Posted by Jim Taylor & Tom Roth on Oct 06, 2018

The speaker Thursday morning was Ginny Becker, Executive Officer for the proposed Child Advocacy Centre in Kelowna.

 

Usually, Ginny said, when there is a report of child abuse, the first respondents are the RCMP. But they can’t remove a child from the house, to protect him or her from danger. Neither can Interior Health, the second group involved, often at the Emergency Ward. The Ministry of Children and Family Development can move the child into foster care or some other safe setting. But it takes time to get them involved.

 

If the offence could lead to criminal charges, the child must go to Kamloops for a forensic examination by a total stranger.  Meanwhile, the child is interviewed by three, four, or five different agencies to try to determine the truth. None of these interviewers have training in working with children, to ensure they don’t plant ideas in the child’s mind. After multiple cross-examinations, after repeated re-tellings, the child no longer knows his or her own story.

 

The Child Advocacy Centre is intended to be an integrated response system that puts the child first. It will house RCMP. Interior Health, and Children’s Ministry persons, working together. The child will only be interviewed once, by a skilled person, while the other agencies observe. The interview will be recorded, and available for court evidence, if necessary.

 

If prosecution is called for, the Centre will make conviction more possible. If prosecution is not required, the Centre will offer counselling, support, and healing opportunities.

 

The Centre is likely to cost about $4 million to build. The Kelowna Foundation also hopes to raise an additional $2 million to fund the Centre’s operations for the first 2-3 years.

 

Other News!

 

  • Our Rotary family is set to grow again.  We received a membership application this morning from Dee Hansen, who recently moved to Lake Country.  Dee worked as an Executive Assistant to the Chief of Police in Delta for over 25 years and is an active volunteer with our Lake Country Food Bank.  Welcome Dee! 
  • We also learned that Sandy Wightman will be soon be joining our Club.  Sandy is currently a member of the Semiahmoo Rotary Club and is in the process of building a home in the 'Lakestone' community.  He has been instrumental in helping us to set up our new Rotary-Save-On Foods gift card program to benefit the Lake Country Food Bank.  We look forward to having you join us, Sandy. 
  • Dan “the Rotary Man,” Sigal gave us a rundown on his annual Rotary Golf Pool.  Monika “Cougar Woods” had the best showing out of our various Rotary Teams at 18th, Dan was close behind, and the rest of us, well, there’s some room for improvement!  Not only was Dan able to hand out various cash prizes, he was able to Donate $1000.00 to our Rotary club + $30.00 from one of the winners!  Thanks Dan! That’s so amazing! Can you imagine if all of us were able to raise a $1000.00? (No pressure here!)  
  • Our speaker on October 11 will be our own, Matt Vader, who will provide us with highlights from his recent trip to New Zealand.
  • Happy Thanksgiving everyone!