About

Big Bear

CYAC

Big Bear Child & Youth Advocacy Centre is being developed by a dedicated and committed Advisory Committee working together - Big Bear CYAC Society, Kamloops RCMP, Ministry for Children & Family Development, Secwépemc Child & Family Services, Interior Health, DAA Lii Michif Otipemisiwak Family and Community Services (LMOFCS), City of Kamloops, and Thompson Rivers University (Canada Research Chair in Culture and Communities: Children and the Law)

About Big Bear CYAC

Big Bear Child & Youth Advocacy Centre is being developed by a dedicated and committed Advisory Committee working together - Big Bear CYAC Society, Kamloops RCMP, Ministry for Children & Family Development, Secwépemc Child & Family Services, Interior Health, DAA Lii Michif Otipemisiwak Family and Community Services (LMOFCS), City of Kamloops, and Thompson Rivers University (Canada Research Chair in Culture and Communities: Children and the Law)

What is a Child & Youth Advocacy Centre?

Children and youth who have experienced maltreatment undergo a challenging involvement with the criminal justice system; in many cases, this involvement is extremely traumatic for the child/youth and their families. Child Advocacy Centres/Child & Youth Advocacy Centres (CACs/CYACs) address these challenges by providing a coordinated and collaborative approach to support children, youth and their families.

The goal of a CYAC is to have a child-friendly facility where a Multidisciplinary team (MDT) is created that includes law enforcement, child protection, prosecution, mental health, medical and victim advocacy professionals so they can work together to investigate abuse while making support to children, youth and their family top priority.

The CAC concept was developed in the United States almost 40 years ago; there are now almost 1,000 CACs in the United States and CACs are operating in over 20 countries worldwide. Canada has almost 40 centres either open or in development; the Department of Justice Canada chairs a national network of CACs in response to the continual interest expressed by a number of Canadian CACs and communities wanting to develop one.

Developing a CYAC for the BC Interior

The Big Bear CYAC (BBCYAC) is in development with a development Steering Committee comprised of Kamloops RCMP, Ministry for Children & Family Development, Secwépemc Child & Family Services, Interior Health, City of Kamloops, DAA Lii Michif Otipemisiwak Family and Community Services (LMOFCS), and Thompson Rivers University. BBCYAC is funded by the Department of Justice Canada and the Community Safety and Crime Prevention Branch of the Government of BC. BBCYAC is part of the National Network and has Steering membership with the Provincial CYAC Network.

The BBCYAC’s mission is to provide a collaborative response to child maltreatment through advocacy, intervention and continued support in a child-friendly environment. This approach involves all investigative services working together under one roof, at a single facility. Before the investigation process begins at the BBCYAC, the child and family will be supported through each step of the process.

Having a multi-disciplinary team in one building will strengthen communication between agencies and enhance efficiency in case-tracking and case management. The BBCYAC will strengthen collaboration between agencies, bridge the gap of communication between agencies and increase referrals to support/healing services for ALL children and youth who have disclosed being maltreated while honouring their unique healing needs through the many amazing services that Kamloops and area offers.

The vision is to have a community where every child and youth is respected and heard, and child maltreatment is not tolerated.

The BBCYAC is in year two of its 4-year strategic development plan. Since the BBCYAC just attained its charitable recognition, we will now begin our fundraising launch this fall that will go towards year 3 & 4 of its development. Stay tuned for updates on this website and/or follow us on facebook.

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.

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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.

Contact Us