2.0 Method

The design of the 2022–2023 CAC/CYAC National Operational Survey was adapted from the 2014 national operational survey questions.3 Some of those questions were modified to address that CACs/CYACs differ in what data they collect and have access to, and have different operational definitions for certain key concepts, such as “victim services workers” or “child, youth and family advocates.” The survey was also expanded to include questions on CAC/CYAC structures, client characteristics, forensic interviewers, support dogs, virtual testimony, educational services, case outcomes, annual budgets, and CAC/CYAC successes and challenges.

A draft version of the survey was sent for feedback to the Research Subcommittee of the National Network of CACs/CYACs, which includes CAC/CYAC representatives and affiliated researchers. Next, the draft survey was piloted in four sites across the country.4 Once finalized, the survey was programmed into Simple Survey, an online survey platform.

The survey was distributed to CACs/CYACs through the National Network of CACs/CYACs, and was initially open from October 11, 2022 to November 8, 2022. Due to a low response rate, several rounds of targeted emails were sent to CACs/CYACs, and the data collection period was extended until April 14, 2023. In total, 35 CACs/CYACs responded to the survey.

Survey results were compiled into a summary report via Simple Survey, and the qualitative data were analyzed to identify common themes. A draft version of this report was shared with the CACs/CYACs who participated in this survey to ensure the findings for their centre are accurately presented. Responding organizations named in this report have given their permission to do so.

2.1 Limitations

Thirty-five out of 51 CACs/CYACs responded to the survey, representing a 69% overall response rate. The response rate was lower for the following variables: the number of criminal investigations that began, were ongoing or had concluded; the number of cases that were criminally investigated by offence type; the number of clients who had received mental health services; and the number of clients who had received assistance in preparing victim impact statements or seeking compensation. The lowest response rate concerned case outcomes and as a result, limited data on case outcomes are presented in this report.

While at times the results are presented by CAC/CYAC, they are not intended to be used to compare centres. Each individual organization has their own unique location, clientele, partnerships, funding and available services. In addition, it should be noted that for a number of questions, respondents were asked to provide information on activities that occurred within their last fiscal year. While most organizations operated on an April 1st to March 31st fiscal year, a few operated on a calendar year, which means there was some variability in the reference timeframe used by organizations to respond to survey questions.