The “Discovery” in Discovery House is about the programs, services and innovative therapies that help women and children heal and rebuild their lives, free from domestic violence. Each client we serve is paired with a case manager and has access to a mental health specialist and housing liaison. A full range of integrated services provide wrap-around support.
Access to basic needs and community resources: Women and children receive case management, basic needs support, referrals and advocacy. Community resources include food banks, move-in deposits, housing subsidies, household supplies and community resources.
Mental health support: Mental health specialists provide individual and group counselling, and resources to recover from physical, emotional and psychological issues such as anxiety and depression.
Kids' Club: For children aged 6-12, Kids’ Club is a preventive group-based intervention designed to enhance the child’s sense of safety, develop the therapeutic alliance and create a common vocabulary of emotions.
Moms' Empowerment: This 10-week group for mothers enhances emotional regulation, and parenting and disciplinary skills. Both Kids’ Club and Moms’ empowerment are intended to better support children who have experienced and witnessed violence in the home.
Triple P (Positive Parenting Program): A group-based intervention for parents, Triple P builds parent confidence and emotional regulation and is shown to reduce problem behaviours and emotional problems in participants’ children.
Women's Wellness Group: Based on cognitive behavioural therapeutic techniques, the Women’s Wellness Group session help clients cope with stress, anxiety and distress, and allow them to feel welcome and accepted.
SNAP (Stop Now and Plan): Developed by the Child Development Institute, SNAP is an evidence-based cognitive behavioural model that provides a framework for teaching effective emotional regulation, self-control and problem-solving skills to parents and their children ages 6-17 who are struggling with behaviour issues. The primary goal of SNAP is to help children to stop and think before they act and keep them in school and out of trouble. Discovery House is the currently the only SNAP affiliate in Calgary.
Working for Kids: Developed by Dr. Judy Cameron, a neuroscientist from the University of Pittsburgh, Working for Kids teaches parents how early experiences impact brain development and methods they can employ to help their children develop into healthy adults. Discovery House participates in research for Working for Kids and ran its first independent cohort in 2018/19.
ATTACH (Attachment and Child Health): A pilot project led by Dr. Nicole Letourneau from the University of Calgary, in partnership with Harvard University’s Center on the Developing Child, Frontiers of Innovation, ATTACH assessed strategies to help mothers mitigate the negative impacts of trauma on their children caused by domestic violence. In June 2019, the ATTACH Phase 2 study concluded.
Brain Story and trauma-informed training: All Discovery House front-line staff are Brain Story-certified through the Palix Foundation and all staff have taken the Trauma Informed training program at the Calgary and Area Child Advocacy Centre.
Equine Assisted Learning: In a partnership with Equine Connections, clients have the opportunity to interact with horses, which helps restore confidence and trust so they can move forward with their lives.
Indigenous Parenting After Violence (IPAV): This group program helps mitigate violent experiences by building on parenting methods informed by Indigenous world views.
Indigenous-specific programs and services: Discovery House offers culturally appropriate learning and healing opportunities for families escaping domestic violence with unique experiences of intergenerational traumas informed by historical injustices and Indigenous teachings. These services include Indigenous counselling, sharing circles, cultural excursions, and smudging, pipe and sweat lodge ceremonies.
Yorticulture: Trauma-informed yoga therapy is partnered with community gardening – two highly restorative and regenerative activities – to allow clients to connect with nature and reduce stress. Clients and staff meet in the Inglewood Community Garden to work on mindfulness and activity-based counselling. Much of the harvest is provided to families accessing Discovery House programming.
Financial empowerment: Financial literacy programming helps women understand and take control of their finances. We offer matched-saving programs, RESP assistance and tax filing. All case managers are trained in financial coaching to assist with budgeting, saving and taxes.
Hands Up Bursary: Established by a local philanthropic family, the bursary provides financial support to women pursuing post-secondary education. Since its inception in 2007, the bursary has awarded more than $450,000 to Discovery House clients.
We work in partnership with other agencies and organizations to provide a full suite of services to our clients, including: