Skip to content

Agencies teaming up to support vulnerable local children, youth

New Path Youth and Family Services, Child and Youth Advocacy Centre Simcoe Muskoka forge 'wonderful partnership'
From left at the Barrie Common Roof are CYACSM's Samantha Ward, program manager; Dawn MacDonald, executive director; and Jim Harris, New Path CEO.

A new partnership between New Path Youth and Family Services (New Path) and the Child and Youth Advocacy Centre Simcoe Muskoka (CYACSM) aims to make the transition to child and youth mental health services easier for children and youth who have experienced physical or sexual abuse.

This partnership will see CYACSM staff supporting children and youth at New Path offices across Simcoe County, creating more timely and easier transitions to mental health services at those same locations.

“You can certainly imagine how frightening it can be for a child or youth to have the courage to disclose that they have been physically or sexually abused. Each situation can be extremely frightening and intimidating, and in these circumstances, every child deserves a safe, trauma-informed space to tell their story,” says Dawn MacDonald, executive director at the Child and Youth Advocacy Centre Simcoe Muskoka.

“It’s through our new partnership with New Path that our team of multi-disciplinary partners can conduct forensic interviews across the broader region of Simcoe Muskoka and bring the supportive care of our child and youth advocates closer to home for many families," MacDonald added. 

"We know the mental health effects of abuse on children and youth are significant and require ongoing support through prevention education, early interventions, therapy, and timely system navigation; our community partners like New Path make it possible for us to ensure this happens," said MacDonald.

New Path is the lead agency for child and youth mental health in Simcoe County with the goal of ensuring that all children, youth and families receive timely transitions to mental health services when and where they need them. This partnership helps to ensure access to crucial mental health support for vulnerable children and youth in our community.

“This is a win-win and a wonderful partnership that has been made possible because of our hybrid working model at New Path, which leaves some of our offices available to be used by our partners, like the Child and Youth Advocacy Centre,” says Jim Harris, CEO at New Path Youth and Family Services.

“This creative use of space enables us to support the critical work of the Child and Youth Advocacy Centre and enhance those warm hand-offs we always strive to make, meaning that children and youth that have experienced abuse will be referred seamlessly and more comfortably to mental health services at New Path," Harris says. "We are committed to working in collaboration with partners that support children and youth and sharing resources, which is simply the right thing to do.”