Component: Victim Services

Legislation: Ministry of Community and Social Services Act

Service description

The Internet Child Exploitation Counselling Program provides short-term counselling services to victims of Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) and to their impacted family members.

The Internet Child Exploitation Counselling Program is available to support a child or youth, and their family members, where exploitation involving the use of technology (though not necessarily and not solely through the Internet) has occurred.

Applicants who meet the eligibility criteria described under People served will be eligible to access counselling funded under the Internet Child Exploitation Counselling Program. The service provider, or counsellor, may subsequently invoice the Internet Child Exploitation Counselling Program directly for services rendered, up to a maximum of $1,500 per child or youth victim, and $1,000 per impacted family member.

Internet Child Exploitation Counselling Program services are provided as outlined in the latest version of the Internet Child Exploitation Counselling Program Standards.

People served

Applications to the Internet Child Exploitation Counselling Program will be considered for applicants who meet all of the following eligibility criteria

  • The applicant is a victim of ICE or an impacted family member of such a victim The primary residence of the applicant is in Ontario
  • The applicant is in need of counselling services
  • The applicant has not previously received comparable funding from the Internet Child Exploitation Counselling Program or another government program, such as the Victim Quick Response Program+, for the same criminal occurrence
  • The applicant has not been charged regarding the reported occurrence
  • There are no other resources available to meet the applicant's immediate need that provide funding comparable to that of the Internet Child Exploitation Counselling Program (e.g., private insurance plan or other publicly funded services)

The Internet Child Exploitation Counselling Program funds are to be spent in Ontario within six (6) months of the date of the first counselling session. Other funding provisions are outlined in the Standards.

Program/service features

The Recipient is responsible for the delivery of Internet Child Exploitation Counselling Program services/activities to Participants living in the catchment area.

Specific service provided

Application assessments

The Recipient will

  • Receive Internet Child Exploitation Counselling Program application forms, related interim or final invoices from counsellors, and requests for transportation expenses or expenses for persons with disabilities
  • Review and assess applications for counselling within five (5) business days
  • Confirm or deny eligibility based on the Internet Child Exploitation Counselling Program's eligibility criteria
  • Where the counselling expenses are approved, send an approval letter to the applicant or to the person who applied on the child's behalf, and to the identified counsellor as soon as a decision is made. Where the applicant requested funding for transportation or to accommodate a disability, the letter will also note to what extent these expenses will be covered
  • Where the application is not approved, send a letter to the applicant (and counsellor, if identified) as soon as the decision is made, explaining the rationale for this decision
  • Develop a process to allow applicants who are denied eligibility to request a review of the decision. The process must allow such applicants to request a review of the decision in writing, which will be considered by a Recipient staff member who was not involved in the initial eligibility decision, and who, in appropriate circumstances, could overturn the initial decision

Referrals and quality assurance

  • Maintain an up to date inventory of qualified service providers across Ontario, with a particular focus on publicly-funded agencies with expertise in provision of counselling to children, youth and families, including agencies that can provide linguistic and culturally- relevant services to meet the needs of Indigenous, Francophone and ethno-cultural communities
  • Coordinate referrals to counselling services across Ontario, including referrals to long-term support when the client asks for it
  • Prioritize referrals to community-based counselling services, funded by the government to provide free counselling to the client, and verify that service delivery agencies have appropriate qualifications, insurance, quality assurance, clinical supervision and risk management procedures to ensure safe and competent service delivery
  • In cases where it is determined that publicly-funded counselling services are not available or not accessible on a timely basis, and the need for counselling is urgent, make referrals to private service providers who are
  • Registered Social Workers who are members in good standing of the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Services Workers; or
  • Registered Psychologists and Psychological Associates who are members in good standing of the College of Psychologists of Ontario
  • In cases where referrals are made to private providers, verify that the provider has current Professional Liability Insurance
  • If a referral is made to a traditional Indigenous healing service, identify an appropriate Healer or Elder in collaboration with an established Indigenous organization to ensure safe delivery within a traditional Indigenous healing model
  • Ensure that a vulnerable sector check is performed on all staff members who are involved in the delivery of the Internet Child Exploitation Counselling Program, and that only staff members who do not have any record of offences involving children are allowed to participate in any aspect of the Child Exploitation Counselling Program. The vulnerable sector check must be completed at a minimum every three years

Processing payments

  • Upon receipt of an interim or final invoice from a counsellor and an attendance sheet, verify that service was delivered in accordance with the approval letter and process payment
  • Pay travel, hotel and accessibility costs according to the guidelines set-out in the Standards

Administration

The Recipient will

  • Develop policies, protocols, procedures and Program administration processes to deliver the Internet Child Exploitation Counselling Program in accordance with this Agreement
  • Implement appropriate checks and balances and segregation of duties pertaining to fund management, verification of invoices, and issuance of payments, budget monitoring, and monthly reconciliations. Staff responsible for recommending Internet Child Exploitation Counselling Program applications for approval or payment for counselling services rendered will be distinct from staff charged with the final approval of counselling applications and payments to counsellors
  • Operate a province-wide toll-free telephone line for service providers, victims and their family members to provide information about the Internet Child Exploitation Counselling Program and available services under the Program, and to provide referrals to service providers in their area. The line will have capacity to provide information and referrals in French

Program goals

The goals of the Internet Child Exploitation Counselling Program are to help victims of ICE and their impacted family members to recover from the victimization they experienced and improve their coping skills.

Ministry expectations

Outreach

The Recipient will

  • Develop and implement outreach and promotion activities throughout Ontario to raise awareness about the Internet Child Exploitation Counselling Program and how to apply for counselling services

French language services

In addition to the requirements set out above that apply to all programs, the Recipient will:

  • State on its website and in its information materials that the Internet Child Exploitation Counselling Program provides services in French in designated regions under the French Language Services Act
  • As part of the intake process, advise all Clients that the Internet Child Exploitation Counselling Program provides services in French to Clients who live in designated regions under the French Language Services Act
  • Maintain a list of French language services (FLS) in each designated region under the French Language Services Act that can provide Internet Child Exploitation Counselling Program services in French and implement a referral process to ensure that requests for services in French are directed to appropriate FLS providers in those regions

Diversity & inclusion

The Recipient will

  • State on its website and in its information materials that the Internet Child Exploitation Counselling Program provides culturally-appropriate services for diverse Clients, including Indigenous Clients, interpretation services for Clients who request services in languages other than English or French, and it can accommodate the needs of persons with disabilities
  • Advise all Clients, as part of the intake process, of the availability of such services
  • Ensure that the up to date inventory of qualified service providers across Ontario includes agencies that can provide linguistic and culturally-relevant services to meet the needs of diverse Clients, including Indigenous Clients
  • Take appropriate measures, including providing signs, notices and other information on services and initiating communication with the public, to make it known to members of the public that the service is available in a culturally appropriate form for diverse Clients and can accommodate the needs of Clients with disabilities
  • If a referral is made to a traditional Indigenous healing service, identify an appropriate Healer or Elder in collaboration with an established Indigenous organization to ensure safe delivery within a traditional Indigenous healing model
  • Consider what accommodation may be required to help Clients with disabilities access services, up to a maximum of $1,000 in total for each eligible Client with a disability, as per the Funding Provisions outlined in the Standards
  • Develop and implement a complaint mechanism to support resolution of complaints/issues pertaining to culturally-appropriate services for diverse Clients or accommodation of the needs of Clients with disabilities
  • Collect and report on data regarding the number of individuals receiving culturally-relevant services, interpretation services and accommodation for disabilities

Service evaluation

The Recipient will participate in evaluation activities identified by the Province to measure the effectiveness of the Internet Child Exploitation Counselling Program, including the implementation of a Client survey to seek feedback on service outcomes.

Liaison and coordination with the provincial strategy

The Recipient will participate in the activities of the Provincial Strategy to Protect Children from Sexual Abuse and Exploitation on the Internet, as required, and support the members of the Provincial Strategy team to ensure that supports for victims are available in a timely manner where an arrest is made for any Internet child exploitation-related crime.

Reporting requirements

Service data on ministry funded expenditures will be reported on at an Interim and Final stage. Please refer to your final agreement for report back due dates and targets.

Quarterly service data will be reported through supplemental reports to the ministry.

Service Data NameDefinition

Ministry-funded Agency Expenditures: Internet Child Exploitation Counselling Program (ICE)

Total ministry-funded expenses for the Transfer Payment Recipient to administer and/or deliver the Internet Child Exploitation program in the reporting year (cumulative).