Changes in family makeup is a fact of life.
More and more families involve same-sex parents, single parents, co-parents, blended families and non-related parent figures.
B.C. Families in Transition, which has helped families deal with crises like separation and divorce since 1977, has evolved its services over time to reflect these changes and help adults and children cope with their unique challenges.
Now, the organization is going through a transition of its own, taking a new name: Family Services of Greater Victoria.
FSGV began as the Divorce Lifeline, then became the Separation and Divorce Resource Centre and eventually B.C. Families in Transition.
“Our new name reflects the reality that we are about more than just separation and divorce,” said Bruce McGuigan, executive director of FSGV.
“We now see couples who are going through a rough period but don’t intend to split; we also provide parenting support and counseling for children and teens who are experiencing difficulties either from family life or the stresses of becoming adults.”
FSGV’s staff, counsellors and legal services department are trained to help adults and children alike cope with these additional stresses. Many of them have experienced breakups themselves, whether as parents or children.
The benefits of FSGV’s work are evident in the impact it has on adults and children.
“Every single day we see our successes: people who come in and when they leave, you can see a positive change. Sometimes it’s small, but you know that it’s there,” said McGuigan.
At any given time, FSGV has 60 individuals or couples receiving counselling; 160 people in a variety of group programs and its legal services department fields serves approximately 400 people per month.