Family Violence Initiative
COMPENDIUM OF PROMISING PRACTICES TO REDUCE VIOLENCE AND INCREASE SAFETY OF ABORIGINAL WOMEN IN CANADA – COMPENDIUM ANNEX: DETAILED PRACTICE DESCRIPTIONS
Healing and Renewal of Family Roles and Responsibilities
- Program name:
Mamowichihitowin Community Wellness Program
Hinton Friendship Centre
- Target Group:
- Contact Name:
Lisa Higgerty, Program Manager
The program commenced 12 years ago and started with one clinician. A strong therapeutic approach has been built over last two years based on evaluation and funding. The outcomes identified go to the next step to provide a greater service beyond prevention to intervention.
- Goals & Objectives:
To break the cycle of abuse and focus on understanding and treating trauma both historical and current.
- Traditional/Indigenous ways:
The therapeutic model is based on the Medicine Wheel and incorporating the Aboriginal perspective of spirit, mind and body. The Aboriginal tradition of dealing with issues as a family unit is followed. Traditional culture is incorporated with program Elders.
- Components of program:
The program addresses the problem of incest within families and works with the family unit from both a holistic and cultural perspective. All therapists have a minimum of a master's degree. Both individual and group therapy are incorporated within the program. The program length is 18 to 30 months depending on the family. The program targets violence therapeutically, both individual and family, with the goal of developing a healthy family unit.
- Services/How they work:
Services are provided on site at the facility.
The Department of Public Safety Canada; Waln Foundation for Families and Children; RCMP; Aboriginal Healing Foundation; the Department of Health Canada; the Public Health Agency of Canada; Suncor; Children's Service region 7 & 8; Aboriginal Relations, Province of Alberta; Aseniwuche Winewak Nation
Relationships and Stakeholders
- Involvement of Target Groups:
Mamowichihitowin has a community wellness committee comprised of four communities across the region. They facilitate and make programs for the community. Government agencies are involved who make decisions for individual families as well. The committee is involved in advocating legislative changes if necessary.
- Other relationships:
Details of Program Evaluation
An evaluation has been completed.
- Highlights of Evaluation Findings:
The report was not made available publicly, and no specific results can be provided.
- Measures of Success:
Four different communities have made huge strides and have had no community suicides, with little to no change in other communities. From a client base of over 250 clients, there have been no re-offending and no re-victimization.
The main accomplishments have been engaging the community and keeping them in therapy. No recidivism is a big accomplishment.
Obtaining funding. Because the program is funded by moe than one agency, everything about the clients is tracked; including education, income, etc. Often the collection of information doesn't fit within government funding parameters.
Things to Know to Replicate
- Replication Advice:
The program is considered replicable. The program has a mandate of teaching and is a model instructional environment set-up for teaching. Program staff teach psychologists from San Diego, and Loma Linda University.
Adequate funding, human resources and a facility to operate out of are essential to program success.
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