About the Organizers
Finding the Best Ways Forward was organized by the Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family and the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate, and has been generously funded by a grant from the Alberta Law Foundation.
Office of the Child and Youth Advocate
The Office of the Child and Youth Advocate is an independent office of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta. The OCYA represents the rights, interests and viewpoints of young people receiving intervention services under the Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act and the Protection of Sexually Exploited Children Act, as well as youth involved in the youth justice system. The Child and Youth Advocate, Del Graff, derives his authority from the Child and Youth Advocate Act and reports directly to the Legislative Assembly.
The OCYA advocates for children and youth receiving “designated services,” as defined by the Child and Youth Advocate Act. The OCYA also provides access to legal representation for children and youth receiving child intervention services, provides public education, and conducts investigations into systemic issues in the event of the serious injury or death of a young person receiving designated services. The OCYA has approximately 60 staff in Edmonton and Calgary to deliver services province-wide.
Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family
The Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family is an independent organization, established in 1987 and affiliated with the University of Calgary. The objects of the Institute are to: undertake and advance interdisciplinary research, education, and publication on issues related to law and the family; promote evidence-based reform of the law and legal processes; and, improve access to justice in family law matters.
As well as contributing to the work of governments, universities and the legal and social work professions, the Institute assists the public by undertaking and disseminating studies that present balanced, well-researched views of interactions between laws, the legal system and the family. The Institute is managed by a board of directors made up of prominent judges and family law lawyers, and leading scholars in law, social work, psychology and sociology, from across Canada.
The Executive Director of the Institute, John-Paul Boyd, is responsible for its overall operation and is a member of the bars of Alberta and British Columbia. Prior to joining the Institute in 2013, Mr. Boyd spent fourteen years in private practice in Vancouver, serving as a litigator, arbitrator, mediator, parenting coordinator and children’s counsel in family law disputes. Mr. Boyd is a frequent speaker on family law topics for the National Judicial Institute, the National Family Law Program, continuing legal education providers and community groups.
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