How We Make A Difference


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In a world of rapid change, it can be difficult to wade through the steady stream of questions and information related to family life in Canada. At the Vanier Institute of the Family, we appreciate this challenge and take seriously our mandate to investigate and learn all there is to know about Canada’s families, in all of their diversity: what they look like, how they form and re-form and what they do in support of individual family members and of the community at large.

And, as families have changed, so too has the Institute. Since our inception in 1965, the Vanier Institute of the Family has adopted new ways of collecting, synthesizing and mobilizing knowledge across a broad spectrum of family-related issues. We monitor and report regularly on the changing face of Canada’s families and bring to light emerging issues and challenges that impact Canada’s families. Our research reflects the diversity of family life. We use a broad and inclusive definition of what constitutes a family that focuses on the important roles that family plays in the lives of individual family members and in the communities within which they live.

Decades of experience and commitment have earned us tremendous respect among our peers in the voluntary, public and private sectors as a vital and reliable source of information on matters related to families and family life in Canada. We have become one of the country’s most important thought leaders, generating debate and dialogue around boardrooms and kitchen tables alike.

As such, we work with scholars and practitioners of the highest calibre to publish timely and relevant research, analysis and commentary. We apply new media tools to communicate our research findings to the public at large, and to decision makers and the policy community, in particular, so that they might make well-informed decisions. We synthesize and package our materials for educators and students so that they have access to reliable and accurate classroom resources. We host events in cities across Canada and we meet regularly with senior and elected officials to support and spark policy debate. We work closely with journalists in both official languages to ensure that our message reaches Canadians in every corner of the country.

All of this we do because we are committed to supporting the relationships of care at the heart of family lives.

The Vanier Institute matters because families matter.