Toba Centre for Children & Youth is Manitoba’s only child advocacy centre, focusing on the needs of children and youth who have experienced physical and/or sexual abuse or witnessed violence. We coordinate and collaborate with our partners (police, child and family services, victim services) to address the needs of children and their families at the time of the child’s interview, providing a better and less traumatic response. Our model is child-focused and designed to foster best practices in child abuse investigations. We are in the process of transforming our current response to child abuse, growing and evolving our organization to serve our community better.
What is a Child Advocacy Centre?
Child advocacy centres feature child-friendly spaces in which law enforcement, child protection, prosecution, mental health, medical and victim advocacy professionals work together to investigate abuse, help children heal from abuse, and hold offenders accountable.
This model was developed in the USA in the 1980s. It was created to reduce the amount of stress placed on child and youth victims during sexual abuse investigations and to address the lack of coordination between social services and the criminal justice system that has required victims to repeat their stories during multiple interviews by different agencies, often conducted by staff who are not trained in child development.
What we do
In common with other child advocacy centres, Toba Centre shares the belief that the combined wisdom of professional knowledge and disciplines will result in a more complete understanding of the case and the most effective child-focused system response. Our centre provides an opportunity for police, child and family services, and Toba Centre’s forensic interviewers and case navigators to come together in one location for the purpose of the forensic interview and supporting the child and their care providers in their healing journey.
It is our job,
everyday, to look for
ways to better
impacted by abuse
and to lead systemic
change. We take that
Each year there
are more than
of reported child abuse and neglect in Canada.
Child abuse is anything that intentionally endangers the development, security or survival of a child; the act of emotionally, sexually or physically harming a child.
Source: Zebra Child Protection Centre and Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre.
Toba Centre employs highly skilled and experienced forensic interviewers who conduct child victim and witness interviews. These interviews are conducted in a manner that is developmentally and culturally sensitive, and of a neutral, fact-finding nature. Our forensic interviewers adhere to best-practices, creating an interview environment that enhances free recall, minimizes interviewer influence, and gathers information needed by all partner agencies to avoid duplicative interviewing.
The objective of the Case Navigator Program at Toba Centre is to ensure that the well-being and recovery of children who have experienced abuse or witnessed violence, and that of their families/caregivers, is prioritized. Case Navigators provide consistent and continuous support to children and families/caregivers as they navigate both the systems involved in the response to child abuse, as well as their individual journeys towards healing and justice.