The Koala Place is a highly confidential environment, which provides children, youth and the non-offending family members a safe and neutral setting to disclose their stories.

Our history

In 1985, the first Child and Youth Advocacy Centre (CYAC) was established in Huntsville, Alabama to create a system that brought together professionals from law enforcement, criminal justice, child protection services, medical and mental health under one roof, where they worked together as a team in child abuse cases.  The idea of community partnerships revolutionized the system response to child sexual abuse. Today, almost 30 years later, Child and Youth Advocacy Centres are regarded as a leading practice responding to child abuse cases.  There are more than 900 CYACs in the United States and in 10 other countries across the world. 

Play Video

The driving vision for a Child and Youth Advocacy Centre in Cornwall and Area began in 2006, when a group of volunteer community leaders assembled as a response to the Cornwall Public Inquiry Phase 2:  Healing & Reconciliation.  The group became an incorporated organization named PrévAction and with the input provided to the Commissioner, it was recognized that the development and implementation of a Child and Youth Advocacy Centre was needed for Cornwall, S.D. & G. and Akwesasne. 

PrévAction, Cornwall and Area’s first Child and Youth Advocacy Centre opened its doors on January 6th, 2014.  Ensuingly, with a new identify and redesigned logo, a press conference was held on March 18th, 2014 to announce the Centre’s new name, Koala Place.

Koala Place would not have come so far, so quickly, to address the critical issue of child abuse if not for the financial support from the Department of Justice Canada Victims Fund, our partners and our community.


The Centre

Koala Place Child and Youth Advocacy Centre is a child-friendly and child-focused centre in which multi-disciplinary professionals provide service to children and youth who have experienced sexual abuse, physical abuse, domestic violence and maltreatment.  All under one roof, working closely and independently for the purpose of providing a comprehensive, seamless response to child abuse, Koala Place provides an approach to service in an environment that minimizes trauma and fosters healing. 

Our vision is to help create a community that responds collectively to child abuse, and to empower those who are impacted by child abuse to lead healthy and productive lives.

How it Works

To record the children’s stories, Koala Place is equipped with state of the art recording equipment, preserving the children’s statements to be used in the justice process if necessary. This practice reduces stress and fear, and healing begins more quickly when children, youth and families impacted by abuse receive the support they need from one place — when they tell their story once.

Koala Place, a one-stop child-focused facility, is available to the Cornwall Police Service, Ontario Provincial Police, Akwesasne Mohawk Police Service, The Children’s Aid Society of S.D. & G., Akwesasne Child & Youth Family Services, and Victim Services of S.D.G.&A 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Koala Place is utilized to conduct forensic interviews and interviews with non-offending caregivers and witnesses, family meetings, child protection assessments, Alternative Dispute Resolution, youth groups, case reviews, and other relevant case management procedures.