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Media Release: ACWS Launches Innovative Outcome Measurement Strategies in Virtual Showcase

February 24, 2021

Media Release

The ACWS Launches Innovative Outcome Measurement Strategies in Virtual Showcase

EDMONTON, ALBERTA – Today, the Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters (ACWS) releases the findings of Project Impact in a virtual showcase event. ACWS, together with Dialogues in Action, launched Project Impact in early 2020 with the goal of learning more about the outcomes and changes clients experience while in domestic violence shelter programs across the province.

As constant innovators in the field of domestic violence response and prevention work, the ACWS and its members naturally sought ways to improve their evaluation process. The goal was to provide a clearer picture of the changes that begin to occur when survivors access shelter services, and as today’s showcase demonstrates, the findings that the ACWS members discovered through Project Impact show highly promising results.

The models and methods developed by Dr. Patty and Dialogues in Action are grounded in social science. says Dr. Patty about the program.

21 of the ACWS’s member shelters participated in the pilot project, working with Dr. Patty’s team over the course of to form evaluation frameworks, participate in workshops, collect data through interviews and surveys, and analyze their findings with training and support. Project Impact’s methodology is designed to help organizations identify their intentions, to develop respectful and thoughtful inquiry methods, and to analyze the implications of their findings.

Kingdom, Program Manager at WINGS, an Edmonton-based shelter that participated in the project, describes the process: “We were truly taken aback by what we found. Women were impacted in a transformational way by being here. They regained the ability to trust, and they were able to connect with what the program at WINGS provides and with other women at WINGS who relate to their story. Something wonderful is happening. After coming to WINGS, they saw things differently. They had hope.”

Project Impact has been a groundbreaking initiative for ACWS and its members in honing their ability to evaluate and to genuinely learn from the people they serve.  The programs and services shelters offer result in compelling and profound changes for the clients. The ACWS will be publishing a book on the findings of Project Impact in

Dr. Steve Patty is available for interviews upon request.

Background: The ACWS is a registered charity that supports 41 members operating over 50 shelters across the province for women, children, and seniors facing domestic abuse. ACWS has been gathering data for over 20 years, and this information has been critical to the support and advocacy they provide for Alberta shelters, as well as to the development of evidence-based shelter practices. ACWS serves shelters through corporate and community change; collective data and research; and frontline education and training to end domestic violence.

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Media Contact:
Olivia Street, Coordinator of Communications and Social Advocacy
(780) 566-3091   Olivia.Street@acws.ca