About FRO

The Family Responsibility Office is responsible for enforcing child and family support orders.

Bohodar Rubashewsky, Assistant Deputy Minister, Family Responsibility Office: We receive every child support order and family support order that is filed with the courts in Ontario. We also enforce domestic contracts, which are agreements outside of the court system.

We also work in partnership with a number of jurisdictions in North America and around the world.

FRO is a neutral enforcement agency. One of the important characteristics and things to remember is that we don’t determine what the level of child or family support is for any case — that is for the courts to decide.

Every case that we deal with has an emotional story. It’s about families.

We have about 195,000 active cases right now. Each case has a payor and a recipient, and about 95 per cent of our cases involve children.

The average age of our caseload currently is 18 years.

Each payor and support recipient is assigned a specific case contact - someone they deal with exclusively who is familiar with their case and can help them with all their needs. When clients call FRO, they enter their case number and are automatically routed directly to their case contact.

We also have an interactive voice response system. It’s available for our clients to be able to access on a seven-day-a-week, 24-hour-a-day basis about the status of their cases.

About two-thirds of our cases currently are either in full-compliance, or there is partial compliance.

And we process between twenty and thirty-thousand pieces of correspondence every month.

On average, the money that we receive in the form of support payments gets to recipients within 48 hours.

Since 2003, we’ve collected almost 4.4 billion dollars in support payments.

If we’re having difficulty obtaining support payments for recipients, we have a variety of progressive enforcement actions that we can take. They include reporting clients to the credit bureau.

We can suspend their drivers’ licences, their passports, we can garnish their wages. If they have property that they’re planning to sell, we can put a lien on that property.

We make every effort to be as aggressive as possible, but also as understanding as possible.

This is really FRO’s core mandate: to work with families, to help them meet their support obligations, but most importantly, to ensure that the children and dependents are able to have lives that have economic stability and social stability.