Karyn Kennedy President & CEO

Boost Child & Youth Advocacy Centre staff and directors stand in awe of the children, youth and families we serve. The strength and resiliency they demonstrate each and every day is inspiring. Children and youth at our centre have endured things that most of us cannot imagine, yet they find it within themselves to not only survive but to thrive. At Boost CYAC, we are determined to provide support to families from the moment they walk in the door until they no longer need our help.
This year we have been fortunate to collaborate with a number of groups and organizations in our own community and beyond. Through these partnerships, we are exploring ground-breaking ways to extend the reach of our existing services and also respond effectively to gaps in service.
Boost CYAC is fierce in its desire to protect children and committed to providing the essential support each child deserves so that they may recover from the trauma of abuse and lead a happy, healthy life. I encourage you to have a look at some of our recent accomplishments.
As the weather warms, I wish you and your family a safe and happy summer. 
With gratitude,

President & CEO
Trauma-Informed Dance Intervention 

On January 19th, Boost CYAC announced a new collaborative project called  Sole Expression . A trauma-informed dance intervention, Sole Expression will  promote healing and well-being for youth (ages 12-17 years) who have experienced child abuse and/or domestic violence. 

Through the program, male and female youth will participate in dance programs that utilize hip-hop dance as a vehicle to reduce trauma symptoms.

Over the five-year term of this project, Boost CYAC, Ryerson University, Unity Charity and the Child Advocacy Centre Simcoe/Muskoka  will collaboratively develop, implement and evaluate a trauma-informed dance intervention that is innovative and creative.

Boost Accredited Reliable K9 Program

In April, Boost CYAC welcomed our newest staff members, accredited facility dogs, Iggy and Jersey.

Specially trained through National Service Dogs, Iggy and Jersey provide comfort and support to children and youth during forensic interviews, medical examinations, counselling sessions and while testifying in court.


Through an Ontario Trillium Foundation grant, Boost CYAC has begun a two-year partnership with Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN).

Through this partnership, we will collaboratively develop a culturally competent primary prevention program for NAN communities. The program will include prevention messages and materials, training for adults and resources for the broader communities.

Boost CYAC and NAN will work closely with  youth workers, educators and elders to develop activities that integrate cultural practices and learnings.

Since our inception, Boost CYAC has been a leader in the National CYAC/CAC Network. 
With funding from the Department of Justice (DOJ), Boost CYAC hosted over 50 professionals from across Canada, representing 31 similar centres. Keynote speaker, Dr. James Herbert presented a three year research study that examined more than 360 Child Advocacy Centres and a variety of models that are used. This meeting also provided Boost CYAC and our Canadian colleagues an opportunity to further discuss our Best Practice Guidelines developed for Canadian Child Advocacy Centres.
DOJ has also funded Boost CYAC to offer a national training program that will build capacity within Canadian CYAC/CACs. The goal of the webinar series is to provide organizations and service providers with information, resources and lessons learned on different aspects of developing and running an effective CYAC/CAC. Sixteen webinars have been held to date and can be accessed on the Boost CYAC Youtube channel.


In December 2016, the Minister of Children and Youth Services tabled Bill 89, Supporting Children, Youth and Families Act in the Ontario Legislature. Bill 89 introduced major amendments to the Child and Family Services Act and was the result of the 2015 mandatory legislative review.

Seen as a leader in the field, Boost CYAC was called upon for a written submission on the proposed legislation and was later asked to make an oral presentation to the Standing Committee on Justice Policy.

The Bill has since passed and received Royal Ascent on June 1, 2017. Details of Boost CYAC's position on the Bill are available below.


This year's Butterfly Ball® marked a special milestone for Boost CYAC. The event, held on May 25th, raised an unprecedented $850,000. The sold out gala hosted 430 guests and was held at the Four Seasons Hotel, Toronto.
Hosted by CTV ETALK anchor and co-host of CTV's Your Morning, Ben Mulroney, guests were wowed by a brilliant performance by Flamenco star, Carmen Romero and donned their dancing shoes with BELLOSOUND.
Each year The Butterfly Ball raises critical funds for Boost CYAC, enabling the centre to continue to support children and youth who have experienced abuse. Some of the funds raised this year will support much-needed sex trafficking support services for children/youth under 18 years.
Sincere thanks go to Honourary Chair, Suzanne Rogers, committee Co-Chairs Daniela DeGasperis and Vanessa Mulroney and the entire Butterfly Ball planning committee: Jenna Bitove; Tamara Costal; Fernanda Dovigi; Lynn Factor; Jane Hanrahan; Tom MacMillan; Sylvia Mantella; Lynda Prince; and Beth Weingarden.


The 2017 Annual General Meeting (AGM) was held on June 20th. Director, Mel D'Souza stepped down from the board; and we thanked him for his service. The board welcomed newly appointed Director, Andrea Lekushoff (President, Broad Reach Communications).

The AGM is also a time for us to recognize outstanding groups and individuals in our organization and in the community. This year's award recipients were:
Champion for Children Award
Member of Provincial Parliament, Laurie Scott
Making A Difference Award
Maria Ferrara, Catholic Children's Aid Society of Toronto
Staff Outstanding Achievement Award
Pearl Rimer, Director of Research & Training
Congratulations to all recipients!

This Fall, Boost CYAC is once again putting a team together for the marathon taking place on October 22nd.  If you are a runner or walker interested in participating and raising donations for Boost CYAC, please contact Nancy Cottenden at  cottenden@boostforkids.org

As a leader in the field, Boost CYAC is often called on to provide information and perspective on topical issues and current events in the media.

Not Alone

When a child experiences abuse, they often feel alone and afraid.  At Boost Child & Youth Advocacy Centre, we make it our mission to ensure that every child feels supported and believed.

Please consider a donation so that no child feels alone.


By simply sharing this  newsletter with 3 friends you are helping us raise awareness for our work. By liking us on  Facebook  and following us on  Twitter your network will learn more about us. Thank you for your continued support.
We give kids a lift when they need it the most

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