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IODE Alberta Donation Supports Trauma-Informed Children’s Curriculum Training in Shelters

Donation is one of the largest charitable gifts in ACWS’s 39-Year History 


June 15, 2022 

EDMONTON, ALBERTA – The Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters (ACWS) is pleased to announce a charitable contribution of $100,000 by IODE Alberta to deliver frontline shelter worker training to support children who have experienced domestic violence in the home. The project to raise the funds for ACWS was to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of IODE Alberta in 2020. 

The children’s curriculum program developed by ACWS, The Healing Brain: Supporting Children from Trauma to Resilience. The curriculum can be delivered virtually via ACWS’s newly launched LMS platform, or in person. The training provides shelter workers with an understanding of early brain development and how it can be applied in a shelter setting, covering topics such as adverse childhood experiences, the impacts of toxic stress, and resilience––providing practical, everyday tools for use with Albertan children. 

“Children represent a large percentage of the residents who are served at shelters across Alberta. Supporting them after exposure to domestic violence is one of the major prevention tactics that can be used to interrupt the cycle of violence from continuing into future generations,” said ACWS executive director, Jan Reimer. “Exposure to domestic violence can cause complex and long-lasting issues, and with the support of IODE, shelters are able to offer early intervention on its damaging effects.” 

Odyssey House in Grande Prairie is one of the ACWS member shelters who have implemented this training. Lisa Watson, executive director, described its benefits: “This training is unique in that it provides our workers with an understanding of how they can apply this knowledge of early brain development to interactions with children, as well as parents. The playroom is often the heart of children’s experiences while staying in a shelter, so it’s important that children feel safe and comfortable. We want to give them a real opportunity to heal.”

“We know that exposure to domestic violence can have a broad range of negative impacts on children, that it can be as harmful as directly experiencing acts of violence. This is why the IODE Alberta has, over many years, supported the work of ACWS and Alberta shelters to intervene early to help children heal,” said Valerie Braiden, President, IODE Alberta. “We are thrilled to present this gift to ACWS. It is our gift to children who are victims of family violence in Alberta.”

The donation from the IODE Alberta is one of the largest charitable gifts in ACWS’s 39-year history. People interested in learning more about how they can support the work done by ACWS, can visit acws.ca for information on programs. 


About ACWS:

The Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters represents 40 sheltering organizations operating more than 50 emergency and second stage shelters for women, their children, and seniors fleeing violence and abuse. The ACWS provides professional development and training, action-based research and increases public awareness of issues related to family violence for the benefit of abused women and their children 

About IODE:

IODE Canada is a national women’s charitable organization. Women of all ages, from all walks of life and backgrounds, meet in local chapters for fun, friendship and community volunteerism. Members volunteer with and for people, focusing on Children, Education and Community Services.  Each IODE chapter has the autonomy to choose and support projects in their own community. 


For further information or to arrange for an interview, please contact:  

Olivia Street, Coordinator of Communications and Social Advocacy