TORONTO, Oct. 02, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- To mark the beginning of Child Abuse Prevention Month – and to shine a bright light on a dark and largely unseen issue that afflicts tens of thousands of Ontario children and families each year – the country’s leading child abuse and exploitation prevention and intervention centre is preparing to expand across the city of Toronto as a recent study uncovers the economic and social benefits of the child & youth advocacy centre model.

Toronto-based Boost Child & Youth Advocacy Center (Boost CYAC) is the national leader in responding to child abuse and providing recovery services to their families. The centre co-locates all professionals involved in investigations and recovery services under one roof for a coordinated, interdisciplinary, best-in-class response to this terrible issue that afflicts tens of thousands of Ontario children and youth each year.1

“This model is the best possible response to victims of sexual abuse and exploitation and their families,” explained Boost CYAC Chair, Peter MacKay. “As Justice Minister, I supported and prioritized funding for child & youth advocacy centers across the country. Based on my experience in this role as well as my time as a Crown Attorney and working with legal aid, it is eminently clear that Boost CYAC sets the national gold standard when it comes to their comprehensive approach in addressing this widespread and devastating plague for our country’s children and their loved ones.”

In 2017, Boost CYAC and its partner agencies worked with Deloitte to study the impact and benefits of the CYAC model. The report, Reducing Trauma, Improving Lives: The Social Value of Boost Child & Youth Advocacy Centre found that Boost CYAC has a significant positive return on investment to society. For every $1 spent on the CYAC, there is a value to society of up to nearly $3. Specifically, this includes:

  • nearly $5m (730k-4.6M) in benefits to the city in three years;
  • increased tax revenues of up to $3,500 per child, per investigation; and
  • reduced healthcare costs of up to $500 per child, per investigation.

The report goes on to reveal that compared to the traditional model of serving children and their families, the Boost CYAC model led to:

  • further improvements in reducing the emotional, financial, and physical hardship on children who have been abused, and their families;
  • increased access to services, and potentially better-quality services due to integration; and
  • increased capacity of its partner agencies (higher efficiency and effectiveness).

“Boost CYAC has supported children and their families for over three decades. We know what works. We know what families need and we know the best way to provide it. Our proven model, combined with the commitment of our seven partner agencies, has enabled us to create a safe, accessible space where children can get the help and treatment they need under one roof. We are excited at the possibility of expansion so we can help the increasing number of families who require our services,” explained Boost CYAC President & CEO, Karyn Kennedy.

New centre set to expand to offer best-practice service to families in Scarborough, North York and Etobicoke

While Boost CYAC has been operating in Toronto since 1981, it was only in October 2013 that this child-centered, co-located model was launched. Given staffing and space restrictions, when the centre opened, it could only offer this best-practice multidisciplinary approach to children living in the central core of the city. This meant that children living beyond the central core (e.g. Scarborough, North York and Etobicoke) did not receive this coordinated response and as such they were required to go to many different places to access required services. Nearly twice the size of the original centre, Boost CYAC’s new family-friendly facility is set to accommodate enough staff to provide the CYAC model to children, youth and families across the entire city of Toronto.

About Boost Child & Youth Advocacy Centre (Boost CYAC)
Boost CYAC is the recognized leader for responding to child abuse and providing necessary recovery services. A partnership with community and government agencies, it co-locates all professionals involved in child abuse cases under one roof, for a coordinated, interdisciplinary response to child abuse victims in Toronto. Boost CYAC partner agencies include Toronto Police Service, Children’s Aid Society of Toronto, Catholic Children’s Aid Society of Toronto, Native Child & Family Service of Toronto, Jewish Family & Child, the SCAN Program at The Hospital for Sick Children, and Radius Child & Youth Services. In addition to housing Ontario’s largest child & youth advocacy centre, Boost CYAC offers a number of direct services including, primary prevention, public education, trauma assessment and therapy and court preparation for child witnesses. For further information, visit www.boostforkids.org.

Contact
Lindsay Jolie, Director of Communications & Community Relations
Boost Child & Youth Advocacy Centre
(416) 560-7568 | jolie@boostforkids.org

1 Fallon, B., Van Wert, M., Trocme, N., MacLaurin, B., Sinha, V., Lefebvre, R., Allan, K., Black, T., Lee, B., Rha, W., Smith, C., & Goel, S. (2015). Ontario Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect – 2013. Retrieved October 23, 2017, from http://cwrp.ca/sites/default/files/publications/en/ois-2013_final.pdf