Child Advocacy Centres Initiative

The Victims Fund - Child Advocacy Centres Initiative is not currently accepting new proposals. Please check this web site periodically for updates.


The Federal Victims Strategy consolidates all federal government work related to victims of crime into one objective: to give victims a more effective voice in the criminal justice system.

The Victims Fund provides grants and contributions to support projects and activities that encourage the development of new approaches, promote access to justice, improve the capacity of service providers, foster the establishment of referral networks, and/or increase awareness of services available to victims of crime and their families. The Fund does not provide criminal injuries compensation for victims of crime.

Child Advocacy Centres (CACs) are funded by the Victims Fund. They provide a coordinated approach to addressing the needs of child and youth victims and/or witnesses in the criminal justice system. CACs seek to minimize system-induced trauma by providing a single, child-friendly setting for young victims or witnesses and their families to seek services.

Who is eligible?

Funding is available for non-governmental organizations who wish to create or enhance a child advocacy centre. This funding cannot be provided to individuals.
There are three main priorities for this funding:

  • To support the creation of new child advocacy centres;
  • To support new child advocacy centres that are under development or in the early phases of development; and,
  • To support enhancements to existing child advocacy centres or similar models of service.

Proposals from jurisdictions that do not currently have an existing child advocacy centre or one in development will be given priority.


The objectives of the Victims Fund are to:

  • promote access to justice and participation by victims in the justice system;
  • promote the development of law, policies and programs for victims;
  • promote the implementation of principles, guidelines and laws designed to address the needs of victims of crime and articulate the victim's role in the criminal justice system;
  • increase knowledge and awareness of the impact of victimization, the needs of victims of crime, available services, assistance and programs, and relevant legislation;
  • encourage governmental and non-governmental organizations to identify victim needs and gaps in services, and develop and deliver programs, services and assistance to victims; and,
  • promote capacity-building within non-governmental organizations.

The Child Advocacy Centres (CACs) initiative provides funding to a limited number of victim-serving, non-governmental organizations (NGO) whose programs and activities are aligned with the Victims Fund and Government of Canada priorities. 

Child Advocacy Centres (CACs) provide a coordinated approach to addressing the needs of young victims or witnesses to crime in the criminal justice system. CACs seek to minimize system-induced trauma by providing a single, child-friendly setting for young victims or witnesses and their families to seek services .
A CAC is a community-based program, designed to meet the unique needs of the particular community in which it is located. Consequently, no two centres are alike but each CAC has a number of elements in common, including:

  • A multi-disciplinary team that includes law enforcement, child protection services, prosecution, mental health services, victim advocacy services and the child advocacy centre;
  • Child focused setting;
  • Forensic interviewing;
  • Victim advocacy and support, including court support;
  • Specialized medical evaluation and treatment;
  • Specialized trauma-focused mental health services;
  • Cultural competency and diversity;
  • Case review and tracking; and,
  • Organizational capacity.

Training and education for professionals working with child abuse victims and community education and outreach are also considered to be important activities that CACs undertake.
For more information on these elements (which reflect the standards developed by the National Children's Alliance), please consult the US National Children's Alliance (NCA) website at:


What types of projects qualify for this funding?

Funding is available for feasibility studies, planning and development activities as well as for providing services or enhancing services to children and youth. Funding will be considered for the following types of expenses:

  • Wages and benefits
  • Rental or leasing of space and equipment
  • Consultant and/or contractor fees
  • Reasonable operating expenses
  • Capital cost expenditures up to a maximum of $30,000 per year to acquire equipment used to promote the participation of child and youth victims in the criminal justice system through the establishment or enhancement of a child advocacy centre.

The Victims Fund can provide multi-year funding for up to 2 years. Funding is dependent on the scope and nature of the proposed project.

The funding cannot be used for:

  • Capital expenses (eg. purchases of land, buildings, and vehicles)
  • Retroactive funding
  • On-going cost or core operational expenses

Points to Consider

Please note that funding is limited, and therefore, not all eligible proposals will be funded.
The Department of Justice thanks you for taking the time to complete and submit an application for funding.

When is the deadline to submit a funding application?

There is no deadline for submitting funding applications under this initiative. Proposals are approved, in part, based on the availability of funding.

How to Apply for Funding

To apply for funding, please fill out the Funding Application Form.

Official Languages

In support of Section 41 of the Official Languages Act, the Department is committed to facilitating the participation of official language minority communities and their organizations in the development and assessment of the Department's policies, programs and services having significant impact on the development of the communities; and to take measures to ensure that the Department of Justice's programs and services reach official language minority communities. In the context of project funding, these measures include:

  • outreach to official language minority communities to enhance their understanding of the Department of Justice funding programs; and
  • encouraging contacts between organizations that are receiving financial assistance and official language minority organizations/groups to ensure that the needs of these communities are taken into consideration in relation to the proposed projects to be considered for Department of Justice Canada funding.

Sustainable Development

The Department of Justice encourages applicants to submit proposals electronically. If you submit your application on paper, please consider printing on both sides of the paper. These actions will minimize environmental impacts.

Publications and Resources

What can I expect from a funding agreement?

The following guide is designed as a reference tool to help funding recipients better understand and comply with the financial requirements described in contribution agreements. It is recommended that recipients review this handbook at the onset of their funding agreement.

Contribution Funds for Non-Governmental Organizations, a Handbook

Contact Information

Where is more information available?

For more information about the CAC Initiative and how to apply for funding, contact us:
Victims Fund Manager
Programs Branch
Department of Justice Canada
284 Wellington Street, 6th Floor
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0H8

Telephone: 613-941-4193
Fax: 613-941-2269
Last update: April 4, 2013

Date modified: