Government is ensuring child victims of sexual abuse will have access to additional counselling services and specially-trained counsellors.
The additional counselling services will be available as a pilot project at the Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre in Calgary, the Caribou Child and Youth Centre in Grande Prairie and the Zebra Child Protection Centre in Edmonton. The three child advocacy centres received a Counselling for Children grant from the Alberta government through the Victims of Crime Fund, made possible as a result of the Children First Act.
The additional help for child victims through the pilot project will be on top of the support, information and court support already available to assist victims and their families through various community and police-based victim service organizations across Alberta.
“No child deserves to be victimized, and those who are shouldn’t be re-traumatized again in court. The enhanced counselling services will help support children and minimize the trauma associated with going through the legal process.”
~ Jonathan Denis, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General
“We are incredibly grateful for the ongoing support from the Government of Alberta. These funds will ensure we continue to provide the essential support for our kids and ensure the critical conversation around child abuse is open and accessible.”
~ Sheldon Kennedy, Lead Director, Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre
“The Caribou Centre works with a multi-disciplinary team of professionals to minimize the stress, anxiety and trauma for the child witness, while promoting safety, protection and justice. This grant will help our organization continue to provide immediate and ongoing treatment services for children and expand services to children in nearby communities.”
~ Lois Roth, Coordinator, Caribou Child and Youth Centre
“This additional funding from the Victims of Crime Fund will allow all Zebra Child Protection Centre children and their families an opportunity to receive essential trauma counselling services. This opportunity will create a path for success as they move forward in their journey of healing.”
Lori Farquharson, Director, Business and Community Development, Zebra Child Protection Centre
The Counselling for Children grant was available to child advocacy centres that offer a coordinated and collaborative approach to addressing the needs of children and young victims of sexual exploitation and offences causing physical and mental harm.
As is the case with many new funding programs, this pilot program will be evaluated at the end of the three-year funding term. The funding totals approximately $1.3 million over three years.