Give Support. Give Hope
Our services now include a developing Child Advocacy Centre which is devoted to giving children and youth who have experienced sexual, emotion, physical abuse or severe neglect, a safe space to share their story and receive the support and resources they need throughout the entire disclosure, investigation, and judicial process. The Chinook Child Advocacy Centre is a community-based response that uses a “seamless, coordinated and collaborative approach to addressing the needs of victims or children/youth who have witnessed a crime”.
The Chinook Child Advocacy Centre is our community’s response to child abuse.
The Chinook Child Advocacy Centre (CCAC) will be 1 of 8 centres in Alberta that is devoted to giving a child friendly space that provides a safe environment where children can feel free to explore and engage in play activities. Play is essential to children’s ability to cope with stress, as play is familiar to them and allows them the opportunity to communicate, express emotions, and achieve a sense of control.
Upon entering the Chinook Child Advocacy Centre, the child and family will meet with a Child Life Specialist to learn what their time at the Centre may look like. This may include using age appropriate tools, anatomically correct puppets and child friendly medical equipment to ensure the child feels prepared for any potential interview and/or medical assessment.
A forensic interview will be completed with the child at the Centre. The goal of the forensic interview is to use techniques grounded in science to gather as much accurate and extensive memory recall as possible while limiting the impact of trauma on the child or youth. The memory recall elicited serves as evidence needed to proceed with charges and a criminal case in court.
The CCAC Support Team will be made up of Coordinator, Child Life Specialist, an Indigenous Family Support Worker, and a team of Specialized Volunteers referred to as Advocates. Together, they will provide support, information and referrals to help families cope with the impact of child abuse.
The specialized services offered at the Chinook Child Advocacy Centre are provided in collaboration with our community partners:
- Lethbridge Police Service
- Blood Tribe Police Service
- Royal Canadian Mounted Police Children’s Services - South Region
- Blood Tribe Child Protection Services
- Piikani Child and Family Services
- Lethbridge School Division (Alberta Education, Zone 6)
- Crown Prosecutor’s Office
- AHS, Addiction and Mental Health