Partner Contact Program is designed to support the partners of the Next Steps/Partner Assault Response Program participants.
If your partner or ex-partner is participating in Family Service Toronto’s Next Steps/Partner Assault Response (PAR) Program, our Partner Contact staff will contact you by phone to talk with you about the program. If we can’t reach you by phone, we will send you a letter if we have your address.
What is purpose of the Partner Contact Program?
The purpose of this program is to:
- provide safety planning, support and information
- reduce isolation
- provide referrals to community resources that may assist
- provide information that may help in making informed decisions about safety and your relationship with the person participating in the Next Steps Partner Assault Response Program
Who will be contacting me?
You will be contacted by a staff person from our Partner Contact team who has a good understanding of domestic violence and does not work in our PAR program.
Do I have to talk to a Partner Contact worker?
It is your decision whether you wish to speak to a partner contact worker or not. We take our direction from you.
What will my Partner Contact worker talk to me about?
The person who contacts you will provide you with information about your partner/ex-partner’s participation in group, such as:
- Any absence from group sessions (either excused or unexcused)
- Any threat made towards you, your children or any other person
- Any concerns the program may have because of comments or behaviour of your partner/ex-partner while attending the Next Steps PAR program
- Disruptive behaviour during sessions
- Failure to comply with program expectations
- Notification of pending discharge from program, and the reasons for this decision.
- Discharge from program, and the reasons for this decision
- Notification of completion of program and/or anticipated completion date
- General information on fees paid
Is the Partner Contact program a confidential program?
The discussions you have with partner contact staff are confidential except in specific situations which it is important you are aware of. We are required to disclose information you provide us to the Crown and/or probation officers in the following circumstances:
- The information provided relates to your safety or the safety of a child or any other individual. This could include things like your partner or ex-partner has threatened you and/or your child.
- You tell has you have been assaulted or re-assaulted by your partner/ex-partner or you tell us about any other potential criminal conduct (e.g., a breach of the offender’s conditions such as they have contacted you when a no contact order or restraining order is in place).
- The disclosure is required by law or by court order
In addition, If you tell us a child under the age of 16 has been or is being abused or neglected or we suspect this based on what you tell us, we are required by law to report this to a Children’s Aid Society
You should know that any information that we are required to provide to the Crown, may have to be provided to your partner/ex-partner and their lawyer if the case is still before the court.
If safety concerns are identified by our staff, they will be taken into consideration in the Program Completion Report that is sent to the Court.
Do you keep notes on my conversations with Partner Contact staff?
Yes, staff keep notes on each contact they make with you or when an attempt to contact you has been made. These notes are kept separate from your partner/ex-partners notes and only you can access them.
What types of resources are available to me in the community?
For a list of resources in the community and safety tips, please visit our Violence Against Women resource list
For emergency resources see FST resources page
Learn about Family Service Toronto’s Partner Assault Response program
As a victim of a crime, what rights do I have?
As a victim of a crime, you have rights in Ontario. Ontario’s Victims’ Bill of Rights establishes a set of principles to support victims of crime throughout the justice process. It requires that victims be treated with:
- respect for their personal dignity and privacy
Learn more about the principles that apply to the treatment of victims of crime.
Ontario’s Victims’ Bill of Rights also specifies that victims should have information about all the following:
- services and remedies available to them
- financial compensation that might assist them
- the protection that is available to them to prevent unlawful intimidation
- the progress of police investigations that relate to the crime
- the charges laid with respect to the crime, and if no charges are laid the reasons why
- procedures of the court and the victims’ role in the prosecution
- dates and places of court proceedings, and the outcome of the proceedings including any appeals
- any pre-trial arrangements made with the accused that relate to a plea entered at the trial
- the release of an accused on bail
- the sentence given to an accused, if convicted
- a decision that the accused is unfit to stand trial or who was found not criminally responsible on account of mental disorder
- their right to submit a victim impact statement
- notice of any application for the offender’s release, and notice if the offender escapes
Here is the link for details on the Victim’s Bill of Rights
The federal government also has a Bill of Rights for Victims of Crime. You can learn more about it at https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/c-23.7/page-1.html or you can read this fact sheet