We are a physical site where more than 115 professionals from partner organizations help children, youth, and families impacted by child abuse and neglect through an integrated practice model. This model allows services to be delivered in a more efficient and effective child-focused manner.
Our key accomplishments to date:
The power of the Calgary & Area Child Advocacy Centre is unleashed through integrated services, the right support at the right time – that reduce the long-term impact of trauma and enable children, youth and families to recover to lead healthy, productive lives.
The Calgary & Area Child Advocacy Centre offers wrap-around services and a child-focused model of care to support children, youth, and families impacted by the most severe and complex cases of sexual and physical abuse and neglect. Some of our programs include:
The Victim Support program is designed to walk alongside families in their road to recovery by providing support, information and referrals and help families cope with the impact of abuse. Services can be provided to children and families for as long as they are needed.
Children, youth and their families who visit the Centre are met by a Victim Support Specialist who will:
The Child Life Program is a unique program and the only one of its kind in Canada in a CAC. The primary outcomes of the Child Life Program include intervening with children and youth to minimize stress and re-traumatization and maximizing coping as they receive medical, therapeutic, and investigative services related to child abuse.
The Child Life Specialist is the first contact a child has at the Centre. They will spend time with the children and families who receive services. The Child Life Specialist ensures they are well informed about what to expect, provides developmentally appropriate interventions to reduce anxiety, and makes certain that the environment and interventions are child-centered at all times. The Child Life Program has resulted in decreased anxiety among children, leading to shorter medical child abuse examinations and increased disclosures in just one interview in 90% of the cases.
Previously, children and youth waited in the emergency department or were referred to family physicians when child abuse was suspected, only to be redirected to the Child Abuse Medical Team. Direct referrals to the Child Abuse Medical Team now save the family time, decreases stress and increases capacity for the Emergency Department to serve other patients.
BEST FURRY FRIENDS
The Child Life Program partners with PALS, providing an opportunity for children to play with and be comforted by canine volunteers when they are at the Centre as well as with our resident dogs Axel and Webster.
The BFF Program complements the multidisciplinary team in supporting wrap-around services provided to children and youth who experience serious instances of abuse.
PRENATAL OUTREACH SUPPORT TEAM (POST)
POST is a collaborative partnership between Calgary & Area Child Advocacy Centre, Alberta Health Services and the Calgary Police Service to identify and provide specialized intervention and referral services to vulnerable pregnant persons in high risk situations. The POST team are assessing, educating, intervening with and referring persons who are vulnerable and pregnant to support better outcomes for them and their infants.
From November 1, 2013 to January 31, 2016 (27 months) over 580 vulnerable pregnant women were referred to and assessed by the Prenatal Outreach and Support Team, which currently receives 45 referrals per month.
ALBERTA VULNERABLE INFANT RESPONSE TEAM (AVIRT)
AVIRT is a multidisciplinary team that provides an immediate response to maximize safety for infants from birth to three months who are at risk for child abuse or neglect. From April 1, 2013 to December 31, 2017, the Alberta Vulnerable Infant Response Team assessed 2,140 cases where infants in this age range were identified at risk for child abuse or neglect in the Calgary region. The busiest month in 2017 was July with 50 new cases.
YOUTH ENGAGEMENT AND EDUCATION PROGRAM
Calgary & Area Child Advocacy Centre has partnered with eight school divisions in and around Calgary to develop youth leadership and advocacy skills related to child abuse, resiliency and healthy relationships. Our Youth Engagement and Education Program provides opportunities for students and teachers to learn more about child abuse and its impact and to explore these issues within a safe environment. The youth who participate in this initiative demonstrate leadership by embracing healthy relationships, promoting awareness of trauma and its impact and advocating for safe, supportive school-community environments. Through this program we develop leading practices for collaboration between school divisions and Child Advocacy Centres. Resources developed, strategies employed and outcomes achieved will be available to Alberta Education, Child Advocacy Centres and school divisions across the province.We are always looking for smart, kind, engaging volunteers to help at the Calgary & Area Child Advocacy Centre. Our website has details on each of the opportunities.
Over the last five years, the Calgary & Area Child Advocacy Centre in collaboration with our partners, governments, and community, have demonstrated how commitment to a shared vision can transform how child abuse is understood and addressed by entire systems. This perseverance and dedication is knocking down barriers, resulting in ground-breaking practices, research and evaluation, fearless innovation and new ways of working together.
But with all of our efforts, there is still much to be done, and child abuse is still an issue that demands our attention. Every day, there are more and more cases of abuse that should never happen.
With your generous help, the Calgary & Area Child Advocacy Centre will:
There are a number of ways in which you can make a donation to Calgary & Area Child Advocacy Centre:
For all donations of $25 and above, we will provide a charitable tax receipt. Our Charitable Business Number is 82679 3283 RR0001.