About Luke's Place
Luke’s Place is an award-winning non-profit organization solely devoted to improving the safety and experience of women and their children as they proceed through the family law process after fleeing an abusive relationship.
Centre of excellence
The only stand-alone family law support centre of excellence for abused women in Canada, Luke’s Place provides direct services to hundreds of women and their children in Durham Region every year.
We share our expertise with thousands of service providers across Ontario and Canada through training, resources, and mentoring. We also work with academics to conduct research and collaborate widely to advocate for improved access to justice for women and their children.
The Ministry of the Attorney General designed the Family Court Support Worker (FCSW) program based on our service delivery model and contracts Luke’s Place to train FCSWs and moderate their online resource hub. We also train Legal Aid Ontario lawyers and staff as part of LAO’s domestic violence strategy.
Our work has been recognized with the following awards:
- Attorney General’s Victim Services Award of Distinction, 2020-21, 2014 and 2008
- Ontario Bar Association Foundation Award, 2019
- Law Foundation of Ontario’s Guthrie Award, 2019
- Law Society of Ontario’s Laura Legge Award, 2019
In memory of Luke
Luke’s Place was founded because of the tragic death of Luke, a 3 ½ year old Durham boy, killed by his father during first unsupervised access visit.
Following Luke’s death, professionals and survivors in Durham Region, including the founding and current Executive Director of Luke’s Place, Carol Barkwell, began to meet together, to explore solutions for addressing the difficulties experienced by woman abuse survivors and their children. These meetings led to research, culminating in a report, “In the Centre of the Storm,” and a community conference called “Steps for Change”, which was attended by more than 225 participants.
Survivors and organizational, legal and political leaders collectively made the recommendation to develop a woman’s resource centre dealing specifically with custody and access issues. There was unanimous support to name this centre Luke’s Place.
Luke’s Place Support and Resource Centre for Women and Children was incorporated in December 2000 and opened its doors to begin delivering service in September 2003.
Luke’s Place is a non-profit, registered charitable organization serving women in Durham Region who have been subjected to abuse, while also providing information and specialized training and engaging in research and law and policy reform advocacy throughout the province, nationally and internationally.