Family Violence Initiative

COMPENDIUM OF PROMISING PRACTICES TO REDUCE VIOLENCE AND INCREASE SAFETY OF ABORIGINAL WOMEN IN CANADA – COMPENDIUM ANNEX: DETAILED PRACTICE DESCRIPTIONS

HISTORICAL LEGACY

Support for Parents

Program name:

Aboriginal Mothers Advocacy Project

Organization:

Creating Hope Society of Alberta

Location:

Edmonton, Alberta

Target Group:

Everyone.

Contact Name:

Bernadette Lahtail

Phone:

780-477-7961

Email:

biahtail@creatinghopesociety.ca

Website:

www.creatinghopesociety.ca

Program Overview
History:

The program began in April of 2011 and is ongoing. The scope of the programming began with a focus on mothers and has been extended to single fathers and couples as well.

Program Description
Goals & Objectives:

To work with the child welfare system to reunite children with their families where possible.

Traditional/Indigenous ways:

The program utilizes the smudge room, and sharing circle process. Elders are involved with the processes. Traditional teachings are utilized.

Components of program:

The program provides training to clients on strengthening skills dealing with communication, and maintaining healthy relationships. It also helps clients develop safety plans for themselves and their families, offers support groups and makes referrals to the local women's shelter.

Services/How they work:

Services are provided on site at the facility.

Funding:

Department of Justice Canada; the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada's Urban Aboriginal Strategy (UAS); Children's Services Region 6; Province of Alberta

Relationships and Stakeholders
Involvement of Target Groups:

Clients meet with staff, attend the support nights, follow-up care and community care circles. All are involved in the decision-making process for the client in a consensus style.

Partners:

Region 6, Aboriginal Leadership Group, Learning Circles (Senior management level), Family Law Office

Other relationships:

N/A

Details of Program Evaluation
Evaluation:

Evaluation in process as of 2012.

Highlights of Evaluation Findings:

N/A

Program Outcomes
Measures of Success:

Success is measured by the return of children back into their homes with the mothers or family members; clients breaking out of abusive relationships; and an increase in the program's support network.

Achievements:

Successfully returning children to their homes. Being instrumental in the increase of the expansion of understanding of mothers' rights and responsibilities in connection with the child welfare system. Being recognized for the facility's work by funders, partners, children's service workers and the family law offices.

Challenges:

It is difficult to sustain healthy and safe environments for clients and their children. It is challenging working with the mandate of the Child Welfare system.

Things to Know to Replicate
Replication Advice:

The program is considered replicable. There is a need to build trust with the client, with the department which takes time and patience. Staffing can become an issue as caseloads rise.

Resources:

Adequate funding, human resources and facility space are needed for the program to succeed.

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