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Services and Programs

The Elizabeth Fry Society of Ottawa offers a variety of practical and effective programs and services to our clients. Women of all ages are referred to the Elizabeth Fry Society of Ottawa by the officials working in the criminal justice system, by lawyers, medical professionals, social workers, social assistance workers, and by staff of community-based organizations and agencies. Women also seek out our services through word-of-mouth referrals and self-referrals. Please click here.., you can find herein the General Referral form for submission.

Individual Counselling

A counsellor provides one-on-one support and advocacy services to clients and assists them in assessing their needs and/or risks. Together, the counsellor and client determine strategies to help the woman respond to and deal with her individual circumstances.

Group Counselling

Programs are run in a group setting, with specific modules and learning objectives for each session. Groups meet each week, and run for 6 to 16 weeks.

Theft Prevention Programs

These programs for both adults and youth – address the underlying issues that contribute to theft behaviour. Clients learn to identify their theft “triggers” and they acquire appropriate tools to cope with and overcome these stressors. The program introduces alternative choices and offers additional resources, support and referrals.

Programs for youth, contact: Laura (English) Laura (French)

Programs for women, contact: Svjetlana


Direct Accountability Program

An alternative to prosecution for eligible individuals 18 years of age and older who have been charged with minor criminal offences.  The Program will accept referrals that have been screened by the Crown as eligible to participate in a Community-based alternative to the Court process and who have been assessed by the Community Justice Worker as appropriate for the Program.

Contact: Tania-Hasbani

Anger Programming- Adult (10 weeks)

This 10-week program for adult women helps them learn to identify the role of anger and its use/misuse. Clients learn to recognize different “styles” of anger and concrete strategies to effectively manage their own anger. Group members also learn more about their own personal and community resources.

Groups for youth, contact: Laura

Conflict Resolution - Youth (8 weeks)

Identifies the role of conflict within interpersonal relationships
Explores appropriate responses to conflict
Builds effective communication skills

Please Contact: Laura

Hooked Up (full-time on-going program)

Target clientele is women and transgendered individuals who are involved in the sex-trade industry
Provides peer support - Assists in developing harm reduction strategies as it relates to sex work
Offers access to food bank and various other resources
Assists with basic needs (housing, identification)

Please Contact: Svjetlana

Gateway - Adult (8 weeks)

Supper Club program for women and transgendered individuals who are involved in the sex-trade industry
Official follow-up to The Salvation Army's 3 day STEP Program

Please Contact: Svjetlana

Relapse Prevention Programming

A 10-week program for women interested in learning relapse prevention skills that can help them become more aware of the bio-psycho-social factors directly associated with addictions and relapse prevention. 

Please Contact: Giovanna

Life after Trauma - Group Counselling for Adult Women

The work accomplished in the 8 weeks group program aims to facilitate clients' reliliency and post traumatic growth, by combining psycho-education, experiential methods and cognitive and behavioral resolutions. The sessions are designed to enable participants to:

  • Learn what happens to people after trauma at neurological, emotinal, physical and spiritual levels;making sense of one's post trauma reactions, sorting facts from reactions, making sense of one's beliefs, addressing the all-or-nothing thinking, understading how beliefs change, and checking one's accuracy of beliefs.
  • Why trust is an issue after trauma? What does trust mean to oneself and others, evaluate how a belief helps and hinders trust, pinpointing problem areas, taking stock of your work on trust.
  • Regaining control in your life,learn how control and power can be issues after trauma, empowering oneself, learn to set boundaries for healthy relationships.
  • Valuing oneself and others and build better relationship- trauma afffects self-esteem, hence learning how to regain self-respect/self-esteem and how to build a healthy relationship with yourself first (before approaching healthy relationship with other people), is a must. Learn the difference between rights and rewards (money, power and expectations), and learn healthy self-care strategies.
  • Healing for the long term- learn to be flexible, think flexibly, avoid impulsive changes pay attention to your feelings and reactions, parctice meditation or relaxation exercises, recogniting your strengths, achieving emotional freedom.
  • Bring it all together and moving on with your life.

Pleases Contact: Maria

Improve Your Self-Esteem by Imporving Your Assertiveness

This 10 weeks group program for teens and adults (in separate groups) aims to improve clients' self-esteem via improving their assertiveness skills: Learn what assertiveness really means, and how it is different from aggression. The program outlines specific techniques you can use to respond to challenging situations and difficult people. Topics include:

  • Identifying your current mindset
  • Avoiding the passive - aggressive trap
  • Reducing negative emotions
  • Handling everyday putdowns
  • learning to disagree by questioning
  • Learning to communicate effectively

Pleases Contact: Maria

J.F. Norwood Transition House (housing)

Provides transitional housing for women in a 12 bed facility designed to assist women with reintegration into the community and offer assistance finding permanent housing.  Each woman is assigned a personal support worker to help her with her reintegration plan. Please click here..... you can find herein referral form


Please contact: Wendy

Support Services

The following additional services are offered at our local office and can be incorporated based on the needs of individual participants and availability.

Positive & Effective Parenting of 0-12 years old

This 10 weeks group program aims to build cofidence in parents' abliites to raise mentally healthy children. It is designed to offer as much or as little help and support as parents may need. You will be learning directly or form the interection wtih other parents how to successful improve your child's behaviours by developing positive attitudes, skills and behaviours within yourself. This helps prevent problems from arising, and promotes family relationship that encourage children to reach their full potential.

Contact: Maria

Positive & Effective of Teenage Girls

This 10 weeks group program amis to build cofinence in parents' abilities to deal with teenage specific issues of smoking, truancy, sexual behaviour and dating, eating habits, rudeness and disrespect, coping with depression, coping with anxiety, drinking alcohol, drugs, friends and peer relationships, etc.

Pleases Contact: Maria

House Retention and Support

Provides support and advocacy on housing issues
Information workshops on tenant rights
Assists with housing searches, landlord-tenant negotiations

Contact: Emily

Community Reintegration Program

The Elizabeth Fry Society of Ottawa has a counsellor at the Ottawa Carleton Detention Centre, where we offer community reintegration planning to women, including young offenders.

Contact: Kaila

Court Support and Accompaniment

In our Courthouse office (adjacent to Courtroom #4), volunteers provide information assistance and support to women and girls who are going through the criminal justice system.
Our court support workers are available to accompany women and girls who must appear in court, help find legal representation, and provide assistance for individuals released from custody at the Courthouse.

Contact: Marie-Josée Marion

Note: These programs are social service related, and not clinical in nature; we have an array of E.Fry assessment and development tools.

Peer Support Group

Support group for criminalized women to assist woman with reintegration, understanding conditions of release, provide assistance with the grievance process as needed.

Please note that this service is no longer provided, however if you would like to speak with someone regarding this matter, please contact: Maria


Youth Services between ages 12 to 18

Want help sorting out what you need and want for your life? In conflict with the law? Want support working through a problem or building new skills?
Our youth counsellor will listen and support you in reaching your goals.

Here is what E-Fry Ottawa offers youth and their families:

Individual counselling
Theft Prevention: counselling aimed at addressing the issues underlying theft behavior
Anger Program Group: 9 sessions of socializing, learning and practicing ways to communicate assertively to resolve conflicts
Love Yourself Love Life Group: 6 weeks of
developing strategies to “increase everyday happiness “
Young Women at Risk of Sexual Exploitation Programs: counselling, support, outreach and advocacy    
Housing Support Services
Family counselling
Parents of Teens Support Group
Reintegration Support:  for youth who are in detention or open custody at  Talitha  House or Sundance Youth Correctional Facility and returning to the Ottawa area

For more information contact our youth workers: Laura

Youth Direct
A collection of prose, poetry, art created by the Elizabeth Fry Society of Ottawa youth clients

Submit your work:to Laura


(613) 237-7427