On-Site Support Programs
Zebra’s ChildLife volunteers engage with the children when they first come to the centre to help orient them to the environment, introduce them to the playroom and, most importantly, allow them to settle in with a sense of security and support. These volunteers play a key role in helping to mitigate the children’s trauma and reduce their stress. This is critical to preparing the children for their interview.
Child and Family Advocates
Zebra’s Child and Family Advocates are the “good neighbours” who stand by the children and their families as they deal with the aftermath of abuse and begin the process of healing. They support the victims at pre-trial meetings and court preparation sessions and serve as liaisons to update families and answer any questions they have about the trial process. These volunteers are the “good neighbours” who demonstrate to the victims that they do not have to face the intimidating court processes and challenges of rebuilding their lives alone – they are in a community that cares.
Intake/Crisis Assessment for Children
Waiting lists and financial limitations can be barriers to children receiving essential mental health care during the acute trauma stages of their abuse and disclosure. The Zebra Centre recognizes the importance of addressing the child and family needs in this area and at present is in discussions with Alberta Health Services in negotiating the permanent presence of a Clinical Psychologist on site. In keeping with the National Children’s Alliance of best practice standards and attending to the needs of the children and families that access the Centre’s services, Zebra has set up an emergency fund for those families unable to finance mental health support and has arranged a variety of community referrals for psychological support.
Zebra has implemented a comprehensive computer database system to support investigations and manage advocacy and referrals for the children we serve.
Acute Crisis Emergency Necessity Replacements
Often essential personal items, such as clothing, linens, mattresses and toys, need to be removed in the process of investigation. Zebra replaces these items.
Knapsack and Care Bags
Donated knapsacks and age-appropriate gifts help restore a sense of dignity to children removed from their homes and serve as a reminder that their community cares. Young volunteers help select items for the gift bags.
This child-centred, multi-disciplinary approach benefits the children, their caregivers and every citizen in Alberta as it promotes fair and safe truth-seeking. Equally important, this resource assists child victims and their non-offending caregivers access to appropriate and effective resources to promote healing
Family and Youth Divisions
The Provincial Court of Alberta