How We Do It
Our Shelter is a large, secure, residential facility that can accommodate up to 25 people (adults and children) in seven bedrooms. Communal living can be challenging for people seeking safety, therefore, WCS strives to provide predictable, consistent and personalized programming with the goal of nurturing resiliency, mastery, independence and community. Our programming is founded through a trauma-based lens with a focus on fostering stable, caring relationships. Small groups by WCS staff and community partners, are offered on a variety of topics including safety planning, managing stress, self-esteem and positive parenting.
Families stay together in their own bedroom for one night up to three weeks. Individuals who are coming to shelter without children, may have to share a room. Food becomes an important component to both welcome clients and learn life skills from each other at WCS. Nutritious homemade meals are offered daily or families are welcome to prepare their own comfort foods in our kitchen. There is also opportunity for clients to learn tools to ground themselves during times of stress and anxiety, including individual or group mediation and yoga. There are also resources and opportunities for clients to connect with their spiritual journey in shelter.
WCS always strives to ensure people have a safe place to stay, even if all our beds are full. This means that we will actively resource clients to find alternative safe options.
CHILD & YOUTH PROGRAM
The goal of the Child & Youth Program is to provide a safe and nurturing environment, where children can simply, “be kids”. The playroom is a relaxed atmosphere, where children can enjoy a variety of activities (arts & crafts, dramatic play, games and music). Our Child and Youth Program supports parents in addressing the physical and emotional needs of the family during their stay in the Shelter, while supplying a safe place for children and youth to express themselves freely and have fun.
OUTREACH & COURT SUPPORT PROGRAM
The Outreach Program provides risk assessment, safety planning, community resourcing and supportive counseling to individuals residing in the community. Clients may be in their relationship, preparing to leave, returning home, building a new life or struggling to find helpful and accessible resources to support a safe and healthy life. Outreach staff meet with clients in shelter as well in satellite offices in Three Hills and Drumheller.
Our court support program aims to provide legal resource referrals, safety planning and support around navigating the courthouse, providing an empathetic ear during what can be a scary and stressful process.
The goal of the Public Education program is to increase awareness and decrease tolerance of violence and abuse. Anti-abuse educators are available to schools, service clubs, community groups, agencies and faith communities to provide a number of workshops and presentations on family abuse and related topics. This service is available free of charge, as are all shelter services. Presentations are available within several communities including, but not limited to Strathmore, Carseland, Langdon, Indus, Milo, Three Hills, Carbon, Linden, Acme, Drumheller, Trochu, Beiseker, Irricana, Kathryn, Gleichen, Siksika, Standard, Rockyford, Chestermere and more!
EARLY INTERVENTION PROGRAM
In order to continue to offer services to children in shelter we are using a new program model that focuses on group work with children with a primary focus on safety planning and healthy attachment between parents and children.
Highlights of this program include:
- Working with parents on comprehensive children’s safety plans.
- Crisis support through groups and individual supportive counselling with the parent and parent coaching.
- The Family Residential Early Intervention Worker provides parents with tools to understand the effects of trauma and domestic conflict on child development with a strong focus on ACE’s.
- Encouragement of parents through role modeling and providing resources and warm referrals for ongoing community supports and congruency in care.
CHILDREN’S OUTREACH PROGRAM
WCS is pleased to offer expanded services to children and adolescents. It is our core belief that often the biggest victims of domestic abuse are the smallest in the family. This program provides longer term outreach support to children and adolescents experiencing a variety of difficulties including: Grief and loss, separation and divorce, anxiety, depression, ADHD/ADD and other school adjustment issues.
SHELTER & SERVICES FOR ALL PEOPLE
Wheatland Crisis society takes great pride in our inclusive practices. Since opening in 1992 we have remained committed to helping everyone who has experienced domestic violence. In 2017, the Wheatland Crisis Society was recognized Provincially, with an Alberta Inspiration Award for our inclusive practices. All Wheatland Crisis Society programs are accessible to men, women and anyone within the LGBTQ+ community. In addition, the Male Domestic Abuse Outreach Program is offered through the Calgary Counselling Centre to provide longer term counselling, advocacy and support. The program includes individual and group services.
FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION PROJECT
WCS in partnership with R.C.M.P, Crown, Victims Services and Child & Family Services have established the family violence prevention project. The Family Violence Prevention Project works to support victims in incidents where domestic violence related charges have been laid and the case is entering into the justice system. The project is designed to ensure collaboration among Child and Family Services, Crown Prosecutor’s office, RCMP and defense counsel to support victims through the criminal court process.