Boost Child & Youth Advocacy Centre has been given a grant from
the Department of Justice Canada to develop a training program that
will build capacity within Child Advocacy Centres/Child & Youth
Advocacy Centres (CACs/CYACs) across Canada. The goal of the
webinar series is to provide organizations and service providers with
information, resources and lessons learned on different aspects of
developing an effective CAC/CYAC.

The webinars are designed to assist project
coordinators/managers, executive directors, board members,
CAC/CYAC partners, including but not limited to representatives
from law enforcement, child protection, victim services, medical
services, mental health services and the Crown prosecutor’s
office, policy makers, or those organizations that may be having
initial discussions about the possibility of developing a
CAC/CYAC in their city or region, or are currently operating.


1) Developing An Effective Child Advocacy Centre/Child & Youth Advocacy Centre:  Part 1
June 13, 2016

(webinar link coming soon)

Presenter: Karyn Kennedy, President & CEO,
Boost Child & Youth Advocacy Centre


Developing An Effective CAC/CYAC. The webinar discusses the following elements that are essential to beginning the process of developing a CAC/CYAC in your community:

  • Definition of a CAC/CYAC – what is it and how can it make a difference for children, youth and families in your community?
  • Who needs to be involved – how to identify and develop partnerships so you have “buy-in”;
  • Choosing a model that meets the needs of your community;
  • The role of governance; and,
  • Development of best practices and policies.


2) Developing An Effective Child Advocacy Centre/Child & Youth Advocacy Centre: Part 2
September 29, 2016

Karyn Kennedy, President & CEO,
Boost Child & Youth Advocacy Centre


Developing An Effective CAC/CYAC Part 2. Through this webinar, the presenter discusses how to determine and develop an effective CAC/CYAC Service Model based on a multidisciplinary team approach, including:

  • Addressing key components such as establishing a team, the role of case management and case reviews; and,
  • How to communicate the role and purpose of a CAC/CYAC to professional and community stakeholders.   

3) The Role of the Advocate
November 10, 2016

Presenters: Julie Moore, Youth Advocate – Human Trafficking Program and Lisha Cash, Child & Youth Advocate, Boost Child & Youth Advocacy Centre 


The presenters discuss the role of the Child & Youth Advocate within a multidisciplinary team, including:

  • The ways in which the advocate role has changed the approach to child abuse investigations;
  • Specific responsibilities associated with the Advocate role;
  • A walk-through of an Advocate’s “typical” case at the CYAC;
  • The challenges and successes of the Child & Youth Advocacy Program, with reference to specific case studies/examples; and
  • Learning outcomes and program development.


4) Developing National CYAC Guidelines
December 9, 2016

Presenters: LaRee Walters-Boadway and Poonam Patel, Safe Centre of Peel 

In this webinar on developing National CYAC Guidelines, the presenters:

  • Discuss the history and goals of the Canadian National Guidelines project.
  • Review 10 proposed and recommended guidelines for Canadian CAC/CYACs.
  • Review the research, which provided the evidence, background and context to empirically support the rationale for each of the proposed Canadian guidelines.


5) Principles of Trauma Informed Practices
December 12, 2016

Presenter: Helen Vozinidis, Child & Family Therapist,
Boost Child & Youth Advocacy Centre

The presenter provides participants with information with respect to:

  • An overview of what trauma is;
  • The impact of trauma and its reverberations across the life span;
  • Why understanding trauma is important, including the importance of system providers recognizing the impact of trauma upon themselves;
  • The importance of creating a trauma-informed value infused system that recognizes and mirrors the experience of clients; and
  • How to ensure the client’s, and the system’s ongoing growth, adaption and healing to adversity.

6) Forensic Interviewing – Basic Principles
January 17, 2017

Presenter: Sonja Brubacher, Lecturer &Trainer Deakin University,
Australia / The Centre for Investigative Interviewing

The presenter discusses the foundational elements of a best practice interview, including:

  • An overview of the primary categories of prompt types;
  • Specific prompt types and their effects on memory report;
  • Common components of interview guidelines; and
  • Purposes of and procedures for interview phases.

7) Conducting Developmentally Sensitive Forensic Interviews
January 26, 2017

Meredith Kirkland-Burke, MSW & RSW
Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect (SCAN) Program
The Hospital for Sick Children

This webinar focuses on:

  • Aspects of child development that influence children’s event reports;
  • Specific reference to memory, language, conceptual knowledge, suggestibility and social/emotional development; and
  • Practical approaches for forensic interviewers and an approach for conducting forensic interviews with preschoolers given their limited communication and cognitive skills.



8) Medical Examinations & Evidence: Sexual & Physical Abuse
February 9, 2017

Dr. Amy Ornstein, IWK Health Centre, Halifax, NS, and Tanya Smith, Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect (SCAN) Program, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, ON

This webinar focuses on:

  • The different medical services that can be offered at a CAC and guidelines for this service;
  • A description of the role of the medical provider in sexual and physical abuse evaluations; and,
  • A practical approach for working with the medical provider at a CAC using case scenarios.


9) Developing a Peer Review Process for Forensic Interviewers
February 23, 2017

Meredith Kirkland-Burke, MSW & RSW
Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect (SCAN) Program
The Hospital for Sick Children

This webinar focuses on:

  • Options for forensic interviewers to assist in maintaining and improving their interviewing skills beyond initial training; and
  • Describing the peer review model for forensic interviewers developed for Boost Child & Youth Advocacy Centre, with particular reference to case selection, consent and confidentiality, and the review process and documentation.

11) Conducting Forensic Interviews for Children with Special Needs
April 26, 2017

Presenter: Dr. Kim Roberts, Professor, Psychology, Wilfred Laurier University

This webinar focuses on:

  • Outlining the types of needs that children may have;
  • Discussing the challenges that these children and their families face in the justice and welfare systems;
  • Reviewing recommended ways of interacting with these children; and
  • Reviewing recommended interviewing techniques.


12) Stabilization: The First Phase of Trauma Treatment
May 1, 2017

Presenter: Shamsa Iqbal, Clinical Supervisor, Etobicoke Children’s Centre


Traumatized children and youth are often easily triggered even by mildly stressful situations, and they may struggle with self-regulation and lack impulse control. Hence, it is important that treatment of trauma begin with safety and stabilization. Processing traumatic memories prematurely can be destabilizing for clients. Therefore, it is important that clients first develop stabilization skills and then revisit and process their traumatic experiences. The learning objectives for this webinar are to:

  • Discuss the role and goals of stabilization in trauma treatment; and
  • Understand key components of stabilization.

13) Understanding Sexual Offending through Technology
May 18, 2017

Presenter: Marcella Leonard: BSc Hons, C.Q.S.W., MSc AASW., PG Dip ATSO., ASW.,PTA.,ASI.,    Director of Leonard Consultancy.

This webinar focuses on:

  • Those who sexually offend using technology;
  • The modus operandi of those type of offenders through the use of clinical practice casework;
  • The impact on victims of online sexual abuse; and
  • The risk posed by online offenders within child protection decision-making.

14) Concerning or Not? Understanding & Managing Childhood Sexual Behaviour
June 1, 2017

Nancy Falls Ed.D., RP, Training and Consultation Manager,Radius Child and Youth Services and Michael Davis, MSW, RSW, Child, Youth and Family Therapist, Radius Child and Youth Services


This webinar is designed for professionals working with children who engage in concerning sexual behaviours and their families, and will focus on:

  • Understanding what is “normative” (child development, attachment, sexual development)
  • Understanding what is “concerning” sexual behaviour and why;
  • Managing inappropriate sexual behaviour (system response, parent response and safety planning/supervision needs).

15) Refilling the Well: Key Tools to Remain Healthy & Compassionate
June 15, 2017

Presenter: Françoise Mathieu, M.Ed., CCC., RP., Specialist in High-Stress, Workplaces & Co-Executive Director, TEND


There is now over two decades of research proving that working in high stress, trauma-exposed professions such as community mental health, law enforcement and health care carries elements of risk to the care provider: compassion fatigue, secondary trauma and burnout, which can take a cumulative toll on us as individuals and as teams. What can professionals do to protect themselves from the difficult stories that they work with on a regular basis, limited resources and high volume of work, while still remaining effective and compassionate? Using the most recent research in the field, this presentation will explore assumptions about compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma and offer new, and creative approaches to transforming these occupational hazards.

This webinar focuses on:

  • Key factors that increase risks of compassion fatigue, burnout and secondary trauma;
  • Early intervention strategies; and
  • Workplace strategies: what works?


16) Keeping Kids Safe in the Real & Virtual Worlds
June 29, 2017

Presenter: Pearl Rimer, Director of Research & Training, Boost Child & Youth Advocacy Centre


This webinar is for everyone who is interested in learning the concepts of helping to keep children and youth safe from harm, both offline and online.

Participants will be updated on:

  • The current trends in prevention;
  • The assumptions that have been made about children and safety;
  • The mixed messages children have received in the past;
  • How offenders engage children and youth, both online and offline;
  • Appropriate messages for children and youth, from a developmental perspective; and
  • How to talk to children and youth about personal safety.