Invitation to Participate in a Study on Access to Family Justice Services During the COVID-19 Pandemic

  • July 25, 2022

Dr. Claire Houston, Faculty of Law, Western University, Dr. Rachel Birnbaum, School of Social Work, King’s University College, and Professor Nicholas Bala, Faculty of Law, Queen’s University, are undertaking a project to study how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected access to family justice services in Ontario.

The COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally altered the delivery of family justice services and the family courts in Ontario. Almost overnight, the family justice system transitioned from an in-person, paper-based system to one that was almost entirely remote and relied almost exclusively on electronic documents. While the initial transition was bumpy, the introduction of new technologies - such as Zoom and document sharing platforms - has improved how some family justice services are provided. Remote services may also improve access to justice for some with family justice issues. It is easier, less expensive, and less stressful for many to access services from their homes. This research project considers how the shift to remote legal services has impacted the cost and availability of family justice services, including legal representation, custody assessments, and mediation.

The researchers invite you to participate in a brief survey to explore your views and experiences with providing family justice services during the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey can be found here: The survey takes approximately 20 minutes to complete and is strictly voluntary. 

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Houston at

Thank you for your participation.