The Pandemic and Family Justice: Unequal Outcomes and Lack of Access to Justice


This webinar took place on April 29, 2021 

This webinar shared developing knowledge from a research project examining the reduction in access to Ontario’s family justice system due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Findings from a survey of over 100 family justice professionals in Ontario highlight how the pandemic has affected families involved in the system. Certain groups including high conflict families, self-representing litigants, victims of intimate partner violence, children experiencing abuse and neglect, and families involved in the child welfare system have been disproportionately impacted by the reduction in family court access and related services since the onset of the pandemic. Innovative responses by family court and family justice professionals were discussed, along with recommendations for how these practices can be modified or adopted to better serve families involved in the family justice system. 


Claire Houston
Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Law, Western University

Rachel Birnbaum
Professor of Social Work at King’s University College, Western University

Nicholas Bala
Professor at the Faculty of Law, Queen’s University


Webinar Resources:

Presentation Slides