Who We Are
About the CAC
The Child Advocacy Centre will be southern Alberta's first one-stop centre for the treatment of child abuse.
CAC will get to the truth when there is suspicion of physical abuse, emotional abuse, or sexual assault involving a child, and we'll be there to help a child heal, mend and grow beyond the abuse.
By bringing together four major community partners: Calgary Police Service, Calgary and Area Child and Family Services, Alberta Health Services, and Alberta Justice Calgary Crown Prosecutors, victims of abuse under the age of 18, can share their story without being re-traumatized time and time again.
These four government agencies are leading the way by implementing a new Alberta-model of integration and collaboration. For the first time ever, they will work together under one roof, to focus on treating abused children, stopping the cycle of abuse, changing victims' lives, and putting criminals behind bars.
The Centre's staff expertise involves police investigation, prosecution, medicine, social work, psychology, psychiatry, child development, and nursing – with a common commitment to a multidisciplinary approach to child abuse.
Investigation – We will be community leaders in investigation and prosecution. The CAC anticipates an increase in the number of guilty pleas as a result of the collaborative, multi-disciplinary approach to investigation, leading to just outcomes in child abuse cases.
Treatment – The CAC is committed to helping victims of abuse with issues of shame, embarrassment, safety and self-esteem. An on-site therapy team will provide wrap-around services that will help restore the child's dignity, hope and trust. This will help children move beyond the role of victim, and give them the skills to help prevent re-victimization.
Prevention – CAC knows the effects of abuse can last long into adulthood if not addressed. Abused girls have turned their anger inward, provoking eating disorders, attempted suicide and prostitution. Boys have turned their anger outward into violence. Some of the abused have become abusers.
If we can help abused kids and their families early on, we can not only prevent re-victimization, but help prevent criminal behaviour down the road by those who perpetrate the cycle of abuse on a new generation of victims.
Education: We will work with Calgary and area school boards to help educate teachers and students about abuse, what to watch for, and what to do to get help. Teachers are often the first to recognize a difference in a child's behaviour, and kids must know there is a safe place to go for help.
We have a tremendous opportunity to raise awareness about child abuse in our community and across Alberta. We want every child, parent, teacher, doctor and community group to know that if they have questions or suspicions, the CAC will provide answers and the help needed – without delay.
Health Model – the CACs Health Model includes Doctors and Nurses with a wealth of experience in dealing with child abuse. They will be dedicated to the CAC – and to ensuring support in Calgary and in Calgary and surrounding areas
Training – The CAC will be a first class training facility for staff and the community. Our goal is to bring organizations and concerned citizens together to build a bigger team in the fight against abuse.
Research – The CAC will work with researchers, including those at the University of Calgary, to conduct longitudinal studies and research on child abuse, which is a first of its kind in Alberta.
Volunteers:The goal is to engage dozens of volunteers throughout the community to be a part of this courageous and critical cause. We are currently developing Volunteer opportunities, responsibilities and guidelines.