Task Force Members
Nicholas Bala, Law professor, Kingston (Chair)
Rachel Birnbaum, Social Work professor, London
Brian Burke, family lawyer, Toronto
Antoinette Clarke, mediator, Peel Region
Crystal George, Co-ordinator of Social Services, Aamjiwnaang First Nation, Sarnia
Kim Harris, psychologist, London
Carolyn Leach, Children’s Lawyer, Toronto
Archana Medhekar, family lawyer and mediator, Toronto
Rana Pishva, psychologist, Ottawa
Dr. Shelly Polak, psychologist, Toronto
Vicky Ringuette, family lawyer and mediator, Hamilton
Michael Saini, Social Work professor, University of Toronto
Jennifer Wilson, family lawyer, Toronto
The Task Force, appointed by the AFCC-O, prepared its and to assist parents, lawyers, mediators and judges in developing child-focused, realistic parenting plans. The process of preparation of these materials involved input and review by many members of the AFCC-O.
These materials were originally released in January 2020 and since then have been used by lawyers and mediators to help prepare their clients for making parenting plans, as well as being used by parents themselves. They have also been cited by judges as a “very helpful” source of information for parents and the courts: see e.g. 2020 ONSC 2300, 2020 ONSC 5292; and E.M.B. v. M.F.B., 2021 ONSC 4264.
The AFCC-O Board decided to undertake a revision of the materials to be consistent with the amendments to the Children’s Law Reform Act and Divorce Act amendments that came into force as of March 1, 2021 and to reflect comments received about the 2020 version. The basic themes and approach, however, are consistent with the 2020 materials.
This and combine knowledge gained from developmental research on the impact of parental separation and divorce on children, with practical insights about the needs of children with parents living apart. These materials are the product of a collaborative effort by many members of the AFCC-Ontario and other professionals. Significant reliance was placed on materials from Justice Canada.
The statements in these materials that summarize the social science research reflect the considered views of the Task Force Members. As with similar materials, the Guide does not provide an exhaustive discussion of issues addressed and does not include citations. Interested readers should consult the large, published literature on child development and post-separation parenting in peer-reviewed social science journals.