Helpful Information and Resources

Greater Victoria Resources Guide

Mediators Bobbi Poushinsky and Amy Robertson have developed this guide to provide you with a list of local Victoria Resources you may find helpful in as you work through your separation or divorce process. We hope this guide makes it easier to locate the services you need. Please note that this guide is not intended as an endorsement of any particular service.

Download the new Greater Victoria Resources Guide (PDF).


Table of Contents



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  • Justice BC this website provides general information about family law in British Columbia. It has information for people considering changes in their family relationships such as separation and divorce, and may be of interest to people thinking of marrying or living with someone in a marriage-like relationship.
    www.justicebc.ca/en/fam/index.html
  • Supreme Court BC On-line Help Guide this website provides information for matters that involve divorce, adoptions or the division of family property.
    http://www.supremecourtbc.ca
  • People's Law School this website provides public legal education and information, resources, and referral services to the public and community agencies.
    www.publiclegaled.bc.ca
  • JP Boyd's Family Law Resource provides practical, in-depth coverage of family law and divorce law in British Columbia.
    www.bcfamilylawresource.com
  • BC Family Law Act this website provides the new legislation and regulations for the BC Family Law Act.
    www.bclaws.ca/EPLibraries/bclaws_new/document/ID/freeside/00_11025_01
  • Click Law is a website that provides equitable access to quality legal information, education and help for British Columbians.
    http://www.clicklaw.bc.ca
  • Getting Divorced on this website Service Canada has prepared information to help you understand the legal issues and process of divorce in Canada.
    www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/lifeevents/divorce.shtml
  • Victoria Justice Access Centre (Family Justice Centre) can help you get the information you need to prepare your family or civil case. Justice Access Centres only provide information in person. You can just drop in or call beforehand to make an appointment.
    850 Burdett Avenue
    Tel: 250-356-7012
    www.familylaw.lss.bc.ca/help/jacSelfHelpAndInfoServices.php

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  • Legal Services Society is the organization that provides legal aid in BC. If you have a legal problem and cannot afford a lawyer, they can help.
    www.lss.bc.ca
  • Family LawLINE is a service provided by the Legal Services Society for people with low income experiencing a family law issue. You may be eligible for free legal advice over the telephone from a family lawyer.
    Tel: 1-866-577-2525
    www.lss.bc.ca/legal_aid/FamilyLawLINE.php
  • Duty Counsel Lawyers are provided by the Legal Services Society and this is a drop-in service. People are helped on a first come, first served basis and there are forms that need to be completed first which can be accessed from their website.
    850 Burdett Avenue | Tel: 250-356-6634 (Thursday 9am to 4pm)
    www.legalaid.bc.ca/legal_aid/whereProvincialCourtDutyCounsel.php
  • Access Pro Bono Society of BC promotes access to justice in BC by providing and fostering quality pro bono legal services for people and non-profit organizations of limited means.
    300 – 845 Cambie Street Vancouver, BC | Client Line: 604-878-7400 or 1-877-762-6664 (toll-free)
    www.accessprobono.ca
  • Canadian Bar Association is a professional, voluntary organization that provides low cost and free legal services.
    Tel: 1-800-663-1919
    www.cbabc.org/For-the-Public/Dial-A-Law/Scripts/Lawyers-Legal-Services-and-Courts/430
  • Canadian Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service enables members of the public to consult with a lawyer for up to 30 minutes for a fee of $25. After the consultation, the fees to be charged are strictly between the lawyer and the client. The lawyer is not obliged to accept the applicant's case and the applicant is under no obligation to retain the lawyer. CBA and non-CBA members are welcome to participate.
    www.cba.org/bc/Initiatives/main/lawyer_referral.aspx
  • The Law Centre provides advice, assistance and representation to clients who cannot afford a lawyer. This service is provided by the University of Victoria Faculty of Law.
    225-850 Burdett Avenue | Tel: 250-385-1221
    www.thelawcentre.ca

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Mediation Resources

  • Mediate BC offers mediation information, services and programs for individuals, families and organizations.
    www.mediatebc.com
  • Child Protection Mediation is a collaborative way for parents and caregivers involved with the Ministry of Children and Family Development to reach agreement with the social worker on the best plan for a child's safety with the help of a specially trained, impartial person called a mediator.
    www.ag.gov.bc.ca/child-protection-mediation/index.htm
  • Ministry of Justice provides a Guide to Mediation in BC.
    www.ag.gov.bc.ca/dro/mediation-in-bc/index.htm#whatis
  • Communica: Dialogue and Resolution Services Society (formerly South Island Dispute Resolution Centre) offers a wide range of direct services and support to help you manage conflict situations.
    Telephone: 250-383-4412 | Email: office@disputeresolution.bc.ca
    www.communicabc.org
  • Victoria Justice Access Centre (Family Justice Centre): a free service to assist families undergoing separation or divorce with issues related to child custody, access, guardianship and child or spousal support.
    225 – 850 Burdett Ave | Telephone: 250-356-7012

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Collaborative Family Law

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Listening to Children

  • Hear the Child Society provides a roster of qualified neutral professionals who listen to children and provide written reports of their views to decision-makers and others involved in family law cases where the child's best interests are being determined (excepting adoption cases).
    http://hearthechild.ca/

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Child and Spousal Support

  • Department of Justice on this Government of Canada website there is access to information on family law and Child Support information.
    www.family.justice.gc.ca
  • My Support Calculator this website provides information on child support and spousal support, as well as, help to calculate child support or spousal support payments.
    www.mysupportcalculator.ca
  • Family Maintenance Program if you are receiving assistance from the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation, the ministry's Family Maintenance Program will help you obtain the maintenance to which you are entitled.
    www.hsd.gov.bc.ca/publicat/bcea/fmp.htm
  • Family Maintenance Enforcement Program will monitor and enforce maintenance orders and agreements (for either child support or spousal support). Many maintenance payments are paid on time and in full, but some people like having a third party (FMEP) involved to track the payments.
    www.fmep.gov.bc.ca

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Contact / Parenting Time Supervisors

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Child Specialists

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Courses and Programs for Parents and their Children

  • Parenting after Separation is a free three-hour information session to help families to adjust to the challenges following family separation and is led by facilitators who are experienced in helping families resolve conflicts.
    Tel: 250-386-4331
    www.bcfit.org/parentsep.shtml
  • Finances after Separation is designed to complement the Parenting after Separation program, you are invited to attend another free three-hour workshop that assists separating and divorcing families with their finances.
    Tel: 250-386-4331
    www.bcfit.org/budget.shtml
  • Caught in the Middle is a program for children and parents who are separated or divorced. Parents and children participate in separate peer support groups led by professionally-trained facilitators. This eight week program is for parents and children that are 6 to 12 years. Fees for this program are based on a sliding scale, based on your income and your ability to pay.
    Tel: 250-386-4331
    www.bcfit.org/caughtmiddle.shtml
  • Parenting with a New Partner is a program that offers emotional and practical support to help parents successfully navigate the unique challenges and complexities that often arise when parenting with a new partner. Fees for this eight week program are based on a sliding scale, based on your income and your ability to pay.
    Tel: 250-386-4331
    www.bcfit.org/parentnewpart.shtml
  • Teen Life Counselling support is now available for teens and youth whose parents are going through a separation and or divorce (individual and group). Tailored to the unique needs of teens and fees for this program are based on a sliding scale, based on your income and your ability to pay.
    Tel: 250-386-4331
    www.bcfit.org/tlc.shtml
  • Single Again is a group is for women who are newly separated and will meet once a week for eight weeks. It will provide support through the transition from being in a relationship to being single. Fees for this program are based on a sliding scale, based on your income and your ability to pay.
    Tel: 250-386-4331
    www.bcfit.org/single.shtml
  • Putting the Magic Back into the Holidays is a three-hour workshop that will look at new rituals and traditions for the holiday season.
    Tel: 250-386-4331
    www.bcfit.org/xmasredgreenblue.shtml
  • Dr. Alison Reese offers a range of parenting programs and educational services.
    Tel: 250-595-2649
    www.lifeseminars.com
    Email: allisonrees@shaw.ca

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Family Violence and Abuse Resources

  • Victoria Women's Sexual Assault Centre provides crisis intervention, justice related support services and counselling programs for those affected by sexual assault or childhood sexual abuse.
    Tel: 250-383-5545
    www.vwsac.com
  • Victoria Women's Transition House provides emergency shelter, information, support and counselling for abused women with or without their children and a 24 hour crisis line.
    Crisis Line: 250-385-6611 | Tel: 250-592-2927
    www.transitionhouse.net
  • Men's Trauma Centre exists to provide treatment and support services to adult and late adolescent males who are survivors of physical, emotional or sexual trauma, as well as, support for their partners.
    Tel: 250-381-6367
    www.menstrauma.com
  • Domestic Violence Helpline and Victim Link BC this domestic violence helpline is free, confidential, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and in multiple languages.
    Tel: 1-800-563-0808
    www.domesticviolencebc.ca
  • Pacific Centre Family Services Association provides counselling programs for men who use violence, as well as, assessment and counselling for men who have abused their female partners and want to stop. There is also a women's program for partners of men in the men's program.
    Tel: 250-478-8357
    www.pacificcentrefamilyservices.org
  • BC Families in Transition (formally the Separation and Divorce Resource Centre) provides pre-separation consultation and individual counselling for people of all ages affected by divorce or separation. They also provide professional counselling for adults, children, youth, and families, legal support services, and workshops.
    899 Fort St. | Tel: 250-386-4331
    www.bcfit.org
  • Cascadia has counsellors that will assist individuals, couples and families to manage life transitions, negotiate through crises and learn skills to meet adversity in healthy ways.
    Tel: 250-590-7050
    www.cascadiaconsultation.com
  • Victoria Native Friendship Centre provides education, employment, social, health and community outreach services and programs for aboriginal people.
    Tel: 250-384-3211
    www.vnfc.ca
  • BC Coalition to Eliminate Abuse of Seniors has several programs which focus on helping older adults access the justice system or understand their legal rights.
    Tel: 1-866-437-1940
    www.bcceas.ca
  • The Cridge Transition House for Women (formally called Hill House) provides emergency shelter, information, support and counselling for abused women with or without their children and a 24 hour crisis line.
    Tel: 250-479-3963
    www.cridge.org

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Mental Health Services

  • Victoria Cool Aid Society has several shelters that all provide food, beds, hygiene services and additional supports such as mental health services, help in finding housing, community liaison, and crisis and life skills counselling. Each shelter is designed to meet unique, varying needs.
    Tel: 250-383-1977
    www.coolaid.org
  • Canadian Mental Health Association promotes the mental health of British Columbians and support the resilience and recovery of people experiencing mental illness.
    Tel: 1-800-555-8222|
    www.cmha.bc.ca
  • Capital Mental Health Association offer services and programs to people with mental illness that empower them to live independent, healthy, and sustainable lives.
    Tel: 250-389-1211
    www.miravictoria.ca/programs.htm
  • Child Youth and Family Mental Health Services offer a range of services from short-term crisis intervention to inpatient assessment and treatment planning.
    Crisis Line: 1-888-494-3888 | Tel: 250-519-6794 or 250-519-6720
    www.viha.ca/cyf_mental_health
  • BC Mental Health and Substance Use Clinics are responsible for the supervision, monitoring and treatment of persons found Not Criminally Responsible on Account of Mental Disorder (NCRMD,) as well as, any persons found Unfit to Stand Trial, but granted a conditional discharge by the BC Review Board.
    Tel: 250-213-4500
    www.bcmhsus.ca/regional-clinics

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Help Lines

  • BC Alcohol and Drug Information and Referral Service is available to people across BC needing help with any kind of substance abuse issues 24 hours a day. It provides information and referral to education, prevention and treatment services and regulatory agencies.
    Tel: 1-800-663-1441
  • HealthLink BC helps you learn about health topics, check your symptoms and find the health services and resources that you need for healthy living. Call to consult with a nurse, pharmacist or dietitian or visit their website for easy access to help you find the health services you need, closest to where you live.
    Tel: 811
    www.healthlinkbc.ca
  • Problem Gambling Help Line provides 24-hour information and referral service for anyone who is adversely affected by their own, or another's gambling habit.
    Tel: 1-888-795-6111
  • Crisis Line Association of BC Mental Health Information Line is answered 24/7/365 and provides empowering emotional support, information on appropriate referral options and a wide range of support relating to mental health concerns.
    Tel: 310-6789 (no area code needed)
  • Vancouver Island Crisis Line provides 24-Hour Crisis Line Support and Resources for Vancouver Island and BC.
    Tel: 1-888-494-3888
    www.vicrisis.ca

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Drug and Alcohol Services

Government Funded Services:

  • Island Health Addictions Intake Line will help you answer questions and help you find treatment options.
    Tel: 250-213-4441
  • Umbrella Society is an organization that will help guide clients and their families through their treatment options and assist with referrals.
    901 Kings Road
    Tel: 250-380-0595
  • Island Health Addictions Outpatient Treatment provides free, confidential service and group programs.
    1250 Quadra Street
    Tel: 250-213-4441
  • Sobering and Assessment Centre has 20 beds available with laundry and snacks for people addicted to alcohol or drugs, as well as, referrals to other programs.
    1125 Pembroke Street
    Tel: 250-213-4441
  • Medical Detox for 24 hour care when withdrawing from alcohol and other drugs.
    Royal Jubilee Hospital Eric Martin Pavilion
  • Pembroke Place Stabilization Unit is for high risk patients that need 24 hour care. Access to this service requires a fax referral from an addictions counsellor or hospital emergency social worker.
    Downtown Victoria
    Fax: 250-213-4445
  • Supportive Recovery is community living for people already detoxed for several weeks. Holly Place and Lilac Place provide beds for women and The Grove provides beds for men. Access to this resource requires a referral from an addictions counsellor.

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Private resources:

  • Cedars at Cobble Hill is a full service treatment and recovery program beginning with assessment and medically supervised detox, inpatient care, continuing care and monitored recovery if required (typically $15,000 to $20,000 per stay).
    Tel: 1-866-716-2006
    www.cedarscobblehill.com
  • Edgewood in Nanaimo a private residential facility specializing in addiction treatments and substance abuse therapy (typically $350 a day).
    Tel: 1-800-683-0111
    www.edgewood.ca
  • Edgewood also runs an outpatient centre in Esquimalt. The first session is free and outpatient programs can be developed for $1,000 to $3,000.
    102-1245 Esquimalt Road.
    Tel: 250-590-3168
  • TSOW-TUN LE LUM SOCIETY is an Aboriginal Substance Abuse Treatment Centre offering programs and services that address the issues of addictions and substance abuse, and that support the survivors of trauma and residential schools.
    Tel: 250-390-3123 | Fax: 250-390-3119
    Email: info@tsowtunlelum.org
    www.tsowtunlelum.org

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Community Counselling Resources

  • Citizens' Counselling offers affordable, accessible counselling to adult residents of Greater Victoria. All counselling is offered by volunteer counsellors trained and supervised by the Centre. They have a sliding fee scale based on family income.
    941 Kings Road | Tel: 250-384-9934
    E-mail: info@citizenscounselling.com
    www.citizenscounselling.com
  • BC Families in Transition provides pre-separation consultation and individual counselling for people of all ages affected by divorce or separation. They also provide professional counselling for adults, children, youth, and families, legal support services, and workshops.
    899 Fort Street | Tel: 250-386-4331
    www.bcfit.org
  • Pacific Centre Family Services provides counselling programs for men who use violence, as well as, assessment and counselling for men who have abused their female partners and want to stop. There is also a women's program for partners of men in the men's program.
    Tel: 250-478-8357 | Tel: 1-866-478-8357
    Email: pacificcentre@pcfsa.org
    www.pacificcentrefamilyservices.org
  • West Shore Child, Youth and Family Centre is home to seven child, youth and family serving agencies.
    345 Wale Rd. | Tel: 250-391-4320
    www.westshorefamilyservices.ca
  • Sooke Co-operative Association of Service Agencies (CASA) provides comprehensive and inclusive services for children, youth and families in the Western Communities, Sooke and Port Renfrew.
    2145 Townsend Rd. S. | Tel: 250-642-6364 ext.230
    www.bcca.coop/member/sooke-casa
  • 1Up, Victoria Single Parent Resource Centre provides practical support, opportunities for growth and a sense of hope for one-parent families across Greater Victoria.
    602 Gorge Rd. E | Tel: 250-385-1114
    Email:
    info@1-up.ca
    www.singleparentvictoria.ca
  • Together Against Poverty (TAPS) provides free, face-to-face legal advocacy for people with income assistance, disability benefits and tenancy issues.
    Tel: 250-361-3521
    www.tapsbc.ca
  • Cascadia has counsellors that will assist individuals, couples and families to manage life transitions, negotiate through crises and learn skills to meet adversity in healthy ways.
    300-755 Queens Avenue | Tel: 250-590-7050
    Email: info@cascadiaconsultation.com
    www.cascadiaconsultation.com
  • Burnside Gorge Community Association provide family resource programs and services that respond to the needs of families in the area such as family outreach, parent and child programs, childcare, a youth centre and special events.
    471 Cecelia Road
    Email: info@burnsidegorge.ca
    www.burnsidegorge.ca
  • Vancouver Island Support Groups offers a range of support groups for parents.
    www.fgta.ca/parent_support_groups.php?region=2

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Cultural and Immigration Resources

  • Victoria Immigrant & Refugee Centre Society provides services for immigrants and refugees including: settlement, ESL classes, pre-employment programs and more.
    300-637 Bay St. | Tel: 250-361-9433
    Email: info@vircs.bc.ca
    www.vircs.bc.ca
  • Intercultural Association of Greater Victoria provides services for immigrants including: settlement work, ESL classes, support groups, interpreters and more.
    930 Balmoral Rd.
    Tel: 250-388-4728

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Subsidized Housing

  • BC Housing develops, manages and administers a wide range of subsidized housing options across the province. They partner with public and private housing providers, other levels of government and community agencies to create the best system of housing and supports for those in greatest need.
    201-440 Douglas Street | Tel: 250-475-7550
    www.bchousing.org
  • The Cridge Centre for the Family provides seniors with assisted living arrangements.
    1307 Hillside Avenue | Tel: 250-419-0575
  • Island Health provides publicly subsidized assisted living is for seniors and people with physical disabilities who need a safe environment to live and help with daily tasks.
    www.viha.ca/hcc/assisted
  • Pacifica Housing is a non-profit charitable organization that provides affordable housing for low income families, persons with a disability and adults who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.
    827 Fisgard Street | Tel: 250-385-2131
    www.pacificahousing.ca
  • Capital Region Housing Corporation provides affordable housing to low income and moderate income families, and to low income seniors and individuals on a disability pension.
    631 Fisgard Street | Tel: 250-388-6422
    www.crd.bc.ca/service/housing-tenant-information
  • Greater Victoria Housing Society helps people by providing affordable rental housing.
    2326 Government Street | Tel: 250-384-3434
    Email: info@greatervichousing.org
    www.greatervichousing.org