Innovative Centre offers wrap-around support services for child victims of abuse
CALGARY, May 23, 2013 /CNW/ - When children and families impacted by abuse make the brave decision to come forward, a new centre offers help, hope, and healing in one safe location.
The Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre, recently renamed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper in honour of the former NHL hockey player and child advocate, offers a child-focused model of care—bringing together police, social workers, doctors, nurses, psychologists, and prosecutors.
"We know child abuse is a problem. We know it's a problem right in our own backyard," said Sheldon Kennedy. "And it's time to shine a light on the issue—and come together to address child abuse together as a community."
Corporate and community partners together with the Centre's founding organizations and three levels of government have committed more than $8 million to the Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre. This support is paving the way for Police, Child & Family Services, Alberta Health and Crown Prosecution to support kids under one roof.
"The Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre represents a significant step forward in supporting victims of abuse and their families in Calgary," said Alberta Human Services Minister Dave Hancock. "The Centre's leadership—on information sharing, collaboration, compassion, and putting children first—is entirely consistent with the values of Alberta's Social Policy Framework and I thank everyone who played a part in bringing this most important initiative forward."
From forensic interviewing and medical examinations to mental health services, victim advocacy, and support through the courts—the Centre delivers wrap-around services to victims of abuse and their families.
This one stop approach reduces the number of interviews required by child victims. By working together the four partner organizations aim to expedite and strengthen prosecutorial outcomes and support children as they move toward healthy futures.
A detailed backgrounder is available online at sheldonkennedycac.ca/news-releases.
SOURCE: Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre
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