Community Action for Healthy Relationships (CAHR) Network

Program snapshot

Age group: Not age specific

Gender: Mixed (male and female)

Population served: Adult offenders; Families; Victims of crime

Topic: Family (domestic) violence/child maltreatment; Recidivism; Violence against women and girls

Setting: Rural/remote area; Community-based setting

Location: Alberta

Number of completed Canadian outcome evaluation studies: 0

Continuum of intervention: Tertiary crime prevention

Brief Description

The Community Action for Healthy Relationships (CAHR) Network is a collaborative partnership that began in 2010 within Athabasca, Barrhead and Westlock to address family violence (FV) and relationship abuse (RA). Clients learn about the impact and effect of family violence and relationship abuse, and they receive supportive outreach services which connect them to local agencies and organizations, including the Creating Change for Healthy Relationships program to help people move forward and rebuild their lives.

The Creating Change group program is approximately 35 hours in length and is adapted from the Duluth Model, and also aligns with the Provincial Family Violence Treatment Program Standards (PFVTPS) developed by Alberta Health Services.  Supportive Outreach Services are offered by trained workers who establish a confidential and trusting relationship with people experiencing abuse, as well as provide education on various types of abuse, safety assessment and planning, and referral to other supportive community resources and services.


The main goals of the Community Action for Healthy Relationships network are to:

  • Positively influence the area’s capacity to collaborate for social change;
  • Provide education programs for men who use abusive tactics and their female victims;
  • Increase outreach services;
  • Enhance existing services through coordination and sharing of services and resources; and
  • Build community leadership networks


The appropriate clientele for the CAHR network are those convicted of assault who are court-ordered to seek treatment or counselling for family violence in the three communities of Athabasca, Barrhead, and Westlock. CAHR referrals are usually: 51 per cent Probation services (Alberta Justice and Solicitor General); 16 per cent CAHR Outreach; 13 per cent Family and Community Support Services; and 11 per cent Children and Family Services.

Core Components

Participants are court-ordered to seek treatment or counselling for family violence from the CAHR network which is approximately 35 hours in length. CAHR combines two service models as follows:

  • The Duluth model provides guidance about how a community can work together to end domestic violence. Duluth also developed an intervention program called “Creating a Process of Change for Men who Batter” otherwise known as the Duluth Curriculum. The Duluth curriculum was developed to confront the problem of men’s violence towards their partners; and
  • The philosophy of the Provincial Family Violence Treatment Program Standards (PFVTPS) is to provide comprehensive and consistent treatment services across the province to individuals who have been mandated through the court systems because of domestic violence charges. PFVTPS services promote non-abusive behavior, support change efforts and hold individuals who engage in abusive behavior accountable for their actions.

Implementation Information

Some of the critical elements for the implementation of this program or initiative include the following:

  • Organizational requirements: The CAHR network with its multiple partners has proved the capacity to manage a project on the treatment and counselling for family violence.
  • Partnerships: Healthy Families Healthy Futures; Barrhead & District Family & Community Support Services; Westlock & District Family & Community Support Services; Alberta Health Services Addictions & Mental Health, Alberta Justice, Alberta Child & Family Services, Probation Services, RCMP, plus many community partners and businesses.
  • Training and technical assistance: Limited information on this topic.
  • Risk assessment tools: Limited information on this topic.
  • Materials & resources: The Duluth Curriculum and the Provincial Family Violence Treatment Program Standards.

International Endorsements

The most recognized classification systems of evidence-based crime prevention programs have classified this program or initiative as follows:

  • Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development: Not applicable.
  • Crime Solutions/OJJDP Model Program Guide: Not applicable.
  • SAMHSA's National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices: Not applicable.
  • Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy: Not applicable.

Gathering Canadian Knowledge

Canadian Implementation Sites

The CAHR network project has been implemented in Athabasca, Barrhead, and Westlock (Alberta) from 2011 to 2014 and funded through the Safe Communities Innovation Fund (SCIF), Government of Alberta.

Main Findings from Canadian Outcome Evaluation Studies

No information available.

Cost Information

A social return on investment (SROI) has been conducted on the CAHR Network project. The findings from this study have shown the following:

  • The ratio for the CAHR network project is 3.71:1, which indicates that $3.71 in social value was created by the project for every dollar invested; and
  • Social value was created for the Criminal Justice System and victim supports.


Alberta Community Crime Prevention Organizations. (2015). Social Return on Investment (SROI) Case Study: Community Action for Healthy Relationships Network (CAHR). Recipient of Safe Communities Innovation Fund, Government of Alberta. Available from:

For more information on this program, contact:

Healthy Families
Kelly Lynn Spafford
Phone: (780) 689-8136

Record Entry Date - 2018-02-21
Record Updated On - 2021-04-29
Date modified: