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Dangerous Place

July 6, 2013 permalink

The Child Advocacy Centre Niagara touts itself as a safe place for children and youth to speak to trained professionals. Given its association with partners including Niagara Regional Police Service, Family and Children’s Services Niagara, CACN Family Advocate, Family Counselling Centre Niagara and medical professionals, it looks like a place that facilitates separation of children from their families by force of arms. Children and youth should act with caution before approaching this agency.



Child Advocacy Centre Niagara – A Safe Place To Tell Your Secrets

(A Foreword from Niagara At Large – Unfortunately, one of the most serious problems facing some of our children in this country today, along with poverty and hunger, is physical and sexual abuse. Fortunately in this region, we have an organization in Niagara, Ontario called the Child Advocacy Centre Niagara, celebrating its fifth anniversary this 2013, here to help address it. NAL is therefore pleased to post this CACN story.)

Submitted To NAL by Antonietta Petrella

Child Advocacy Centre for Niagara
The Child Advocacy Centre for Niagara, Ontario, located in the Niagara community of St. Catharines.

For children and youth who are victims of child abuse, there is a safe place in the Niagara Region where they can speak to trained professionals.

Child Advocacy Centre Niagara (CACN) is a safe place to tell your secrets for children and youth who have been physically abused, sexually abused, become the targets of internet luring or were the unwilling witness of violence. Approaching its five year anniversary this fall, CACN has served more than 1,400 children and youth, and their families, from across the Niagara Region, helping them to cope with the life altering impact of child abuse.

At CACN, a caring team of professionals work together for the best interests of the children in a child-friendly setting that offers privacy and support. CACN’s partners include Niagara Regional Police Service, Family and Children’s Services Niagara, CACN Family Advocate, Family Counselling Centre Niagara, and medical professionals.

When a child arrives at the Centre, the child is accompanied by non-offending family members or caregivers. The child is able to provide the details of their abuse in a private, comfortable environment that respects their vulnerability and offers caring support. A video recorded forensic interview happens only when the child is ready. These interviews aid in the investigation and prosecution of perpetrators. After the interviews, follow-up counselling for children and non-offending family members is provided.

CACN is the first dedicated facility of its kind in Canada where multidisciplinary services are coordinated in the best interest of the child. The Centre’s approach to child abuse investigation is recognized as evidence based, and a best practice model. CACN receives no fixed government funding and depends on community support and fundraising to continue serving the children and youth of Niagara’s twelve municipalities.

Advocacy centres have a real impact that is measurable not just in terms of benefits to victims and their families, but also in dollars. Research by the National Children’s Alliance in the United States confirms that an investigation into a child abuse case in a community with a child advocacy centre is 45% less expensive than in a community without one.

For more information about Child Advocacy Centre Niagara, or to donate, please visit .

Antonietta Petrella is a Niagara, Ontario resident, the author of this post, a fundraiser and administrative assistant for the Child Advocacy Centre Niagara.

One Response to Child Advocacy Centre Niagara – A Safe Place To Tell Your Secrets

This is a great read. . In fact I think it is delightful if what has been described here is all true and forthright.

One problem I see is that there is virtually no third party accountability of the organizations mentioned above. With over 612 children who have died in Ontario Foster Care in a period of five years with no third party investigation ( ie the Ombudsman of Ontario) or even the review of the old grand jury system we have a problem people. Justice is firmly in the hands of the few who will defend children at all costs personally and professionally. When I hear or read the word “trained professionals” it scares the daylights out of me as the so called trained professionals act in their own self interest and not necessarily in the interest of children. We do not have a Charter of Rights for Victims, we have a Charter of Rights for criminals and all professionals must provide those rights to criminals with little or no rights for victims.

Will this amazing sounding service actually help? We will never really know since the only information we will ever hear about this amazing sounding institution are the people who provide public relations services for the Child Advocacy Centre Niagara. I hope this great sounding institute is successful but I have no reason to believe it will operate in the interest of Children. I mean no disrespect to the French Family who have loaned their good name to support for this institution but we as society must put children first, Always!

Source: Niagara At Large