More than twice a day a young person in Waterloo Region finds the courage to tell someone that they have experienced abuse. In the past the investigative process and the process of finding support could be intimidating, overwhelming and scary.
…being a young person and learning that what someone you love was doing to you was wrong
…how scary it might be to talk about it to people you don’t know
…coming to a comfortable place where you can talk about your experience to specially trained professionals
We are proud to be the lead agency in establishing the Waterloo Region Child and Youth Advocacy Centre (CYAC) which opened in May 2016. The Waterloo Region Child and Youth Advocacy Centre is a best practice collaborative child and youth friendly model for investigating allegations of child abuse and ensuring these young victims, witnesses and their families are supported through an investigation and beyond, regardless of whether charges are laid. Our role in the Waterloo Region CYAC is to provide oversight of the Centre and deliver support services through the Child and Youth Advocate Program.
While many collaborated to make the Waterloo Region CYAC a reality, the core partners in the Centre include dedicated, specialized investigators from Waterloo Regional Police and Family and Children’s Services and Child and Youth Advocates from the Child Witness Centre. This multidisciplinary team located at 400 Queen St. S (Carizon Family and Community Services) ensures a child and youth centred approach that is trauma informed and culturally responsive.
As of March 31, 2019, the CYAC has been involved in more than 1500 investigations involving at least 2300 young people in Waterloo Region.
“An outstanding example of collaboration, the Child and Youth Advocacy Centre provides a safe and comforting environment where children and youth who have been impacted by the trauma of abuse are able to receive exceptional support services under one roof. Specially-trained investigators work with community partners to provide invaluable support to young people and their families. We are extremely proud of this partnership, as all agencies work together to support the healing process and promote community wellbeing.” -Waterloo Regional Police Chief Bryan Larkin
The role of Police and Family and Children’s Services is to investigate the allegations and Child and Youth Advocates from the Child Witness Centre support children, youth and their families through the investigations, providing them with information about the investigative process, supporting their emotional needs and assessing their needs for additional support. They also provide wraparound support once the investigation has been completed, helping to navigate and connect them with the services in our community that will best meet their needs.
While many community agencies were involved in the development of the Waterloo Region CYAC, key collaborators on this journey included, Waterloo Regional Police, Family and Children’s Services, the Crown Attorney’s Office, Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence Treatment Centre, Lutherwood and Carizon Family and Community Services. Access to the Waterloo Region CYAC is through a report of suspected child abuse through either Police or Family and Children’s Services.
At the Child and Youth Advocacy Centre we are….
Working Together… Hearing, Helping, Healing.
If you need help or are concerned about a child, please call:
- Family and Children’s Services of the Waterloo Region at 519-576-0540
- Family and Children’s Services of Guelph and Wellington County at 519-824-2410