Affected Persons Program
Given the serious and often traumatic nature of incidents investigated by the SIU, the Affected Persons Program provides support services to affected persons. Affected persons include complainants, loved ones and/or family members of complainants and others, such as civilian witnesses who may have been present during the incident. The aim of the program is to meaningfully respond to the emotional and practical needs of those persons impacted by SIU investigations.
When applicable, the Affected Persons Coordinator (APC) will liaise with investigators regarding the needs of affected persons in any given case. The APC will make contact with the affected person(s), either in person or by telephone. Depending on the circumstances of the investigation and needs of the affected person, the APC may provide:
- Crisis response and intervention
- Psychological first aid, emotional support
- Practical support including information and guidance pertaining to the mandate of the SIU and the investigative process, accessing emergency financial supports, safety planning, funeral funding and planning
- Referrals and advocacy: assistance with navigating social and justice systems, accessing relevant community resources, legal and medical support, victim assistance programs
- Court support: enhance victim/witness understanding of, and participation in, the criminal court process by providing case specific information, court preparation and orientation, accompaniment, assistance with Victim Impact Statements
The Affected Persons Program can help mitigate the traumatic effects of an incident the SIU is investigating while improving the affected person’s ability to participate in the investigation. The program’s involvement also allows investigators to dedicate their efforts to gathering investigative evidence and facts.
Affected Persons Program staff also participate in public education and outreach activities to various service providers and stakeholders. Establishing and maintaining connections within the community is crucial to ensuring affected persons receive support services in a coordinated and fluid manner.
The APC travels throughout Ontario to meet with individuals at their homes or other places of convenience. APP services are available 24 hours a day and seven days a week.
For more information about the Affected Persons Program, please contact the Manager – Affected Persons directly: Nickie.Buchok@ontario.ca or 416-641-1897.