Resources for Youth Experiencing Parental Separation
Written By: IRC Alisha Cater
As an IRC I like to approach each day like an empty rice bowl. The empty rice bowl is a well-known Buddhist story reflecting a beginner’s mind; a fresh start. Where each grain of rice that fills your bowl illustrates a new interaction, a new perspective, new learning. I am gifted with the opportunity to make connections through conversations.
Navigating the Family Court system can evoke emotions and feel overwhelming for many. I enjoy being able to simplify the family court process, uncover individual needs, research resources, and most importantly provide an ear to listen. Each connection with a client gives me insight on how to help others in the future. Each connection is an opportunity to add a new grain of rice to my bowl.
Although working remotely can have challenges, I have also seen benefits. Sharing and expressing oneself from an environment that is known and comfortable – like home; can allow for energy to be grounded and barriers to lessen. I have experienced remote interactions to be more open and individuals having a greater desire to share. I see this as a positive, allowing me to uncover their needs more efficiently and provide accurate support to continue moving forward. It is important to note that everyone’s needs are different, therefore support looks different too.
Most recently, I have noticed an increased number of parents seeking support for their children during parental separation. In response to this need, I found it helpful to have resources on hand geared to children and youth. I enjoy that my role encourages me to be flexible, to be curious, and to actively expand my research to support different needs. I look forward to my growth as an IRC and to continuing to fill my bowl with valuable connections.
Please see some helpful resources below that support children and youth experiencing parental separation.
This resource is a parent’s guide to separation and divorce. This resource provides information and helps parents guide their children through separation and divorce. It highlights aspects of separation involving feelings and emotions, dealing with change, telling the children, and information on child support.
Skylark “What’s Up Walk In”
Skylark holds a virtual walk-in clinic which provides free mental health services for children, youth and their families – no health card required and no appointment necessary. Skylark also has great resources for parents of a LGBTQ+ young person who might benefit from additional support. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone (416) 482- 0081.
Turning Point Youth Services
Turning Point Youth Services is an accredited, not for profit children’s mental health centre serving youth (12-24 years of age) and their families. Turning point focuses on empowering youth with unique and individual skills to make a positive change. Many amazing resources for youth, families, and professionals. Contact Turning Point at (416) 925-9250.
Family Service Toronto
The Families in Transition (FIT) program provides service to families who live and/or work in Toronto. FIT provides services to families and children who are experiencing significant change brought on by separation and divorce. FIT offers short term counselling services for separating divorcing and blended families. They provide workshops and individual one-on-one counselling for both parents and youth/children. For appointments, registration and information contact the FIT Service Access Unit at (416) 595 9618.
Youth Justice System
Ontario’s Youth Justice System provides resources to programs and services for youth between the ages of 12 and 17 who are in conflict with the law. They offer programs and services targeted to reducing reoffending behaviour and understanding the underlying needs of the youth. This resource provides information on what to do if a youth is has been arrested or broken the law, as well as community-based programs that are targeted to youth involved with the law. You can contact Youth Justice Services at (416) 325-0500.