Families in Transition (FIT) supports the well-being of children who are experiencing significant change brought on by separation/divorce of parents. Our professional staff works with families to find solutions, explore options using a variety of tools and approaches that promote the emotional well-being of children and their parents.
Fit provides service to families who live and/or work in Toronto.
At FIT we offer:
Staff can provide service in Farsi, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Tagalog and English. When you call for an appointment, please let us know about your language requirements at intake.
To access our services you, the parent, must experience at least one of the following:
Your child(ren) must experience at least one of the following:
First Steps is your first step into FIT and it is compulsory for anyone who wants to receive counselling, support for child(ren) or attend the 6-8 weeks support groups at FIT.
First Steps is a 90 min session shared by up to 12 parents and led by a FIT counselor. Our goals for this session are for you to gain knowledge about factors that influence children’s adjustment to significant family change, and also to find out who we are and how our group services can help you and your family. This first step provides a confidential interactive setting where you can learn and where you can chart your pathway through FIT services. No children attend First Steps.
First Step sessions occur four times per month. We offer morning, afternoon and evening options.
Location: 700 Lawrence Avenue West, Suite 420A
Fee: $20.00 for this appointment (Fee reductions available based on need)
Payment options: Credit cards accepted by telephone. Cash and debit card payments can only be made in person.
Registration: Call our Service Access Unit at 416-595-9618 to register for your FIRST STEPS session.
There are fees for all services at Families in Transition and fees are based on a sliding scale to ensure that persons with all income levels can access our programs. Please go to “Services” tab at the top of the page to see the description of services offered and their corresponding fees.
For appointments, registration and information contact our Service Access Unit at 416 595 9618.
Counselling services are goal-directed and time limited and include: one-on-one counselling for children or parents; parent/child counselling and family counselling.
Counselling focuses on issues such as reducing parent conflict, creating co-parenting relationships, supporting a child’s grief process, dealing with parent’s anger, sadness, and grief, fostering healthy child-parent relationships, focusing on creating a positive way forward after separation or divorce.
Staff will work with you to create a mutually agreed upon plan to address the issues that you bring to counselling.
Fees for the individual sessions are $120/session (sliding scale offered to ensure that persons with all income levels can access our programs). Family counselling fees are determined according to family size and income.
This is a specific intervention geared towards helping separated or divorced parents develop positive co-parenting strategies that enhance the physical, emotional and social well- being of children. The mandatory criterion is that parents must be open to and ready to work together. At FIT we strongly believe that parents, even those in high conflict separation and divorce, can learn how to develop a positive co-parent relationship that can help children transition from the concept of one home to two homes and eliminate or reduce a child’s exposure to harmful parental conflict.
This service is intended for parents who are re-partnering after separation or divorce and who want support in finding positive ways to help their children adjust to a new family unit. This process may include new partners, former partners and/or children.
In this multi session program, parents discuss parenting post separation. Participants learn practical strategies for supporting their children to manage the challenges of parental separation and divorce.
Location: 700 Lawrence Avenue West, Suite 420A, located above the Lawrence Square Mall
Fees: Eight-week session program $280.00. Fee reductions are available based on need.
Registration: You can register only after completed your First Steps session.
What is it?
Coping with Life: The Children’s Group is a 6 session series of groups for children (6-11 years). During this program children have the opportunity to:
What has to happen for children to attend?
At least one parent must register and attend a First Steps session. On completion of this session, the parent needs to request an appointment to meet with a counsellor to share concerns about the child/children and determine counselling goals and make a treatment plan. Likewise, the other parent will be invited in to meet a counsellor. Once consent is received from by both parents when there is shared decision making, arrangements are made for the child/children to be seen by a counselor to determine if the Coping with Life: the Children’s Group would be helpful to the child/children.
Coping with Life: the Children’s Group is paired with the Parenting after Separation group. These groups can be helpful for any family going through separation related transitions and provide both children and parents with support in coping with the challenges that come with parental separation.
Where: 700 Lawrence Avenue West, Suite 420A, located above the Lawrence Square Mall
Fees: $280 per parent per child (sliding scale fees are available for families with financial difficulties and more than one child)
Registration: You can register only after completed your First Steps session.
FIT services are designed to help children adjust to parental separation, divorce, and remarriage. Programming focuses on the issues that have significant impact on children whose parents live apart. These include:
Any member of a separating, divorcing, or blended family can benefit from FIT services. They are available to people living or working in Toronto. . Services are provided in English, French, Tagalog and Spanish.
No. Research demonstrates that early support is important in helping parents plan how to care for children when they no longer live together. Parents who are already living apart learn about ways to help children adjust to the changing family circumstances.
FIT is a voluntary non-profit social service agency. We are not connected to the courts. Our services supplement assistance you may be receiving from lawyers or the court. We do not get involved in court proceedings. When you first see us, we will ask you to sign a document that you understand and agree to this.
Yes, the voluntary nature of our service means that parents must call us to request service. We will not accept referrals from other third parties such as lawyers, the courts, other service providers etc.
We offer a variety of groups for children and parents. In addition, we provide individual and family counselling and educational seminars addressing the questions parents most commonly ask.
FIT staff work with the parent who contacts us. However, there is more we can do to help children when both parents work with us. We will talk with you about how we might involve the other parent because research demonstrates that interventions are more effective when both parents work with us. If one parent is unavailable, we will continue to help the parent who calls us.
We usually provide direct service for children 4 to 18 years. Youth 12 years and older may request service on their own.
We do not take sides in disputes between parents. Our work is directed to determining what each individual child needs and ways of supporting their adjustment to the changing family. We help parents resolve differences and develop solutions that support child adjustment. A successful parenting plan reflects the needs of the child and the strengths and resources of each parent. It recognizes the child’s needs, and therefore the plan may change over time.
We encourage parents to come for a consultation and talk with the counsellor about what the next steps for your family might be. FIT may or may not be the right place for you. Please refer to the section below on confidentiality.
We do not provide reports to the court, even if you are attending FIT at the direction of the court. If you require such a report, you will need to seek service elsewhere.
FIT conducted two major research studies that document the effectiveness of our services. Our most recent study demonstrated that positive outcomes for children are more likely when:
In order for children and parents to trust that we will remain neutral and unbiased, we do not provide reports for court or other organizations your family may be involved with.
No, this is not part of the services provided by FIT staff. If you are searching for this service, you will need to contact a private practitioner who does this type of work.
Group programs are scheduled throughout the year. It is important to check our website on a frequent basis. There may be a wait for an individual appointment.
Yes, we charge a fee for or services. Fees are determined according to your income and family size. Many of our group programs have set fees. Individual and family counseling is based on an hourly fee. We are able to reduce our fees below your assessed fee when need is demonstrated. Private insurance through your employer or another group plan may cover some or all of our fees.
We are located in the Lawrence Square Mall, at Lawrence Avenue West, just west of the Allen Road. The Lawrence West Subway Station on the Yonge-University-Spadina line is across the road. Three hours of free surface parking is available at all times surrounding the stores in the mall. Group programs operate from this central location. With advance notice, many of our educational programs can be offered from other locations in the community. Contact the FIT office at 416 595 9618 to discuss specific requests to provide programs elsewhere in the community.
The following list outlines websites that contain publications of interest for separating, divorcing, and blending families. Examples of publications from each website are noted in bullets. Please access websites for full publication listings.
Government of Canada
Department of Justice
Government of Ontario
Families in Transition is offered at the following location(s):