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Read our 2023-24 Annual Report

Copies of our 2023-24 Annual Report and Audited Financial Statements are now available for download or online reading.

The annual report lists our programs and client services and provides statistics on our work and community outreach. It also describes our work through the year and addresses organizational highlights and changes.

Funders and donors are also highlighted in addition to revenues and expenses for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2024. FST will hold its 110th onsite Annual Members Business Meeting on Wednesday, Sept.18 at 6 p.m. at 355 Church St., Toronto. For more information, please email [email protected]

FST’s ED appointed to police board

Family Service Toronto congratulates Executive Director Chris Brillinger on his June 27 appointment by the City of Toronto to the Toronto Police Service Board (TPSB).

“I am excited and honoured to be entrusted with the job of bringing a community and social justice perspective to the work of the board,” Chris said on news of his appointment for a two-year term ending November 14, 2026.

Chris joined FST as Executive Director in August 2019 after 31 years of exemplary leadership and dedication to Toronto public service including his role as the city’s Executive Director of Social Development, Finance and Administration. 

“He has been instrumental in much of the work of the City of Toronto to create safer, more caring communities including our youth equity strategy, poverty reduction strategy and strong neighbourhood strategy,” as stated in the City’s motion for his appointment.

“We are pleased to congratulate Chris on his appointment to the Toronto Police Service Board,” added FST Board President Olympia Baldrich. “As Executive Director of Family Service Toronto, Chris has demonstrated exemplary leadership and commitment to issues of social justice and equity and his work has been grounded in the lived expertise of people and the community.

“That experience combined with his many years of Toronto public service will serve him well in working to set objectives and priorities for the effective provision of the City’s police services,” she added. “We wish him all the best in this volunteer role and look forward to his continuing work at FST.”

The TPSB’s primary role is to set objectives and priorities for the effective provision of the City’s police services.

FST launches membership drive

Support the work of Family Service Toronto by becoming a member.

As a member, you’ll have voting privileges at FST’s annual meeting in September or any other special meetings of members as well as receiving FST communications and invitations to special events.

FST membership is open to individuals who support our mission and vision of a city in which people are resilient and thriving in more just and supportive communities. The term of membership is one year and there is no fee.

Our Annual Meeting and related events will be held in person at 355 Church Street on Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2024.  Become a member by July 8 and we’ll send you the information you need to attend.

The easiest way to join FST is by completing an online membership form.

We look forward to seeing you in September!

Pride 2024 Statement

This Pride month we come together to celebrate and recognize the collective joy, resilience, grief, and strength that exists every day in our 2SLGBTQ+ community. 

As anti-trans rhetoric continues to rise in Canada, it’s crucial that we focus our attention on transgender inclusion and recognize the challenges our transgender siblings face, particularly those belonging to the Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) community who face disproportionate amounts of transphobia compounded by racism and the ongoing effects of colonization, amidst a backdrop of escalating hate, violence, and discriminatory legislation. 

We cannot ignore the profound impact this has had on the trans community, exacerbating feelings of fear, isolation, and vulnerability. Transgender individuals already face disproportionate rates of violence, discrimination, and lack of access to essential resources such as healthcare and safe housing. The perpetuation of harmful narratives only serves to further alienate and endanger their well-being.

We believe our governments play a pivotal role in creating an inclusive and just society.  We are encouraged by the steps that have been taken in the past to protect the rights of transgender individuals, such as anti-discrimination laws and policies.  However, we also believe that more can and should be done to eradicate transphobia and ensure the safety and dignity of all Two-Spirit, trans, non-binary, plus (2STNB+) members of our community. 

Family Service Toronto remains steadfast in our commitment to celebrating diversity, pursuing justice and practising inclusion. We are in solidarity with individuals and families from all areas of life and will continue to uplift the experiences of marginalized communities who call on us to challenge and dismantle all forms of oppression and discrimination.

Join us Wednesday, June 12 from 3 to 7 p.m. at 355 Church Street for our You’ve Got Pride Event – a collaborative postcard-making session and a queer watch party, celebrating our diverse identities and the resilience of the 2SLGBTQAI+ community.  Let’s come together as a community and as allies to honor our unique identities and collective strength. No registration required.

FST signs joint letter to PM

Family Service Toronto has joined more than 80 civil society organizations, settlement agencies and religious groups in Canada in signing a strongly-worded open letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau calling on the government to abandon its plan to expand immigration detention into federal prisons.

Dated Monday, May 13, the letter highlights the human rights harms of jailing migrants on administrative immigration-only grounds. At least 17 people have lost their lives in immigration detention since 2000; most died while incarcerated in a provincial jail.

A 2021 joint report by Amnesty International and Human Rights watch found that people with mental health conditions experience discrimination in immigration detention, and racialized people are disproportionately impacted by this system. The report was titled “I Didn’t Feel Like a Human in There:” Immigration Detention in Canada and its Impact on Mental Health.

Canada incarcerates thousands of people on administrative immigration-related grounds every year, including people who are fleeing persecution, those seeking employment and a better life, and people who have lived in Canada since childhood.

Over the last two years, all Canadian provinces committed to stopping the practice of holding in their jails people detained by the Canada Border Services Agency on immigration-only grounds. However the federal government, in its recent budget implementation bill, has proposed allowing migrants and refugees in immigration detention to be held in federal penitentiaries, facilities usually reserved for people facing criminal sentences of two years or more.

Class action launched over waitlists

The Toronto law firm of Koskie Minsky LLP has been engaged as Class Counsel in a proceeding against the Province of Ontario regarding lengthy waitlists for developmental services in Ontario.

The Amended Statement of Claim alleges that the issue of waitlists for desperately needed services has been a repeatedly identified issue for years and that Ontario has continued to ignore and failed to act upon the issue in any reasonable manner.

The claim alleges, among other things, that Ontario has been negligent and breached duties it owes to the class members under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, by virtue of these waitlists, some of which can last for years at a time because of a “broken system.”

For further information and to learn about eligibility for joining the class action, please consult the short-form notice of certification.

FST joins national Call for Kindness

Family Service Toronto joins the Canadian Mental Health Association’s national Call for Kindness this week (May 6-12) as we mark #MentalHealthWeek in Canada, a pivotal time for shedding light on the challenges surrounding mental well-being.

It’s a reminder that each of us possesses the ability to show compassion, which can have a profound impact. This year’s focus for Mental Health Week highlights the powerful influence of compassion, emphasizing its fundamental role in everyone’s mental health journey.

“Over the last decade, there has been an impressive surge in research supporting the multitude of mental health benefits associated with compassion,” advises the CMHA .  “Compassion was shown to increase happiness, improve emotional resilience, and reduce stress, anxiety and loneliness.”

Compassion is about meeting adversity with kindness. Reach out to those around you who may be dealing with stressful situations and have difficulty coping.  A simple act of kindness will let someone know you care.  #CompassionConnectsUs

FST opens board recruitment

Family Service Toronto is recruiting volunteers to join its board of directors and committees beginning in the 2024-25 governance year.

FST’s board and committee members are individuals with diverse backgrounds and perspectives coming from the mental health, social services, non-profit, business, legal, government and academic sectors.

FST is currently seeking skills/expertise in:

  • Consumer experience; service provider or working knowledge of the mental health and/or developmental services sector in Toronto
  • Marketing and Communications
  • Finance/Accounting, CFA; CPA
  • Social justice, human rights, anti-racism, equity, diversity and inclusion work

Application deadline is May 17, 2024 with interviews scheduled for early June. See full posting here. Send resume and cover to [email protected]

FST supports Bill 173

As an agency committed to ending gender-based violence, Family Service Toronto (FST) is pleased that Bill 173 –  Intimate Partner Violence Epidemic Act – passed 2nd reading in the provincial legislature on April 10, 2024.

Family Service Toronto released a statement in July of 2023 urging the government to take this important action. Declaring intimate partner violence an epidemic helps to take it out of the shadows, debunking the idea that it is a private matter, and elevates it to a public health priority.

Bill 173, introduced as a Private Members’ Bill and backed by the Government on 2nd reading, officially recognizes the scale, scope, and devastating impact of intimate partner violence as a public health crisis and epidemic in the Province of Ontario.  

Read FST’s full statement and join us in raising awareness about the importance of addressing IPV as a public health crisis.

Our volunteers make a difference!

April 14-20 is National Volunteer Week, a time to recognize and celebrate both FST’s volunteers and the millions of Canadians who contribute to building stronger and more inclusive communities every day.

This year’s theme, “Every Moment Matters” highlights the significant impact of every volunteer and their contributions.

Over the last year FST volunteers sat on an Accessibility Advisory Group, conducted occupational therapy-related training sessions, offered peer support, did community outreach, made weekly calls to isolated clients, provided administrative assistance, and contributed to governance. These activities took place both virtually and in-person, driven by our volunteers’ strong desire to make a difference. 

Our volunteers have shared that in addition to the satisfaction they receive from supporting our mission, they’ve gained valuable insights into the challenges faced by our clients and communities. Many have experienced increased confidence in their skills, leading to employment or advancement in their careers.

A huge thank you to our awesome volunteers! The moments you share with our clients, communities and staff make a profound difference!

Be sure to follow our National Volunteer Week posts on Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

Free walk-in counselling returns

Starting April 11, Family Service Toronto is re-opening the in-person Single Session Walk-in Counselling service at its 355 Church St. location.

Walk-in single sessions will be offered Thursdays from 3 to 7 p.m. to adult individuals, couples and families on a first-come first-served basis. The walk-in single-session counselling service does not see children.

We will continue to offer virtual single session counselling, by phone or video, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

All Single Session Walk-in Counselling sessions, whether virtual or in-person, are provided free of charge.

For more information go to Single Session Walk-In Counselling – Family Service Toronto

Poverty rates rise post pandemic

Canada saw a sharp upswing in national child poverty rates one year after historic poverty reduction was achieved in 2020,  according to the 2023 national poverty update from Campaign 2000, a non-partisan coalition of 120 groups and individuals co-ordinated by Family Service Toronto.

The report, titled Unprecedented Progress on Poverty Reduction Being Undone, states more than one million children lived in poverty as pandemic benefits wound down and the cost of living rose in 2021.

“Accelerated efforts are required for Canada to meet its human rights obligations to end poverty,” states the report which includes 30 recommendations addressing inequality, income security, housing, child care, decent work and healthcare.

Using the latest available tax filer data from 2021, the report notes the child poverty rate rose to 15.6%, up from 13.5% in 2020 (using the Census Family Low Income Measure, After Tax). That represents 163,550 more children living with the short- and long-term physical, mental, emotional, economic and social harms of poverty.

Rates of child poverty increased in every province and territory from 2020 to 2021, according to the report. Disproportionately higher rates were seen for people marginalized by colonization, racism and systemic discrimination, including First Nations, Inuit and Métis children and racialized and migrant children.

Programs and Services

Programmes en Français
Appointments and Frequently Asked Questions
Campaign 2000
Caring for Caregivers
Families in Transition
Growing Up Healthy Downtown
Healthy Families. Healthy Communities
Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse
Options – Adults
Options – Children
Partner Assault Response
Partner Contact
Pat’s Place
Person Directed Planning
Seniors and Caregivers
Seniors Community Connections
Social Action
Transitional and Housing Support
Violence Against Women
Single Session Walk-In Counselling