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

Healthy Relationships: Women

Program name:

Circle of Safety Violence Program

Organization:

Aboriginal Consulting Services

Location:

Edmonton, Alberta

Target Group:

Everyone.

Contact Name:

Sue Languedoc

Phone:

N/A

Email:

sue@aboriginalsonsultingservices.ca

Website:

www.aboriginalconsultingservices.ca

Program Overview
History:

An environmental scan for the program began in 2002, and the program itself began in 2004. The program is still operating, and has grown in participant size, and scope, i.e. children's circle added, teen circle added.

Program Description
Goals & Objectives:

To promote and secure the safety of women and children through educating clients about the issue of domestic violence.

Traditional/Indigenous ways:

The program tries to involve a generic approach to traditional healing ways, given in Cree country, but uses many other cultural teachings and ceremonies. The program also learns from the families, and participants.

Components of program:

The program is of 20 weeks duration, and has women's, men's, and children's teaching circles available. One teaching is taught per circle, and participants learn what family violence is, as well as what good parenting is, and how family violence affects parenting; children learn safety planning, and social skills development. Every six weeks, there is a parent/child circle where both learn together and a creative activity is undertaken. The teaching circle model addresses: parenting, roles and responsibilities; the safety of women and children; and targets all aspects of violence using a variety of measures and interventions. Clients are referred by child welfare, and probation officers. Ten out of the twenty weeks of the program focus on family violence specifically, and the remaining ten pertain to parenting. The goal is to create a balanced learning experience for the participants.

Services/How they work:

Services are provided on site at the facility.

Funding:

Funding provided by Public Safety Canada's National Crime Prevention Centre; and Children's Services.

Relationships and Stakeholders
Involvement of Target Groups:

Feedback directly impacts the program direction.

Partners:

N/A

Other relationships:

N/A

Details of Program Evaluation
Evaluation:

An evaluation has been completed.

Highlights of Evaluation Findings:

Because of intergenerational abuses that have occurred within families, change is going to take a long time, and it is not just about changing behaviour, it's about changing attitudes, which can be daunting because of the systemic abuses over generations. Family violence is multi-layered, and intergenerational trauma creates a "warped" sense of what is normal.

Program Outcomes
Measures of Success:

Success is measured against participant graduation from the program.

Achievements:

The program learns from the clients. It also gets many requests to share best practices, so staff share the screening and in-take processes, and assessment tools.

Challenges:

Obtaining funding.

The program receives no funding from the Children's advocate side, just from the children's intervention side of Children's Services.

Things to Know to Replicate
Replication Advice:

Program is considered replicable. No advice given.

Resources:

Adequate funding and staffing necessary to ensure program success.

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