Government funding assists child advocacy centres
Alberta’s child advocacy centres (CACs) are dedicated to making a difference in the lives of young victims of crime. They provide vital services that help children heal. That is why the Government of Alberta has developed a new three-year pilot grant funding program for CACs.
The new Counselling for Children pilot grant is available to child advocacy centres that offer a seamless, coordinated and collaborative approach to addressing the needs of children and youth who are victims of crime. This funding will directly benefit the victims of violence, sexual exploitation and other forms of child abuse causing physical or mental harm.
CACs help children and their families navigate the justice system in a number of ways. These include providing a child with a safe and comfortable environment in which to be interviewed by criminal justice professionals, minimizing the number of interviews they face, and ultimately leading to better communication between agencies supporting young victims.
Their work also reduces costs and speeds up prosecutions in child abuse cases. They take a collaborative approach, which assists the agencies charged with protecting children and youth and the law enforcement agencies responsible for investigating criminal activity. And, through extensive research, it has been shown that CACs help children recover from the severe stress and trauma of abuse.
Children who receive services from CACs are more likely to:
• receive a forensic medical examination, if required
• be interviewed in a child-friendly facility
• be referred for mental health treatment
The Government of Alberta is proud to show its support for CACs. They do excellent work, treating youth who are victims of crime with courtesy, compassion, and respect.