The Centre for Children's Justice and Victim Services
The Centre for Children's Justice and Victim Services (once called the Saskatoon Child Center) offers a child-friendly, neutral based facility where all of the "helping" professions can interact with abused children as a part of the investigative and criminal justice process.
Police Officers utilize the soft rooms to interview child victims. In 1999 the Saskatoon Child Center combined their efforts with the police based Victim Services program and developed the existing Centre for Children's Justice and Victim Services. Located at 76 – 25th Street East, police officers, civilian staff and volunteers offer service to victims of crime.
The Victim Services program in Saskatoon opened its doors in May of 1993. Since that time the program has grown and currently employs two staff members, 40 volunteers and two Aboriginal Resource Officers. Victim Services provides information, support and referrals to victims of crime and traumatic events. Their role is two-fold and may be described as facilitators and liaisons and help victims maneuver through the Criminal Justice System.
Victim Services provides victims with information and support so they can make the best choices for themselves while supporting them in those choices and validating what they might be feeling. Support workers provide victims with resources in the community such as counseling agencies, support groups, shelters and information about financial resources available.
In 1997, Victim Services began delivering services to victims in the rural areas surrounding Saskatoon. The RCMP proposed a partnership with Victim Services so that members of Saskatoon and Warman Detachments could utilize the services offered to the residents of Saskatoon. This partnership increased our population base by approximately 20,000 people.
The addition of the Aboriginal Resource Officers added an expertise on aboriginal issues. Many of the clients served are of aboriginal ancestry and in order to ensure a culturally appropriate and sensitive service for aboriginal victims, it is necessary to have such a resource available.
Victim Services deals with a wide range of incidents involving personal crimes such as assaults, sexual assaults, armed robbery, criminal harassment, and property crimes such as residential break and enters. We also provide assistance in tragic events such as suicides and fatal accidents. Of all the files they handle, a significant number involves domestic violence which is a strong indicator of its prevalence. Since 1993, client load has increased by over 100 clients per month. Contact is initiated with 400-500 victims monthly.
The volunteer support workers do the majority of service delivery to clients. They are well trained and highly skilled. All volunteers have passed a police security check and have signed an Oath of Secrecy, Code of Ethics and a contract that speaks to commitment and personal conduct. Every volunteer has completed a basic training program of approximately 35-50 hours of in-classroom training, delivered by community people with expertise and a minimum of 12 hours of shadowing with experienced support workers. Ongoing training is a requirement for all volunteers. Performance appraisals are conducted on all support workers on a yearly basis.
The expectations for volunteers are very high. This reflects the high level of their responsibilities, and need for professionalism. It is a uniquely hands on volunteer experience which offers a significant level of personal satisfaction and educational gain. Annual recruitment usually occurs in October.
In April 1999, Victim Services joined with the Saskatoon Child Centre to become part of the Centre for Children's Justice and Victim Services. The partnership has led to a more collaborative effort to provide services to children of alleged physical or sexual abuse.
Our offices are located at 76 – 25th Street East. Victim Services is open Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
For more information on the program:
Mail: P.O. Box 1728 Saskatoon, SK Canada S7K 3R6
Victim Impact Statement
A guide to completing Victim Impact Statement forms is available on the Saskatchewan Justice site. The forms can be picked up at the Victim Services office at 76 – 25th Street East.