Community Engagement and Court Programs

Elizabeth Fry Toronto provides unique programs in support of women who have experienced homelessness, are at-risk of conflict with the law or have experienced such conflict.

Programs include:

  • B.E.S.T Pre-employment Program
    The B.E.S.T is an acronym for Building Employment Strategies Together program recognizes that involvement with the criminal justice system negatively affects women’s employment opportunities.  BEST’s multi-dimensional approach to pre-employment focuses on addressing the barriers to employment through education and training to expand employment opportunities for its clients. This program also assists women in securing employment.

    What's New with B.E.S.T?
    -Our Job Training Program, for more information click here.
    -Our Creative Writing Workshop in partnership with Toronto Writers Collective, for more informaton click here
    -B.E.S.T's list of hiring companies, for more information click here. Don't forget to attend our training program to better prepare you for the interview
  • Record Suspension (Pardon) Information Service: 
    Assessment and assistance with submitting an application to the National Parole Board of Canada.
  • Talk and Listen
    Talk and Listen is a volunteer lead support line provided by women for women in conflict with the law. Our trained volunteers understand the mental and emotional stress of navigating the justice system and the long-term effects.

    Callers have accessed Talk and Listen for an array of support including:

·         Support for domestic abuse

·         Trauma counselling

·         Accessing the Phyllis Haslam Residential Program

·         Bail Program (male and female callers)

·         Loneliness and isolation

·         Housing and emergency shelter needs

   Let's Talk. Call us at 1-855- 924- 3708

For more information about our community engagement programs, please call or email the counsellor for each program a listed in our staff directory.


Court Programs

Elizabeth Fry Toronto assists women in navigating the Toronto court system, fulfilling court-mandated requirements and developing skills at Vanier Centre for Women. Programs include:

  • Partner Abuse Response (PAR): 
    PAR is an 12 week group that offers information,  education and support to women charged in domestic violence situations. This is a fee-for-service program on a sliding scale.  Sessions are scheduled throughout the year and offered on Tuesday or Thursdays evenings from 6-8 p.m. and Saturday mornings from 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
  • Direct Accountability Program at College Park Court: Provides alternatives to prosecution for individuals charged with minor criminal offences.
  • Court Support Programs at College Park Court: Volunteers provide practical and emotional support to women going through the court system.
  • Social-Recreational Program at Vanier Centre for Women: Volunteers provide social supports and organize recreational events for women in the institution.

If you are at College Park Court and need help, please contact the Court Support Volunteer in the office outside courtroom 506 or call (416) 598-3135 Monday to Friday.

Would you like to Volunteer?

Laura is a street and law involved woman struggling with a history of substance abuse and frequent relapses. Laura participates in our Healing from Abuse program and is connecting much of her substance abuse issues with trauma she experienced as a child. By understanding how her history of trauma impacts her life today and how it can trigger her substance abuse, Laura is healing from her experiences and achieving sobriety.  Laura is staying sober, exploring employment opportunities and developing healthy and enriching relationships.