A safe place for children and youth to tell.

(read transcript)

(video transcript)

Snowflake Place Staff

When Emma first came through our doors, I could tell she was scared. What child wouldn’t be? She was only nine years old, and only two weeks ago she told her mom that a close family member had been abusing her for over a year. Her mother reported the abuse to child and family services, and now they were here at Snowflake Place for the first time. I introduced myself, and told Emma she was in a safe place. I walked Emma and her mom to the Family Room, I told Emma she had nothing to worry about and we were all there for her.

Police Officer

The children I meet at Snowflake Place are usually surprised that I’m not wearing a police uniform. Being in plain clothes helps put the child in a more relaxed state and minimizes stress. A case like Emma’s, unfortunately, is quite common where it is a family member that’s being accused of abuse. It’s extremely difficult for the child, and the entire family, to relive what’s happened through an interview. At Snowflake Place, the interviews take place in soft interview room. It’s comfortable and quiet. Video and audio recording capture the entire interview for future court proceedings. It’s my job, and the job of the Forensic Interviewer, to obtain a statement from the child in an un-biased and fact-finding manner. At Snowflake Place, we have a neutral, family-friendly space all focused on the child. It really does make a huge difference.

Child and Family Services

As a worker with Child and Family Services, my job is focused on the safety and protection of the child. While Emma is being interviewed, I’m watching it from a video feed. This way there is no need to ask the child to do another interview unnecessarily. In the past, the child would be interviewed by child and family services and by police usually at different locations and on different days. The model here at snowflake place has changed all that. In Emma’s case, once her interview was complete, I met with her and her mother in the Family Room and I talked to them about safety planning and resources available.

Victim Services

Victim Services role is to reduce trauma. I’m there to offer information and support regarding the court process and let the family know about resources available to them. Being there while the interview is taking place is not only easier for Emma, it allows all of us – the police, the Forensic Interviewer, Child and Family Services, and Victim Services – to collaborate and share information. I will be there for Emma and her mother after the interview, and be their main contact going forward, wherever the journey takes them.

Snowflake Place Staff

Snowflake Place is a unique and special place. Our staff, this incredible multidisciplinary team, all under one roof, it lets children know that they are safe, that they have support, and that they’re special and unique too. Emma told her story. She came forward; she told the truth. What she did took a lot of courage and it wasn’t easy. To see a smile on her face as she left and just be a kid again…That’s why I’m passionate about this place. That’s why we’re all here. That’s what Snowflake Place is all about.

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What is Snowflake Place?

Snowflake Place for Children and Youth is a child advocacy centre which focuses on the needs of children and youth who have experienced abuse. The centre is designed to facilitate multi-system collaboration and foster best practices in child abuse investigations, to ensure that child victims receive sensitive and immediate support in a child friendly setting that puts their needs first. The multi-disciplinary team is able to engage with the child victim and their non-offending caregivers at Snowflake Place where interviews are conducted, case planning meetings occur, and supportive services are provided.

Who We Are

The Snowflake Place multi-disciplinary approach to child abuse investigations includes Police, Child and Family Services, Victim Services and Snowflake Place Child Forensic Interviewer Specialists.

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The goal of Snowflake Place and our multi-system collaborative approach is to minimize stress and trauma faced by children who are victims of sexual and physical abuse.

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Our Programs

Every day, staff and partners of Snowflake Place provide support, hope, and healing to children who have been traumatized by abuse, often at the hands of a known and trusted adult in their lives. Your support makes a difference in the lives of children who have been abused.

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Making a Difference

By supporting Snowflake Place, you are making an impact on the lives of children and youth who are affected by physical and sexual abuse. Together with Snowflake Place, you can help child victims and their families to begin the healing process.

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  • Government of Manitoba
  • Winnipeg Police
  • RCMP - Manitoba
  • The General Child and Family Services Authority
  • Metis Child and Family Services Authority
  • http://www.southernnetwork.org/
  • First Nations of Northern Manitoba Child and Family Services Authority
  • Winnipeg Regional Health Authority
  • Department of Justice Canada