Child Advocacy Centres Initiative
The Federal Victims Strategy is a horizontal initiative led by the Department of Justice Canada which seeks to improve access to justice for victims and survivors of crime.
The Victims Fund provides grants and contributions to support projects and activities that encourage the development of new approaches, promote access to justice, improve the capacity of service providers, foster the establishment of referral networks, and/or increase awareness of services available to victims of crime and their families.
The Child Advocacy Centres (CACs) Initiative provides funding to a limited number of victim-serving, non-governmental organizations (NGO) whose programs and activities are aligned with the Victims Fund and Government of Canada priorities.
What is a Child Advocacy Centre (CAC)?
CACs bring together a multi-disciplinary team (MDT) to provide a coordinated and comprehensive response to address the needs of children, youth and their families in cases where abuse is suspected. CACs seek to minimize system-induced trauma and support longer-term well-being by providing a child-friendly facility for young victims and their families to seek services ideally under one roof.
A CAC is a community-based program, designed to meet the unique needs of the particular community in which it is located. Consequently, no two centres are alike but each CAC has a number of key elements in common, including:
- A multi-disciplinary team that includes law enforcement, child protection services, victim advocacy and support services, mental health services, medical services, staff of the CAC and where appropriate, prosecutions;
- Child and family-friendly facilities;
- Forensic interviewing services;
- Victim advocacy and support, including court preparation and support;
- Specialized medical support and treatment; and,
- Specialized mental health services.
Training and education for professionals working with child abuse victims and community education and outreach are also considered to be important activities that are undertaken by CACs.
Call for Proposals
Who is eligible?
Funding is available for non-governmental organizations who wish to create or enhance a child advocacy centre. This funding cannot be provided to individuals. Certain funding streams are only open to existing CACs.
There are four main priorities for this funding:
- To support the development of new child advocacy centres;
- To support new child advocacy centres that are currently under development or in the early phases of implementation;
- To support the service delivery of existing CACs;
- To support capacity-building and networks.
Proposals from communities that do not currently have a child advocacy centre or one in development will be given priority.
Projects must address one of the above-mentioned funding priorities AND fall within one or more of the following six activity streams. An evaluation will be required under streams 1, 2, 4, 5, and 6. Up to 10 percent of the project budget should be allotted for a planned external evaluation.
- 1. Development of new CACs (Needs Assessments and Feasibility Studies)
Projects under this theme will conduct needs assessments and feasibility studies for the development of a CAC. Existing services, gaps and opportunities should be considered in determining how the CAC model would respond to community needs.
A self-sufficiency plan must be a key consideration in all feasibility studies.
Duration: Up to 12 months
Funding Available: Up to $50,000
- 2. CAC Development and Piloting of Services
Projects under this stream will support new child advocacy centres that are under development or in the early phases of development to pilot their services.
The funding can be used to support a number of activities such as: the development of partnerships including the creation of MDTs and the appropriate protocols to facilitate information sharing, collaboration and coordination including processes for case review; site planning; strategic planning, the purchase of forensic interviewing equipment and necessary soundproofing; hiring of staff; piloting service delivery; the development of case tracking mechanisms; and evaluation.
Funding can also be requested to develop services and approaches that focus on meeting the needs of Indigenous children and youth.
A self-sufficiency plan will be required for all development/pilot projects.
Additionally, applicants looking to launch a new CAC, must attach a copy of a completed feasibility study. Where pilot project funding is requested, letters of support will be required from all key MDT partners including the police, child protection, victim services, mental health services and medical services. The letters should indicate the role that the partner organizations will play in the CAC including confirming their commitment to the CAC model, to supporting the development and maintenance of the CAC, and the MDT approach. A letter of support from the Crown Prosecutor's office will also be beneficial.
Duration: Up to 60 months
Funding Available: Up to $750,000
- Maximum of $150,000 per yearFootnote *
- Reduced amounts in years 4 and 5, supported by the self-sufficiency plan
- 3. Service Delivery - CAC Operations
This funding stream is open only to existing CACs.
Projects under this theme will support the continuation of services, in particular the delivery of the Multi-Disciplinary response, while working toward self-sufficiency. Eligible costs include salary and benefits, forensic investigative equipment, resources for case management, training and administrative costs for key supporting personnel (i.e., the victim advocate/support role and/or the CAC director/coordinator).
Duration: Up to 36 months
Funding Available: Up to $240,000
- Maximum of $80,000 per year
- Reduced amounts in years 2 and 3, supported by the self-sufficiency plan
- 4. Expansion of CAC services to a broader client base
This funding stream is targeted to existing CACs wishing to expand their reach to a broader client base, including through the creation of satellite offices. Applications from organizations wishing to create a satellite office in formal partnership with a CAC can also be considered.
Possible activities include:
- Identifying necessary partners and support for the proposed expansion;
- Developing of a focused response, in collaboration with Indigenous partners, to meet the needs of Indigenous children, youth and their families;
- Developing satellite offices to existing CACs in smaller communities. Satellite offices should include a child-friendly facility, a victim advocate and on-site forensic interviewing; and
- Expanding services in urban centres to serve a greater number of clients. Funding would support space for a child-friendly facility, hiring of a victim advocate, on-site forensic interviewing and related administration costs.
Duration: Up to 36 months
Funding Available: Up to $300,000
- Maximum of $100K per year
- 5. Building and Strengthening Networks
Projects under this stream will support the creation and maintenance of provincial, territorial or regional networks of CACs.
Networks are expected to build capacity among CACs, support consistent service delivery grounded in promising practices, promote the development of consistent tools and resources, and share information with other networks regarding policies and practices related to child abuse response.
Duration: Up to 36 months
Funding Available: Up to $150,000
- A maximum of $50,000 per year
- 6. Capacity Building and Training
Projects under this stream will support the development and delivery of training and capacity-building initiatives for CACs. Training should incorporate best practices and address needs identified by CAC practitioners and partners.
Possible training and capacity-building activities that could be supported include the development of tools and resources, the organization of national meetings or conferences, and the delivery of training sessions.
Duration: Up to 36 months
Funding Available: Up to $600,000
- A maximum of $200,000 per year.
* An application for the development of a national association for CACs could be considered under this funding stream. Return to footnote * referrer
Points to Consider
- Please note that certain streams are only open to existing CACs.
- Organizations may apply to more than one activity stream. Should you wish to do so, it is imperative that each stream is clearly identified throughout the application by activity and reflected in the budget.Footnote *
- Capital cost expenditures are eligible up to a maximum of $30,000 per year for non-governmental organizations to:
- purchase and/or install equipment used to promote the participation of child and youth victims in the criminal justice system through the establishment or enhancement of a Child Advocacy Centre; and,
- build and/or soundproof an interview room for child and youth victims/witnesses.
- This funding is available as of April 1, 2018.
* Please note that if you choose to request funding from more than one activity stream, the total amount of funding of all streams cannot exceed $500,000 per year. Return to footnote * referrer
When is the deadline to submit a funding application?
The deadline to submit applications under this Call for Proposals is noon (12:00 p.m.) Pacific Time (PT), December 15th, 2017.
How to Apply for Funding
In support of Section 41 of the Official Languages Act, the Department is committed to facilitating the participation of official language minority communities and their organizations in the development and assessment of the Department's policies, programs and services having significant impact on the development of the communities; and to take measures to ensure that the Department of Justice's programs and services reach official language minority communities. In the context of project funding, these measures include:
- outreach to official language minority communities to enhance their understanding of the Department of Justice funding programs; and
- encouraging contacts between organizations that are receiving financial assistance and official language minority organizations/groups to ensure that the needs of these communities are taken into consideration in relation to the proposed projects to be considered for Department of Justice Canada funding.
The Department of Justice encourages applicants to submit proposals electronically. If you submit your application on paper, please consider printing on both sides of the paper. These actions will minimize environmental impacts.
Publications and Resources
- Evidence Supporting National Guidelines for Canada's Child Advocacy Centres - Lorne D. Bertrand, Ph.D., Joanne J. Paetsch, B.A., John-Paul Boyd, M.A., LL.B., Nicholas Bala, LL.M., F.R.S.C
This project reviews national and international research to provide the evidence, background and context to support the rationale for each of the ten draft guidelines proposed for Canadian Child Advocacy Centres.
If you would like to receive a copy of this report, please send an email to email@example.com
- Information on developing a child advocacy centre is also available on the US National Children's Alliance (NCA) website at: http://www.nationalchildrensalliance.org/.
What can I expect from a funding agreement?
The following guide is designed as a reference tool to help funding recipients better understand and comply with the financial requirements described in contribution agreements. It is recommended that recipients review this handbook at the onset of their funding agreement.
For more information about the CAC Initiative and how to apply for funding, contact us:
Victims Fund Manager
Department of Justice Canada
284 Wellington Street, 6th Floor
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0H8
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