Child and Adolescent Services for Abuse and Trauma (CASAT)
CDI provides multiple services for children who have experienced sexual abuse or other interpersonal traumas, such as physical or emotional abuse, or exposure to domestic violence. Together with our community partners, our Child and Adolescent Services for Abuse and Trauma (CASAT) program works to improve the lives of children, youth and families affected by sexual abuse and trauma from ages 4 to 18 years. CASAT works collaboratively with families and other service providers to ensure that services are responsive to the diverse needs of individuals affected by sexual abuse and trauma and are based on research and established best practices.
CDI is an active partner of the Child and Youth Advocacy Centre (CYAC), a partnership among local community and government agencies that brings together professionals involved in child abuse cases, including mental health, medical, child welfare and Toronto Police Services. Our CASAT clinician works two days a week at the CYAC, providing mental health consultations and counselling services.
How to Report Suspected Child Abuse
IF A CHILD OR YOUTH IS IN IMMINENT DANGER, CALL 911.
If you are concerned about the safety of a child in your community, or are wondering about your duty to report, please consult the Ministry of Children and Youth Services for more information and contact your local child protection agency.
In Toronto, contact one of the agencies listed below:
- Children’s Aid Society of Toronto at 416-924-4646
- Catholic Children’s Aid Society of Toronto at 416-395-1500
- Native Child and Family Services at 416-969-8510
- Jewish Child and Family Services at 416-638-7800
- Toronto Police Services at 416-808-2222
For elsewhere in Ontario and Canada, contact your local Children’s Aid Society. Contact information can be found in the phone book under “Emergency Numbers,” in the business listings, or by calling 411 for directory assistance. In Ontario, you can find contact information online at www.oacas.org.
Understanding Child Sexual Abuse
CDI has developed a guide for parents and caregivers. This guide was developed in partnership with its community partners to:
- Provide information about child sexual abuse
- Assist parents in supporting their children
- Outline how professional systems respond to sexual abuse allegations
- Clarify support services and treatment options
Given that each family’s situation is unique, this handbook is meant as a general guide and is not intended to take the place of professional counselling or legal advice.
Click on the corresponding language to download and print a copy of this guide in English, Mandarin, Punjabi or Spanish.
Information for Youth
What is sexual assault?
- Any unwanted sexual act done without a person’s consent
- This can be anything from touching of a sexual nature to rape
- It may involve physical force, threats, intimidation or other forms of coercion
- It may involve exposure to sexual activity or material, including via the internet or videos
- It is an assault when a person uses his/her power over a child or youth to involve him or her in any sexual act
- An offender is often someone well known to the child or youth
- Abusive behaviour is NEVER OKAY
- Tell an adult you trust if you are uncomfortable about someone’s behaviour
- Keep telling until you find someone supportive who can help
What Do I Need to Know?
- Learn about sexual assault. Understand what it is.
- Be aware. Trust your senses if someone doesn’t seem safe to you, try to get away from that person no matter what your relationship is to them.
- Stay together with your friends at parties or wherever there are large groups of people. Use a buddy system.
- Never leave a drink unattended.
- Take the most populated, well-lit route at night and do not walk alone in unsafe places if possible.
Something has happened to me, what do I do?
- Go somewhere safe.
- Tell an adult you trust or contact a crisis line. If you don’t know a local line to call, contact Kids Help Phone at 1-800-668-6868, text 'CONNECT' to 686868 or visit www.kidshelpphone.ca.
My friend has experienced sexual assault, what can I do?
- Support your friend by listening
- Encourage your friend to seek professional help
- Share this website with your friend
- Tell an adult you trust or contact a crisis line. If you don’t know a local line to call, encourage him/her to contact Kids Help Phone at 1-800-668-6868, text 'CONNECT' to 686868 or visit www.kidshelpphone.ca.
Where do I go for help?
- Contact the Child and Youth Advocacy Centre at BOOST
CASAT Training and Events
CASAT periodically offers training and events to professionals. Check back for updates on training and other events.
Training and resource materials
Best Practice Guidelines
As part of a city-wide initiative to further the goal of providing collaborative, comprehensive, coordinated, specialized and responsive services to children and their families in Toronto, the “Best Practice Guidelines” were set out in November 2004 to encourage treatment providers to deliver a high standard of services based on sound, empirical research that is clinically accepted as an effective treatment with children and youth who have experienced abuse and trauma. One such approach is:
Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
This is an evidence-based treatment for children who have experienced sexual abuse or other serious traumatic events. Free web-based training has been developed and tested by Drs. Esther Deblinger, Judy Cohen and Anthony Mannarino for mental health professionals who need flexibility to learn at their own pace and according to their own schedules. This excellent web-based program is available, at no charge, by clicking on this link.
CASAT operates within the Family Violence Services Department of Child Development Institute’s main office at 197 Euclid Ave.
Child and Adolescent Services for Abuse and Trauma (CASAT)
Child Development Institute
197 Euclid Avenue
Toronto, Ontario M6J 2J8
To access CASAT services, call 416-603-1827 or fax 416-603-6655.