About the Bison Centre
Child Advocacy Centre - High Level, AB
The Bison Child & Youth Advocacy Centre opened in 2021 and is the 9th Child Advocacy Centre in Alberta. The Bison Centre serves children and youth (under 18) who have experienced sexual, physical or psychological abuse, exploitation, and/or neglect. We also work with those who have witnessed other types of trauma or violence.
The Bison Centre is located in the town of High Level, a rural, Northwestern Alberta community. The town in centrally located, and serves a large demographic and geographical area spanning approximately 80,000 square kilometers, encompassing many small communities and hamlets, some more remotely located than others, along with a diverse number of populations.
Since the opening of The Bison Child & Youth Advocacy Center, we have seen an increase in child abuse investigations. Our centre provides a much needed service for the local community and surrounding area, assisting with needs throughout the Northwest Region.
Our Multi-Disciplinary Team
We are comprised of a committed multi-disciplinary team that works together to provide the best possible services for children and their families.
Our team consists of: RCMP, Children Services, North Peace Tribal Council Children Services, Little Red River Cree Nation-Mamawai Awasis Society, Alberta Health Services, PACE, Victim Services as well as Crown Prosecution. This collaborative approach strives to minimize stress, anxiety and trauma to the child witness, while working to promote safety, protection and justice.
Prior to Child Advocacy Centres being established, children/youth who disclosed abuse and/or those who may have witnessed other types of violence, were treated the same as adults. Children were required to tell their experiences over and over as they met independently with police, children services, medical professionals and crown prosecutors. This experience was often frightening for the victims, creating additional stress and confusion for them and their families, leaving families to navigate the criminal justice system alone, without information and supports.
a Safe & Comfortable Environment for Children
The Bison Child & Youth Advocacy Centre is designed to provide a safe and comfortable environment where children could disclose abuse, reducing the trauma and anxiety they may have. The Centre seeks to provide children and their caregivers with a single point of contact to assist them throughout the process; from initial disclosure, through the investigation, court proceedings, and any on-going supports and/ or referrals to therapeutic treatment.
By supporting children, youth and their non-offending caregivers, Child Advocacy Centres provide customized supports that best suit the needs of children and their families and will allow them to heal at their own pace.