The Ontario government will spend $2 million on the Victim Crisis Assistance Ontario (VCAO) Program to ensure victims of crime and their families have access to the services and supports they need.
The funding will provide immediate support for 46 VCAO organizations across the province, including one in North Bay, to help them respond to the increased demand for front-line services.
Kathleen Jodouin, Executive Director of Victim Services of Nipissing District is pleased with the announcement.
"Victim Services of Nipissing District (VSND) provides immediate crisis response, emotional and practical support, access to resources, and assistance to victims in navigating systems in the days following an incident or tragedy," she told BayToday. "This funding ensures VSND can continue to provide these essential front-line supports to victims so they can focus on their healing journey. This is a good first step and we look forward to continuing our work with the Ontario Government to improve victim services."
"Crisis intervention services are the first point of contact for victims of crime," said Jane McKenna, Associate Minister of Children and Women’s Issues. "This is a critical time for victims who are seeking the safety to heal and rebuild their lives. That's why it's important to make sure local front-line services for victims and survivors across the province have the tools they need to properly respond to those in need."
The Victim Crisis Assistance Ontario program provides crisis intervention services to victims of crime and tragic circumstances 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
In addition to on-site crisis intervention, other services offered through the program include:
- Safety planning for all eligible victims of crime
- Referrals to appropriate community supports and services
- Needs assessments and customized service plans
- Assisting eligible victims with applications to the Victim Quick Response Program+
- Enhanced support for vulnerable victims
- Referrals to community agencies.
Victim Crisis Assistance Ontario is one of nine victim services programs recently transferred to the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services from the Ministry of the Attorney General. While the same front-line services providers will continue to provide seamless supports, this change will foster a more coordinated approach to victim services delivery.
Victim Crisis Assistance Ontario (VCAO) Program providers are located across the province and provide crisis intervention services to victims of crime and tragic circumstances 24 hours a day, seven days a week. To find the VCAO service provider closest to you, visit the online Victim Services Directory.