News and Community Events

Introducing Big Bear Child & Youth Advocacy Project to our Community (Sept 8/18 KTW ad)

By September 12, 2019 September 27th, 2019 No Comments

Pictured above are: Tracy Scott (Interior Health), Tara Ettinger (Big Bear Project Coordinator), Dr. Denise Chapple (Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect Clinic), Natasha Marshall (Secwepemc Child and Family Services) & Ben Chobater (City of Kamloops).

Big Bear Child & Youth Advocacy Centre’s Steering members that were unable to be in photo include: Cst. Celina Gammie (RCMP), Sr. Staff Sgt. Robert Daly (RCMP), Nadine Ryan (Director of Operations, MCFD), Brian Young (Director of Operations, MCFD), Brad Anderson (Corporate Director of Aboriginal Health), Dr. Heather Price (Canada Research Chair in Culture and Communities, Children and the Law, TRU)

For a child who has been abused, sexually assaulted or witnessed domestic violence, Kamloops is working on having a warm, child and youth friendly space for them to tell their stories.

We are thrilled to announce a project in Kamloops that has been in the works for a couple years now. 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 – we would like to introduce the soon to be: Big Bear Child and Youth Advocacy Centre (BB CYAC)! We are also excited to share our on-going support and to be the recipients of $544,000 from Department of Justice Canada to be used over the next four years, and the Community Safety and Crime Prevention Branch of the Government of British Columbia Civil Forfeiture Office Grant of $50,000.

The BB CYAC’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 BB CYAC, the child and family will be supported through each step of the process. This centre will provide a child-focused setting, including playrooms, toys, and support animals. Having a multi-disciplinary team in one building will strengthen communication between agencies and enhance efficiency in case-tracking and case management. The Big Bear Child and Youth Advocacy Centre will strengthen collaboration between agencies, bridge the gap of communication between agencies and increase 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! The vision is to have a community where every child and youth is respected and heard, and child maltreatment is not tolerated. For more info and BB CYAC development plans, refer to our website.

“When agencies and organizations come together in the spirit of collaboration, we strengthen our ability to respond to child maltreatment and support children, youth and their families during an incredibly difficult period in their lives. I am very proud that the Government of Canada is supporting the vital work of the Big Bear Child and Youth Advocacy Centre and their commitment to providing coordinated, child-friendly investigations and services in a safe environment.”

The Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, P.C., Q.C., M.P. Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada Thank you. On October 5/17 we held a Community Agency Forum and we would like to acknowledge and thank: the City of Kamloops for the Social Planning Grant and venue, Nicole McCurdy (TRU School of Nursing student) for helping with coordinating the forum, Dr. Heather Price (TRU), Jocelyn Barratt (Clinical SW/Coordinator (Acting) Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect (SCAN Team)) & 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 (Member of the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc) for the beautiful Opening & Welcoming Prayer, Brooke McLardy of the Vernon Oak Child Advocacy Centre for coming to Kamloops to present on their CYAC model & to all the guests – thank you for attending and providing such valuable feedback and support towards the development of the CYAC.