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Alberta government reworks funding model for child advocacy centres

Last Updated Feb 21, 2020 at 12:23 pm MDT

A shot outside the Calgary & Area Child Advocacy Centre. (CREDIT Calgary & Area Child Advocacy Centre, Facebook)

EDMONTON (660 NEWS) – The Government of Alberta says it’s introducing a consistent and equitable funding model to help vulnerable children across the province get the help they need.

The new funding model replaces the previous system of annual grants with a three-year funding cycle.

“Child Advocacy Centres show the power of public, private and not-for-profit organizations working with caring citizens to support children and families affected by abuse. This new funding model will ensure fairness across the province and give families certainty in accessing the supports they need,” said Minister of Children’s Services, Rebecca Schulz.

The provincial government will provide $3.4 million per year for 2020-23 to support child advocacy centres in Edmonton, Calgary, Grande Prairie, Red Deer, Lloydminster and Fort McMurray.

Funding has also been set aside for centres in Medicine Hat and Lethbridge, should they open.

“We are grateful for the support of the Government of Alberta,” said chair of the Zebra Child Protection Centre Allison McCollum. “Child Advocacy Centres are the result of a strong community response working to end child abuse through collaboration of services and resources.”

The new funding model, however, will see a decrease in dollars for the child advocacy centre in Calgary. In 2019, the centre received $1.9 million, while for the next three years will be given $1.3 million annually.

All other existing centres will see an increase in funding with the Zebra protection centre in Edmonton going from $712,000 to just over $1 million a year.

The government said total funding amounts won’t change but be distributed based on the new model, which takes into account previous base funding, the number of clients served, and the need based on a community’s child intervention caseload.