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Child & Youth Advocacy Centre

March 2021

March flower

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 are excited to share that YorkRegion.com ran two stories over the past two months and NewmarketToday.com also shared our story. Alison Peck, Cedar Centre’s Executive Director reinforced the importance of creating the CYAC in the following quote:

“It’s our responsibility as a community to come in and wrap our services and work together in a way that makes the most sense from a justice and a mental health and a health and welfare perspective for that child and their family,” said Cedar Centre executive director Alison Peck.

These articles were shared through Cedar Centre’s Facebook page along with our partners’ social pages driving a 23% increase in traffic to our website across January and February compared to the two months prior.

Social media post

We have also prepared a series of social media posts that will help keep our followers and community informed of our progress, and aware of relevant statistics on child abuse in Canada.

As part of our government relations campaign, we created a pledge to engage provincial, regional, and municipal representatives, and representatives of the Chippewa First Nations of Georgina Island asking for their support. The pledge states:

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.

In the coming months, we will be reaching out to representatives across the Region to familiarize them with our regional initiative and invite them to sign the pledge.

Model development

We continue to focus on mapping out the ideal workflow with the Planning Committee. As a co-located model, there will be changes to the existing Child Abuse Systems Team protocol. Based on elements needed for a gold-standard CYAC, we are building out the following elements:

  • Multidisciplinary Team (MDT)
  • Forensic Interview
  • Victim Support and Advocacy
  • Medical Evaluation, Mental Health
  • Child-Focused Setting
  • Case Review
  • Case Tracking
  • Organizational Capacity
  • Cultural Competency and Diversity

National CAC/CYAC conference highlights

The National CAC/CYAC network conference, “Adversity – A Stepping Stone to Success” was held virtually in early March. Attendees from coast to coast to coast were in attendance, including representatives from Cedar Centre. With over 40 CACs/CYACs in operation in Canada, open discussions about formalizing the Canadian National network were a focal point of the conference. Guest speakers Teresa Huizar (National Children’s Alliance) and Chris Newlin (National Children’s Advocacy Centre) inspired us with their wisdom about the CYAC model and their experiences with establishing a formal National Association in the USA. Chris described CYACs as “a revolutionary way to respond to child abuse”.

Both speakers spoke to the importance of:

  • securing commitment from senior leadership teams across all partner organizations to endorse the CYAC as playing an indispensable role in the response to child abuse;
  • educating policy makers about the model and its benefits to the children/youth it serves and to communities as a whole, and;
  • establishing representatives within CYACs as experts that are called upon by policy makers at all levels of government for advice and guidance.

An immediate next step will be to establish a steering committee to begin the process of examining what a National Association could look like in Canada.

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,…

June

01

2021

June lake island
June 2021

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,…

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,…