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The Child Witness Centre works in partnership with the justice system and the community to provide support services and impartial court preparation for child victims and witnesses under the age of 18 involved in the criminal justice system in Waterloo Region, Wellington County and Brant County. We provide assistance to more than 450 children (and their families) referred to us each year by the Police and Crown Attorney's office, plus 200 more cases that carry over from the previous year. Our services are provided free of charge and include: (i) Providing updates for the family on the progress of the case; (ii) Educating the child on courtroom procedures and the role of the witness; (iii) Helping the child cope with his/her fears and apprehensions; (iv) Helping parents to be effective in supporting their child; (v) Attending pre-trial meetings for the child with the Crown Attorney; (vi) Providing 'child friendly' rooms in Kitchener, Cambridge, Guelph, Mount Forest and Brantford where children wait before going to court; (vii)Accompanying children into the courtroom and, when needed, onto the witness stand; 9viii) Assisting with victim impact statements (VIS); and (ix) Explaining the verdict and sentencing.
To provide court preparation, court accompaniment, advocacy and support for child victims and witnesses.