A non-profit charitable society was registered using the name Divorce Lifeline of Victoria with start-up funding from the Ministry of the Attorney General. The Board was able to obtain enough funding to keep the service functioning long enough for its importance to be recognized. Only one program was offered: a weekly evening session for adults. In the first year, 232 clients attended these sessions.
An office was opened in space rented from First United Church. This made individual sessions possible on a daily basis while continuing to provide the evening group sessions. Counsellors donated much of their time to keep Divorce Lifeline going during this period, as funds were scarce and sporadic.
Caught in The Middle was initiated as a program for children. Court support service began.
We partnered with the United Way of Greater Victoria. We were a founding member of the 7-11 Bingo and received a license for one Bingo per week.
The Caught in the Middle parents' program was initiated to help parents deal with parenting issues arising from divorce/separation. It was designed to run concurrently with the children's program. We began hosting supervised access to allow children time with their non-custodial parent (this service was discontinued in 2007).
The Law Foundation of BC provided funds to implement Volunteer Support Services, i.e. Family Court service and supervised access.
The Board voted to change the name of the organization to Separation and Divorce Resource Centre to better reflect the breadth of services offered to the community. A new logo was adopted.
The office expanded from a single room to a suite of offices, a reception room and a meeting room in the First United Church.
We moved to a shared facility with the Victoria Child Abuse Prevention and Counselling Society (Mary Manning Centre) at 730 Quadra St. This new facility provided us with group rooms, play rooms, and a reception area as well as individual offices for staff members. The Ministry of Child and Youth Mental Health provided funding for the Caught in the Middle program to provide seats for referrals from the Ministry.
The Ministry of Justice implemented Parenting After Separation workshops in 20 locations across BC. We were chosen to provide the sessions for Victoria.
In response to clients' needs, we started providing services geared toward step-families (aka blended families). We added the Parenting with a New Partner program.
Separation and Divorce Resource Centre moved to 812 Broughton St.
The Board changed our name to BC Families in Transition to better reflect the clients we served, who were not necessarily going through a separation or divorce. An effort was made to expand the availability of individual counselling. Counselling for couples and families was also made available. With financial help from TELUS, BCFIT started offering expressive arts therapy and play therapy for children as young as 4 years old.
BCFIT celebrated its 30th Anniversary with an open house and an event at the Royal Victoria Yacht Club. This was graciously funded by the Government of Canada's job creation program.
BCFIT moved to its current location at 899 Fort St. The society has several full- and part-time regular staff, as well as a team of counsellors and facilitators who work on contract. Many of our services are provided by volunteers, who continue to be the backbone of the organization.
A special general member's meeting was called to update our organization name to Family Services of Greater Victoria. The name change reflects that we now provide more services to families in general, rather than just those going through a separation, divorce, or family reorganization.