As a community, we all have a role to play protecting children.
Children rely on the adults around them to keep them safe and to intervene when there are concerns that they may not be safe.
If you are worried about a child or family you know, consider taking some of the steps outlined below and/or contact Child and Family Services.
If you are worried about a child or family you know:
- Reach out through phone calls, text, or video chat. Ask questions about how their day has been, what they have been doing, whether they have any worries or concerns right now.
- Spend time with them. This includes playing games or watching a movie or tv show (online/virtually or in-person).
- Pay attention to their social media posts. Youth or adults may post about their frustrations, fears, or worries online. Follow up directly with the youth or adult if you are concerned about their post and how they are doing.
- Encourage self-care activities. Examples include dancing or listening to music, taking deep breaths, or watching the clouds.
- Provide information about community resources. Give children and youth the number for Kids Help Phone (1-800-668-6868). Adults can reach out to Canadian Mental Health Association (204-775-6442), Crisis Response Centre (204-940-9781) or Klinic Crisis Line (204-786-8686).
If you are not able to take any of the above steps, or you remain worried about a child or family after connecting with them, contact Child and Family Services (CFS).
If a child discloses abuse to you, listen carefully, assure the child that they did the right thing by telling an adult, and affirm that they are not responsible for what happened. It’s also important to stay calm and let the child use their own words to tell what happened. If a child discloses to you, if you witness a child being harmed or see evidence of abuse, you have a responsibility to report it to CFS.
You do not need to have proof or be certain that a child is unsafe prior to calling CFS – just call and explain why you are worried. Once a call is made, it is the role of CFS to assess the concerns and the child’s safety and connect families with any needed supports.
If you are worried about a child, call CFS at 1-866-345-9241.
Resources for Families
Canadian Centre for Child Protection
The Canadian Centre provides programs and resources to help prevent child victimization.
New Directions for Children, Youth, Adults & Families
New Directions offers services, including therapy for children and families recovering from sexual abuse.
Jordan’s Principle is a federal program that ensures all First Nations children living in Canada have access to the products, services, and supports to meet their health, social, and educational needs.
Marymound Sexual Abuse Treatment Program
Marymound Sexual Abuse Treatment Program offers specialized therapy to children (ages 4-18) and families who have experienced sexual abuse.
Knowles Centre Sexual Abuse Treatment Program
Knowles Centre offers a specialized therapy program for children/youth (ages 4-21) and families who have experienced sexual abuse.
Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre
Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre offers a variety of culturally relevant prevention and support programs to families in Winnipeg.
Family Dynamics offers services to families, including counselling, in-home support, behaviour support, and more.
Specialized Services for Children and Youth (SSCY)
SSCY offers various supports and services to Manitoba children and youth with disabilities and special needs, as well as their families.