Department of Justice Canada

Department of Justice Canada

January 13, 2015 08:55 ET

Federal Government Provides Funding for Project to Help Youth in Newfoundland and Labrador

ST. JOHN'S, NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR--(Marketwired - Jan. 13, 2015) - Department of Justice Canada

Today, Justice Minister Peter MacKay announced funding of $105,881 to the Public Legal Information Association of Newfoundland (PLIAN) for a new project aimed at helping youth in the province to cope with parental divorce or separation.

The project primarily aims to help young people from 11 to 16 years of age in rural, Aboriginal and French-minority communities through a series of workshops and videos and a new interactive family law website. Age-appropriate, easy-to-understand information will be provided on child support, parenting arrangements, court procedures and other family law issues most likely to affect youth following divorce or separation.

The funding will also be used to translate PLIAN's popular publication, "My Parents Live Apart," into French and three Aboriginal languages (Inuktitut and two dialects of Innu-aimun).

Quick Facts

  • According to census data, almost one-third of the children in Newfoundland and Labrador live in a family affected by divorce or separation, whether it be a one-parent family or a family with a parent and a step-parent.
  • Studies have found that children in divorced families tend to experience more problems than children in stable two-parent families. For example, according to a recent study, 41 percent of Canadian children's household incomes were in the lowest range for at least one year, and the single most important contributor to this was the separation or divorce of their parents. The study also found that adult depression rates were highest in low-income, single-parent families (42 percent). Family dysfunction was highest for that group as well (32 percent).
  • In April 2009, the Government of Canada launched the Supporting Families Experiencing Separation and Divorce Initiative (SFI) to make it easier for families to gain access to the family justice system and to encourage compliance with financial support, custody and access obligations.
  • Since April 2009, through the SFI, the Government of Canada has contributed $361,514 annually to the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador for the development and implementation of family justice services such as mediation and parenting education. Such services help couples with children make decisions and agree on issues related to their separation or divorce without the need for lengthy, expensive and stressful court litigation.
  • To date, the Supporting Families Fund of the SFI has also contributed a total of almost $265,000 to PLIAN for the development and delivery of information on family law to families in Newfoundland and Labrador through print materials, videos, information sessions, workshops and the Internet.

Quotes

"Parental divorce or separation can add tremendously to the stress and confusion that many young people feel as they make the transition from childhood through adolescence. Supporting this project will help young people in Newfoundland and Labrador cope with the changes taking place in their families by giving them a better understanding of family law issues and by helping them realize that parents' divorce or separation is not their fault."

Peter MacKay, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

"The primary goal of my organization is to make important information on legal issues available to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador in a format that is easy to access and easy to understand. The funding that we have received from the Government of Canada's Supporting Families Fund will help us to ensure that young people throughout the province, particularly those who live in remote communities, will have access to information on family law issues that may affect them."

Kevin O'Shea, Executive Director of PLIAN

Associated Links

- Public Legal Information Association of NL

- Family Justice Funding

- Family Justice Services

- Research Report, "The Prince and the Pauper: Movement of Children Up and Down the Canadian Income Distribution"

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Contact Information

  • Clarissa Lamb
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Minister of Justice
    613-992-4621

    Media Relations Office
    Department of Justice
    613-957-4207