CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Jan. 22, 2013) - The Honourable Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., M.P. for Niagara Falls, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, today announced $185,000 in funding for the Canadian Society for the Investigation of Child Abuse (CSICA). The funding will support the organization as it works toward implementing a voluntary national certification program for forensic child interviewers, and will also be used to help cover the organization's operational expenses.

"Our Government is pleased to support the work being done by organizations like the Canadian Society for the Investigation of Child Abuse," said Minister Nicholson. "Together, we can advance the interests of victims of crime, minimize trauma to child victims and reduce victimization."

"The Certified Forensic Child Interviewer (CFCI) program brings standards to Canadian child abuse professionals from different backgrounds," said Lynn Barry, Executive Director of CSICA. "CSICA's multidisciplinary approach to enhancing current child abuse interviewing in Canada incorporates evidence-based research and practice and seeks to continually improve by systematically tracking outcomes."

The CSICA was formed in 1985 in response to a growing need for a coordinated, professional approach to child abuse investigations. The voluntary national certification program proposed by the society would make the organization the first in Canada to offer formal certification in the area of forensic child interviewing.

Forensic child interviewers have direct contact with victims of crimes. They conduct risk assessment interviews for predicting violence or danger, interview victims, eyewitnesses or suspects of the crime of child abuse, interview parents or children for court or alleged abuse cases, and serve as consultants for interrogations. By establishing a certification process, the CSICA will help professionals to reach their full potential as investigators and minimize the trauma that child victims face, while maximizing the quality of information gathered by interviewers.

This funding was made available through the Victims Fund, which is administered by the Department of Justice. Funds are available to provinces, territories and non-governmental organizations for programs and services that give victims of crime a more effective voice in the criminal justice system. The Government of Canada has allocated more than $90 million over the past six years for initiatives that benefit victims of crime, including funding for provincial and territorial government programs.


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Backgrounder: Federal Victims Strategy and Victims Fund

Since 2007, when the Government introduced the Federal Victims Strategy, more than $90 million has been committed to respond to the needs of victims of crime. Most recently, in Economic Action Plan 2012, the Government committed an additional $5 million over five years for new or enhanced Child Advocacy Centres, bringing the total Government of Canada commitment to Child Advocacy Centres to $10.25 million.

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, and shares information about issues of importance to victims of crime.

Within the Federal Victim Strategy, the Victims Fund is a grants and contributions program administered by the Department of Justice. Funds are available each year to fund 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 law, 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 victim needs and gaps in services and 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.

Department of Justice Canada

January 2013

Contact Information:

Julie Di Mambro
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Justice

Department of Justice Canada
Media Relations