Government of Canada Recognizes National Child Day and Supports Initiatives to Prevent and Address Child Maltreatment  

News release

Projects provide help to prevent child maltreatment and support survivors

November 20, 2020 | Ottawa, Ontario | Public Health Agency of Canada

According to the World Health Organization, half of the world's children—approximately 1 billion children each year—are affected by physical, sexual or psychological violence that results in injuries, disabilities and death. In Canada, one third of adults report having experienced maltreatment as a child.

Family violence, including child maltreatment, is a serious public health issue and has serious and lasting impacts on the physical and mental health of survivors, as well as social and economic costs. Today, on National Child Day, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health announced more than $1.1 million to support two initiatives aimed at preventing child maltreatment.

The Child Welfare League of Canada is receiving funding to provide guidance, training and resources to equip child welfare workers, service providers and alternative caregivers across Canada to effectively prevent and respond safely to child maltreatment in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Centre d'expertise Marie-Vincent will deliver "Programme Lanterne," a sexual violence prevention program for children ages 0 to 5 to help prevent child maltreatment through age-appropriate sexual health education and the promotion of safe and healthy relationships in both official languages in Quebec, and in Francophone child-care settings in Yukon.


“All children have the right to be protected and treated with dignity and respect. I am proud to announce the Government of Canada’s support for these two projects, which are using evidence-based and innovative approaches to help prevent and support survivors of child maltreatment.”

The Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Health

“Our children are a precious resource and it’s important to provide them with the education and knowledge that will empower them to advocate for themselves. This funding will provide culturally sensitive resources for our children. I am pleased that we are announcing this important initiative on National Child Day.”

The Honourable Larry Bagnell
Member of Parliament for Yukon

“It’s through education and more efficient means that our young people will advocate better for themselves. This funding will provide resources for children in our communities. I am pleased to be announcing this important initiative on National Child Day.”

The Honourable Steven Guilbeault
Member of Parliament for Laurier-Sainte-Marie

“Children often come to the attention of child welfare because their family struggles with a toxic mix of mental health difficulties, family violence, intergenerational trauma and racism, food and housing insecurity, and economic marginalization. Families are now facing greater challenges that could have an enduring negative impact on children and youth. We are proud to partner with the Canadian Consortium on Child and Youth Trauma and the Canadian Foster Family Association to promote trauma-informed responses to child maltreatment that encourage social inclusion, and connections to family, community and culture.” 

Rachel Gouin
Executive Director, Child Welfare League of Canada

“The Marie-Vincent Foundation and its Centre of Expertise encourage sex education and the promoting of equal relationships starting at an early age. We believe that we all have a role to play in protecting our little ones, and we do that by involving the parents, educators and professionals who are around them on a daily basis. To that end, we have developed the ‘Programme Lanterne’, which enables us to train educators in early childhood education services. Through financial assistance from the Government of Canada, we will be able to extend our sexual violence prevention action to community organizations that work with toddlers throughout Quebec and the Yukon.”

Stéphanie Gareau
Executive Director, Marie-Vincent Foundation

Quick facts

  • Funding for these projects is provided by the Public Health Agency of Canada as part of the Supporting the Health of Survivors of Family Violence investment and the Preventing Gender-Based Violence: the Health Perspective investment.

  • The Child Welfare League of Canada will receive $146,497 over 19 months and intends to reach 2,000 child welfare workers, service providers and alternative caregivers across Canada.

  • The Centre d'expertise Marie-Vincent will receive $972,123 over five years to deliver and evaluate the "Programme Lanterne." This project intends to reach and directly train up to 1,200 early child-care providers and is expected to have an indirect impact on more than 18,000 children and their families over the course of the project.

  • National Child Day is celebrated in Canada on November 20 in recognition of our country's commitment to upholding the rights of children and two historic events: the 1959 signing of the UN Declaration of the Rights of the Child and the adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989.

Associated links


Cole Davidson
Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Health

Media Relations
Public Health Agency of Canada

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