Connect Family and Sexual Abuse Network

Program snapshot

Age group: Young adult (18-24); Adult (25-64)

Gender: Mixed (male and female)

Population served: Families; Victims of crime

Topic: Family (domestic) violence/child maltreatment; Sexual violence (non-domestic)

Setting: Urban area; Social services setting

Location: Alberta

Number of completed Canadian outcome evaluation studies: 0

Continuum of intervention: Tertiary crime prevention

Brief Description

Connect Family and Sexual Abuse Network is a collaborative network that provides a coordinated interagency response to sexual assault/abuse and domestic violence/abuse. The Connect collaborative works at all levels, from direct service delivery to policy change, system improvements, organizational protocol and procedure changes, and training of key gatekeeper staff within large systems (e.g., health, police).

Connect services are offered to individuals, families and professionals experiencing domestic violence and/or sexual assault/abuse through the low threshold “Gateway Model” developed by Connect, which includes a Support and Information Line (24/7); Domestic Violence (DV) In-Person Support; Sexual Assault Response Team; Counselling for victims of Sexual Assault; Community Police Liaison; DV Education Coordinator; and, Sexual Assault Health Follow-up Clinic.

Goals

The main goals of the Connect Family and Sexual Abuse Network program are to:

  • Improve early access to service for all individuals affected by domestic violence and sexual assault – including women, men, victims, offenders, and informal supports such as family or friends;
  • Increase awareness of community services that support victims of sexual assault and/or domestic violence;
  • Help individuals affected by domestic violence and/or sexual assault to navigate their way through the service delivery system and match them with services that meet their unique needs;
  • Provide a welcoming and easy to access “low threshold entry point” to service for those individuals who may be reluctant to seek formal support;
  • Educate and act as a resource to first responders in generalist service agencies such as health care and front-line police;
  • Foster and maintain collaborative working relationships among helping professionals with the aim of increasing access to service; and
  • Continue to lead in the provision of services, development of best practice models,and system change for those affected by sexual assault and domestic violence.

Clientele

The program assists both adult victims of domestic violence and their children, as well as adolescent and adult victims of sexual assault/abuse and their accompanying families.

Core Components

The Connect Family and Sexual Abuse Network operated as follows:

  • Operate 24/7 telephone support and information line, in-person support and a web site call center for domestic violence support and information;
  • Support provided for families through in-person domestic violence support;
  • Direct victims to call center for sexual assault support and information;
  • Individuals supported through sexual assault counselling at Connect; and
  • Clients served by the sexual assault response team.

Implementation Information

Some of the critical elements for the implementation of this program or initiative include the following:

  • Organizational requirements: The Connect Family and Sexual Abuse Network Team consists of coordinated interagency response to sexual assault/abuse and domestic violence/abuse. The Connect collaborative works at all levels, from direct service delivery to policy change, system improvements, organizational protocol and procedure changes, and training of key gatekeeper staff within large systems.
  • Partnerships: Connect represents a collaborative partnership between multiple domesticviolence and sexual assault services, including: the Crown Prosecutors Office, Alberta Health Services, Calgary Police Service, RCMP, Calgary and Area Child and Family Services Authority, Calgary Communities Against Sexual Abuse, Distress Centre Calgary, and community agencies serving victims of domestic violence.
  • Training and technical assistance: Limited information on this topic.
  • Risk assessment tools: Limited information on this topic.
  • Materials & resources: Limited information on this topic.

International Endorsements

The most recognized classification systems of evidence-based crime prevention programs have classified this program or initiative as follows:

  • Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development: Not applicable.
  • Crime Solutions/OJJDP Model Program Guide: Not applicable.
  • SAMHSA's National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices: Not applicable.
  • Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy: Not applicable.

Gathering Canadian Knowledge

Canadian Implementation Sites

The project was first implemented by Alberta Health Services in the City of Calgary, Alberta from May 2009 – July 2012. During this time there was: 625 calls in 2011 for domestic violence support and information, 27 families supported through in-person domestic violence support, average 2000 calls per year received for sexual assault support and information, 104 individuals supported through sexual assault counselling at Connect, and an average 288 clients per year served by the sexual assault response team.

Main Findings from Canadian Outcome Evaluation Studies

No information available.

Cost Information

A social return on investment (SROI) has been conducted on the Connect Family and Sexual Abuse Network. The findings from this study have shown the following:

  • Over the three-year pilot, the average social value of investment in the Connect Family and Sexual Abuse Network is $3.14 for every dollar invested; and
  • This value is realized by a reduction in the cost of the following: homelessness, life-long care of children born with FASD, justice system involvement, undiagnosed and untreated chronic disease, and pregnancy and birth complications.

Funding was provided by the Safe Communities Innovation Fund (SCIF), Government of Alberta.

References

Alberta Community Crime Prevention Organizations. (2015). Social Return on Investment (SROI) Case Study: Family Violence Outreach Team. Recipient of Safe Communities Innovation Fund, Government of Alberta. Available from: https://open.alberta.ca/publications/safe-communities-innovation-fund-pilot-project-executive-summaries

For more information on this program, contact:

Alberta Health Services
Calgary Health Region
Debra Tomlinson
Phone: (403) 955-6034
E-mail: Deb.Tomlinson@albertahealthservices.ca


Record Entry Date - 2018-02-21

Date modified: