Information Referral Co-ordinator (IRC)

All first-time clients of the Family Court and all clients who are not in court are referred to the FLIC (Family Law Information Centre). The Information Referral Co-ordinator (IRC) works collaboratively with court and LAO staff and the advice lawyer to ensure the needs of clients are met. The IRC provides an early assessment of clients’ needs which expedites access to legal and non-legal community resources and identifies high risk or urgent cases that may require immediate legal advice and judicial intervention.

IRC Services

To assess and discuss the presenting problem and to help clients determine their needs

To provide clients with information on issues related to separation and divorce and child protection matters, alternative dispute resolution options for resolving family law disputes and information with respect to community resources;

To help clients to determine their needs and making referrals to information sessions and community agencies/services, where appropriate;

To maintain a current list of publications and audio-visual materials that should be available in the FLIC;

To promote awareness of the FLIC and obtaining information about local services through outreach and liaison with community agencies and to establish and maintain protocols for referral;

To maintain an up to date list of resources, programs and services that are available in the community to assist clients in the process of separation and divorce;

To ensure the availability of materials; order and maintain pamphlets and audio visual materials, self-help kits and other publications on a broad range of issues relating to separation, divorce and child protection matters;

To explore with the client the existing and anticipated effects of their problems on children, and to invite the client to view the appropriate parenting and video material in the FLIC;

To provide referrals to other sources of information and assistance for issues relating to separation, divorce and child protection matters;

To provide information on services in the community for adults and children;

To ensure that the television, VCR/DVD and relevant family law video DVDs are available and provided to clients for viewing.

To coordinate the FLIC by directing clients wishing to access the court system to the Family Law Counter Staff provided by the Ministry and / or to the Advice Counsel provided by Legal Aid Ontario.

To direct clients wishing to discuss or access Court Attached Mediation Services to the On-Site Mediator, Mediation North and /or Advice Counsel;

To promote the use of mediation for cases that appear to be appropriate;

To act as a resource for lawyers seeking assistance in obtaining community services for their clients in family matters.

To encourage lawyers to refer their Family Law clients to the FLIC and mediation, and to Mandatory Information Programs, on an on-going basis;

To assist the public to locate and download information in the computer information kiosk located within the FLIC where applicable;

To facilitate Mandatory Information Session registration for interested clients who have not commenced Court action;

To reschedule Mandatory Information Session dates for Court clients (The scheduling and re-scheduling of MIPs shall be tracked in software provided by Mediation North. Each party shall attend a separate session.);

Mediation North provides comprehensive on-site and off-site family mediation services. Types of issues to be mediated may include custody, access, support, issues relating to possession of the matrimonial home and division of property/equalization of net family property.