• Brampton: (905) 450-1608
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  • Dufferin: 1 (888) 940-0584
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Partner Abuse

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About Our Program

The Safer Families Program is a collaboration between Catholic Family Services of Peel Dufferin, the Children's Aid Society of Peel, and Family Services of Peel. Our goal is to respond in a helpful and supportive way to families who have experienced domestic violence.  We are child and family centred and seek to work together with families to promote safety and well-being within the family unit.  

When the Children's Aid Society learns that a child might be in need of protection because of conflict in their home, the Children's Aid Society asks a family counsellor from Family Services of Peel or Catholic Family Services of Peel Dufferin to come with them to meet the family.  A family counsellor is a professional that families can talk to and who can help families make the changes they want.  

The Children's Aid worker meets with the family and questions in order to assess the safety of all members of the family.  The role of the family counsellor is to offer support and be a resource. The Children's Aid Society worker and the family counsellor will work together to find ways to keep everyone safe. The family can continue to see the family counsellor on their own, even if the Children's Aid Society is not involved anymore.  The Safer Families program is voluntary. Involvement can be ended at any time. If the Children's Aid Society still has concerns about the safety of the children, they will stay involved, without the family counsellor.

Engaging Men in Promoting Safety for Families

The Safer Families Program believes that men play an integral role in establishing safety and well-being within the family. Since program inception in 2006, the program has forayed into new territory by successfully engaging 60% of men from the families referred to the program. As most of these men are fathers, the program also offers our Best Father's Possible program. Father's participating in this unique aspect of the Safer Families Program, have the special opportunity to:

  • Appreciate and understand their role as a father
  • Set new goals as a father
  • More readily indentify priorities
  • Communicate more effectively with their child(ren)
  • Develop their relationship with their child(ren)
  Program Values  
  The Safer Families Project is built on the following beliefs and practice principles.
  Beliefs
  • Every person has the right to live in peace and security, to be treated with respect and dignity, and to have the basic necessities of life
  • Family, defined broadley, is central to the security and well being of its members, particularly children
  • Violence and abuse within a family are the result of the abuse of power. Though women engage in violent and abusive acts, men commit majority of violence in intimate relationships, with the most damaging effects
  • The abuse of women and children is related to other forms of inequality in a society, such as racism. class inequality, heterosexism, and inequalities based on age, culture, religion and disability
  • Within this context, any individual's violence can have multiple influences. These can include a person's unique psychology and biology, his/her own experiences of trauma and oppression, and the relational context in which the violence occurs 
  • Violence against women has harmful effects on all members of a family. It denies women and children fundamental human rights, and threatens the security of family relationships and the well being of children. Children can experience trauma where women are abused. This trauma can have a cumulative disruptive effect on a child's emotional, physical and social development and significant relationships
  • Ending the abuse of women and children is the responsibility of our society 
  Practice Principles
  • Compassion, respect and dignity. All members of the family have the right to be treated with compassion, respect and dignity.
  • Safety.  The safety of children is paramount. Increasing the safety of abused women will increase the safety of children, and is ultimately in the best interests of men.
  • Accountability.  Individuals who use violence and abuse must be held accountable for their behaviour. Men who expose their children to violence against women must be held accountable for this exposure.
  • Complexities.  Holding multiple perspectives on violence and abuse will enable us to attend to the complexities of relationships in which men use violence against women, and to best meet the needs of women, children and men. 
  • Diversity.  We are committed to developing culturally relevant services that consider diverse understandings of violence, abuse and safety, and honour diverse ways of intervening to end violence against women and children. 
  • Partipication. We are committed to recognizing our privilege and power as service providers, and ensuring the involvement of service users, or potential service users, in the development, implementation and evaluation of this project. 
  • Change.  Change is possible. Men, women and children are resilient and resist violence and abuse. 
  • Collaboration. Collaboration between our three agencies will increase safety of women and children.