April 19, 2022
Toba Centre Announces $15 Million Campaign to Transform Services for Abused Children & Youth
Winnipeg, Manitoba (Tuesday, April 19, 2022): Toba Centre for Children & Youth today announced the launch of a $15 million capital campaign to create a new, multi-disciplinary child advocacy centre in Manitoba to ensure every victim of child abuse, and every child witness to violence, is heard, helped, and healed. At the campaign launch the Province of Manitoba announced a lead gift of $2 million for The We Will Capital Campaign. This will support Toba Centre’s relocation, expansion, and evolution into a first-of-its-kind child advocacy centre at a city-owned facility at 710 Assiniboine Park Drive in Assiniboine Park.
Situated within the beautiful natural setting of Assiniboine Park, Toba Centre has worked closely with its construction team, Bockstael Construction and Number TEN Architectural Group, to design a space that is child and youth friendly, trauma informed, and culturally appropriate.
“There are about 4,000 child abuse investigations in Manitoba each year, and many more that go unreported. Our current system operates in silos making it difficult for families to navigate and understand how to get help, how to pursue justice for their children, and how to heal,” says Christy Dzikowicz, Executive Director of Toba Centre for Children & Youth. “Without healing, there is no justice. The new Toba Centre is going to change the lives of children who are hurting. And I am so very grateful to the Province of Manitoba for their generous lead gift of $2 million. Together, with our partners and our community, we will transform how we respond to child abuse and we will pave a better future for Manitoba’s children.”
“Our government is proud to support Toba Centre and the essential work they do to support victims and their families in their healing process,” said Premier Heather Stefanson. “As Manitoba’s only child advocacy centre, with dedicated space to provide a child-focused model to assist law enforcement, child protection, mental health, medical and victim advocacy professionals, we are pleased to support its continued efforts to expand its services to those in need and build a brighter future for all Manitobans.”
The We Will Capital Campaign will enable Toba Centre to relocate and expand to 19,000 sq ft, enabling integration and co-location of child-centered services. The new Toba Centre will adopt best practices and learn from other established child advocacy centres to create a first-of-its-kind, made in Manitoba, centre of excellence. Services, including police, medical, social work, and other supports will be provided on site. Each discipline will be a critical element in the multidisciplinary team that works together to serve children and families and provide the necessary services. This coordinated response will serve to reduce potential trauma to children and families and improve services overall, while preserving and respecting the rights, mandates, and obligations of mandated agencies.
“We need to raise $15 million for a new Toba Centre. This is an opportunity to invite our generous Manitoban community in to help when children are hurt—to really build a village,” says Ken Talbot, Campaign Chair. “As a business leader, I could not walk away from the opportunity to help children and youth impacted by abuse. Over the past year we have seen incredible support for a new community-led response to child abuse. Manitobans want to help. Today’s lead gift of $2 million from the province shows their confidence that this facility is desperately needed and will make an enormous difference for Manitobans. The campaign cabinet has worked hard and while we have another $5 million in the pipeline from community leaders, we have a long way to go to reach our goal. We look forward to receiving support from many more Manitobans and sharing some big announcements in the coming months.”
With this new centre, children and their care providers will visit one location to receive the full continuum of services. They will be provided with consistent and continuous support from the point of intake and throughout their journey towards healing and recovery.
This new Toba Centre invites community support to a dire community issue and completely shifts the culture of how we respond to child abuse. With this new centre, we will put the needs of children first, we will work to restore childhood, we will help when it’s needed most.
We Will For Children.
We Will For Families.
We Will For Manitoba.
We Will…because we have to! Will you join our efforts?
We Will Capital Campaign Cabinet
Ken Talbot, Chair
The new Toba Centre is currently under construction and set to open in spring of 2023.
About Toba Centre for Children & Youth
Toba Centre for Children & Youth opened in 2013 offering a safe, neutral, family-friendly setting to coordinate forensic interviews for children and youth who had been abused. Over 2,500 interviews have been conducted to date. Toba Centre is now set to evolve into a full-service child advocacy centre for Manitoba. The We Will Capital Campaign is set to raise $15 million for the new centre located at 710 Assiniboine Park Drive.
Backgrounder on Toba Centre & Child Advocacy Centres
Learn more about Toba Centre’s leadership team, child abuse in Manitoba, societal impacts, and what a child advocacy centre (CAC) does.