4.0 Conclusion

This report summarized the findings from the 2022–2023 CAC/CYAC National Operational Survey. All CACs/CYACs reported serving children and youth aged three to 15 years, although some centres served children and youth younger than three and/or older than 15 years. Centres were more likely to have served children and youth who had experienced physical and/or sexual abuse than other types of child abuse. CACs/CYACs reported having multiple types of service providers as part of their MDT; the most commonly reported types of service providers were child protection workers, law enforcement officers, CAC/CYAC staff members, advocates, and victim services workers. The services most likely to be offered by CACs/CYACs were forensic interviews, which were most commonly offered on-site, as well as mental health services and victim/family support and advocacy. Most CACs/CYACs reported that they received a portion of their funding from federal and provincial/territorial funding or from the private sector or donors; however, the majority of centres reported challenges with securing enough sustainable funding to cover operating costs, such as the costs of facilities and staffing. Overall, CACs/CYACs reported great success with the relationships they have with their MDT partners and the use of the CAC/CYAC model, both of which were reported as helpful in effectively supporting children, youth and their families.

This report provides national data about the CACs/CYACs that participated in the survey and showcase how centres adapted the CAC/CYAC model to respond to the unique needs of the communities they serve. However, it is important to remember that not every CAC/CYAC responded to the survey. As a result, the survey results should not be interpreted as a full national picture of CACs/CYACs in Canada.

There were also challenges with the data collection, despite efforts to mitigate these issues before the survey was circulated. CACs/CYACs were not able to provide all the data requested, nor did they all have access to the data requested in the survey, given that they had different reporting mechanisms and data sharing agreements, which may or may not have prevented them from receiving or accessing MDT partner data. This finding highlights the need for continued efforts to improve national data collection, including the development of national data requirements, which should include short and long-term outcomes. Work is underway within Provincial Networks of CACs/CYACs to adopt regional standardized approaches to defining key concepts and collecting data, and the Research Subcommittee of the National Network of CACs/CYACs is beginning to explore how to improve data collection at the national level.