CFAD’s Mother-Child program is divided into three parts:
Trailer visits allow mothers incarcerated at Maison Tanguay correctional facility to spend 24 consecutive hours with their children between the ages of 0 and 14 years old in a trailer located within facility grounds. A CFAD supervisor maintains a discrete presence in the trailer throughout the visit, to ensure that everything goes well. Visits take place from Friday to Saturday or from Saturday to Sunday. To allow for greater intimacy, only one family at a time can occupy the trailer.
Seven times a year, on holidays or important family events (Christmas, Mother’s Day or the beginning of the school year), CFAD organizes celebrations in the Tanguay facility’s gym. On these occasions, mothers and their children aged between 0 and 14 years old are invited to take part in 3-hour get-togethers which include a buffet and various activities. Celebrations take place at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday afternoons.
Those who are unable to spend time with their children at the trailer or the gym may receive visits from their children in the visiting room under the supervision of a CFAD team member. The authorization of child protection services is often required for this activity.
All CFAD Mother-Child program activities take place within the Maison Tanguay facilities, thanks to the Ministère québécois de la Sécurité publique and the cooperation of correctional facility staff members.
Incarcerated mothers who wish to benefit from the program can get in touch with CFAD (we accept collect calls) and set up a meeting with the Mother-Child program coordinator who is present at the Maison Tanguay correctional facility every Wednesday, or speak directly to the correctional officer responsible for your record.
Since 1998, CFAD (Continuité-famille auprès des détenues) has operated within the framework of the Community Aid Program for Children (CAPC) with a CAPC project geared specifically to women who have had run-ins with the law and who are actively involved in parenting children between the ages of 0 and 12 years old.
The CFAD CAPC project includes several activities that are part of a larger strategy to accompany participating families, promote their wellness and the children’s development.
Key CAPC project activities include:
House calls to mothers and their children aged between 0 and 12 years old.
On Sundays three times per month, children aged between 6 and 12 years old are invited to participate in cultural, sporting or educational activities promoting their development.
Family outings held on the last Sunday of each month allowing all family members to get together and have fun and which strengthen the parent-child bond.
Homework assistance for children aged between 6 and 12 years old. Thanks to our interns and volunteers, we offer two after-school sessions per week during the school year.
Monthly cooking class. Our volunteer chef walks participants through all the steps of preparing dishes, which they then bring home and share with the whole family. Children aged between 0 and 5 years old are welcome.
Funding for this project is provided by the Public Health Agency of Canada.
Once a week, CFAD in collaboration with Moisson Montréal and Garde-Manger Pour Tous offers a food bank service called "La moisson" to thirty or so families. Registration takes place on Wednesdays and distribution on Thursdays. Each food basket costs $5. Women referred by correctional services get priority access to the service.
Ma boite à outils is an interactive program focusing on needs specific to women offenders undergoing social reinsertion consisting of a series of workshops for women who are ex-inmates or who just want to take charge of various aspects of their lives. The individual or group workshops touch upon various practical (job searching, apartment hunting, etc.) and interpersonal (facing one’s fears, improving communications with one’s children) issues.
In order to improve the quality of life of criminalized women, CFAD supports and accompanies them throughout the reintegration process, be it by helping them to find lodgings, work, go back to school or undertake any other concrete action leading to their personal integration and fulfillment within society. CFAD’s team of qualified community workers is fully aware of the issues facing women who have come in contact with the criminal justice system and can help them deal with the setbacks related to incarceration and living with a criminal record.
Each year we welcome women having had run-ins with the law who must do community or compensatory work. They fulfill their obligation by performing various office cleaning tasks for us.
Applicants for volunteer positions who are residents of the Thérèse Casgrain Halfway House have priority. Volunteers are responsible for the smooth operation of the food bank every week.
Weekly visit to the Thérèse-Casgrain Halfway House.
Visits to the Joliette Institution for Women every six weeks, on average.
Visits to the Joliette Institution for Women and part of the services offered at the CFAD Day Centre between Monday and Tuesday are made possible through funds granted by Correctional Service Canada.
Art Entr’Elles identifies as a collective of women-artists that say NO to violence, poverty and intolerence. The collective has been in existence since 2009 and brings together professional artists and criminalized women for whom the artistic process serves as a means of social reintegration.
Art Entr’Elles’ artistic approach is part of a movement known as community art. Born of a desire for social justice and the democratization of the means of expression, community art is a process of collective creation involving the members of a community and professional artists. Its importance lies as much in the approach itself as in the finished artistic product.
In September 2011, Art Entr’Elles developed a partnership with CFAD (Continuité-famille auprès des détenues). Through this partnership, CFAD aims to provide concrete support to an initiative involving criminalized women which favours both their social reintegration and artistic creativity. CFAD’s association with Art Entr’Elles is expressed via their participation in Art Entr’Elles’ board of directors. CFAD also provides support to Art Entr’Elles in its search for funding and in managing its creative projects and exhibitions.
CFAD and Art Entr’Elles together with the Société Élizabeth Fry du Québec believe that community art is an approach conducive to the social reintegration and affirmation of the women participating in the collective.
As evidenced by the artistic projects undertaken since 2009, art has afforded the members of Art Entr’Elles many rewarding and meaningful experiences of varying intensity and which have taken on various forms.
For many these projects have served as catalysts allowing them to strive for and envision a brighter future and to feel themselves as an integral part of a group or community. They have served each of these women according to her needs: for some, artistic creation has allowed them to communicate, express themselves, boost their self-esteem and experience solidarity; for others, it has allowed them to confront their fears, doubts and put some distance between their past and their present. The women who participated in these creative workshops have led difficult and complex lives and their social reintegration is a challenge in itself. However, art—and especially community art—has for most of them proved a meaningful experience and an important step in their rehabilitation.
My name is Suzy and I’d like to talk to you about what CFAD has brought me.
One day I met a really great person named Yolande Trépanier who would come to visit incarcerated women to offer them moral support, hope and, above all else, the message that life can be really beautiful, if you’re willing to put in the effort to make constructive changes.
Continuité Famille auprès des Détenues (CFAD)
5128, Notre-Dame W., Montreal H3C 1T3
Phone Number: (514) 989-9891
Toll Free: 1-877-229-9891
* We accept collect calls from women who are incarcerated.