Department of Justice Canada

Department of Justice Canada

July 29, 2015 10:12 ET

Federal Government Provides Funding Toward the Opening of a Child and Youth Advocacy Centre in Peel Region

BRAMPTON, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - July 29, 2015) - Department of Justice Canada

Today, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada Peter MacKay, accompanied by Minister of State (Sport) Bal Gosal, announced $220,000 in funding to support the opening of a child and youth advocacy centre (CYAC) in Peel Region, Ontario.

The funding is being provided to the Catholic Family Services of Peel-Dufferin, which will develop and implement a Child and Youth Advocacy Centre (CYAC) in Peel Region. The Centre will provide a seamless response to the specific needs of children and youth victims of physical abuse, sexual abuse, or maltreatment, and their families.

Child advocacy centres (CACs) and CYACs help child and youth victims and their families navigate the criminal justice system. They provide a safe child- and youth-friendly environment where a coordinated team of professionals work to meet the specific needs of each person. The work of a multidisciplinary team in a CYAC or a CAC can greatly reduce the emotional and mental harm to child and youth victims involved in the criminal justice system.

In Economic Action Plan 2015, the Government committed to provide additional funding to CACs and CYACs. Starting in 2016-17, the Government will provide $5.25 million over four years, and $2.1 million on an annual basis thereafter, to make the support and services provided by CACs and CYACs more accessible in communities across the country.

Quick Facts

  • The funding will be provided as follows:

    • 2015-16: $110,000
    • 2016-17: $110,000
  • Since 2010, the Government of Canada has invested $10.3 million through the Victims Fund for new or enhanced child advocacy centres and child and youth advocacy centres across Canada.
  • Additionally, the Government has introduced several pieces of legislation to help protect children and that are now law. These include the Safe Streets and Communities Act, which received Royal Assent in March 2012; the Tougher Penalties for Child Predators Act which recently received Royal Assent; the Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act, which came into force in March 2015, and the Canadian Victims Bills of Rights, which came into force this month.

Quotes

"Our Government recognizes that child and youth victims of crime have unique needs. We are pleased to provide funding that will assist Catholic Family Services of Peel-Dufferin in developing a child and youth advocacy centre for Peel Region. These centres create safe, child-focused environments where victims and their families can go to receive the services they need to both navigate the criminal justice system and heal."

Peter MacKay, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

"Protection and support for children and youth is an important part of building safer communities for all of us. Building a CYAC into the Safe Centre of Peel not only creates safe space for victims and their families, it creates even stronger links between the CYAC's services and other services those victims and families may need."

Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport)

"We are very pleased with this announcement today. This investment will enable us to move forward with establishing the very first Child and Youth Advocacy Centre in the region of Peel."

Sharon Mayne Devine, Executive Director, Catholic Family Services Peel-Dufferin

Related Products

  • Backgrounder: Federal Victims Strategy and Victims Fund
  • Backgrounder: Child Advocacy Centres

Associated Links

- Department of Justice Canada's Policy Centre for Victim Issues

- Department of Justice Canada's Victims Fund

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Backgrounder

Federal Victims Strategy and Victims Fund

The Federal Victims Strategy brings together federal efforts to give victims of crime a more effective voice in the criminal justice system. It was created in 2007 and made permanent in 2011. The objective of the Strategy, which is led by the Department of Justice Canada, is to give victims a more effective voice in the criminal justice system. The Department works in close collaboration with other federal departments and agencies, as well as victims, victim advocates, provincial and territorial governments, service providers, and others involved in the criminal justice system. The Department develops policy and criminal law reform, funds various programs to meet the needs of victims of crime, explores best practices to address victims' needs, and raises awareness about the concerns of victims of crime and their role in the criminal justice system.

Within the Federal Victims Strategy, the Victims Fund is a grants and contributions program administered by the Department of Justice. More than $13M is available each year to provinces, territories and non-governmental organizations whose projects, activities and operations support the objectives of the Federal Victims Strategy.

The Victims Fund provides funding to projects and activities that:

  • Enhance victim assistance programs across Canada;
  • Promote access to justice and participation in the justice system and the development of laws, policies, and programs;
  • Promote the implementation of principles, guidelines, and laws designed to address the needs of victims of crime and articulate their role in the criminal justice system;
  • Contribute to increased knowledge and awareness of the impact of victimization, the needs of victims of crime, available services, assistance and programs, and legislation; and
  • Promote, encourage and/or enhance governmental and non-governmental organizations' involvement in the identification of victims' needs and gaps in services, as well as in the development and delivery of programs, services and assistance to victims, including capacity building within non-governmental organizations.

Since 2006, the Government of Canada has allocated more than $158 million to give victims a more effective voice in the criminal justice system through initiatives delivered by the Department of Justice Canada.

More information is available on the Department of Justice Canada's website.

Backgrounder

Child Advocacy Centres and Child and Youth Advocacy Centres

The Victims Fund provides grants and contributions to support projects and activities to help support victims of crime. More specifically, the fund promotes access to justice, improves the capacity of service providers, fosters the establishment of referral networks, and increases awareness of services available to victims of crime and their families.

Child Advocacy Centres (CACs) are child-focused centres that provide a coordinated approach to investigation, intervention, treatment and prosecution, in child abuse cases. They adopt a seamless and collaborative approach to addressing the needs of child and youth victims or witnesses of abuse to minimize system-induced trauma by providing a child-friendly setting for young victims and their families. Child and Youth Advocacy Centres (CYACs) offer the same services as CACs, but to a broader age-range of victims. Both CACs and CYACs receive funding under the CAC portion of the Victims Fund.

Child Advocacy Centres bring together a multidisciplinary team of police, child protection, medical services, mental health services, victim services, and prosecutors in a child-friendly environment. Professional services offered by CACs include coordinated forensic interviews; examination of the child by a medical professional; victim advocacy, including court preparation and support; trauma assessment; and counselling.

CACs help children and their families navigate the justice system in a number of ways. For example, CACs provide a child or youth with a safe and comfortable environment in which to be interviewed by criminal justice professionals, and they seek to reduce the number of interviews and questions directed at a child. CACs may also provide education and training to justice professionals on best practices for interviewing child victims and witnesses. Ultimately, CACs lead to better communication between agencies supporting young victims and to increased access to services for young victims and their families or caregivers.

It has been shown that investigations conducted by CACs are cost-effective and can expedite decision making by Crown prosecutors laying criminal charges. Parents whose children receive services from CACs are more satisfied with the investigation process and interview procedures, and those children who attend CACs are more likely to say that they were not scared during the forensic interviewing process.

Since 2010, the Government of Canada has allocated a total of $10.3 million to new or enhanced CACs and CYACs. In Economic Action Plan 2015, the Government committed to providing additional funding to CACs and CYACs. It will provide $5.25 million over four years starting in 2016-17, along with $2.1 million on an annual basis thereafter, to make the support and services provided by CACs and CYACs more accessible in communities across the country.

CACs and CYACs that have benefited from Government of Canada funding, either directly or through funding provided to one of their partners, include the following:

Nova Scotia

Sea Star Child and Youth Advocacy Centre Demonstration Project, Halifax

Quebec

Centre d'expertise Marie-Vincent, Montréal

Ontario

Child Advocacy Centre of Simcoe/Muskoka, Orillia

Boost Child and Youth Advocacy Centre, Toronto

Koala Place Child and Youth Advocacy Centre, Cornwall

Kristen French Child Advocacy Centre Niagara, St. Catharine's

Manitoba

Snowflake Place for Children and Youth Inc., Winnipeg

Saskatchewan

Regina Children's Justice Centre, Regina

Saskatoon Centre for Children's Justice, Saskatoon

Alberta

Caribou Child and Youth Advocacy Centre, Grand Prairie

Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre, Calgary

British Columbia

Alisa's Wish Child and Youth Advocacy Centre, Maple Ridge–Pitt Meadows

Sophie's Place Child Advocacy Centre, Surrey

Vancouver Child and Youth Advocacy Centre, Pilot Project, Vancouver

The Government has also provided funding for projects that explore the creation, development or adaptation of the CAC model in the following communities:

Ontario

Brampton

Kitchener

Ottawa

Sioux Lookout

British Columbia

Vernon (North Okanagan Child and Youth Advocacy Centre project)

Victoria (ORCA)

West Kootenay Boundary (Safe Kids & Youth (SKY) Coordinated Response)

Yukon

Whitehorse (Project Lynx)

Northwest Territories

Yellowknife

Nunavut

Iqaluit (Umingmak Child and Youth Protection Centre)

Contact Information

  • Clarissa Lamb
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Minister of Justice
    613-992-4621

    Media Relations Office
    Department of Justice
    613-957-4207