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StreetReach Program

StreetReach is part of Tracia's Trust, the Manitoba government's strategy to prevent sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of children and youth. The StreetReach program currently includes a Winnipeg team (formed July 2009) and northern team (re-established in Thompson in June 2020). The program combines the mandated child welfare legislation, working in collaboration with non-government partners and law enforcement to provide a comprehensive and coordinated rapid response to address the safety and wellbeing of our most vulnerable children and youth.
Manitoba's StreetReach Program is based on the Dallas (TX) Police Department's High Risk Victims Unit model. It has four goals:

  1. Stop children and youth from running away from home or other residences (they are at their greatest risk for victimization and violence when missing).
  2. Prevent future sexual abuse and exploitation.
  3. Redirect youth whom are chronically absent from home or placement, to stop them from being victimized.
  4. Intervene with those who exploit young, high risk victims.

StreetReach team members believe that child/youth sexual abuse, regardless of the causes (sex trade, family history, third party pressure), is a complex community issue. They work with children and young people in Winnipeg and Thompson who are at the highest risk of sexual abuse through sexual exploitation - on the street, through social media or the Internet, and behind closed doors.

Manitoba's StreetReach program has received acknowledgement and accolades from other police and CFS agencies across Canada, and from other Canadian experts and writers on the issue of child sexual exploitation and trafficking, as a unique and promising response to missing, exploited and trafficked children.

The StreetReach team uses several factors to assess risk levels, including but not limited to:

  • chronic/frequent periods of missing from home or other residences
  • previous incidents of being victimized
  • harmful alcohol and/or drug abuse
  • mental health issues/complex trauma/post-traumatic syndrome

StreetReach Goals

The primary goal of the program is to locate and return missing youth to their placement or place of safety while building safe and trusting relationships.

The StreetReach team helps:

  • locate sexually exploited children/youth and intervene immediately;
  • prevent high-risk missing, children/youth from becoming exploited;
  • sexually exploited children/youth who are missing escape further exploitation;
  • identify predators/offenders who are grooming/luring children and youth for exploitation

StreetReach Benefits

Research shows that team of professionals from several fields, who work together, have greater understanding, better efficiency and more success when working with sexually exploited youth. Co-ordinated StreetReach team members share a variety of experiences and skills that make them particularly effective at intervention and prevention. They can also co-ordinate and share their departmental and agency resources to use them more effectively. The StreetReach team in Manitoba has showed important achievements, including:

  • identification of children who are already being sexually exploited
  • identification of children who are a high risk to become sexually exploited
  • fast response times from team members when children are at immediate risk for harm and victimization
  • co-ordination of outreach, child welfare and law enforcement agencies
  • children/youth located and returned to safe homes or residences
  • increased number of prosecutions for offenders
  • special and dedicated resources provided to exploited children/youth

In November 2019, the Province announced investments into the enhancement of StreetReach Winnipeg which included integration of mental health clinicians and a spiritual advisor and the re-establishment of StreetReach North in Thompson.  These roles are dedicated to creating opportunities to build and strengthen cultural and community connections, bridging gaps in services and strengthening partnerships among key stakeholders to address co-occurring concerns of mental health and addiction.  These projects are funded from within the Canada-Manitoba Home and Community Care and Mental Health and Addictions Services Funding Agreement (2019-2022), supports stronger mental health and addictions services in Manitoba and aligns with the Tracia's Trust Strategy to develop enhanced services for youth with complex, multi-system needs.

StreetReach Team

  • Neecheewam Inc.
  • The Link (formerly MacDonald Youth Services)
  • Knowles Centre Inc.
  • Blue Thunderbird Inc.
  • Marymound Inc.
  • Addictions Foundation of Manitoba (AFM)
  • AWASIS Child & Family Services
  • Manitoba Adolescent Treatment Centre
  • Department of Families, Child and Youth Services Division, Child Protection Branch (CPB)

StreetReach Partnerships

  • Canadian Centre for Child Protection Inc.
  • Child and Family All Nations Co-ordinated Response Network Inc. (ANCR)
  • Winnipeg Police Service (WPS) Missing Persons Counter Exploitation Unit
  • Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP)
  • Manitoba Justice, Child Victim Support Service (CVSS)

StreetReach also works in collaboration with law enforcement services in cities/towns across Manitoba, in an effort to strengthen partnerships that address missing and sexually exploited children and youth. This includes providing a rapid and coordinated response to safely locate missing, exploited children and youth and to successfully identify their offenders.

For more information

StreetReach
Child and Family Services Division
Manitoba Families
777 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg MB R3G 0N3
Ph: 204-945-6941; Fax: 204-945-6717
Email: streetreach.winnipeg@gov.mb.ca