Today, Guy Lauzon, Member of Parliament for Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry, on behalf of Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada Peter MacKay, announced funding of $160,000 over two years to the Koala Place CYAC Advancement Project.
Child Advocacy Centres (CACs) and Child and Youth Advocacy Centres (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 CAC or a CYAC 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.
The Koala Place CYAC will receive $160,000 in funding as follows:
The funding will be used to enhance the work of Koala Place to provide a comfortable, neutral, confidential, physically and psychologically safe child-friendly environment for children and youth who are victims of abuse, and to help them navigate the criminal justice system to greatly reduce the emotional and mental harm to the child.
For example, it will allow Koala Place to enhance the Multi-Disciplinary Team (health, police, child protection, mental health, Crown Attorney, and medical) to ensure the most effective coordinated response possible for every child/youth victim or witness and their family, and establish a case review process that includes all Multi-Disciplinary Team partners.
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 put in place several pieces of legislation to help protect children. These include: the Safe Streets and Communities Act, which received Royal Assent in March 2012; the Criminal Code amendments contained in the new Tougher Penalties for Child Predators Act, which recently came into force and will put an end to sentencing discounts for child sex offenders who commit crimes against multiple children; and the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights, which came into force last month.
“Our Government understands that Canada’s youngest victims of crime need special services and support. I am proud to announce funding to Cornwall’s Koala Child and Youth Advocacy Centre as they provide much-needed, specialized care to the Cornwall Region.”
– Guy Lauzon, Member of Parliament for Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry
“Child and Youth Advocacy Centres play a new and vital role in helping victims receive services within safe, child-focused environments. Victims deserve the support of Government and community agencies as they heal and navigate the criminal justice system.”
– Peter MacKay, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
“We are extremely pleased to receive ongoing support from Justice Canada. Koala Place would not have come so far, so quickly, to address the critical issue of child abuse if not for the support. This investment will allow us to further enhance and improve our Centre to ensure that children, youth and families receive services that are coordinated, consistent, child/youth friendly, culturally relevant, age appropriate, and not duplicated. We share a responsibility to ensure children, youth and their families have the support they need to move forward and lead healthy lives. Helping to give every child and youth the chance to live a safe, healthy and happy life is the most important work we can do.”
Elyse Lauzon-Alguire, Executive Director – Koala Place, Child and Youth Advocacy Centre