FDRIO November 2015 Newsletter
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Do No Harm: Why Our Family Courts Matter

As we launch our first FDR Week, with a nearly sold-out conference and a week of public and professional events, we reflect on where FDRIO began and where we are now.

We are part of a community of passionate family DR professionals, all committed to serving those families experiencing various forms of conflict, including those going through separation and divorce.

FDRIO's first priority is the principle of "Do No Harm." We seek to ensure that everyone has access to the best dispute resolution process for them and their family.

The foundation of a healthy family law DR system is a healthy and well funded family court.

Our courts, judges, registrars, FLICs, IRCs, family court support workers, DROs and court-based mediators are the engine that enables everything else to work.

Courts are free. They dispense justice--- equally, fairly, safely. The family courts are and should be the first and most important resource because they are accessible to the most vulnerable. 

One of our objectives in creating FDRIO was to ensure that there exist, across all FDR process options, standards requiring screening, triage, risk assessment and process-design expertise, to ensure that all families are using the best process for them.

This means knowing which cases should be directed to court and what resources are necessary to support those families in the court system. It means helping educate the public, the legal profession and all FDR professionals on making appropriate DR process choices.

We cannot do our jobs as FDR professionals without having, at the core, a healthy and vibrant family court.


We invite you to joint FDRIO on November 23, 2015, for its first annual conference entitled “All in the Family: Family Dispute Resolution Under One Roof.” 

This is an opportunity to network with other dispute resolution practitioners and hear directly from clients who have experienced various family dispute resolution options.

We have planned an exciting morning workshop where you will hear directly from clients who have experienced mediation, arbitration and collaborative practice.  The workshop will be facilitated by Dr. Julie MacFarlane, a processor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Windsor.  Dr. MacFarlane has published widely in the area of conflict resolution, mediation and legal practice.  She is also an active mediator and dispute resolution consultant to a wide range of organizations and government agencies.  

Do not miss the lunch hour address by the Honourable Madeleine Meilleur who has demonstrated a commitment to improving access to justice and reforming the family law system since her appointment as Attorney General in March of 2014. 

For further program details, see the attached flyer or visit FDRIO's website at:

Space is limited.  To register for the conference, please follow the link below:  


Secure your spot now, as registration is required for all events (excluding Nov-24). Click on the dates below and you will be redirected to our #FDRweek schedule and the session/workshop event!
FREE Public Forums and Mobile FLICs in various locations....did we mention they are FREE! Link to schedule by clicking on Nov. 24
The Voice of Unrepresented Parties
Building Research-Practice Connections for FDR
Build Essential Skills for your FDR Practice
Mindfulness and FDR
Ontario's 1st Family Med-Arb workshop ($350+HST)
FDR Professionals Meet n' Greet - various locations

AM: #A2J in Family Law w/Dr. Les Jacobs, CFCJ
First ever interdisciplinary trainers forum, welcoming FDR trainers from all fields....oh and it's FREE!
Nov. 24: Pickering Library - Public Forum
Nov. 25: Pickering Library - Separation Info Session
Nov. 26: Durham Professionals Meet n' Greet
Nov. 24-26: Restorative Justice Training ($650+HST)
Nov. 24: East Bayview Community Centre
Nov. 25: Holly Community Centre
Nov. 26: Allandale Recreation Centre
Nov. 24-26: Parkview Community Centre


Meet Co-Chairs of the newly formed Therapists & Assesors Section:  Karen Bridgman-Acker and Dr. Irwin Butkowsky!

FDRIO members watch your inbox for an invitation to join this Section and provide your input as we explore the needs, views and interests of Therapists & Assessors who work in the family dispute resolution field! 

Meet them both at our upcoming FDRIO Conference and Annual General Meeting on November 23rd!

Copyright © 2015 Family Dispute Resolution Institute of Ontario, All rights reserved.

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