Child Witness Centre has made the difficult decision not to run the 2023 Youth Symposium, after seriously considering multiple factors. Our staff and volunteers had been looking forward to welcoming 4,000 grade 8 students and teachers from Waterloo Region, Guelph, and Wellington County to the 17th annual edition.
“We understand this is disappointing,” shared Kim Rodrigues, Executive Director, “but we are experiencing stretched resources and need to focus on supporting local young victims first and foremost. We simply don’t have capacity to deliver this program at this time.”
It is no secret these are difficult times for so many – and we are facing an unprecedented demand for our services. You might have recently heard about our situation on CTV News or CBC Radio. We supported an all-time high of over 1,700 child and youth victims last year alone. It is disheartening that we have been forced to start a waitlist for the first time in our 40-year history – and anticipate at least 300 young people waiting by spring.
Youth Symposium is a one-day program run over three consecutive days in April each year. It features presentations from inspiring speakers covering a wide range of topics on issues affecting students’ overall health and wellbeing. These powerful messages educate, inspire, and equip students with tools and strategies to help them experience resiliency and strong futures.
The future of this program will be determined during our 2023-24 operating plan development.