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Child & Youth Advocacy Centre

June 2021

June lake island

We are excited to report on the progress we’ve made over the last few months.
The Planning Committee continues to meet regularly and has almost finalized the ideal workflow for York Region’s Child & Youth Advocacy Centre (CYAC). Partners are working on estimates for resource and space requirements to help us better understand the size of building we will need to house the new Centre.

As previously highlighted in our timeline, our plan is to launch a pilot program in the Fall of 2022. A key element to establishing a pilot will be to confirm how coordination between core service providers can be improved to create a more cohesive experience for children, youth, and their families. Increasing access to mental health services earlier in their experience will be one of the elements we consider, among several others.

Our focus over the next several months will be on confirming which of these elements will be part of the pilot, setting objectives for the pilot, and determining how we will track progress against those objectives.

Raising awareness and support

Securing government support is critical to the long-term success of the CYAC. Earlier this spring we began inviting officials to sign a pledge to the children, youth, and families of York Region as a way to start conversations about this regional project with various levels of government. We are excited to share that we have already received support from several individuals.

The Pledge:

I believe in the importance of protecting and helping all children and youth of York Region; in supporting families, parents, and caregivers to be their best; and in organizations and individuals working together toward a common goal of keeping our children and youth safe.

This initiative will continue through the summer and fall and we’ll be posting a list of pledge supporters on our website later this year.

#codePink

Children First Canada is a national charitable organization that harnesses the strength of many organizations and individuals to advocate for and with children and youth in Canada. Last month, they launched a campaign called #codePink. This is a term used by doctors when there is a paediatric emergency. Given recent statistics, Children First Canada, together with Canada’s top children’s hospitals and advocacy organizations, are calling for an emergency response (#codePink) by Canada’s first ministers for the crisis facing the children and youth across our country. Here are some statistics from a recent report released by Children First Canada:

  • Suicide attempt admissions have increased by 100% on average during the pandemic
  • Admissions for substance-use disorders have increased by 200%
  • 70% of kids aged 6 to 18 report that the pandemic has harmed their mental health in at least one area, such as anxiety or attention span
  • Child abuse rates have risen sharply, with a 100% increase in cases of infants presenting with fractures and head trauma since September 2020

Learn more about this initiative and how you can show your support by visiting Children First Canada.

Child and Youth Advocacy Centres across Canada

Since starting this journey to develop York Region’s first Child & Youth Advocacy Centre, we continue to be amazed and thankful for the support and openness we’ve received from so many CYACs across Canada. Whether we were asking them to share their experiences, their opinions or details on their processes and protocols, they have all been willing to take time from their busy schedules to talk with us.

In appreciation of all the support we have received, we want to share some of the exciting things happening at CYACs across Canada.

Marie-Vincent Foundation (CYAC), Montréal, Québec
The number of young people who disclose sexual violence is increasing, creating additional need for therapeutic services for these young people. In response to the increased demand for services, Marie-Vincent Foundation is opening a second site in Montréal. The new site will be located in the Montérégie region.

Child & Youth Advocacy Centre Simcoe/Muskoka, Ontario
The Simcoe/Muskoka Child & Youth Advocacy Centre covers a significant area, spanning approximately 8,700km2. While this CYAC currently has two locations, one in Barrie and one in Muskoka, travel time for clients as well as MDT partners was identified as a barrier to seeking and providing service. In order to remove this barrier, the team at Simcoe/Muskoka CYAC is piloting a mobile response unit. This unit will not only include high-quality portable interviewing equipment but also an Advocate and a fully-accredited facility canine.

Sanare Centre, Medicine Hat, Alberta
This spring, the Sexual Assault Response Committee has opened their Child & Youth Advocacy Centre and renamed it Sanare, a latin word for healing.

Chinook Sexual Assault Centre, Lethbridge, Alberta
The Chinook Sexual Assault Centre recently launched a campaign called ‘Give Hope. Give Support.’ to help bring a Child Advocacy Centre to Lethbridge, Alberta. Currently there are seven CYACs across Alberta with the closest ones in Medicine Hat and Calgary. They hope to open the new centre by the end of this year.

October

01

2023

October 2023

Welcome to our Fall newsletter with the latest updates on our pilot program, Dress Purple Day along with a few of the recent findings in Raising Canada's 2023 report. DASA/YRP Pilot Program To guide planning and resource allocation for the future CYAC, we launched a DASA/YRP pilot in September 2022.  Both organizations collected data during the six-month period between September 2022 and March 2023.  The information collected included case counts…

May

01

2023

May Flowers
May 2023

It’s been four years since we started Project Hope. We can all be proud of the work that has been accomplished during this time: from researching and selecting a co-located model, to developing a business plan and governance model, to launching our first pilot program with DASA and YRP. Communicating the value of a CYAC for York Region has also been a key priority to ensure support across stakeholders and…

December

01

2022

December frosted trees
December 2022

Since our last update in the Spring, we’re excited to share with you the latest developments for Project Hope along with a recent study that provides new analysis on social return on investment results for CYACs in British Columbia. Pilot programs YRP/DASA referralsThis September we launched a pilot program focused on supporting referrals from YRP to DASA for sexual abuse cases. The purpose of this pilot is to look at…

May

01

2022

May flowers
May 2022

The Project Hope team has been busy over this last year developing a pilot program, planning office designs for the ideal shared space, and attending the annual National CYAC-CAE Network Conference. Below is an update on our progress. Pilot program This fall we are launching a pilot program focused on supporting referrals from YRP to DASA for sexual assault/abuse. A working group has been formed to develop a logic model,…

March

01

2021

March flower
March 2021

As we continue to develop the region’s first Child & Youth Advocacy Centre, it is important that we create awareness and secure support from the communities the Centre will serve. To that end, we have developed specific campaigns and initiatives around public and government relations and general community awareness that we’d like to share with you here. In early January, we reached out to news sources in York Region and…

December

01

2020

December snow covered berries
December 2020

We are excited to welcome Jewish Family and Child Service and Dnaagdawenmag Binnoojiiyag Child & Family Services to the CYAC partnership. As critical, legislated service providers, they will help ensure that the future Child & Youth Advocacy Centre not only reflects the needs of our community but also ensures that clients have access to culturally appropriate services. Jewish Family and Child Service is a multi-service agency that strengthens and supports…

September

01

2020

September orange leaves
September 2020

As we continue to navigate these challenging times, our hearts go out to all the health care professionals and other essential service workers who are risking their lives every day to take care of us. The #stayhome orders have certainly helped to flatten the curve of COVID-19 cases over the past several months. Unfortunately, there are unintended consequences to having everyone shelter at home. Reports released over the last several…

May

01

2020

May dew on new leaves
May 2020

These last few months have been an extremely challenging time, unlike anything we’ve seen or had to deal with in our lifetime. Our hearts go out to all the health care professionals and other essential service workers who are risking their lives every day to take care of us. Stress is a contributing factor for abuse, particularly physical abuse. During the pandemic, adults are experiencing increased levels of stress, and…

December

01

2019

December snow covered barn
December 2019

Imagine a place where all children and youth in York Region who have experienced physical, sexual, or emotional abuse or neglect feel welcome and safe. A place where criminal justice, child protection, and mental health services are fully integrated and under one roof. A place where multi-disciplined teams are committed to ensuring that our processes do not cause further harm. A place where everyone is dedicated to ensuring the right…

January

30

2024

CEDAR CENTRE ACHIEVES IMAGINE CANADA ACCREDITATION, DEMONSTRATING COMMITMENT TO EXCELLENCE

YORK REGION, January 30, 2024 – Cedar Centre is thrilled to announce its recent accreditation by Imagine Canada, a prestigious milestone that highlights the organization's unwavering dedication to transparency, accountability, and excellence in their work in the Child & Youth Mental Health, Adult Mental Health and Addictions, Violence Against Women, and Anti-Human Trafficking sectors.  The Standards is a recognized nonprofit accreditation created to provide best practices that help organizations improve…

January

13

2021

YORK REGION TO GET ITS FIRST CHILD & YOUTH ADVOCACY CENTRE

NEWMARKET, Ontario - Cedar Centre, the leading provider of trauma-specific therapyto children, youth, and adults in York Region who have experienced interpersonalchildhood trauma, announced today their intention to create the region’s first Child andYouth Advocacy Centre (CYAC). In partnership with York Regional Police, York RegionChildren’s Aid Society, Dnaagdawenmag Binnoojiiyag Child & Family Services, andJewish Family and Child Service, the CYAC will ensure these children and youth whohave experienced physical, sexual,…