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Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre urging all Albertans to keep an eye on our children

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Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre finds Child Abuse Reporting on the Decline

Alberta Child Advocacy Centres’ urging community action

As COVID-19 isolation has swept across our province every community has been faced with making the necessary changes to ensure health and safety of all. Everyone copes with change and stress differently and as Child Advocacy Centres’ (CAC) we are committed to our role of keeping children and youth in our community safe.

Typically, in the summer when school is out and children and youth are at home all the time and not attending school or after school programs we see a decline in reporting. Due to the COVID-19 health pandemic we are seeing this occur earlier and will likely see this continue for a longer period of time.

The yearly caseload at the Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre has been increasing year over year, this signifies a change within our community as people are recognizing their duty to report child abuse. In 2019, the Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre supported 459 children and youth, which was a 29.3 per cent increase from 2018. The CACAC has seen an 18 per cent decline in files over mid-March to mid-April from 2019 to 2020.

We need our community to continue recognizing the moral and legal obligation to report child abuse as this is a time where the typical safeguards for children and youth who experience abuse are impacted.

Alberta is home to eight CAC’s across the province that are providing support to children and youth who have experienced abuse. Each of these centres’ are fully operational or in various stages of future development. The Child Advocacy Centres’ of Alberta are urging their communities to take action as we all have a responsibility to keep children and youth in our community safe. Each of us need to equip ourselves with the tools to recognize child abuse and speak up for our children. Each community and Alberta as a whole can work together to ensure every child is heard and believed and do our part in being their voice when they need us most. To learn more about how to recognize child abuse and how you can help those in your community visit albertacacs.ca.

CAC’s are a safe place where children and youth who have experienced abuse can go to tell their story and be supported throughout the entire disclosure, investigation, judicial and healing journey. By supporting children, youth and their non-offending caregivers we provide them with customized supports that best suit their needs and will allow them to heal at their own pace

587-272-2233

 

The Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre is a not for profit organization rooted in the protection and recovery of today’s most innocent and vulnerable – our children. The Centre is comprised of a collective that is driven by the courage to support children, youth, and their families affected by abuse, enabling them to build enduring strength and overcome adversity. We work in a collaborative partnership with the Central Region Children's Services, Alberta Health Services, Alberta Justice, Alberta Education, the Central Alberta Sexual Assault Support Centre and the RCMP. Together we harness our collective courage to provide children with supported recovery. It takes courage and bravery for a child to share their story of abuse, for families to bring their children forward, to believe, to listen without judgement, and to seek justice. Supporting the Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre today is an investment in the promise and possibility of a healthy future for our children and our community.

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Central Alberta

The CACAC Breaks Ground on the Centre of Excellence

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Tuesday, June 21 marked a significant milestone for the Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre in the construction of the innovative Centre of Excellence.

With the building officially underway, CACAC and its dedicated partners can continue their efforts in creating a safer, healthier future for the children of Central Alberta. The new build is underway as of today, with construction beginning immediately. The projected 66,566 sq. ft. structure will be the new home of the Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre, Central Alberta Sexual Assault Support Centre, Alberta Health Services: Red Deer Child and Youth Addiction and Mental Health Outpatient Clinic, and the Step Up Step Down youth live-in addiction and mental health program.

“Alberta Health Services is grateful for the CACAC project. This collaboration will offer many services under one roof for youth experiencing trauma, substance use disorder and mental health concerns. Front line teams can consult seamlessly and develop relationships that simply would not exist outside the shared space of the CACAC. The ability to offer multidisciplinary care will support positive outcomes for youth and families and a shared vision for the community,” says Amy Klimosko, Director, AHS Red Deer Child, Youth, & Family Addiction & Mental Health.

The Centre of Excellence, a one-of-a-kind building in Canada, is an industry leading, evidence-based model strategically located on the Red Deer Polytechnic (RDP) Campus – built to strengthen integration for all partners involved. This is a proven model to reduce long-term impacts of abuse on children, youth and families, cut back on systemic costs of child abuse and, ultimately, save more lives. Thanks to the partnership with RDP, the location creates not only a safe place for children and families in Central Alberta to seek and receive support, but a place of innovation and research – to not only aid in the intervention of child abuse and mental health, but for prevention of these societal issues. Education is a key factor in the role of child abuse prevention, and the RDP partnership is a main component to building this foundation.

“On behalf of everyone at Red Deer Polytechnic, I am pleased to welcome the Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre to our beautiful campus overlooking the forest reserve and next to the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre,” says Jim Brinkhurst, Interim President. “We look forward to this collaboration that will serve Central Albertans and present tremendous learning and applied research opportunities for students and staff for years to come.”

The building, constructed by Eagle Builders, is projected to be completed by Summer 2023. The 3-story, contemporary design, will be built with intentional common and shared spaces to cultivate collaboration between allied partners, and create an environment that children, youths and families feel comfortable and safe in.

“Today has been a shared vision since day one by our coalition, and I am beyond grateful that, because of our community, we are able to stand here and break-ground on this critical building. We look forward to sharing space with our integrated partners who share the same purpose: helping our children and our families. Thank you to all who have helped us pave our path towards our new home.”  – Mark Jones, CACAC CEO

The CACAC looks forward to updating the community on the progress of the build and sharing more details on the Partners involvement and impact their commitment and programs will have on our community.

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Central Alberta

Hundreds “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” in Sylvan Lake

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Over $7000 raised for the programs and services offered to clients at The Outreach Centre

On June 2, students, staff and community members of all ages walked in the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event in Sylvan Lake. Presented by the HJ Cody Interact Club, the fifth annual event raised funds for The Outreach Centre and brought attention and awareness to gender-based and domestic violence issues in the community.

“Walk a Mile in Her Shoes events emphasize the necessity of speaking up and taking steps to end gender-based and domestic violence,” says Ian Wheeliker, Executive Director at The Outreach Centre. “These events start difficult yet necessary conversations about gender relations and violence against both women and men.”

Starting at H.J. Cody Highschool, participants walked one mile, some in a pair of high heeled shoes.

There was also a community-sponsored BBQ lunch, and a presentation with speakers and prizes. Author and town councillor Teresa Rilling told her own powerful story of overcoming emotional and sexual abuse, encouraging anyone who is suffering to reach out for help and support.

With about 600 people walking and over $7000 raised, Walk a Mile in Her Shoes Sylvan Lake was once again a huge success.

“We are so grateful for the ongoing support of the H.J. Cody Interact Club and the entire school community,” says Wheeliker. “These students are truly making a difference and they should feel proud knowing that their efforts will go towards improving the lives of the clients we serve at The Outreach Centre.”

To stay up to date with The Outreach Centre, visit theoutreachcentre.org or go to our Facebook or Twitter pages.

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july, 2022

thu14jul5:30 pm7:30 pmPregnancy & Loss Support Group - Zoom Session5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

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