Welcoming Webster & Axel
SHELDON KENNEDY CHILD ADVOCACY CENTRE PARTNERS UP WITH DOGS WITH WINGS TO SUPPORT VICTIMS OF CHILD ABUSE
Two of the newest employees of the Sheldon Kennedy CAC are being welcomed to the community playing key role in supporting child abuse cases
Calgary, Alta—July 24, 2017, the Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre (SKCAC) will meet at 11:30 AM MST for the formal welcoming of Webster and Axel from Dogs with Wings of Edmonton, AB.
The Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre is a not for profit organization, governed by a board of directors that works in a collaborative partnership with Calgary Police Service (CPS), Calgary Region Children’s Services (CFS), Alberta Health Services (AHS), Alberta Justice – Calgary Crown Prosecutor’s Office, the RCMP and Alberta Education to better serve children and families who are involved in the investigation, intervention and treatment of child abuse.
The Centre offers a child-focused model of care to support children, youth, and families impacted by child sexual abuse and the most severe and complex cases of physical abuse and neglect. Since opening its doors in 2013, the Sheldon kennedy Child Advocacy Centre has assessed over 6,300 cases, averaging 124 new cases per month.
Bonnie Johnston, CEO of the SKCAC believes in the power of integrated practice, and is excited to partner with Dogs with Wings, knowing these incredible companions will provide additional comfort through the difficult times that arise for children and youth during the investigation, medical assessment, forensic interview and judicial process.
“Research shows that children experience decreases in heart rate and blood pressure when petting a dog. The company of a service dog also facilitates social communication and makes it easier for children to make connections with people. These positive benefits help in the interview room specifically, allowing the children and youth we assess to feel comfortable, less anxious, and safe while sharing what happened.”
-Sarah MacDonald, SKCAC Forensic Interviewer
Additionally, as a result of the Victim’s Bill of Rights in Canada, the children and youth assessed at the Centre have the right to be treated with courtesy, compassion, respect and to feel safe, secure, and protected from intimidation. Webster and Axel will walk alongside the children, youth and families throughout the court process, one that can can instill fear in children. This can inhibit a child’s ability to testify against their abusers and can have a negative impact on the ability to prosecute accused persons.
– Adelle Wiebe, SKCAC Victim Support Coordinator
Webster and Axel will make a profound difference as part of the integrated team with the Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre. Together with our partners, we will work to create safe communities, respond collectively to child abuse, while providing hope, help and healing to all child victims of abuse.