Child Advocacy Centres/Child & Youth Advocacy Centres (CACs/CYACs) provide a co-ordinated, multidisciplinary approach in a safe, comfortable environment to address the needs of children, youth and their families.

The first CAC was established in 1985 in Huntsville, Alabama. Almost 40 years later, CACs are regarded as the leading practice in responding to child abuse cases. There are more than 900 CACs in the United States and CACs are operating in more than 20 countries worldwide.

In some jurisdictions, the model of service delivery is referred to as a Child Advocacy Centre (CAC), while in other locations the terminology is a Child & Youth Advocacy Centre (CYAC). For the purpose of this website, when referring to Canadian models, CYAC includes both terms.

There has been a significant increase in the number of CACs/CYACs across Canada, with over 40 centres open and others in various stages of development. Beginning in 2010, the Policy Centre for Victims Issues, Department of Justice Canada has provided support and funding to create new CACs/CYACs in Canada, which are transforming the system.

Canada is a geographically large country with an ethnically diverse population that lives in large crowded cities, mid-sized towns and remote communities. Larger cities benefit from more substantial social infrastructure and available resources than smaller towns. A variety of CAC/CYAC models exist in Canada to meet the needs of different communities, including virtual models. The age range of children and youth served also varies depending on the centre.

Under the ORGANIZATIONS menu, all Canadian CACs/CYACs that are open and in various stages of development are listed.  The CAC/CYAC Networks are also profiled.

RESEARCH & RESOURCES on the website include research, documents, best practice guidelines, other relevant materials and videos, shared by CAC/CYAC colleagues.

TRAINING WEBINARS feature the National Webinar Training Series.

The TOPICS & TRENDS section addresses current issues and emerging practices.

The ARCHIVE section has presentations and discussions of Canadian National meetings, including the first Knowledge Exchange (2011)Next Steps Meeting (2013), and the Newsletter (2014).

THE LATEST TOPICS & TRENDS

 

Child Sexual Abuse in Amateur Sport

An open letter to parents about sexual abuse in sport. Karyn Kennedy responds to the CBC's Investigative Report on child sexual abuse in amateur sport. As a trained therapist and professional who has worked in the field of child abuse and trauma for over 35 years, I...

Forensic Interviewing

Techniques to gather accurate and extensive memory recall about abuse while limiting the impact of trauma on the child or youth.

A “Virtual” CYAC – Yukon model

Project Lynx has no physical centre, but they do have an established Multidisciplinary Team (MDT). Read how a “virtual” CYAC operates in Yukon.

Courthouse Facility Dogs

An increasingly popular aid in providing support for children and youth involved in the justice process, these dogs help provide reassurance during testimony, interviews and medical exams.

Best Practice Guidelines for Canada

Over the past several years, there has been extensive work done by the Canadian National Network of Child Advocacy Centres/Child & Youth Advocacy Centres to develop Best Practice Guidelines. Expert groups across the country are working on shaping guidelines