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OTF Grants Support Local Young Victims

OTF event 2023 - group photo - WEB

In photo (L to R): Rebecca Heibein-Kursikowski (Program Supervisor at CWC), Laura Mae Lindo (MPP for Kitchener Centre), Julia Forward (Acting Crown Attorney - Waterloo Region), Kim Rodrigues (Executive Director at CWC), Bernadette Behm, (Board Chair for CWC), and Linda Mark (Development Manager at CWC).

On Friday, March 24, Laura Mae Lindo, MPP for Kitchener Centre, met with Child Witness Centre (CWC) representatives and partners to celebrate $107,100 in funding received from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) through two grants. A tour was provided of the new improvements to the space made possible by the funding.

"My sincerest congratulations to Child Witness Centre for being the recipient of two Ontario Trillium Foundation grants,” said MPP Lindo. “When children experience abuse and courageously come forward, they need tailored support grounded in trauma-informed, survivor-centered approaches. CWC continues to work diligently to be that safe space for young people whose trust in adults around them has been shaken. As they guide children and their caregivers through the court system, CWC centres the child, recognizing the trauma that ensues from abuse, and provides their clients with much-needed stability, care, and compassion. This path can be daunting, and I know these funds will be well-used to support the diverse communities of survivors who come forward through the development of strong diversity, equity, and inclusion policies as well as the creation of a private testimony space for children. I remain a strong supporter of the work that CWC does, and wish them the best in continuing their important work."

An $81,600 Resilient Communities Fund grant, awarded in the Spring of 2022, allowed the creation of a new remote testimony space for our clients and soundproofing for privacy. These improvements, as well as other projects funded by the grant, mean local child and youth victims of abuse and crime can meet with our support workers and provide their court testimonial in a safe and welcoming environment.

An additional $25,500 Capital grant, awarded in December 2022, is also supporting essential updates needed to our office by funding much needed building repairs as well as the purchase and installation of a new water heater to continue to provide a safe, welcoming environment for victimized youth and their families.

These OTF grants come at a time when we are experiencing soaring demand for our services and stretched resources. The funding is helping us to build capacity, resilience, and sustainability to move forward with optimism. Last year alone, our team helped over 1,700 child and youth victims, and their caregivers, while fostering hope, wellbeing, and resiliency. We are committed to fostering a culture where everyone feels welcome and safe.

"The impact of these OTF grants is immense,” said Kim Rodrigues, Executive Director for Child Witness Centre. “It has enabled critical updates to our office, EDI framework, and software solutions so we can carry on and better serve our young clients. When children and youth are supported at the time it’s critically needed, the immediate and long-term impact is huge. We are grateful for the partnership of OTF towards a safer and healthier community for everyone.”

The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF), an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations celebrates 40 years of grant-making in Ontario and making a lasting impact in communities. Last year, OTF invested nearly $209M into 2,042 community projects and partnerships, which included funding for the Government of Ontario’s Community Building Fund. Visit to learn more.