Family Violence Initiative

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

INTERACTIONS WITHIN COMMUNITIES

Family Violence Interventions

Program name:

Millbrook Family Healing Centre

Organization:

Mi'kmaq Family and Children Services

Location:

Millbrook First Nation, Nova Scotia

Target Group:

Aboriginal Women, Youth (male and female)

Contact Name:

Beverly Walker, Program Supervisor

Phone:

902-893-8483

Email:

walkerbc@gov.ns.ca

Website:

N/A

Program Overview
History:

The Millbrook Family Healing Centre was founded in 1995.

Program Description
Goals & Objectives:

To provide a place of safety for women and children and to deliver culturally relevant programs to people who experience violence in all forms.

Traditional/Indigenous ways:

The centre provides holistic healing based upon the Medicine Wheel teachings. People can drop in to the Millbrook Family Healing Centre and be smudged, and receive counselling. If they feel they are in trouble, anxious, or concerned about using substances; the cleansing ceremonies help keep them on a healthy track.

Components of program:

The Centre provides short and long term shelter, 24 hour support services, individual and group counselling for women, life skills training, and access to community services, advocacy, outreach programs, prevention education (individual, group and community-based) and referrals. It also offers 24 hour crisis intervention in person or by phone. Clients requesting Elder support, sweat lodge and ceremony have access to spiritual guidance and Elders are on staff. In addition to the in house healing program, there is an outreach program called Eagle Feather Group. It is an eight week program dealing with needs in the community. The group comes together to discuss issues and work on self-esteem with domestic violence prevention as part of the outreach goal.

Services/How they work:

Services are provided on site at the facility.

Funding:

Funding is provided by the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

Relationships and Stakeholders
Involvement of Target Groups:

Programming is designed around community collaboration and feedback.

Partners:

Eagles Nest; Journey of Healing; Transition Houses Association of Nova Scotia; RCMP; and the Mi'kmaw Legal Support Network.

Other relationships:

Churches, schools, local health centres.

Details of Program Evaluation
Evaluation:

An evaluation has been completed.

Highlights of Evaluation Findings:

Key findings of the report suggest that greater funding is required for core and administrative operations in order for programs to deliver sustainable, consistent intervention and prevention programs that address family violence.

Program Outcomes
Measures of Success:

Success is measured by the continued demand for services requested of the organization by the community; the increasing number of women who have safely moved on from abusive relationships; and an increasing community consciousness that family violence is not acceptable in Mi'kmaq country.

Achievements:

Building successful partnerships with other Mi'kmaq organizations to deliver meaningful programs. The facility has become an active site for positive community building activities.

Challenges:

Obtaining funding. Lack of qualified Indigenous applicants for positions. The program also suffers from a lack of staff retention.

Things to Know to Replicate
Replication Advice:

The program is considered replicable. Potential programs should partner with other organizations for training and certification and then adapt to be culturally relevant. Also, programs need to be flexible in order to best serve community needs; and parenting programs are the key to building healthy families. It is very important to have respected community members giving guidance in the shelter.

Resources:

Adequate funding, properly trained staff and facility space for the programming would be necessary to ensure the program's success.

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