Department of Justice Canada

Department of Justice Canada

February 23, 2015 10:00 ET

Government of Canada Provides Funding to Explore the Development of a Child and Youth Advocacy Centre in Nunavut

IQALUIT, NUNAVUT--(Marketwired - Feb. 23, 2015) - Today, Environment Minister and M.P. for Nunavut Leona Aglukkaq, on behalf of Justice Minister Peter MacKay, announced $225,000 in funding for the Arctic Children and Youth Foundation to explore the development of a Child and Youth Advocacy Centre (CYAC), the Umingmak Child and Youth Protection Centre, that would serve young victims and their families living in Nunavut.

The funding is being used by the organization to identify the existing gaps in service delivery, gain a more in-depth understanding of the incidence of child abuse in the territory, and explore the unique cultural and practical requirements for a CYAC in Nunavut. The funding will also be used to determine the sustainability of a CYAC that would provide for coordinated intervention, investigation, prosecution and treatment to help children and youth in the territory who have been victimized or have witnessed a violent crime.

CYACs, along with Child Advocacy Centres (CAC), 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 multi-disciplinary 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.

Quick Facts

The funding will be provided as follows:

  • 2014-2015: $50,000
  • 2015-2016: $175,000

The funding is being used by the Arctic Children and Youth Foundation to:

  • Identify gaps in services in the current system for child and youth victims;
  • Identify and assess options for addressing those gaps;
  • Assess the need for and feasibility of different service models; and
  • Identify the unique cultural, demographic and practical requirements for a CYAC in Nunavut.

This funding is being provided by the Government of Canada through the Department of Justice Canada's Victims Fund. This fund provides financial support to projects and activities that give victims of crime an effective voice in the criminal justice system. These projects may encourage the development of new approaches, promote access to justice, improve the capacity of service providers, foster the establishment of referral networks, or increase awareness of services available to victims of crime and their families.

Quotes

"Our Government recognizes that child and youth victims of crime have unique needs. We are pleased that this funding will support the Arctic Children and Youth Foundation as they explore the creation of a Child and Youth Advocacy Centre in Nunavut. These centres create safe, child-focussed 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

"Any child or youth who is a victim of crime in Canada deserves to have access to the services and programs they need. This funding to the Arctic Children and Youth Foundation will be important as they explore the creation of a Child and Youth Advocacy Centre in Nunavut that would benefit young victims, their families and communities by being specifically designed to reflect their cultural values and geographic situation."

Leona Aglukkaq

Minister of the Environment and Member of Parliament for Nunavut

Related Products

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

Associated Links

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Backgrounder

Federal Victims Strategy and Victims Fund

The Federal Victims Strategy 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 of Justice works in close collaboration with other federal institutions, as well as victims, victim advocates, provincial and territorial governments, service providers, and others involved in the criminal justice system. The Department of Justice 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. Funds are 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.

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

Backgrounder

Child Advocacy Centres

Child Advocacy Centres (CAC) are child-focused centres that coordinate the investigation, prosecution, and treatment of child abuse while helping abused children. They adopt a seamless and collaborative approach to addressing the needs of child and youth victims of crime. CACs seek to minimize system-induced trauma by providing a child-friendly setting for a young victim and his or her family. Child and Youth Advocacy Centres (CYAC) offer the same services as a CAC, but to a broader age-range of victims.

Child Advocacy Centres bring together a multidisciplinary team of police, child protection, medical services, mental health services, and victim services. 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 seek to reduce the number of interviews and questions directed at a child, thereby minimizing system-induced trauma. CACs may also provide education and training to justice professionals on best practices for interviewing child victims and witnesses. For example, interviews recorded by video are an effective method for gathering valuable information that can help both the young victim and the justice system. 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 generally satisfied with the investigation and are more likely to state they were not scared during the forensic interviewing process.

Since 2010, the Government of Canada has allocated $10.25 million for new or enhanced Child Advocacy Centres to address the needs of child and youth victims of crime. CACs 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 and Youth Advocacy Centre at BOOST, Toronto

Kristen French Child Advocacy Centre Niagara, St. Catharines

Koala Place Child and Youth Advocacy Centre, Cornwall

Child Advocacy Centre of Simcoe/Muskoka, Orillia

Manitoba

Snowflake Place for Children and Youth Inc., Winnipeg

Saskatchewan

Saskatoon Centre for Children's Justice, Saskatoon

Regina Children's Justice Centre, Regina

Alberta

Caribou Child and Youth Advocacy Centre, Grand Prairie

Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre, Calgary

British Columbia

Sophie's Place Child Advocacy Centre, Surrey

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

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

Vancouver (Vancouver Child and Youth Advocacy Centre project)

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

Vernon (North Okanagan Child and Youth Advocacy Centre project)

Victoria (ORCA)

Yukon

Whitehorse (Project Lynx)

Northwest Territories

Yellowknife

Contact Information

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

    Media Relations Office
    Department of Justice
    613-957-4207