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Shift in Thinking

A Shift from Doing Unintentional Harm to Promoting Family Well-Being

Transforming the family justice system will not happen without a
shift in perspective and thinking.

The shift in thinking underlying the Collaborative is:

FROM a justice system that has courts as the focal point

TO one that has children, youth and families at the centre

FROM siloed justice, health, education and social services sectors

TO an intersectoral approach to service delivery for families.

It is that shift in thinking that will drive the transformation of not only the justice system but also other social systems created to serve families in BC.

The shift in thinking turns the perspective upside down or inside out, and the new perspective leads to different design principles for services and systems.

Looking at the family justice system from the perspective of children, youth and families brings the realization that the issues for families are not exclusively legal. In fact, their legal problems are usually secondary to the social, relationship, parenting and financial issues they are facing.

When “non-legal” realities such as

  • conditions of special vulnerability and systemic biases
  • the importance of maintaining relationships and a sense of belonging
  • the challenges of dealing with increased psychological stress, and
  • having to adapt to changed parenting obligations

are considered by all sectors, the current siloed approach to service delivery will break down, and a more collaborative approach will emerge that will itself be transforming.

Putting children, youth and families in the centre leads to a relationship-based approach that is consistent with Indigenous traditions and laws.