Gateway Gazette

Rowan House’s Sherrie Botten Recognized as an Inspiration

Alberta Inspiration Awards: Leadership in Family Violence Prevention

Alberta Human Services is pleased to present the 2014 Inspiration Awards. The awards recognize Albertans who demonstrate a commitment to ending family violence. Each year during Family Violence Prevention Month, extraordinary Albertans receive awards to honour their leadership in preventing family violence in their communities and across the province.

Individual Award Recipients

Sherrie Botten

Sherrie BottenExecutive Director, Rowan House Emergency Shelter

Sherrie is recognized for the incredible work she has done for Rowan House Emergency Shelter, as well as her efforts to facilitate the fundraising, construction, relocation and management of this 24-bed facility. She has radically changed the organization and community for the better, providing the best possible service and care for families in need. She is actively involved with the Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters, ensuring the voice of small rural shelters and clients is heard.

Patrick LaForge

Patrick LaForgeEdmonton Oilers

Patrick is honoured for his leadership in ending family violence. He was involved in fundraising for the construction of Hope Haven shelter in Lac La Biche in 2004, and the addition of Lynne’s House second stage shelter and new programming space in 2011. Patrick lends his voice, wisdom and resources to fundraising and awareness events. He understands the issues that many families face, and uses his influence to encourage others to help. He takes every opportunity to speak up to raise awareness of the impact of family violence and the services available to support families.

Kevin McNichol

Kevin McNicholExecutive Director, Homefront Calgary

Kevin has displayed great leadership and motivation in addressing the issue of family violence as a leader with the Domestic Conflict Response Team and the High Risk Management Initiative at HomeFront. In 2005, he introduced Knowledge Sharing Forums so service providers of family violence support could share their learnings with each other. Kevin wrote the domestic violence support protocols for the City of Calgary and has presented to various audiences on family violence issues. He consistently displays leadership qualities as he models and reinforces that collaboration is key to producing better results.

Business Award Recipients

Integra Air Lethbridge

Integra AirIntegra Air Lethbridge shows their commitment to the community through their support of the YWCA Lethbridge. Each Christmas, they sponsor children to fly to see Santa and Mrs. Claus because of their belief that everyone deserves a life free from violence and should experience kindness in their lives. The meaning of this event becomes so much more powerful because the realization is that Integra Air is bringing joy and hope to children who have experienced family violence and are struggling during the holiday season.

Myers Norris Penny Corporation of Medicine Hat

MNPFor more than 10 years, the staff at MNP have donated Christmas gifts for children in care and for families in need. The children and families who are the recipients of this donation see first-hand that there are organizations in their community that care. MNP’s annual donation not only sends the message to children that they are not alone, it also provides inspiration to other businesses to look at what they can do to help families that struggle with the effects of family violence and other forms of abuse and neglect.

Group/Organization Award Recipients

Edmonton Protection Order Program (EPOP) & Calgary Protection Order Program (CPOP)

EPOP and CPOP helps victims obtain and confirm protection orders in the Edmonton and Calgary areas. Their program is free and there are no eligibility requirements. Their success rate in court is remarkable; 90 per cent of applicants presented to the court are granted the Emergency Protection Order they require. The program has also built bridges between the courts and the police service, resulting in better response by front line officers when encountering complaints about family violence.

Leduc and District Family Violence Prevention Team

Formed in 1999, and consisting of a passionate group of community stakeholders, their goal is to create awareness about the impact of family violence and to help build relationships free from that violence. The Family Support and Intervention team is recognized for adopting a broad, collaborative approach in dealing with the issue of domestic violence; an approach incorporating the spiritual, physical, social and legal aspects of the issue, and one that speaks to all facets of human dynamics. The organization works with both the victims and the perpetrators of family violence, increasing awareness among all participants and providing them with tools to break the cycle.

Fort Saskatchewan Families First Society

Families First provides a continuum of care for those who have experienced family violence and is a leader in the development of the City of Fort Saskatchewan’s community plan to address family violence. This established social agency has an impeccable history of providing services to families. One such service is the Family Violence Prevention Program. The program offers hope and a sense of belonging to the residents at a time when they are most vulnerable and in need of a hand up. Families First is a community champion whose staff and programs have quietly made a significant impact in city’s social wellbeing.

Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient

Jean Dunbar

Jean DunbarOwner Operator of Jean Dunbar Counselling And Consulting

Jean Dunbar is a registered social worker who runs her own counselling service and has more than 20 years of experience as a Certified Play Therapist. Her vast experience includes, counselling, program development, facilitating workshops, supervision and executive management.

In the early 1990s, Jean began working as a group facilitator at the YWCA Sheriff King Home in Calgary. She quickly moved up the corporate ladder, ultimately becoming the director of family violence prevention programs. Ms. Dunbar was responsible for introducing child and family trauma and stress intervention. This program works with children who have recently witnessed family violence and the program has been found to decrease post-traumatic stress disorder symptom. Children who have witnessed family violence are among the highest demographics who suffer from this disorder.

While at the YWCA, Jean was responsible for a number of initiatives including the father’s parenting program, which provides counselling to men who have been in abusive relationships and are attempting to rebuild relationships with their children. Also unique to the Calgary YWCA, is its visitation services, which offers monitored exchanges and supervised visits to families in high conflict situations.

Ms. Dunbar is an individual who has been integral in changing the landscape of the domestic violence sector; she is renowned among staff and community colleagues for her expertise, generosity, fair mindedness, integrity and good humor.

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