The Umingmak Child and Youth Support Centre will be the first Child Advocacy Centre in Nunavut, a northern Canadian territory with a child abuse rate at 10 times the national average. The centre will address the needs of child victims of abuse providing a welcoming, central location, co-ordinating the efforts of service providers and supplying additional staff and services to support the child and family.
Children and youth in Nunavut experience abuse and maltreatment at 10 times the rate of other Canadian children. Nunavut has the highest rates of child sexual abuse in Canada. According to the Feasibility Study, it was found that there was a lack of coordination between services, the location for interviewing was not child-friendly, there was a lack of timely referrals, and there was no support for families/caregivers. It was also found that there was a need for culturally specific services.
ACYF took on the role to open Nunavut's 1st Child Advocacy Centre, also known as the Umingmak Centre. A one-stop child-centred and culturally-based space, created to provide support for victims following disclosures of child sexual abuse and to improve collaboration between service providers. The Centre will increase mental health services and referrals, increase access to medical consultations, and improve client satisfaction and supports. It will also reduce burden on each front line worker.
The Umingmak Centre will decrease the impacts of adverse childhood experiences (ACES), decrease incidences of risky health-related behaviours, and decrease the impacts of systemic trauma. There will be resources dedicated to improving response and community outreach with an increased understanding of the big picture. It will also reduce the number of child abuse interviews and increase data collection.