Media Release on Todayville
As COVID-19 isolation has swept across our province every community has been faced with making the necessary changes to ensure health and safety of all. Everyone copes with change and stress differently and as Child Advocacy Centres’ (CAC) we are committed to our role of keeping children and youth in our community safe.
Typically, in the summer when school is out and children and youth are at home all the time and not attending school or after school programs we see a decline in reporting. Due to the COVID-19 health pandemic we are seeing this occur earlier and will likely see this continue for a longer period of time.
The yearly caseload at the Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre has been increasing year over year, this signifies a change within our community as people are recognizing their duty to report child abuse. In 2019, the Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre supported 459 children and youth, which was a 29.3 per cent increase from 2018. The CACAC has seen an 18 per cent decline in files over mid-March to mid-April from 2019 to 2020.
We need our community to continue recognizing the moral and legal obligation to report child abuse as this is a time where the typical safeguards for children and youth who experience abuse are impacted.
Alberta is home to eight CAC’s across the province that are providing support to children and youth who have experienced abuse. Each of these centres’ are fully operational or in various stages of future development. The Child Advocacy Centres’ of Alberta are urging their communities to take action as we all have a responsibility to keep children and youth in our community safe. Each of us need to equip ourselves with the tools to recognize child abuse and speak up for our children. Each community and Alberta as a whole can work together to ensure every child is heard and believed and do our part in being their voice when they need us most. To learn more about how to recognize child abuse and how you can help those in your community visit albertacacs.ca.
CAC’s are a safe place where children and youth who have experienced abuse can go to tell their story and be supported throughout the entire disclosure, investigation, judicial and healing journey. By supporting children, youth and their non-offending caregivers we provide them with customized supports that best suit their needs and will allow them to heal at their own pace