Big Bear Child & Youth Advocacy Centre - Soon in Kamloops BC









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Big Bear CYAC Development Committee


In partnership with Kamloops RCMP, Ministry for Children & Family Development, Secwépemc Child & Family Services, Interior Health, City of Kamloops, and Thompson Rivers University’s Canada Research Chair in Culture and Communities: Children and the Law 

Proudly Supported & Funded By:


Department of Justice Canada (2018)

Big Bear Development Strategic Planning


About Big Bear Child & Youth Advocacy Centre

How We're Helping


Mult-disciplinary Team working together to collaborate our response to child/youth maltreatment investigations and making children and youth our top priority. 

Our Mission


As we continue to develop the Child & Youth Advocacy Centre we are guided by: 

Our Vision - To have a community where all children & youth are respected and heard and maltreatment is not tolerated. 

Our Mission - To provide a collaborative response to child maltreatment through advocacy, intervention and continued support in a child-friendly environment. 

Thank You


Whether you help through monetary donations, volunteering your time, or spreading our mission through word-of-mouth, thank you. We couldn't accomplish our goals without the help of supporters like you. 


CYAC Model (Artwork, Chicago CAC

Additional Information

In response to the additional trauma that children/youth experience through abuse disclosures, CYACs are promoted as best-practice (McDonald, Scrim & Rooney, 2016). A CYAC has the opportunity to support the child to create better outcomes for the victims, the investigation process and society alike. 

CYAC’s were developed in the United States over 30 years ago ​to minimize system-induced trauma that often occur during ‘traditional’ investigation methods (Department of Justice Canada, 2013).​ There are now over 1000 centres successfully operating in the U.S. Support for the maltreated child/youth is prioritized in CYACs and it encompasses the use of a multidisciplinary team and thorough case management (McDonald, Scrim & Rooney, 2016). The Canadian Government is promoting communities to adopt this ‘best-practice’ model and specifically design it to meet individual community needs (Department of Justice Canada, 2016).

There are approximately 38 Advocacy Centres that are open or in development in Canada. 

McDonald, S., Scrim, K., & Rooney, L. (2016). Building our capacity: Children’s advocacy cen- tres in Canada. Victims of Crime Research Digest, 6. Retrieved from

Government of Canada, Department of Justice. (2013). Just facts. Retrieved from

Government of Canada, Department of Justice. (2016). Child advocacy centres initiative. Retrieved from

Big Bear Child & Youth Advocacy Centre

Why the name: 'Big Bear' ?

Different animals and their Indigenous meanings were presented to several children and youth (who represented a diversity of cultural/ethnic/gender/age backgrounds). 100% of the children and youth liked the meaning of THE BEAR: strength, confidence, standing up against adversity & having a healing spirit. They also liked the fact that bears are often seen in our communities. One youth suggested a name for the CYAC as 'The Big Bear Centre' - it was 100% unanimous - all the children and youth loved this name. 

So...The Big Bear Child & Youth Advocacy Centre it is!


The Big Bear Child & Youth Advocacy Centre will provide a coordinated approach with child maltreatment investigations. This centre will provide a child-friendly environment and a mult-disciplinary team that works collaboratively to ensure the child/youth is seen as most important. 


The Big Bear Child and Youth Advocacy Centre will strengthen collaboration between agencies, bridge the gap of communication between agencies and will enhance referrals for ALL children and youth who have disclosed being maltreated while honouring their unique healing needs through the many amazing services that Kamloops has to offer! 

Child Abuse is Wrong: What can I do?

This booklet (Department of Justice Canada) is for the parents or guardians of children. It talks about child abuse in families. It answers questions about the law on child abuse in Canada. It may also be useful even if you are not a parent, but you believe a child you know is being abused.

This link has both the HTML and PDF versions:


Kamloops & BC Provincial CYAC Network

Photo: BC CYAC Steering Committee at Provincial Roundtable Jan/18


BC CYAC Steering Committee:

- Big Bear CYAC (Kamloops - in development)  * Tara Ettinger

- Vernon Oak CYAC  * Brooke McLardy 

- Kelowna CYAC (in development)  

- First Nations CYAC - Carrier Sekani Family Services (Prince George - in development) * Mary Teegee, Mabel Louie, Tracey Michell 

- Victoria CYAC * Sandra Bryce

- The Treehouse CYAC (Vancouver)  * Leah Zille 

- Sophie's Place (Surrey)  * Judy Krawchuk 

- Safe Kids and Youth Coordinate Response (SKY -  West Kootenay) * Lynda Dechief 

- Alisa's Wish CYAC (Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows)  * Colette Madsen 

* AND - Community Safety and Crime Prevention Branch

Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General 


                                                                                                                                    Photo below:                            

                                                                                                            Tracy Scott  (Interior Health & Big Bear

                                                                                                            Development Committee Member) - Presenting at                                                                                                           Provincial Roundtable.

Tracy Scott (Interior Health & Big Bear Steering Member) - Presenting at Provincial Roundtable

National CYAC Network


Canadian CYAC Movement

"In a few short years there has been a significant increase in the number of Child & Youth Advocacy Centres across Canada, with almost 40 centres open, or 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 CYACs in Canada. The development of CYACs is transforming the system"

(Canadian CYAC National Network)


How is Kamloops involved at a National level?

Big Bear CYAC is a part of the National CYAC network and is also taking a lead role in the development of a National CAC/CYAC Program Training Manual for Victim Advocates & support services. - National CYAC website

Community Forum


On October 5/17 we held a Community Agency Forum


We would like to acknowledge and thank: City of Kamloops Social Planning Grant and venue, Nicole McCurdy (TRU 4th yr. Nursing Student) for helping with coordinating the forum, Dr. Heather Price (TRU), Tara Ettinger (CYAC Coordinator), Jocelyn Barratt (SCAN) and the RCMP for their informative presentations, Dr. Price’s TRU Psychology Research Team for facilitating the Working Groups, and Frick & Frack for the great food and service! 

A special thank you to Leona Thomas for the beautiful Opening & Welcoming Prayer, Brooke McLardy from the Vernon Oak Child Advocacy Centre for coming to Kamloops to present on your CYAC model & to all the guests - thank you for attending and providing such valuable feedback and support towards the development of the CYAC! 

For More Information on the Development of the Big Bear Child & Youth Advocacy Centre:

Big Bear Website is currently being updated, stay tuned!