Toronto Child and Youth Advocacy Centre (Synopsis)

Toronto Police Service

Description: The Toronto Child and Youth Advocacy Centre (CYAC) is a multi-agency partnership that brings together professionals with expertise in law enforcement, child protection, health and mental health services, prosecution and advocacy. CYAC centralizes these services in one location to provide integrated services that support children and youth who are victims of physical and sexual abuse, as well as their families. Teams of one police officer and one child welfare worker are assigned to each case. A multidisciplinary team assesses each case and decides what action, if any, is required by each member. The CYAC advocate maintains contact with the complainant and family throughout the process, makes referrals and ensures that appointments are attended.
Objective: The key objectives of CYAC are better outcomes for children and positive long-term impacts for children and youth who are victims of abuse, and for their families. CYAC also seeks early intervention and support to reduce trauma and re-victimization of children, as well as to reduce future trauma and dysfunction.
Outcomes: The multi-agency approach and service referral model has demonstrated success for youth victims and their families. An evaluation is currently underway and preliminary results indicate that the pilot has been a success. Families surveyed have expressed high levels of satisfaction with the services provided. The multi-agency approach allows police investigators to focus on investigations while victim management is undertaken by other experts. The close working relationship between partner agencies has created a seamless flow of information to the investigative process, saving time and resources. The multidisciplinary approach to child assault investigations has led to better-quality evidence for investigations and an increase in guilty pleas, reducing the need for trials that can be difficult for youth witnesses and victims. Preliminary accounting has identified a reduction in judiciary costs because of the efficiencies in this process.
Resources: CYAC requires significant resources. Staff costs include salaries for an advocate ($62,000 annually) and a consultant to assist with the governance aspect of the centre ($42,000 annually). The total cost for the first year of implementation (following the pilot phase) is expected to be $1,115,000 (including salary and benefit costs, occupancy costs and program costs). CYAC has received a funding grant from Justice Canada of $150,000 annually over five years, as well as $500,000 in private donations over five years. The Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services also contributed $150,000 annually for operating funds. Each of the agencies involved, including the Toronto Police Service, have contributed $2,500 toward the consultant fees and $600 for software for two secure laptops. This initiative will require additional funding to move forward.
Province: Ontario
Record Entry Date: 2013-08-01
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