Photo from Pexels.com

Central Alberta Women’s Emergency Shelter embraces new program

“Open Doors” program led by YWCA helps women who have experienced trauma

Central Alberta Women’s Emergency Shelter (CAWES) has joined a national initiative to help women who have experienced trauma.

The “Open Doors” initiative is spearheaded by YWCA Canada, B.C. Society of Transition Housing, Women’s Shelters Canada and the Canadian Women’s Foundation and CAWES joined in January.

The goal of the program is to encourage the adoption of “trauma informed” services and what are known as “low-barrier-to-entry” services in organizations dedicated to helping women who have experienced violence.

YWCA is leading the three-year project that provides support and training to women’s shelters and transition houses on trauma-informed responses to mental health and substance use concerns.

“Selected participants will be trained on the ways that trauma can cause physiological changes that may trigger substance use and mental health concerns,” says the YWCA on its website.

Participants take a three-day training session followed by conference calls, webinars and other resources to help spread the message.

In a news release, CAWES says it has always tried to “deliver services that were client-centered and evidence-based.

“However, as we learned about the need to address trauma we have had to re-examine every aspect of our services to ensure we are not inadvertently re-traumatizing clients in an attempt to help,” says the shelter.

A CAWES spokesperson was not immediately available for further comment.

“We have also had to recognize that limiting our services to only women who experience domestic violence was not fair or justifiable: women can experience violence in many settings.”

Shelter staff are working with women in a way that “minimizes re-traumatization,” says CAWES.

“We are opening our doors to women who, in the past, we turned away or referred to other services. We are learning about, implementing, and encouraging our residents and outreach clients to consider harm-reduction strategies.”

CAWES is collecting data on client outcomes, referrals, safety and staff satisfaction as part of the Open Doors initiative. Regular updates on progress will be provided over the next year and a report will be shared with the community once findings are complete.



News tips

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Man accused of manslaughter in fatal collision testifies he was cut off

A Delburne man accused of causing a fatal collision said he was… Continue reading

Class size targets hard to reach in Red Deer

Red Deer Public Schools recently updated its average class size

Lotteries look to younger customers to increase sales

Promoting online and interactive games

Red Deer man helps light up the holidays for others

Jim Elliott’s in his 15th year of mapping the city’s most magical, lit-up homes

WATCH: CP Holiday Train rolls into Lacombe

Kelly Prescott performed for hundreds of Central Albertans

Barry Cooper: Separation has become a real possibility, thanks to Ottawa’s abuses

In the past couple of weeks, a retired senior oil executive, Gwyn… Continue reading

Sex assault trial for former gymnastics coach resumes in Sarnia

SARNIA, Ont. — The trial of a former high-ranking gymnastics coach accused… Continue reading

Victims of former ski coach Charest say they were ‘sacrificed’ by Alpine Canada

MONTREAL — A lawsuit filed Wednesday against Alpine Canada by three victims… Continue reading

Emily Blunt on the ‘daunting’ task of playing Mary Poppins

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Emily Blunt loves a challenge, and in the… Continue reading

Tommy Chong says Canada’s weed legalization has kept ‘underground market alive’

TORONTO — Tommy Chong has a pass, man. While some Canadians who… Continue reading

Apple deepens Austin ties, expands operations east and west

AUSTIN, Texas — Apple will build a $1 billion campus in Austin,… Continue reading

Trump comments upend U.S. approach to Huawei, trade talks

WASHINGTON — The United States and China have taken pains this week… Continue reading

Most Read