Government of Canada strengthens support for child and youth victims of abuse and violence in St. John’s

News release

November 28, 2019 – St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador – Department of Justice Canada

Canadians expect to live in a society where the criminal justice system is fair, impartial and respects the needs of victims. This is especially important when those victims, or witnesses of abuse and violence, are children and youth.

Today, on behalf of the Honourable David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Ken McDonald, Member of Parliament for Avalon, announced the Government of Canada’s support to Key Assets Newfoundland and Labrador. The Department of Justice Canada is providing $714,500 in funding over five years from 2019-20 to 2023-24 through the Child Advocacy Centres Initiative (CAC). With this funding, Key Assets NL will help establish the first Child and Youth Advocacy Centre (CYAC) in the province, located in St. John’s.

The new CYAC will serve as a resource within the community for children and youth who have been victims of – or witnesses to – abuse, violence and/or other crime. Children and youth victims need a safe space where they are comfortable to share their stories and experiences with trained professionals. Customized services help lessen the short and long term impacts of abuse and violence children and youth experience. Through the CAC Initiative, the Government of Canada supports victims and their families by providing funding to create and maintain multi-disciplinary, coordinated and child-and-youth centred services in one location.

The CAC Initiative provides funding to a number of victim-serving, non-governmental organizations whose programs and activities are aligned with the priorities of the Department of Justice Canada’s Victims Fund and the Government of Canada.


“I am proud that the Government of Canada is able to provide financial support to Key Assets NL. It is important that we give victims the compassion and support they need and deserve. In supporting this project, we are helping child and youth victims to access centralized services and support networks within their community to reduce the trauma they experience.”

The Honourable David Lametti, P.C., Q.C., M.P.
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

“Our government is pleased to see the establishment of the province’s first Child and Youth Advocacy Centre. We understand the centre will provide important support to children and youth who are victims of, or witnesses to abuse, violence and crime. A sincere congratulations to the Steering Committee for their work and dedication in reaching this milestone. We look forward to the benefits this will bring to the children, youth and families who will utilize the centre.”

Honourable Andrew Parsons
Minister of Justice and Public Safety and Attorney General for Newfoundland and Labrador

“I am thrilled that St. John’s will have it’s first Child and Youth Advocacy Centre. The work that is being done by Key Assets NL makes a huge difference in our community for child and youth victims of sexual abuse.”

Ken McDonald, Member of Parliament for Avalon

“At Key Assets NL we are honoured to be playing such a pivotal role in the development of the first Child and Youth Advocacy Centre in the province. This initiative marks an important milestone in enhancing our collective response to children and youth who have been victims of, or witnesses to, abuse and crime. We look forward to continued positive collaboration with our community and government partners as we all strive to be responsive to the needs of children, youth and families in our community.”

Dr. Heather Modlin, Provincial Director
Key Assets NL

"After 10 years of collaborative effort to bring a Child and Youth Advocacy Centre to this province we are delighted to join the rest of our great country in offering this amazing service to the children, youth and families of our communities."

Donna Ronan
Interagency Steering Committee Chair (and Key Assets NL Therapist)

“Today marks a great step forward in how children and youth are supported when impacted by abuse, violence and crime. The RCMP is pleased to have been involved in the work to realize the establishment of a Child Youth and Advocacy Centre in Newfoundland and Labrador and looks forward to continuing our involvement now that the centre is a reality.”

Assistant Commissioner Ches Parsons, Commanding Officer of RCMP Newfoundland and Labrador

“We have seen the impact felt by children and youth, families and communities through victimization, and we are dedicated to working with our community partners to ensure our children and youth feel safe, valued, and can begin to heal. The introduction of a Child Youth Advocacy Centre will give our children and youth a path to a brighter future, and a voice which will join us in building safe and healthy communities together.”

Joe Boland, Chief of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary

“Eastern Health is pleased to collaborate on the creation of a new Child and Youth Advocacy Centre. Through the Child and Youth Advocacy Centre, Eastern Health is able to further work within the communities we serve and partner with those who share a commitment to quality health care and improved health and wellbeing in support of Eastern Health's vision of Healthy People, Healthy Communities.”

David Diamond, President and CEO, Eastern Health

Quick facts

  • According to self-reported data from the 2014 General Social Survey on victimization, nearly a third (32%) of Canadians aged 15 years and older – nearly nine million people – reported childhood physical or sexual abuse.

  • A Department of Justice five year, multi-site study was conducted to better understand how Canadian Child Advocacy Centres are developing and operating; measuring client satisfaction and how CACs meet the Federal Victims Strategy (FVS) objectives. A total of six CACs were included in the study involving four delivery models. The results indicated:

    • Ninety-three percent of respondents in the study indicated that the support they received from all professionals was helpful.
    • Caregivers also identified the victim advocate as the most important service received by them (46%), while counselling/therapy was the most important service received by their children (33%).
    • Most youth victims (79%) and caregivers (91%) received services that were culturally sensitive.

Associated links


For more information, media may contact:

Rachel Rappaport
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Justice

Media Relations
Department of Justice Canada

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