Investing in hope and opportunity
On average, at least once every single day of the year, a child or youth in Waterloo Region reports physical or sexual assault. The investigation of and support for these young people and their families is currently fragmented and can be intimidating.
Safe Hands-Strong Futures Community Campaign is a $2 Million program funding campaign to support the Child Witness Centre (CWC) as lead agency in the new Waterloo Region Child and Youth Advocacy Centre (CYAC) This will provide program funding to establish and sustain the Advocate Program, support oversight of the Centre, and support the ongoing work of the Child Witness Program. This campaign is about fostering the hope and opportunity that many safe hands, working together can bring to these children and youth by hearing, helping and healing.
The Child Witness Centre is working in collaboration with Waterloo Regional Police and Family and Children Services of Waterloo Region. The CYAC is a child-friendly hub where allegations of child abuse are investigated and children and youth affected by physical or sexual abuse, and their families, receive wraparound, child-specific support to help them heal from the trauma of child abuse and move toward a healthy future. The Child Witness Centre also supports children and youth who are victims or witnesses of crime through the court process. The CYAC opened with a ‘soft launch’ in May 2016 and is now anchored in its permanent location at 400 Queen Street South, Kitchener. In the first year since May 2016, the CYAC team supported over 500 investigations involving more than 700 children, youth and their families.