EveryMind’s Child Witness Program Recognized with Provincial Award
April 28, 2021
For immediate release
MISSISSAUGA – The Child Witness Program at EveryMind was recognized with a 2020-21 Victim Services Award of Distinction from Ontario’s Attorney General, Hon. Doug Downey, in a virtual awards ceremony held on April 27, 2021. The Victim Services Awards of Distinction recognize exceptional achievements in service to victims of crime in Ontario. EveryMind is one of 15 individuals and organizations from across Ontario being honoured this year.
EveryMind’s Child Witness Program educates and supports child victims or witnesses of crime when they are called to give evidence in Criminal Court. The program and its two Child Witness Specialists, Cindy Cross and Pamela O’Hara, were honoured for having positively impacted the lives of child and youth victims and preventing their being re-victimized during the Court process.
“We are extremely proud of our Child Witness Program and its dedicated and highly skilled staff,” said Ceri Harnden, Chief Executive Officer of EveryMind. “Cindy and Pam always go the extra mile to support their clients. They also work very effectively with the criminal justice system, including the Crown Attorney’s Office and Peel Regional Police.”
The program was nominated by its supervisor, Shamsa Iqbal. “Cindy and Pam demonstrate passion for the work they do on a daily basis,” Iqbal said. “Their clients’ caregivers continuously recognize their dedication, confirming that Cindy and Pam take the time to listen and respond while going out of their way to make the Court experience less intimidating for child and youth witnesses.”
EveryMind’s Child Witness Program, which has supported more than 1,700 children and youth over the past decade, is partially funded by the Ministry of the Attorney General but also relies on the generous fundraising support of EveryMind’s donors.
“My relationship with the EveryMind Child Witness Program began when I was an investigator in the Peel Regional Police Special Victims Unit. I quickly learned the importance of this essential program offered to our young victims of crime and the positive impact it had in preparing them to be witnesses in the court of law,” said Jessica Roselli, a long-time donor to EveryMind.
“Cindy Cross and Pam O’Hara are the heroes of this program. I have observed their tireless advocacy, compassion for their profession and representation of their young clients and their families. It is no surprise that this program is receiving the Victim Services Award of Distinction. As a former EveryMind Board Member and retired Police Detective, I congratulate Cindy and Pam for their dedication and exemplary work within the Child Witness Program,” Roselli said.
EveryMind (formerly Peel Children’s Centre) provides a broad range of mental health services and related supports for children and youth ages birth to 25. The provincially designated lead agency for child and youth mental health services in Peel, EveryMind is funded by the Province of Ontario, the Regional Municipality of Peel, and the generous support of donors. In its 2020-21 fiscal year, EveryMind provided over 7,000 services to more than 5,500 unique clients.
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More information: Karen Anslow, Manager, Clinical Services (905) 795-3500 ext. 2299