TORONTO, April 03, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- On March 5, 2018, the Ontario Network of C/YACs reached out to all sitting Members of Provincial Parliament to make them aware of a critical need for funding. Child and youth victims of abuse need support now. With over 200,000 child welfare investigations in Canada every year, evidence and trauma informed approaches to investigation and ongoing support is essential.

The need is growing

Statistics Canada reported a 30 percent increase in sexual violations against children from 2015 to 2016 ranging from hands-on offences, to adults agreeing or arranging to commit a sexual offence against a child.

The #MeToo movement and recent high-profile cases of alleged/prosecuted sex abuse crimes against young people have raised the often-hidden issue of child sexual abuse to the forefront of public discussion. Governments and community leaders are expressing outrage and concern regarding the safety of our children and have committed to addressing allegations and creating safe spaces for young people to come forward.

“All Ontarians must create ‘safe spaces’ for young people.”
Premier Kathleen Wynne, January 2018

Representing Cornwall, Niagara, Simcoe/Muskoka, Toronto, Waterloo and Windsor regions, the Network of Ontario’s Child/Youth Advocacy Centres (C/YACs) are seeking $2.5m/annum base operating funding to support best practice forensic investigations of crimes against children/youth, within a safe, child/youth focused environment. $2.5m/annum will be distributed across six C/YACs currently operating in Ontario.

As described in the briefing note received by all sitting MPPs, C/YACs offer a proven, best practice, evidence and trauma informed approach for investigating allegations of child abuse. C/YACs ensure children, youth, and their families are supported through abuse investigations, and connected to services to help them heal. Of the six operating C/YACs and the eight in development, (Carlton Place, Durham, Kingston, London, North Bay, Ottawa, Sioux Lookout, and Sudbury) none have base operating funding and, for some, long-term sustainability is improbable.

Ontario’s C/YACs need financial support from the Ontario Government now, to ensure momentum is not lost in advancing best practice care for children in Ontario who have experienced abuse.

Click here to read the full briefing

Background:
The Network of Ontario Child/Youth Advocacy Centres is comprised of various communities across Ontario that have established C/YACs or are in the process of developing one. The Network is committed to building, supporting and influencing a sustainable community of Child & Youth Advocacy Centres across the province. Collectively, the group promotes the benefits of the CYAC model, by providing information, support and leadership.

Media Contact:
Lindsay Jolie, Director of Communications & Community Relations
(416) 560-7568 | jolie@boostforkids.org