Wood Buffalo is close to getting its first Child and Youth Advocacy Centre.
Waypoints is set to renovate their old Unity House downtown with construction expected to start this week and finish sometime this summer.
CYAC Manager Janine Keagan tells Mix News this will allow the RCMP and children services to conduct forensic interviews in a more comfortable setting.
“The goal of the interview is to use techniques… gather accurate and extensive memory recall about abuse which also limits the impact of trauma on the child or youth.”
A child therapist will also be on hand.
As for the renovations, Keagan says they’re working on making the facility as comfortable as possible so youth find it easier to discuss any issue.
“We’re creating spaces where people feel not only emotionally and physically safe but culturally safe – we don’t want anyone to have any feelings of discomfort or unease when they’re in there.”
This will be a referral system through the RCMP and Children Services.
Meanwhile, the province is changing its funding model for these child centres.
“Every year we would have to re-apply for that funding in hopes of getting it, however, the funding process has changed where they’ve extended it to only having to apply once every three years,” added Keagan.
By the 2022-23 fiscal year, Waypoints could receive up to $160,200 for the CYAC.