Strengthening Natural Supports
COMMUNITY INPUT NEEDED FOR NEW VICTIMS SUPPORT PROGRAM
Airdrie and District Victims Assistance Society (ADVAS), with the support of the Calgary Foundation, is asking the community to join them in co-creating a toolkit to strengthen support for victims of crime and tragedy.
Acknowledging the incredible impact that Natural Supports have on the thousands of people who are victims assisted by ADVAS each year, the organization is aiming to provide information, resources, and connections to improve the quality and effectiveness of the support offered.
Deb Reid, Acting Executive Director at ADVAS, says the unique program is much needed in Airdrie and Rocky View County, “People who have been victims of a crime or tragedy rely on the people closest to them on their hardest days, and we see the impacts of great support and not great support in our work.” Inappropriate or ineffective support can further injure a person, limit their access to services that will help them to heal, impede their healing, and create safety risks that could lead to injury or death. Appropriate and effective support can ensure that a person who is a victim is safe, can access the right supports for their needs, and is able to follow through on their to do list.
“Natural Supports are critical, but it’s a hard job,” notes Lori Rehill, a long-time advocate for victims services in Alberta, “This isn’t something that you just go from work or home life to being a good support without any planning or intent. Being a good Natural Support, and working to limit the risk to your loved one, means preparation, listening, and being thoughtful in the information and opinions you share back.” Rehill adds that while most people don’t aim to injure those already suffering, “All it takes is a careless remark to really hurt someone and set them back.”
The organization is soliciting feedback from the general public through a number of touchpoints, including a survey that they would like you to take part in. The survey takes 15 minutes to complete, and your responses will be used in creating the new toolkit.
The new toolkit will launch this Spring.
Registration for the January 30, 3022, Group Conversation has closed. Please watch this space for our next scheduled event.