It takes courage and bravery for a child to share their story of abuse, for families to bring their children forward, to believe, to listen without judgement and to seek justice.
Empowering children and families impacted by abuse to lead healthy and fulfilling lives by building a community that collectively battles child abuse.
To work in an integrated, trauma informed environment to treat abused children, youth, and their families, support their recovery and seek to stop the cycle of abuse.
What To Do If you Suspect Child Abuse
Recognize the signs. Listen, believe and report your concern.
Children’s Services Intervention Office: (403) 340-5400
Child Services 24 Hour Crisis Line: 1-800-638-0715
RCMP: (403) 343-5575
It is your legal duty to report suspected child abuse. You do not need proof, just a reasonable suspicion.
Giving Back The PRomise and Possibility of a Healthy Future
What you Need to Know
About the CACAC
The Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre is a not for profit organization rooted in the protection and recovery of today’s most innocent and vulnerable – our children. Together with our partners and stakeholders – Central Region Children’s Services, Central Alberta Sexual Assault Support Centre, Alberta Health Services Addiction and Mental Health, Alberta Justice and Education by Alberta and the RCMP – we provide integrated services that ensure that a child can share their story, and have it safely heard. Our team of dedicated professionals provide a coordinated approach that supports the recovery of the children, youth and families affected by abuse, helping them to overcome adversity with the promise and possibility of a healthy future.
What is Child Abuse?
Abuse, also called maltreatment, is the act of emotionally, sexually or physically harming a child. It includes depriving a child of affection and acceptance, neglecting to meet their day-to-day needs or endangering them in any way. Abuse also includes sexual exploitation and exposing a child to sexual contact, activity or behaviour.
Recognizing Signs Of Child Abuse
A child who has experienced abuse may display physical or emotional signs, including but not limited to:
- Sudden changes in behaviour or performance.
- Unexplained physical injuries or injuries that are not consistent with the child’s explanation.
- Extreme behavioural reactions such as aggression or withdrawal.
- Sexual knowledge or behaviour beyond their stage of development.
- Not wanting to go home or running away.
- Always hungry, sick or not suitably dressed for the conditions.
Be Aware Of Your Initial Reaction
It takes a lot of courage, bravery and trust for a child to tell an adult that another adult is hurting them. Although it is common to feel fear, disbelief or anger, it is incredibly important to stay calm, because this vulnerable child is also scared and confused. Initial reactions are critical for the child’s path to healing and recovery.
Listen and Believe
It is important to allow the child to do most of the talking. If you require additional understanding, use an open-ended question or phrase, such as “tell me more.”
Once you have reasonable grounds to suspect abuse, or if the child discloses, stop asking any further questions. Reassure the child that telling someone was the right thing to do and that you believe them. Explain to the child that you will need to tell someone who can help, and that they are safe.
Document Any Comments Verbatim
This includes any comments made by the child, parent, caregiver or anyone else relevant to the situation.