The Aboriginal Family Courtwork Program assists Aboriginal youth involved in the criminal justice system, separating couples involved in family court and Aboriginal families dealing with child welfare matters, to navigate the court process, through the guidance of a Courtworker. Aboriginal Courtworkers are not Lawyers and do not give legal advice. Courtworkers are advocates who speak on a person’s behalf if they can’t or won’t speak for themselves while involved in the criminal justice system.

Aboriginal Family Courtworkers are located in 5 locations and assist in the following ways:

  • Completion of an intake, assessment and development of a plan of action to identify youth/family/child protection matters;
  • Attending family court and/or youth court;
  • Explanation of the youth and family court processes;
  • Explanation of legal resources mandated or available in family courts (Mandatory Parent Information Sessions, Mediation, Family Law Information Centres)
  • Referrals to Friendship Centre programs and other Aboriginal and non-aboriginal community services;
  • Advocating for alternative dispute resolution processes or diversion programs (youth);
  • Assistance in the completion and filing of family court forms;
  • Attending court conferences;
  • Responding to problems caused by communication barriers that exist between Aboriginal people and those who are involved in the administration of the justice system;

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