The Community Child Abuse Council has been strengthening children, youth, and families since 1976 through the provision of child abuse prevention, education, and specialized clinical treatment programs. We also provide a voice for our community's youngest members, working to make sure their needs are addressed and their experiences reflected in Hamilton's response to child maltreatment. Community engagement is a vital part of our work, and we're continually seeking new and effective ways to start conversations about what it will take for our community to help children thrive.
Our work with sexually victimized children and youth inspires us to engage others in talking about how best to respond as a community to these crimes against the youngest and most vulnerable among us. Whispering about child sexual abuse is ineffective and falls far short of what is required, what is deserved, by the children of our community. They need our voices to be loud and our actions to be decisive - protecting them is our shared responsibility. When they flourish and thrive, we all benefit. Our future plans are aimed at expanding our mandate in order to work with children and youth affected by all forms of trauma and maltreatment, including newcomer children and youth affected by trauma.
Prevention is critical, and education is necessary. We work every day to find new resources and innovative ways to invest in these essential tools. For those children and youth who have already experienced trauma from abuse, effective treatment offers hope. Treatment does work. The comprehensive assessments and specialized clinical trauma treatment we provide to children and youth (along with supports to their families) help them to achieve tremendous and positive outcomes. They are brave and courageous and they deserve the very best we can offer. Our commitment to excellence is inspired by them each and every day.
The landscape of children's mental health across Ontario is changing - the provincial government's transformation of the system of services aims to improve access and outcomes for all. As partners in this important work, we will be engaged in discussions and helping to provide leadership to planning initiatives as the transformation agenda unfolds. We welcome the anticipated improvements to child and youth mental health that will result from these efforts.