'Transforming Practices' Conference

A green backdrop with a circular photo of a woman in a yellow shirt facing a crowd. The text includes the title & dates of the conference.

Welcome to the forefront of change, where the mission to protect, advocate for, and uplift our most vulnerable – our children – takes center stage. 

Transforming Practices: Breaking Silence, Building Safety is a 2-day conference co-hosted by the Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre (CACAC) and Red Deer Polytechnic (RDP). The conference has returned for a second year on the heels of last year’s sold-out event.

This year’s keynote speakers include:
  • Dr. Jody Carrington
    •  National best-selling author, and host of the popular podcast 'Everyone Comes From Somewhere'.
  • Dr. Michael Ungar
    • Director of the  Resilience Research Centre at Dalhousie University and Canada Research Chair in Child, Family and Community Resilience. 

New this year is an optional training credential developed by Heidi Olson, Founder and President of Paradigm Shift Training and Consulting, and creator of the Exploitation ID System.

The 2-day conference focuses on data regarding child abuse and education for and from front-line workers, with the optional third day for a specialized training credential. 

The conference also coincides with The CLIMB, an annual girl’s youth conference led by the Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre and its Climbing Tree Mentorship Program. Between The CLIMB, Transforming Practices, and the optional full-day training, this year’s event boasts four full days of youth- and/or -professional development.

“As partners dedicated to fostering resilience and supporting individuals who have experienced trauma, we are thrilled to bring together professionals from various sectors including first responders, health care workers, academics, teachers, support workers, and beyond. 

We invite you to join us in a shared commitment to enhancing the well-being of our communities. Together, we stand at the forefront of a transformative movement, one that prioritizes empathy, understanding, and proactive intervention. By joining forces, we have the power to make a profound impact, not only in the lives of individuals facing adversity but in shaping a more compassionate and resilient society as a whole”.

 – Mark Jones, CEO Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre.

“Red Deer Polytechnic is committed to working with industry and community partners, RDP faculty staff and students to identify and implement best practices related to childhood trauma and maltreatment. This collaborative conference is a wonderful example of how together we can support youth and families in our province, while also providing meaningful learning opportunities for the community.” – Patrick Machacek, Vice President, Development and Partnerships, Red Deer Polytechnic.

Discounted rates for the first 50 post-secondary students who register!


May 28: Day 1

8- 8:45 AM Registration & Networking

8:45 - 9:15 AM Welcome

9:15 - 10:30 AM Keynote Session - Dr. Michael Ungar

10:30 - 11 AM Break

11 AM - 12:00 PM Breakout Session

12 - 1:15 PM Lunch (provided)

1:30 - 2:30 PM Breakout Sessions

2:30 - 2:45 PM Break

2:45 - 4 PM Keynote Session – Dr. Michael Unger

4 - 7 PM Tuesday Night Mixer

View Full Agenda

May 30: Day 2

8 - 9 PM - Breakfast & Networking

Light complimentary breakfast with fruit, pastries and refreshments. 

9:15 - 10:15 PM - Breakout Sessions 

10:15 - 10:45 PM - Break 

10:45 - 11:45 PM - Breakout Sessions 

11:45 - 1 PM – Lunch (provided) 

1 - 3:30 PM-  Keynote A - Dr. Jody Carrington 

1 - 4 PM - Keynote B - Heidi Olson 

3:30 - 4 PM - Closing Ceremony 

View Full Agenda

May 30: Day 3 (Optional)

Instructor Heidi Olson | Paradigm Shift 

May 30th | 8:30 am - 4:00 pm

Paradigm Shift and the Human Trafficking Training Center are teaming up to bring you the expertise of a forensic nurse, who has identified hundreds of trafficking victims in the healthcare setting, a retired police Sergeant with 15+ years investigating human trafficking, and the lived experience of a trafficking survivor, to teach healthcare workers, social services and law enforcement what to look for, how to build rapport with victims, screening procedures and what resources to provide to truly start to make a difference with this vulnerable population.

This 1.5-day training will provide healthcare workers, law enforcement, and social services with education, skills-based training and evidence-based tools to identify and build capacity to support victims of trafficking and exploitation.

Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

About the event
Tuesday, May 28 to Wednesday, May 29 | 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Sheldon Kennedy Centre of Excellence
70 College Circe, Red Deer, AB T0M 1R0
Career Development
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