TORONTO – The Ontario government is investing $2 million in the Victim Crisis Assistance Ontario (VCAO) Program to ensure victims of crime and their families have access to the services and supports they need, when and where they need them most. The funding will provide immediate support for 46 VCAO organizations across the province to help them respond to the increased demand for front-line services.
“Crisis intervention services are the first point of contact for victims of crime,” said Jane McKenna, Associate Minister of Children and Women’s Issues. “This is a critical time for victims who are seeking the safety to heal and rebuild their lives. That’s why it’s important to make sure local front-line services for victims and survivors across the province have the tools they need to properly respond to those in need.”
The Victim Crisis Assistance Ontario program provides crisis intervention services to victims of crime and tragic circumstances 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In addition to on-site crisis intervention, other services offered through the program include:
- Safety planning for all eligible victims of crime
- Referrals to appropriate community supports and services
- Needs assessments and customized service plans
- Assisting eligible victims with applications to the Victim Quick Response Program+
- Enhanced support for vulnerable victims
- Referrals to community agencies.
Victim Crisis Assistance Ontario is one of nine victim services programs recently transferred to the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services from the Ministry of the Attorney General. While the same front-line services providers will continue to provide seamless supports, this change will foster a more coordinated approach to victim services delivery.