Participate in our study

Family Service Toronto (FST), with support from York University, is running a small feasibility study looking at providing counselling and peer support to women labelled with intellectual/developmental disabilities (ID/DD). The study is funded by the Women’s Xchange at Women’s College Hospital.

Our research team includes staff from FST, community partners and Marcia Rioux, PhD, Director of the York Institute of Health Research. Our study has been approved by the York’s Ethics Review Board.

We are recruiting 10 women who:

  • are labelled with ID/DD
  • live in Toronto
  • are aged 18+
  • have been sexually abused
  • have not received any counselling or support related to the abuse or it has been a year or more since they received the counselling.

The study participants will receive free counselling and peer support. There is no financial compensation for those receiving counselling.

All women who are referred as study participants but choose not to participate will still be offered free counselling but not peer support.

For referrals, please contact Vania at Family Service Toronto at 416-586-9780 ext 446 or vaniasu@familyservicetoronto.org.

If you have any questions about this study prior to considering a referral, please contact Dr. Maria Huijbregts, Research Lead and Director of Knowledge Building at FST, at 416-595-4032 or mariahu@familyservicetoronto.org.

See related story, Sexual Assault – A New Focus on the Most Vulnerable, in 2016 Annual Report.

Peer Mentor Training Opportunity

This fall, FST will be offering a peer mentor training program. Over a few training sessions in September, participants will develop leadership and peer mentoring skills and make connections with other labelled women.

Once they’ve completed the training, they may have the opportunity to participate as peer mentors in an FST peer mentoring program that is being developed for women with labels who have been sexually abused.

We are recruting up to 10 women who:

  • are labelled with ID/DD and diagnosed before 18 years of age
  • live in Toronto
  • have experienced abuse (eg. physical, emotional, and/or sexual)
  • can communicate verbally
  • can provide informed consent
  • have received support (counselling, group peer support etc) related to the impacts of the abuse
  • are not currently in crisis and able to move on their lives
  • are established in their independent supportive living situations.

TTC transportation costs will be covered and on-site child care can be offered.

If interested, contact Vania Sukola at Family Service Toronto at 416-586-9780 ext 446 or at vaniasu@familyservicetoronto.org.

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