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Child Witness Program

When criminal charges are laid, young victims and witnesses in Waterloo Region, Guelph, and Wellington County are referred to our Child Witness Program. Our team ensures these children and youth, and their families, are supported throughout the court process. Our services are tailored to each person’s unique needs and include:

  • Providing crisis intervention, safety planning, and referrals.
  • Providing emotional support and coping strategies to reduce stress and anxiety. This includes the enhanced mental health supports provided by our Facility Dog Monet, who provides warmth and comfort.
  • Accompanying them during important case-related meetings and at court dates, so they are not alone.
  • Helping parents and caregivers to be effective in supporting their children.
  • Providing court updates and on-going assessment and advocacy throughout.
  • Providing court preparation for a child or youth who is required to testify in court.
  • Assessing the need for testimonial aids and advocating for testimonial aids to be permitted while testifying in court.
  • Aiding with completing Victim Impact Statements, so they have the opportunity to share how the experience has impacted them.
  • Providing post court debriefs so families understand the verdict and/or sentencing.
  • Providing information and support that connects young people, and their families, with community resources.
  • Offering a welcoming and safe place that fosters healing, hope, and well-being.

“Child Witness Centre helped by making sure all my questions were answered and I knew what was going on 100% of the time. My caseworker made sure I was prepared for the court dates and stayed with me when I had to testify, which made it less scary.”

Past Client

Our services are accessible and provided free of charge. If you know of someone who could benefit from this support, please call our office at 519-744-0904.

We invite you to watch this video to learn about a mom and her daughter and their journey through the criminal court process with the support of caseworkers from the Child Witness Program.

“Thank-you so very much... I truly believe that (the support provided by the Child Witness Program) could be the difference between life and death for some young people who have already gone through so much.”  

Parent of Past Client

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