help families deal with difficult issues related to divorce or separation.

Le Petit Pont in Québec will receive $165,000 and Le Réseau de Chercheures Africaines in Ontario will receive over $207,000 in federal funding aimed at improving access to the family justice system and promoting compliance with family obligations related to divorce or separation.

A key focus of Le Petit Pont's project is to develop tools such as a manual that lawyers, mediators, teachers and Le Petit Pont's supervised access service providers can use to help families that are experiencing a lot of family conflict. These tools will enable users to provide more effective assistance to families in resolving issues related to separation and divorce and to take appropriate steps to intervene where, for example, family conflict appears to be escalating and could put family members at risk of violence.

Le Réseau de Chercheures Africaines will receive $112,347 for a project that will respond to a need expressed by francophone immigrant families in Ontario for information to strengthen their knowledge of family law and the family justice system. Interactive information sessions will be held to give participants an opportunity to discuss issues related to separation or divorce, and a family law information documentary will be produced for use as an outreach tool. The information provided through this project will give families a better understanding of what they need to do and where they can get help to deal with family law issues.

Le Réseau de Chercheures Africaines will also receive $95,227 for a project aimed at helping youth from immigrant francophone families to understand and deal with the divorce or separation of their parents. Through media such as video clips and vignettes, which are commonly used by young people, this project will provide information on issues such as divorce processes and procedures and on ways in which youths may be able to participate in decisions related to them.

Quick Facts

  • Funding for these projects is being provided through the Supporting Families Fund, which is administered by the Department of Justice Canada under the Supporting Families Experiencing Separation and Divorce Initiative (SFI).
  • The main goals of the Supporting Families Initiative are to make it easier for families to gain access to the family justice system and to encourage compliance with financial support, custody and access obligations.
  • To help achieve the objectives of the Supporting Families Initiative, funding is provided to non-government organizations for public legal education and information projects, and for professional training projects
  • In addition, the Supporting Families Fund contributes $15.5 million annually to provincial and territorial governments for the development and delivery of family justice services such as mediation. These services help families resolve issues related to separation or divorce without the need for expensive, time-consuming and stressful litigation.
  • First established in April 2009, the SFI was originally funded for five years until March 31, 2014.
  • Funding to non-governmental organizations for public legal education and information and professional training has been extended three years, until March 31, 2017.
  • Funding to the provinces and territories for family justice services has also been extended until March 31, 2017.


"Separation or divorce can be a very stressful and confusing experience for families. Problems can be compounded if there is a lot of conflict or if families have difficulty getting the help they need due to language barriers. Our Government supports the work of organizations like Le Petit Pont and Le Réseau de Chercheures Africaines, providing help to families in Canada during such difficult times."

Peter MacKay

Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Associated Links

- Le Petit Pont

- Le Réseau de Chercheures Africaines

- Family justice funding

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Contact Information:

Clarissa Lamb
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Justice

Media Relations Office
Department of Justice