Who is eligible for services?
Children, under the age of 16, who will be testifying in criminal proceedings. This would include both victims of a crime and witnesses to a crime, whether they are a Crown or a Defence witness. The child’s family is also eligible for services.
When should a child be referred?
Once a charge has been laid in a criminal matter where there is a child victim or witness the referral can be made. Once it is determined that the child will be required to testify in a criminal matter the referral should be made at the earliest opportunity if not already done so.
Who can make a referral?
In the majority of cases, referrals will be made by the police, the Crown Attorney or Child Protection. However, referrals are accepted from other agencies, as well as self-referrals, as long as the child referred will be testifying in a criminal court matter.
Is caregiver(s) consent necessary for a child to receive services?
Yes. The child’s legal guardian(s) has to provide consent for the child to receive services.
What services will be provided?
- General information on the criminal justice system to help understand how it works;
- Updated information on what is happening with the court matter;
- Court preparation;
- If you wish to complete one, help with preparing a Victim Impact Statement;
- Assessments and referrals for therapeutic counselling for child witnesses and their families if deemed necessary;
- Information for families to help support/prepare children involved with the court process.
Will services be provided to child witnesses testifying in Family Court?
No. Service provision is limited to children testifying in criminal proceedings only.
Preparing for Court
- Court Preparation Booklets for
- Working Together to Prepare Child Witnesses to Testify in Court (0.9MB)
- Court Preparation Video for Children