The Club welcomed Jodi Ouellette, Monday, June 1st, interim Executive Director with the Child and Youth Advocacy Centre. She is a Certified Trauma Practitioner-Clinical and Registered Social Worker with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers, with over 12 years of experience working with children, youth and their families. She is passionate about advocating for children so that they only need to tell their stories once.

Monday, we welcomed Interim Executive Director Jodi Ouelette to speak on behalf of the Child and Youth Advocacy. This relatively new program started as a pilot project, built on the belief that children should only have to tell their story once, has been operating independently on the St. Clair College Campus for two years. 

On average, a child who has experienced trauma has to retell their story nine times. We know that the more times children have to tell their story, the more they wonder if we believe them, and it can potentially damage the child’s credibility depending on who they're confiding in. It also causes harm to their mental state by forcing the child to relieve the experience so often.


St. Clair College has proven to be the perfect place for this resource in our community, where there is no stigma, and victims can feel safe on campus knowing that no one knows why they’re there. It takes a lot of courage to come forward, so this location is just one way that the Child and Youth Advocacy, is building trust and rapport with victims.


Jodi shared that we have more than 700+ cases reported in our region annually – that does not include the assaults that go unreported. Historically, we know that crisis in a community increases the risk of child abuse. COVID and social distancing protocols have put at-risk children in a more vulnerable position with their abusers.

In one year, the organization saw the number of clients served increase by 140%. While it can be discouraging to see such a large increase, it’s also very rewarding because it speaks to how well the program has been able to reach children in need. The CYAC with the support of their community partners is a resource for children and caregivers to help them heal and give them a brighter future.



Today, the program is reliant on fundraisers and donations to continue to support children. COVID has cancelled all fundraising events planned this year; if you would like to donate to the Windsor-Essex Child and Youth Advocacy Centre, please give here