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ACWS Innovations Conference 2024

Intended for all shelter staff from front line to senior leaders, the Innovations Conference is an opportunity to grow skills and share knowledge to better support survivors and their children, especially those from communities that have been marginalized. It will blend presentations from academics, experts, front-line workers, and more to enhance knowledge around theory, practices, and on-the-ground strategies to support ethnoculturally diverse clients and staff in the domestic violence shelter sector.

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Ticket Sale Terms and Conditions

ACWS understands that circumstances may arise that may affect an attendee’s ability to come to the event. As such:

  • Attendees can transfer their ticket to a colleague on request up to 1 week prior to the event (on or before 16 October 2024). ACWS will make every effort to address the dietary and accessibility requests of the new attendee, understanding that this becomes more challenging closer to the event date. To request a ticket transfer, please send an email to learning@acws.ca and include the new attendee’s first and last name, pronouns, organization, email address, phone number, job title, dietary requirements/restrictions, and any additional accessibility requests.
  • If attendees are unable to find another team member to attend on their behalf, they may request a refund up to 6 weeks before the event date (on or before 11 September 2024). Refunds will be issued during that timeframe, less any service fees included the ticket price. After that time (on or after 12 September 2024), no refunds will be issued.

Proposal Submissions

We are seeking proposals to share innovative practices supporting diverse shelter clients and staff during the Break-Out Sessions planned during the event. 

Proposals should highlight an innovative practice being used or under development within the scope of the work of the shelter. This can include approaches to case management; outreach work; residential services; prevention efforts; childcare; and more. The proposal should explain what the practice is, how long it has been in use, and any results to date you expect to share in the presentation. The proposal should also include what conference attendees will learn from the session and how they can consider applying a similar approach at their own organization. 

Proposal Topics

This year’s event will focus on enhancing support for ethnoculturally diverse survivors and staff. Potential topics of interest could include, but are not limited to: 

  • Challenging colonial and patriarchal approaches to shelter work 
  • Reducing barriers to services for ethnoculturally diverse clients 
  • Serving a growing newcomer population in shelters 
  • Providing culturally responsive support in residential and outreach services 
  • Understanding community and systemic barriers to accessing services 
  • Culturally competent care programming, including creating culturally safe spaces or building on cultural practices for healing 
  • Exploring layered vulnerabilities and intersectional approaches that support populations at higher risk of experiencing violence  
  • Indigenous contexts for healing, justice-seeking, and violence prevention/intervention  
  • Examples of implementing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action, the Reclaiming Power and Place Report Calls for Justice, and/or the Alberta Pathways to Justice   
  • Developing responsive and respectful programming in multicultural contexts  
  • Lateral violence prevention and intervention  
  • Economic interventions for diverse clients (e.g. childcare, education, training, poverty reduction)   
  • The evolving client experience (i.e. who are we serving, what is their reality)  
  • Organizational support within the sector (i.e. methods for supporting diverse staff)  
  • Healing modalities and emerging practices to support those working in the sector 

Submitting Your Presentation:  

  • Use the form below to submit your proposal 
  • Proposal should: 
    1. Have a broad appeal and fit conference themes and topics
    2. Be based in literature and/or experience in promising practices. 
    3. Outline the implication for shelter practice: What were the lessons learned that others will find of value? How did you measure your success? What might you do differently based on what you learned?
    4. Offer inspiration and have an impact. 
    5. Offer suggestions on what follow up material you can offer to the audience ie: handouts, links to research etc.
  • You may submit as many requests to present as you wish. 

Selection Criteria: 

  • Relevance and fit with conference themes and topics
  • Appropriate length – 45 minutes + 15 minutes for Q & A 
  • Clear implications for shelter practice 
  • A practical approach with proven results 
  • Clarity and originality 
  • While there is no limit on the number of proposals that can be submitted, efforts will be made to ensure diversity of both presenters and topics at the conference. 
  • Preference will be given to ACWS members & affiliated organizations.

Submissions will be accepted until midnight (MT) August 1, 2024

Submitters will be contacted in early September to confirm whether or not they have been selected for the conference program.

Complete the Submission Form

Fantasyland Hotel Room Booking

We have secured a room block at the Fantasyland Hotel at the reduced room rate of $199 per night plus applicable taxes and levies for a Superior 2 Queen room. The hotel room includes complimentary internet access, fitness centre access, and the option to purchase discounted Galaxyland or Waterpark passes during the stay.

To access the room block, you can book online here or contact the hotel Reservations Department directly at (780)444-3000 or toll-free 1-800-737-3783.

Please let your booking agent know that you are attending the Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters Conference and/or provide the group code #4707955

Guests must be booking within the dates of October 23 – October 25, 2024 to receive the group rate.

This project is made possible thanks to the generous support of the Government of Alberta Ministry of Children and Family Services and Ministry of Immigration and Multiculturalism.

If you have any questions about the ACWS 2024 Innovations Conference, please contact learning@acws.ca