Sadly, the harsh reality of child abuse is still quite prevalent in today’s society. October marks Child Abuse Prevention Month. The Chinook Child and Youth Advocacy Centre in Lethbridge is raising awareness in our community. They are doing so by encouraging community members to wear blue on October 24 for National Child Abuse Prevention Day in solidarity of children who have been abused. The manager of the centre, Cheryl Patterson, says the non-profit group has taken 160 case files since November of 2021. She says they have a new building that’s currently being worked on that is set to become a permanent facility.
“We are hoping that there’s individuals or businesses in the community who are interested in investing in the future of children who would be interested in reaching out to us to help us reach that final $150,000 that we need to solidify the renovations needed for our centre. We’re working with our contractor at Silver Ridge Construction to hopefully put it out for tender beginning of January and have the centre ready to open by spring of 2023.
The centre has child and family advocates who work at the centre along with a clinical psychologist. They also work with child protective service partners, law enforcement officers and mental health workers in a partnership to help out children who have been abused.