Home Youth service The Oak Child and Youth Advocacy Center in Vernon helps children and young people cope with violence and abuse – Vernon News

The Oak Child and Youth Advocacy Center in Vernon helps children and young people cope with violence and abuse – Vernon News

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The Oak Child and Youth Advocacy Center in Vernon urges North Okanagan residents to learn more about its services, spread the word and take action.

The center works closely with community partners to increase safety and provide services to children, youth and their families.

It is a safe space where people 18 and under who have experienced or witnessed abuse or violence can receive the support they need.

oak center provides children and young people with a safe and comfortable environment to be interviewed by police and social workers, eliminating the need to report to different agencies and offices for multiple interviews, which helps to simplify the reporting process and prevent additional trauma for the victims.

“Once a child, young person and family are connected to us, we work with all relevant organizations to ensure that the child and family receive the support they need,” explains Brooke McLardy, director of the Oak Center.

Abuse and violence against children and young people can take many forms, including physical, sexual and emotional abuse, which can be perpetrated by adults or peers.

After schools closed in 2020, Oak Center saw an alarming influx of reports. Since then, cases of abuse and violence against children and young people have become increasingly complex.

“Caregivers and children face declining mental health and overall capacity during these trying times, which makes healing from abuse more complicated, requiring a holistic and agile response,” says McLardy.

The center urges North Okanagan residents to raise awareness of its services, take action as needed, and to make donations through its parent organization, Archway Society for Domestic Peace.

Oak Center also encourages youth and children who have experienced or witnessed abuse or violence to reach out for the help they need.

“We see more and more young people contacting us through their school counselor, another coach or directly. We work with young people to make informed choices about what to do and connect them with the supports they need,” says McLardy.

To contact Oak Child and Youth Advocacy Center for more information, complete the form on the site or call the Child and Youth Services Coordinator at 778-475-2920.

To learn more about other support services available for victims of domestic and sexual violence in the North Okanagan, visit Archway Society for Inner Peace.