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Michael Saini


Factor-Inwentash Chair in Law and Social Work
Ph.D., University of Toronto

Phone Number: 
(416) 946-5027
Office Location: 

Room 312

Research Interests: 
  • access to justice
  • separation and divorce
  • family law
  • child custody
  • child welfare

Michael A. Saini joined the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work in 2008 as an Assistant Professor. He is now a Professor and holds the endowed Factor-Inwentash Chair in Law and Social Work, and is the Co-Director of the Combined J.D. and M.S.W. program with the Law Faculty.

Michael’s scholarship addresses the intersections of law and social work and the advancement of children and families’ wellbeing in systems governed by law. Michael has generating new knowledge regarding the assessment of coparenting; the complexity of strained parent-child relationships; the impact of interparental conflict; the use of technology to support parent-child relationships; the crossover cases of child protection and child custody disputes; and social-work perspectives on law as socially embedded phenomena.

For 19 years, Michael conducted parenting plan evaluations and assisted children’s counsel for the Office of the Children’s Lawyer, Ministry of the Attorney General in Ontario. He is currently the co-PI on four external grants on 1. Co-parenting across Family Structures, Phase 2; 2. Enhancing the Interdisciplinary Study of Law by Future Social Workers at Hong Kong University (HKU) through Pedagogical Innovations and Experiential Learning; 3. L’expérience de la séparation parentale et de la recomposition familiale dans la société québécoise: acteurs, enjeux et parcours Conseil de recherches en sciences humaines du Canada. Subventions de partenariat; and 4. Access to effective family justice: Improving outcomes for children and parents.

Michael is a Board Member of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC), Access for Parents and Children of Ontario (APCO), Family Mediation Canada (FMC) and the Canadian Coalition of the Rights of the Child (CCRC). He is Associate Fellow of the International Academy of Family Lawyers, Lifetime Member of Family Mediation Canada, Associate Member of Ontario Association of Family Mediation and an Editorial Board Member for the Family Court Review and the Journal of Divorce and Remarriage and serves as reviewer for both national grant competitions (SSHRC, CHIR, IODE) and for peer reviewed journals. Michael has over 200 publications, including books, book chapters, government reports, systematic reviews and peer-reviewed journal articles. In 2019, Michael was awarded the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts’ Stanley Cohen Distinguished Research Award, sponsored by the Oregon Family Institute.