Give for good: Zebra Child & Youth Advocacy Centre
The Zebra Centre is an organization powered by child advocates that welcomes children and youth who have experienced abuse and supports them every step of the way in the journey they have ahead.
The Zebra Child & Youth Advocacy Centre is Edmonton’s community response to child abuse.
The Centre, named after how zebras in the wild form a protective circle around their young, is a friendly space designed specifically with children’s safety and comfort first and foremost.MORE INSIGHTS
October 31, 2022
A brighter future
Opening their doors in 2002, the Zebra Child & Youth Advocacy Centre is Edmonton’s community response to child abuse. The Zebra Centre is an organization powered by child advocates that welcomes children and youth who have experienced abuse and supports them every step of the way in the journey they have ahead. Before the Zebra Centre existed, a child would be interviewed at police headquarters—an unwelcoming environment for children, especially children recounting traumatic experiences. The Centre, named after how zebras in the wild form a protective circle around their young, is a friendly space designed specifically with children’s safety and comfort first and foremost. The Centre’s mission is to serve children and youth who have been impacted by abuse by supporting them through the investigative, justice and healing process with a continuum of multidisciplinary resources.
To best support the needs of every child who comes to the Zebra Centre, the Centre collects clothing, pajamas, and personal items, which are then packed into backpacks and given to the children. To deliver this support, the Zebra Centre relies on community in-kind donations to ensure any child or youth who walks through their doors receives appropriate items and has access to comforts of home. KV Capital is proud to have led an employee backpack program shopping trip to help support the needs of children at the Zebra Centre.
A safe space for kids
As defined by the Zebra Centre, child abuse is anything that intentionally endangers the development, security, or survival of a child.
Their process of supporting children in sharing their story is comprised of seven crucial steps:
- Multidisciplinary intake meeting
- The first visit with the child, child advocate, and interviewer
- The forensic interview: where the child is given the chance to tell their story
- Court preparation: once charges have been laid and the case proceeds in the judicial system
- Very Important Paws Program: additional comfort and support provided by four-legged friends, also known as facility dogs
- Court accompaniment ensuring a friendly face is there to answer questions and accompany the child on the stand as they testify
- Trauma referral: providing crucial and timely mental health supports for children and families
Abuse can occur in a variety of forms and create prolonged trauma in a child’s foundational development, which is why the Zebra Centre is dedicated to creating a safe space for kids to support them throughout their healing journey.
The Zebra Centre relies on engagement from the local community to ensure they can continue to provide support and resources for children and youth who have experienced abuse. There are a variety of ways to get involved and help make a difference—shop the Zebra Centre’s wish list, donate a gift of support, or explore how you can provide the gift of time. Find out how you can give back to the Zebra Child Protection Centre and help be a part of a brighter future for children here.