Department of Justice Canada

Department of Justice Canada

November 10, 2011 13:00 ET

Government Announces Support for Enhancement of Regina's Children's Justice Centre

REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwire - Nov. 10, 2011) - Today, Ray Boughen, Member of Parliament for Palliser, on behalf of the Honourable Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., M.P. for Niagara Falls, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada announced federal government funding for the Regina Children's Justice Centre. This project brings together police, the Crown prosecutor's office, health authorities, and child welfare agencies to serve young victims of crime.

"Our Government is committed to protecting victims of crime and giving them a voice in the criminal justice system," said Minister Nicholson. "Today, we are pleased to be moving forward with various Regina agencies on such an important initiative to enhance a child-focused facility that stands up for young victims of crime."

The aim of the Regina Children's Justice Centre is similar to Child Advocacy Centres throughout Canada and around the world: to minimize the trauma of being a child victim of crime or witness to crime. A CAC is a place where a team of professionals work in a child-friendly setting to help a child or youth victim or witness navigate the criminal justice system.

"Regina's Children's Justice Centre will reflect the joint efforts of many local community agencies that are helping children and youth who are victims of abuse and crime," said MP Boughen. "This government is proud to commit to protecting the youngest members of our communities."

"This funding is a great opportunity to enhance our collaborative approach by creating a new Victim Services Responder position that ensures the proper services and support are provided to children and their families," said Regina Police Chief Troy Hagen. "The Victim Services Responder works with police, child protection workers, healthcare workers and prosecutors at the Regina Children's Justice Centre to minimize the trauma experienced by victims and their families in a compassionate way."

The $104,127 in federal funding over two years comes from $5.25 million in funding over five years that was announced October 7, 2010 and is made available through the Victims Fund at the Department of Justice. In 2007, the Government announced the Federal Victims Strategy and committed $52 million over four years to respond to the needs of victims of crime. In Budget 2011, the Government announced $26 million in renewed funding over the next two years to continue the Federal Victims Strategy.

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A Child Advocacy Centre (CAC) adopts a seamless, coordinated and collaborative approach to addressing the needs of child and youth victims of crime. A CAC seeks to minimize system-induced trauma by providing a child-friendly setting for a young victim or witness and his or her family.

Professional services offered by CACs include coordinated interviews by law enforcement and Crown Attorneys, examination of the child by a medical professional and trauma counselling. One goal of a CAC is to minimize the number of interviews and questions directed at a child, thereby minimizing any additional system-induced trauma.

CACs help children and their families navigate the justice system in a number of ways. These include providing a child with a safe and comfortable environment in which to be interviewed by criminal justice professionals, minimizing the number of interviews and ultimately leading to better communication between agencies supporting young victims. CACs may also provide education and training to justice professionals on best practices for interviewing child victims and witnesses. As an example, interviews recorded by video are an effective method for gathering valuable information to help both children and the justice system.

It has been shown that investigations conducted by CACs are cost effective and 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 generally satisfied with the investigation and are more likely to state they were not scared during the forensic process.

A CAC is designed to support a child's healing and assist them in recovering from the severe stress and trauma of abuse. CACs have also been shown to increase collaboration between the agencies charged with protecting children and youth and law enforcement agencies responsible for investigating criminal activity.

Department of Justice Canada

November 2011

Contact Information

  • Julie Di Mambro
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Minister of Justice

    Media Relations
    Department of Justice