Canadian Centre for Men and Families
York Region

Canadian Centre for Men and Families
York Region

Programs

We cover a range of individual and family issues, including depression, anxiety, relationship problems, separation/divorce, marriage counselling, social isolation, self-esteem, abuse and trauma. Pay what you can.

We understand men who’ve been in abusive relationships need a safe and compassionate environment to begin the process of healing. This is a safe and supportive group for anyone who has experienced abuse by an intimate partner or a family member, or felt manipulated or diminished in a relationship.
Whether you are looking for solutions to everyday problems in your marriage, or you are wondering how you got to the way things are with your partner, getting a neutral and non-judgmental perspective can help discover the path to renewed intimacy. We can assist with a space and guide for moving forward in your relationship.

Legal aid certificates will be issued to clients who have experienced domestic abuse and have financial needs.

Delivered in a safe, nonjudgmental space, this gender inclusive course will provide adults of all genders with tools to help them regulating thoughts and emotions that lead to anger in the context of relational interactions. This is a supportive alternative to meet the court requirements when ordered to complete an Anger Management Program. The focus is clinical and not critical, using an evidence based cognitive behavioural therapy, building support to change from a trauma informed anti-oppressive practice and facilitated by an experienced Registered Social Worker. A certificate of completion will be provided. At end of this program you will have gained competency in the following areas:

1.    Abuse behavior inventory

2.    Choose to change and support to change network

3.    Identifying anger ladder

4.    Identifying own and partner’s triggers

5.    Creating a safety plan

6.    Learning how and when to use of time out/cease fire

7.    Learning how trauma can affect your tolerance

8.    Distress tolerance 

9.    Learning how to manage thoughts, feelings and behaviours

10.  Creating a self-care and wellness plan to manage stress

11.  Creating an action plan of changes you are making 

12.  Relationship & conflict resolution

To register, please contact york@menandfamilies.org

To register for any of our programs please email: york@menandfamilies.org

National Programs

Every Tuesday – 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm.

The legal clinic provides you an opportunity to interact with our legal team and get advice and support.

Fee: No charge. We aim to ensure income level is not a barrier to participation in any of our programs.

The Canadian Centre for Men and Families Legal Assistance Clinic will be geared at legal problems typically faced by men or areas where men may be subject to discrimination, including:
– family law
– criminal law
– human rights law
– employment law

Our legal clinic will provide you with resources, tools and information to assist you in navigating the legal system. Legal resources will be provided in group setting as well as one on one with a lawyer where circumstances allow.

You’ll be able to share your situation with others who have gone through the system and discuss your matter in a welcoming group setting. This group is especially useful to those who are self-representing, in low-income situations or for people looking for general legal advice.

The legal clinic will not provide you with legal representation, nor is it a substitute for hiring a lawyer.

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Every Thursday at 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Practical Resources and Shared Experience (for all survivors of false allegations and their loved ones)

Fee: No charge

The Canadian Centre for Men and Families (CCMF), operating under the governance of its parent organization, the registered charity Canadian Association for Equality (CAFE), is proud to offer an important new service for Survivors of False Allegations (SOFA). This program has been built in response to overwhelming client demand.

Program Objectives:

To provide a welcoming and non-judgmental environment that enables those who have been falsely accused or wrongfully convicted of domestic violence or sexual abuse, or a combination of both, to discuss their experience, share successes and failures within the criminal justice process, and address the unique emotional struggles that result from false accusations and wrongful convictions.

In-Take, Eligibility and Assessment:

A Client/Program Manager liaison will conduct an Intake Assessment that measures the probability of factual innocence. Factual innocence is demonstrated when the available evidence does not reasonably support a conclusion that the person charged has committed the offense.

In order for us to better understand your individual circumstances and the context, every individual who is currently facing an allegation or conviction of a criminal offense, or who is likely to soon find him or herself facing an allegation or conviction of a criminal offense, must undergo the SOFA Assessment process. Any individual seeking support for a loved one who is is currently facing an allegation or conviction of a criminal offense, or who is likely to soon find him or herself facing an allegation or conviction of a criminal offense, must undergo the SOFA Assessment process. The determination of whether an individual must undergo an Assessment shall be at the sole discretion of the agency’s Executive Director or his/her designate. The agency reserves the right to refuse service to individuals at its unique and sole discretion, including for the reason of an individual refusing to undergo this assessment, provided refusal of service does not violate the law.

Client Types:

– Those that have not been convicted in a criminal court of law
– Those that have been convicted in a criminal court of law
– Those who are seeking case advocacy for any of the following: media engagement, private prosecution, filing complaints to investigative bodies, referrals to innocence projects or other outside legal counsel
– Loved ones who seek resources alongside the attending falsely accused or wrongfully convicted individual
– Loved ones who seek resources in lieu of or on behalf of the incarcerated falsely accused or wrongfully convicted individual

Support Types:

1. Personal/Social Support
2. Practical Resources & Shared Experience
3. Case Advocacy

Program Services Detailed Break-Down:

1. Contact and intake:

SOFA hotline and email address
Assessment interview
Referral to in-house and/or linked agencies / supports.

2. Practical Resources:

Information library.
In-house and linked external agencies
Shared experience group meetings with other SOFAs and their supporters:

3. Personal/Social Supports:

To provide personal support for coping with the overwhelming stresses, and the extremely difficult life challenges, faced by those who are falsely accused or wrongfully convicted, and their supporters.
Individual counselling
Peer support groups

4. Case Advocacy

5. Other appropriate supports/projects.

Secondary Objectives:

To collect data for the purposes of program development and evidence-based reporting on:
– Frequency of Client Types that request our services
– Support Type that is most often requested and attended
– Specific resources or linked supports that are most often requested
– Common denominators in causes of false accusation and/or wrongful conviction across all client cases
– Data specific to case advocacy

Survivors of False Allegations Program Policies

Zero Tolerance Policy

The Survivors of False Accusations (SOFA) program exists to support individuals falsely accused or wrongly convicted of domestic violence, or sex crimes – historical or recent.
We have a zero tolerance for abuse of any kind, and has always condemned those who abuse or have abused children or adults.
SOFA takes its obligations to provide services seriously. It and its volunteers shall operate and conduct themselves in a professional manner. We require prospective applicants to demonstrate that they are factually innocent of any allegations of abuse that have been made against them.

Eligibility

4. We have zero tolerance, and as such SOFA serves only those it considers to be factually innocent.
5. The factually innocent may present themselves to us regardless of their status within the criminal justice system. Factual innocence is demonstrated when the available evidence does not reasonably support a conclusion that the person charged has committed the offense. When determining eligibility, SOFA’s assessment of factual innocence is made independently of any civil or criminal decisions.
6. While SOFA recognizes the fundamental principle of innocent until proven guilty that is embedded within the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, we reserve the right to refuse those that can’t demonstrate factual innocence even if they haven’t been convicted. On the other hand, while one could argue that the decisions of courts should be respected, judges have often acknowledged that credibility and reliability judgments are complex and subjective. SOFA recognizes that each year too many people are found guilty in our Courts that are indeed factually innocent and are deserving of support. There would be no need for appeal courts, the Criminal Conviction Review Group or Innocence projects if wrongful convictions never occurred. The Attorney General of Canada previously issued a Directive for Prevention of Wrongful Convictions acknowledging the following contributing factors in wrongful convictions: tunnel vision, incomplete disclosure, eyewitness misidentification, false confessions, false accusations or perjury, guilty pleas, in-custody informers, forensic evidence and expert testimony, DNA evidence, and conduct of police and counsel.


Intake Assessment

7. Each individual that reaches out to SOFA seeking support will have to agree to undergo an Intake Assessment conducted by a SOFA Client/Program Manager liaison before admission to the program.
8. SOFA has designed a tiered Intake Assessment process tailored for an individual’s circumstance, whether they have been charged, convicted or acquitted.
9. In the event a charged client moves to a convicted status during the course of their membership and they continue to attend support groups or seek case advocacy, we will subsequently conduct the appropriate Intake Assessment tier re-evaluating their eligibility.
10. An Intake Assessment will also apply to loved ones who seek membership in lieu of or on behalf of the incarcerated falsely accused or wrongfully convicted individual.
11. The Client/Program Manager liaison may make enquiries and ask difficult questions of prospective members during the assessment process.

Risk Considerations

12. SOFA will immediately withdraw support, independent of any criminal process, should we discover an applicant or member is factually guilty of domestic violence or sex crimes.
13. In many respects our Intake Assessment can be considered more rigorous than those used by professionals working in the criminal justice system. For example, social workers, probation/parole officers and other correctional facility workers are required to provide a service without seeking to make distinctions between those found guilty in a court of law as to whether or not they may be factually innocent. Whereas SOFA only provides services for the falsely accused or wrongfully convicted individual who meets our eligibility requirements for factual innocence.
14. Where client cases are subject to publication bans, the SOFA Client/Program Manager, facilitator and liaisons shall respect the laws governing publication bans pursuant to Section 486.4 of the Criminal Code.
16. The SOFA program is governed by CAFE’s Privacy Policy, Code of Conduct and the Canadian Centre for Men and Families’ (CCMF) Confidentiality Agreement.
17. The SOFA program does not provide access to, or admit anyone under the age of 18.

 

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