Who We Are

Professionals dedicated to the safety and well-being of children and youth

Based on an internationally recognized, best-practice model of care, the Child & Youth Advocacy Centre Simcoe Muskoka (CYACSM), promotes and delivers excellence in child/youth abuse response, investigation and prevention while minimizing trauma and promoting the well-being of children, youth and their families during the investigative process, any court proceedings and beyond.


This commitment starts with enhancing the quality and effectiveness of the investigating interview with the best interest, comfort, and safety of the child in mind. With the unique wrap around support of a Child & Youth Advocate, children, youth and their non-offending family members have the support and information they need as they move along their healing journey.


The CYACSM has two child/youth friendly locations: Barrie and Orillia. With the recent addition of a new Mobile Unit, all children and youth who have been physically or sexually assaulted, throughout the regions of Simcoe County and Muskoka, will have easy access to this best practice, trauma informed model of service.


Our new Mobile Approach to CYACSM Programming consists of an Advocate accompanied by a facility dog, who travel throughout our region working collaboratively with local police and child protection workers to ensure a seamless approach to the investigative process and the coordination of service. This allows us to bring our core Advocate program to children, youth and their families in their home communities.

Our Vision:

All children and youth thriving in a responsive community that HEARS their voices and keeps them SAFE.

Our Mission:

The Child Advocacy Centre Simcoe/Muskoka minimizes trauma and promotes the well-being of children & youth who have experienced physical and sexual abuse and mobilizes the community to recognize, report and prevent abuse.

Our Values: Be H.E.A.R.D.


Compassion, courage, creativity and commitment in all we do.


Child & youth focused centres of excellence providing, best practice care to minimize trauma, aid investigations and promote healing.


Advocate for the best interests of children & youth. Provide resources and support to promote healing and care through the disclosure process and beyond.


Building and maintaining collaborative relationships with partners and the community to continuously advance programs and services and to build capacity within our region to safeguard children & youth.


All children & youth to age 24 eligible for service regardless of national origin, culture, ethnicity, spirituality, socioeconomic status, ability, gender identity and/or expression, sexual orientation, learning/communication skills and style, or family structure. Through welcoming diversity and an inclusive environment, children, youth and families of all backgrounds and experiences feel welcomed, valued and respected.

Strategic Pillars:

• Specialized Care

• Safe, Neutral Centres

• Knowledge

• Community Safety

Meet Our Team:

Meet Our Accredited Facility Dogs:

beacon, our service dog
moose, our service dog

Beacon & Moose | COPE Facility Dogs

In July 2018, accredited COPE Facility Dog Beacon joined the CYAC to provide canine assisted therapeutic interventions for children and youth while at the Centre.


In October 2018, Beacon was joined by Moose. Acting as goodwill ambassadors of the Centre, they provide emotional/relaxation support and deep pressure therapy to children, youth and their caregivers. Their sweet, gentle nature, and genuine care of people, enhances the healing-centered approach of the Advocate Program immensely.

Our partners

In our child and youth-friendly Centres, through strong partnerships and collaboration, multidisciplinary teams including; police, child welfare, mental health, medical and Child, Youth & Family Advocate professionals work together to investigate abuse, help children heal from abuse, and hold offenders accountable.

Ontario Provincial Police
Anishinabek Police Service
Anishinabek Police Service
Barrie Police
Barrie Police
Dnaagdawenmag Binnoojiiyag Child & Family Services
South Simcoe Police Service
Orillia Soldiers Memorial Hospital
Simcoe Muskoka Family Connexions

Our History

First developed in the US during the 1980’s, the concept of Child Advocacy Centres is a grassroots initiative born out of the need to improve the effectiveness of child and youth abuse investigations, reduce the stress and minimize the trauma for victims.


Today, with over 40 centres open across Canada and others in various stages of development;  this leading practice for responding to child abuse is transforming the system.

Board of Directors 2023

Valarie Gates

(Staff Sergeant, Barrie Police Service),



Christine Charman

(Accountant, Ben T. Cole Professional Corp.),



Laura Rosati

(Lawyer/Partner, Devry Smith Frank LLP),



Jim Dykes

(Self Employed),


Mandy Simcoe

(Director of Services, Dnaagdawenmag Binnoojiiyag Child & Family Services)



Jonathan Waugh

(Detective Constable, Barrie Police Service),



Korine Keyzer

(President, Aknor Construction Co. Ltd.),