Child Support Training Project
Background to project:
- ACYS provided $55,000 to ACWS to support building capacity in provision of child support in Alberta shelters in March 2009
- At the Shelter Directors meeting in June 2009 a small ad hoc committee formed to discuss and make recommendations to ACWS for best utilizing training $$. (Committee members: Carol Tabone, Geri Karsten, Jean Dunbar, Karen Pease, Kerri Potvin, Lisa Falkowsky, Sherrie Botten, Mary Ellen Proctor, Carolyn Goard, ACWS)
- Committee met July 28th, 2009 resulting in the following recommendations:
- Dollars be allocated to partner with Mount Royal College Child and Youth Care Research Institute to bring Dr. Bruce Perry in for a workshop presentation in February/March 2010.
- Dollars be allocated to reproduce Children’s program manuals (Child Care, Children’s Groups & Parenting) that were distributed by ACWS at the Children Who Witness Training (Jaffe et al) that occurred in 2003. YWCA of Calgary authored the manuals and shared the manuals with ACWS at the time of the training. These manuals continue to be a resource for the membership through ACWS. To date, there has not been funding available to reproduce the documents for distribution to the membership.
- Through late November 2009 Carolyn explored the possibility of collaborating with Mount Royal to bring Bruce Perry in to deliver workshop in spring 2010. Negotiations were undertaken with Dr. Perry by Dawne Clark of Mount Royal. In the end, the costs were prohibitive. However, these conversations generated some interesting ideas for partnership with Mount Royal in developing sustainable training for shelter child care/support programming across the province.
- In December 2009 ACYS granted an extension for use of the $55,000 to March 31st, 2011, with an understanding of the planning that is underway for best utilization of the dollars.
- The children’s manuals will be sent out to member shelters by the end of March 2010.
- Committee met again on February 19th to discuss the following project. Committee members comments included:
- Most likely model to reach most of the shelters
- Quite ambitious
- Will build credibility with other provincial funders and community partners
- Possibility to set achievable standards in delivering service to chlldren In shelter – at the end of the day providing excellent service to children
- Makes the most of the opportunity (ie dollars)
- Initiative must be “named what it is” (ie not training front line child support staff to be child therapists)
- Following then is a brief description of the proposed project with Mount Royal for your consideration and input.
Proposed Project Background: In 2008-2009 Alberta Women’s shelters provided safe haven to 6,157 women and their 5,337 children. ACYS recently provided $55,000 in capacity building dollars to ACWS to support delivery of child support services in shelters across the province. It is the goal of this project to support the development, integration and evaluation of promising child support practices in shelters across Alberta. This project will be undertaken in partnership with Mount Royal College and other community partners yet to be determined.
Goal: Build capacity in Alberta shelters to deliver enhanced services to high risk children in shelter through child support programming.
Outcome: Children and youth are better supported in shelter and mothers are more informed and equipped to mitigate the impact of abuse on their children.
- Understanding the context –
- Literature review of promising practices in supporting children impacted by domestic violence (specifically inclusive of brain development, trauma, and attachment );
- Current models that are used in domestic violence shelters including shelters in Alberta;
- Models that are used in other types of projects and initiatives in Alberta, Canada and Internationally.
- Use information collected to develop intervention:
- Phase I – develop content and process for face to face training sessions (3) with experts in the field which will be filmed (training available to all ACWS member shelters)
- Phase II – develop a web based training curriculum which will include excerpts from training sessions and will be based on the information gathered in the first project phase
- Review of training events: including post session questionnaire
- Carry out interviews with shelter participants aimed at gathering their opinions about effectiveness of training and its content; undertaken several times over the course of the project in order to understand the long-term impact of the training
- Small group of shelters who volunteer after the initial training sessions will formally pilot and evaluate the interventions by collecting client and process data to
- ensure that promising practices are incorporated in shelter daily practices and that feedback loop is in place to ensure continuous improvement cycle;
- determine impact of the training and implementation of promising practices on the clients receiving shelter services;
- Where necessary, data collection structures and processes will be developed and shelter capacities will be enhanced to accommodate the data collection processes.
- Plan developed for ongoing update of curriculum.