Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre

CACAC naming ceremony

RDP and CACAC Partnership

The Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre (CACAC) and Red Deer Polytechnic (RDP) strive to help in the prevention of abuse and in reducing the long-term impact of abuse on children and families. 

Positive Impacts of the Partnership 

Collectively, our organizations will look to identify and implement best practices related to childhood trauma and maltreatment. This collaborative approach creates an innovation ecosystem that supports youth and families in our province, while also providing meaningful opportunities for RDP’s students, faculty and staff.  

The common vision to enrich our communities requires an integrated approach that includes applied research, education and training in child advocacy. This approach will foster a safe place where children and families in the region can receive support. Through a trauma-informed environment, the coordinated approach will also cut back on the systemic and reverberating costs of abuse.  

In addition to CACAC and RDP, other strategic partners also have pivotal roles including: 
Central Alberta Sexual Assault Support Centre, Alberta Health Services, RCMP and the Government of Alberta. Learn more on the CACAC website.  

Opportunities for Students 

Students from a variety of programs will be able to engage with the CACAC and Centre for Excellence in meaningful ways including through their programs of study, work-integrated learning and applied research opportunities. 

The concept of applied research in child advocacy reflects a best practice model from across Canada and North America, informing practices around the world. As a result of RDP’s leadership in applied research, the Polytechnic’s impact in this collaborative approach will continue to diversify and grow in prominence as real-world challenges are addressed.   

The partnership with the CACAC provides RDP students with work-integrated learning and applied research opportunities in a variety of programs, including: 

  • Bachelor of Arts, Multidisciplinary Studies  
  • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology  
  • Bachelor of Arts in Sociology (University Transfer)  
  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology  
  • Bachelor of Education  
  • Bachelor of Science, Nursing  
  • Early Learning and Child Care Certificate and Diploma  
  • Educational Assistant Certificate  
  • Justice Studies Diploma  
  • Kinesiology & Sport Studies Diploma  
  • Practical Nurse Diploma  
  • Social Work Diploma  
  • Trauma-Informed Workplace Micro-credential  

Work-integrated learning and applied research opportunities are expected to grow, allowing even more RDP learners, faculty and staff to support the goals of the CACAC.  

The Sheldon Kennedy Centre of Excellence facility is designed to allow learning in a variety of ways. RDP faculty, staff and students can utilize the observation and learning lab spaces, while also connecting with leaders in private, public and not for profit sectors. This creates valuable opportunities for learners to enhance their knowledge and skills as they prepare for careers in a variety of child advocacy sectors and advance the social priorities of Alberta. 

RDP and CACAC History

September 15, 2023 - Former NHL player and co-founder of Respect Group Sheldon Kennedy joined the board and staff of the CACAC and other dignitaries at a celebratory event, announcing the new Sheldon Kennedy Centre of Excellence.

The CACAC also joined with non-profit organization Smiles Thru Lindsey – led by the More family – to announce the Lindsey More Youth Mental Health and Addiction Hub, which is located on the second floor of the Sheldon Kennedy Centre of Excellence. Read more

June 21, 2022 - The CACAC broke ground on the construction of the Centre of Excellence. Read more.

December 7, 2018 – The Government of Alberta passed an Order in Council that enables Red Deer Polytechnic to allocate approximately 1.07 acres of land to the Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre for construction of a stand-alone Centre of Excellence in support of child advocacy services and education.  

February 8, 2018 - Leaders from RDP and CACAC signed a Memorandum of Understanding, committing the two organizations to explore opportunities for how they could best collaborate to serve children and families in central Alberta.