David Wilks, MP for Kootenay-Columbia was in Nelson today to announce $350,000 in funding for the Kootenay Boundary Community Services Co-operative to improve and expand services for young victims of abuse.
The funding will be used by the organization to develop and implement a rural model of delivering services available through a Child Advocacy Centre in the communities of Nelson, Castlegar, Trail, Nakusp and Grand Forks.
This project builds on a feasibility study undertaken by the organization in 2011 that found a need for improved services and a more coordinated response from professionals for young victims of abuse living in rural areas of the region.
This project will bring together a multi-disciplinary team from existing service providers to respond to cases of abuse. Local coordinators will be hired to ensure that protocols are developed, evaluated and updated as necessary, and to act as a family liaison where needed.
In addition, a regional coordinator will manage the project, liaise with community partners, develop and distribute resources and coordinate regional training and the development of regional policies, procedures and protocols. Local facilities will also be upgraded to make them child-friendly and to ensure they are accessible at all times.
The funding will be provided to the Kootenay Boundary Community Services Co-operative over two years, $175,000 for 2013/14 and $175,000 for 2014/15.
The funding is being provided by the Government of Canada through the Department of Justice Canada’s Victims Fund.
“Accessing effective services can be a challenge, especially for victims and families who live in rural areas. This funding to the Kootenay Boundary Community Services Co-operative will benefit young victims and their families in our area by building on local, existing services and improving the ability of regional service providers to work together effectively when responding to cases of abuse. This will make a real difference to victims of crime in our region, and will be a great improvement in gaining access to justice.” said Wilks.