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Research Guides

Family Care Office LibGuide

About the Resource Centre

Resource Centre

Adoption

Child Care

Nannies

  • Execu-Nannies is a Nanny and Caregiver Agency in Toronto with 28 years of experience that provides a variety of care services to meet each family's individual needs.
  • Nanny Angel Network is a registered charity providing free, professional relief childcare for GTA-area mothers with cancer.

Child Development / Special Needs Parenting

Conception, Pregnancy & New Parents

Toronto Public Health

TPH reports to the Board of Health and is responsible for the health and well-being of all residents. Among its services, they develop and implement public policy and practices, promote healthy living, and advocate for conditions that improve the health of Toronto residents. 

  • eChat: Talk with a Public Health Nurse: the eChat is a free and confidential service for residents to ask about programs and services for child and family health, prenatal and postpartum depression and anxiety, chronic disease and injury prevention, mental health promotion, substance use, senior health, and healthy eating. 
  • Breastfeeding: Includes information in multiple languages on services, the right to breastfeed, and expressing breast milk. 
  • Healthy Pregnancy: This site will provide you and your partner with information regarding health before, during, and after pregnancy; common changes during pregnancy; labour and birth; getting ready to be a parent; and TPH prenatal programs and services.
  • Immunization: Includes vaccine facts sheets, immunization coverage rates in Toronto schools, and info on student vaccination clinics. 
  • Sexual Health Clinics: Check their map or table for drop-in hours and appointment hours at clinics across Toronto.

Fertility

Breastfeeding

  • BabyCenter: The world's number one digital parenting resource, with information and support that reaches 100 million people monthly. This page includes a Guide for Beginners and resources on how to store breast milk, positions for breastfeeding, and how to handle pressure to wean. 
  • City of Toronto: Includes information in multiple languages on services, the right to breastfeed, and expressing breast milk. 
  • Information Sheets from the International Breastfeeding Centre.
  • 10 Reasons for Low Milk Supply When Breastfeeding: From Today's Parent.

Sleep

  • Baby Sleep: Articles and resources from the American Academy of Pediatrics. 
  • Safe Sleep: Brochure, video, and resources from the Government of Canada that promote awareness of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and safe infant sleep environments. HealthLink BC has additional resources in multiple languages. 
  • Sleep Tips by Age: Guidelines from Baby Sleep 101.
  • Sleep Well, Sleep Safe: A free, downloadable PDF from Health Nexus with information to help infants and parents sleep well. 

Mayo Clinic

The Mayo Clinic is a non-profit organization committed to clinical practice, education and research, providing expert, whole-person care to everyone who needs healing. 

Divorce & Bereavement

CLEO Resources (Community Legal Education Ontario)

CLEO has developed clear, accurate, and practical legal rights education and information to help people understand their legal rights. Their work focuses on providing information to people who face barriers to accessing the justice system, including income, disability, literacy, and language. You can browse all their resources on their Resources and Publications page. 

FLEW Resources (Family Law Education for Women)

FLEW is a public legal education project funded by the Government of Ontario and Law Foundation of Ontario to assist women in understanding their family law rights. Their resources are available in 13 different languages.

Grief

  • Bereaved Families of Ontario: BFO and their affiliates provide a safe, non-judgmental environment for individuals to discuss their experiences and learn about grief with others who have been there. They provide a chance to talk, in a confidential setting about how the death of a loved one affects your life.
  • Children and Youth Grief Network: The network advocates for educational opportunities and support services that will benefit children and youth who are grieving the dying or the death of someone they care about.
  • Helping You Grieve: BFO - Toronto is a local charitable organization that seeks to inspire hope and transformation in people who are grieving the death of a loved one. Their programs and services range from one-to-one support sessions to 8-week support groups and are based on the peer-to-peer support model in which individuals with similar experiences share their stories, provide support, and inspire hope.
  • Hospice Palliative Care Ontario: Hospice palliative care is aimed at relieving suffering and improving the quality of life for persons who are living with, or dying from, advanced illness or are bereaved. HPCO is a provincial association of hospices and palliative care providers, professionals, and volunteers throughout Ontario.
  • Pregnancy and Infant Loss Network: The PAIL Network is there to help with free group and individual peer-support offered to families across Ontario. 
  • Survivors of Suicide Loss Program: The Toronto Distress Centre's professionally developed traumatic loss support program is a safe space in which survivors of suicide loss can identify/explore/clarify their thoughts as well as feelings and begin to navigate the aftermath of suicide loss with peer-to-peer support. The page includes upcoming support groups, survivor stories, statistics, and downloadable PDFs.
  • Talking with Kids and teens about illness, dying and death: KidsGrief.ca is a free online resource that helps parents support their children when someone in their life is dying or has died. It equips parents with the words and confidence needed to help children grieve life’s losses in healthy ways.

Early Years

Elder Care

Community and Not-for-Profit

  • ACE: Advocacy Centre for the Elderly: Their library contains resources in areas such as Consumer Protection, Elder Abuse, Health Care Consent & Advance Care Planning, Long-Term Care, Pensions and Income, and Retirement Homes.
  • Caregiver Stress: Tips for taking care of yourself: The Mayo Clinic provides steps to help caregivers preserve their health and well-being. 
  • Caregiver Stress and Burnout: HelpGuide provides additional steps to help caregivers rein in stress and regain a sense of balance, joy, and hope in your life. 
  • Managing Stress for Caregivers: The University Health Network in Toronto has information and links to other community agencies in the GTA that help caregivers. 
  • Mood Disorders Association of Ontario: MDAO answers FAQs about Seniors and Depression. They also have many fact sheets and guides on mood disorders.
  • Pat's Place: Family Service Toronto: Pat's Place is a temporary safe haven for older people experiencing elder abuse. They offer a welcoming environment where an older person can live with dignity and in peace. 
  • Spectrum Health Centre: Their Seniors Resources page is consistently updating with posts such as 'Are you experience early warning signs of dementia?', 'Gift ideas for seniors', and 'Fitness and physical activity for seniors.' 

Government Resources

  • Caregiving Benefits and Leave: Government of Canada information on the Employment Insurance program and how to access EI benefits. 
  • City of Toronto Seniors Services: A list of senior centres and activities; health, well-being and safety services; and housing support. 
  • Falls Prevention for Older Adults: The risk of injury from a fall increases with age, and Hastings Prince Edward Public Health has tips and steps to help older adults keep their independence and continue to enjoy the fun things in life. 
  • Find a Family Doctor or Nurse Practitioner: Information on health care and wellness services in Ontario.
  • Guide to Programs and Services for Seniors: Find information on resources available for seniors in Ontario, including tax credits, health, caregiving, housing, driving, and staying safe. 
  • Living Life to the Full for Caregivers 55+: Through the Canadian Mental Health Association (CAMH), caregivers at least 55 years old in the Toronto area can access Living Life to the Full, a free eight-week course designed to provide skills and knowledge to cope with life's challenges. 
  • Long-Term Care Homes - City of Toronto: Interactive map and information on Toronto's long-term care homes. 
  • Providing Care and Support for Seniors Living with Frailty: Caregiving Strategies is a collection of educational resources that have been developed and/or curated for family and friend caregivers who provide care and support for seniors experiencing frailty. 
  • Safe Driving for Seniors: Information on assessing your driving skills, renewing your license, how age can affect your driving, and medications and driving. The CAA toolkit can help you maintain driving confidence as you age and take concrete steps to modify your driving habits if needed.
  • Seniors and Caregivers Support Service: The SCSS Unit at Family Service Toronto provides social work services to older people and caregivers. Their work includes counselling, group work, advocacy, training, and educational sessions on topics such as aging and memory loss, anger and guilt, how to access community resources, and elder abuse. 

National Incentive for the Care of the Elderly (NICE)

NICE is an international network of researchers, practitioners, students and seniors dedicated to improving the care of older adults. Their wide range of resources and tools can be viewed online by clicking the 'Preview' link on the respective page. 

Local Health Integration Network - LHIN (formerly Community Care Access Centre - CCAC)

Toronto Central LHIN helps with the process of moving from a family home to long-term care setting by helping individuals understand the available options and supporting them to make decisions that are right for them. These options include: 

Additional resources and information include:

Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO)

CLEO has developed a clear, accurate, and practical legal rights education and information to help people understand and exercise their legal rights. All of their resources can be found online here

Parkinson Canada

Throughout your Parkinson's journey, you'll seek information and support to help you deal with various challenges you may encounter. This section has downloadable educational publications that can be your personal Parkinson's library. Some resources are also available in languages other than English and French. 

  • Educational Publications: a broad range of materials to help individuals, families, and health professionals learn about Parkinson's, which is a complex neurodegenerative disease. This wealth of resources has been organized into smaller, more easily digestible segments that are explained on this page. 
  • Information and Referral Helpline: a toll-free, Canada-wide number for people living with Parkinson's, their caregivers, and health care professionals. 
  • Knowledge Network: video and audio resources, as well as webinars.

Alzheimer Society of Canada

The Alzheimer Society of Canada offers a wider range of resources for people with dementia, caregivers, family members and health-care practitioners. 

  • Alzheimer Society of Toronto: Offers support, information, programs, and education to people with dementia, their families, and their caregivers to increase public awareness of dementia, to promote research, and to advocate for services that respect the dignity of the individual.
  • Alzheimer Society of Ontario
  • Reitman Centre CARERS Program: Reitman Centre at Mount Sinai Hospital offers the CARERS (Coaching, Advocacy, Respite, Education, Relationship, Simulation) Program, an 8 session skills-based group for family caregivers of those with dementia. 

Arthritis Society

  • Arthritis is a collection of conditions affecting joints and other tissues. It causes pain, restricts mobility and diminishes quality of life. 1 in 5 Canadians live every day with arthritis, and there is no cure. 
  • Fibromyalgia is a medical condition that is believed to affect the central nervous system. FM is a relatively common condition, affecting 2% of Canadians. 
  • Gout is a type of inflammatory arthritis caused by small crystals of a chemical called uric acid that form in the joints. The body's immune system attacks these crystals, causing pain, redness and swelling in the joint and sometimes in the surrounding tissue. 

Private Care

Fatherhood

Financial Info / Health & Dental Benefits

U of T Graduate Students' Union

The UTGSU is a voice for over 18,500 students as well as a platform for community building and services. Student fees enable the UTGSU to provide services such as conference bursaries, free gym access and intramural leagues, health and dental insurance, merit based awards, and academic and funding advocacy appeals. 

Association of Part-time Undergraduate Students

APUS represents over 6,000 fall/winter and 14,000 summer part-time students across all U of T campuses. They ensure that the rights of all part-time students are respected, provide cost-saving services, programs and events, and represent the voices of part-time undergrads across the University and to all levels of government. APUS services include the APUS Health & Dental Plan, APUS Bursary Program, Tax Clinics, APUS Student Study Space and Lounge, Printing Services, Academic Support Workshops & Advocacy, Financial Aid Workshops for part-time students, and Lunch & Learn Career Workshops. 

Legal

CLEO Resources (Community Legal Education Ontario)

CLEO has developed clear, accurate, and practical legal rights education and information to help people understand their legal rights. Their work focuses on providing information to people who face barriers to accessing the justice system, including income, disability, literacy, and language. 

Law Society of Ontario

The Law Society has a duty to protect the public interest, to maintain and advance the cause of justice and the rule of law, to facilitate access to justice for the people of Ontario, and to act in a timely, open, and efficient manner. 

  • Law Society Referral Service: LSRS will help you find a lawyer or paralegal who provides legal services in the area of law that meets your needs. The online request, referral service, and initial consultation of up to 30 minutes are free.
  • Legal Resources and Information: A list of Law Society resources and other organizations that provide legal information and services in Ontario. 

Legal Aid Ontario

Legal Aid Ontario provides legal services for financially eligible, low-income Ontarians in the following areas: domestic violence, family law, immigration and refugee law, criminal law, civil mental health law, and poverty law. Many of the PDF resources are also available in other languages.

  • Fact Sheets provide straightforward summaries of LAO's programs and activities; they are at the bottom of the page. 

LGBTQ+ Parenting

LGBTQ Parenting Network

The LGBTQ Parenting Network is a program of Sherbourne Health Centre that supports lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and queer parenting through research, training, resources, and community development. A full range of their resources can be found through their online library

Mental Health & Addiction

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) Publications

All CAMH resources for Parents and Families can be found on their searchable Guides and Publications page. 

Toronto Services

  • CAMH Family Resource Centre: Offers different support and education services for friends and families of CAMH clients.
  • CAMH Family Service: Provides treatment and support services to anyone who is concerned about the substance use of someone else. 
  • Gerstein Crisis CentreGerstein is a 24-hour community based crisis service for adults 16+ in the City of Toronto who are dealing with a serious mental health issue, concurrent or substance use issue, and are currently in crisis.
  • Gestalt Student ClinicGestalt therapy is an opportunity to move through old issues, make changes, improve relationships, express creativity, decrease generalized fear and mistrust, and learn to have more fun. 
  • LHIN: Supporting Youth with Mental Health Care Needs: The Local Health Integration Network works together with local school boards and community partners to support young clients with mental health and addictions to help them stay at school and succeed. 
  • Reconnect Community Health Services: Reconnect is a not-for-profit health service organization located in the West End of Toronto. We provide services for seniors, caregivers, and people living with mental health and addictions concerns. 

Parenting

Single Parenting

Your Child's Education

  • Family Education Centre: The FEC has podcasts and free downloadable tip sheets in multiple languages, along with paid e-learning programs and webinars. 
  • Tips for Parents with Children in High School: High school is an important time in your child's education. Helping your child stay on track with their high school studies is crucial for their academic and professional development. Here is some information to help you if your child is failing courses or wants to drop out from school.
  • 10 Ways to Help Your Child Succeed in Elementary SchoolSupport from parents is key to helping kids do well academically. From KidsHealth, here are 10 ways parents can put their kids on track to be successful students.

Teenagers

  • Career Coaching Your Teens: This online guide offers practical ideas and resources to help parents support their teens as they explore career options and make informed career decisions. 
  • Drug Awareness: Information and resources from the RCMP. 87% of teenagers think that their parents are credible sources of information about illegal drugs, according to a study from Health Canada. As a parent, you can make a big difference. 
  • Private Schools for Troubled TeensThere many private schools in the GTA for troubled teens and at-risk youth. These schools provide specialized programs for kids with behavioural and emotional problems, and often support other special needs as well.
  • Teen Pregnancy: Government of Canada information for teenagers, family members, and community organizations on teen pregnancy, prevention, and related issues.
  • Teen Smoking: Information from the Mayo Clinic on how to help your teen quit smoking. 

Toronto-specific resources

  • Children's Aid Society of Toronto - Fact Sheets: These handouts, which are in multiple languages, explain the works of the Children's Aid Society of Toronto and general information on parenting. These include fact sheets on positive discipline and Canadian laws on child rearing.
  • Essential Toronto Resources for New Parents: This page from the site Help! We've Got Kids has important resources for Toronto parents, from drop-in programs to essential paperwork.
  • Toronto Parents of Multiples: TPOMBA is a volunteer-run non-profit organization that offers advice, support, and social events for parents of twins, triplets and higher-order multiples in the GTA.

Nutrition

U of T Campus Resources

Women & Safety

Neighbours, Friends and Families

Neighbours, Friends and Families is a campaign through the Western Centre for Research & Education on Violence against Women and Children that raises awareness of the signs of violence against women so that those close to an at-risk woman or an abusive man can help. It engages the power of everyday relationships to help keep women and their children safe. Their resources are available as downloadable PDFs in a variety of formats. 

Young Caregivers

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) Publications

All CAMH resources for Parents and Families can be found on their searchable Guides and Publications page. 

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