Effective April 1, Discovery House Executive Director Monique Auffrey officially assumed the title of CEO. The change is reflective of the organization’s new, strategic direction which focuses on innovation, collaboration and industry leadership.
“Domestic violence rates continue to rise, and in the year 2018 this is simply unacceptable” says Auffrey, who became Executive Director in 2016 and whose goal from day one has been to reverse this trend. Domestic violence incidents in 2016 increased 48% over 2013 according to a recent City of Calgary report.
“It is incumbent upon the community to do better - to look at the issue of domestic violence with a preventative lens so that we can work differently and so that we can maximize our impact, not just in Calgary but beyond” says Auffrey.
To do this, Discovery House has been forging partnerships with leading experts in early brain development, who are exploring childhood interventions as mechanisms for preventing domestic violence.
Of note, is their collaboration with Harvard University’s Centre on the Developing Child, and a research team from the University of Calgary led by Dr. Nicole Letourneau and Dr. Martha Hart. In the fall, Discovery House will partake in their pilot program ATTACH, which will assess strategies to help mothers mitigate the negative impacts of trauma on their children caused by domestic violence.
Discovery House is also preparing to launch Working for Kids, another early childhood intervention program developed by Dr. Judy Cameron, Harvard fellow and neuroscientist from the University of Pittsburgh.
Helping close to 500 children annually, Discovery House is in a unique position to apply innovative preventative strategies and, one day, create preventative programming that is not only effective, but also scaleable.
“Monique’s new title is emblematic of Discovery House’s commitment to change the way we approach the issue of domestic violence” says Bob MacDougall, the organization’s board chair. “We believe we can decrease the prevalence of domestic violence and that’s what we intend to do.”