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

Shipping oil by rail questioned

Red Deer-area mayors respond

Country star Gord Bamford and The Reclaws perform free Games concert Friday

Show starts at 6:30 p.m. in heated dome off Celebration Plaza in downtown Red Deer

Survey looks at social isolation among older men

Partnership between Red Deer College and Golden Circle Resource Centre

Peruvian brothers travel nearly 8,000 km to volunteer at Canada Winter Games in Red Deer

Italo and Mirko Del Castillo say Canadian warmth contrasts with twinter cold

Pride Days celebrated for first time at Canada Winter Games on Feb. 21 and 28

Pride Days are another first for Red Deer’s 2019 Canada Winter Games.… Continue reading

Gardening: What are you planting in 2019?

What’s new in plants for 2019? Checking catalogues, greenhouses and stores will… Continue reading

Opinion: I spy another energy hypocrite

Talk about biting the hand that feeds you. The mittens provided to… Continue reading

Canada’s bobsleigh team races World Cup on Calgary home track facing closure

CALGARY — Canada’s skeleton and bobsled teams will race a World Cup… Continue reading

Italy becomes ninth international football league to join forces with CFL

TORONTO — Add Italy to the growing list of international football federations… Continue reading

Toronto Defiant Overwatch academy team to be known as the Montreal Rebellion

MONTREAL — The Toronto Defiant’s Overwatch academy team will be known as… Continue reading

Canadian fashion and design insiders recall Karl Lagerfeld’s charm, ingenuity

TORONTO — Several Canadian fashion and design experts who knew couture icon… Continue reading

Millennial Money: Make your funds move at the speed of life

Change is constant — especially when you’re young. Chances are you’ll cycle… Continue reading

TSB says improved tankers involved in Manitoba derailment that spilled crude

ST. LAZARE, Man. — Federal investigators say CN rail cars that spilled… Continue reading

Most Read