The Chinook Child Advocacy Centre (CCAC) continues on with its Give Support Give Hope fundraising campaign, which will help the centre achieve its mission.
The CCAC will soon be one of eight centres in Alberta devoted to giving children and youth who have experienced abuse or severe neglect a safe space to share their story and receive support.
The centre will be providing valuable resources needed to help children cope through the entire disclosure, investigation and judicial process they need to go through when addressing cases of sexual, physical and emotional abuse.
The CCAC is a community-based response which uses a “seamless, co-ordinated and collaborative approach to addressing the needs of victims or children and youth who have witnessed a crime.”
CEOK Kristine Cassie explained that sexual violence is extensively linked with other significant health and societal concerns such as addiction, mental illness, human trafficking, suicide, parenting challenges, homelessness and domestic violence.
She went on to say that in order to address these societal concerns, the community must invest early in the lives of children.
As the centre continues to prepare for its opening — slated to take place in the spring — fundraising efforts to help cover expenses are underway.
The organization says it will need a forensic interview room, which will need to be soundproofed and include recording devices. Dedicated areas for therapy and family meetings will also be needed.
The CCAC has a fundraising goal of $280,000.
One of the donors stepping up to the plate to help fund this initiative is the owner of Prime Catering and the Italian Table in Lethbridge, who is sponsoring the kitchen.
“The Chinook Child Advocacy Centre, will deal with many of the ugliest truths in our society that manifest in severe social issues,” Michael Marcotte said.
“Unfortunately, children are often the beneficiaries of generational trauma, mental health and addiction.”
Marcotte went on to say that adverse childhood experiences (ACES) demand disruption and then the support of trauma-informed services.
“The antidote for adverse childhood trauma is love and support,” he said.
Through a matching donation fund from staff, Marcotte said Prime Catering and Italian Table are proud to sponsor the kitchen at the CCAC.
“I can think of nothing more upstream in prevention than investing in our most vulnerable children,” he said.