Alcove Children Early Intervention and Healing Program

Program snapshot

Age group: Early childhood (0-6); Late childhood (7-11)

Gender: Mixed (male and female)

Population served: Aboriginal/Indigenous

Topic: Alcohol and/or drug use; Bullying/cyberbullying; Social/economic disadvantage

Setting: Urban area; Social services setting

Location: Alberta

Number of completed Canadian outcome evaluation studies: 0

Continuum of intervention: Secondary crime prevention

Brief Description

The Children’s Prevention & Healing program uses a strength-based approach to provide group and individuals counseling/workshops for children while their mothers participate in Alcove’s inpatient addiction recovery program. The program supports children in developing positive coping skills and awareness about addictions and personal safety. The Children’s Prevention & Healing program seeks to break the intergenerational cycle of addiction and support the wellbeing of children who have mothers who struggle with addiction.


The main goals of this program are to:

  • Help participants develop an understanding that addiction is not their fault
  • Teach participants that there are healthy ways to cope with the pain and difficulties than may face at home and how to develop healthy relationships with their peers
  • Demonstrate ways participants can care for themselves so they can gain and maintain emotional well-being


The clientele for the program includes the children of the mothers admitted to the Alcove in-patient addictions treatment clinic. This includes both boys and girls from infancy to the age of 11.

Core Components

The program using a strength-based model of teaching and learning, geared at an age appropriate level for children to learn about addiction, recovery, healthy communication, healing and boundaries. The family unit is kept intact during the mothers’ recovery (12-week intensive inpatient program) in a safe, home-like environment in the community. The program is compromised of individual and group counselling, workshops/teachings, and a mentorship element. External resources are also involved. The key program elements included working with both mothers and children, building on the best practices of others, and having programming provided on-site so mothers and children did not have to go to a secondary location to participate in the program.

Implementation Information

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

  • Organizational requirements: Lead organization should ensure knowledge of existing services, resources, and organizations to help clientele identify prosocial resources that can provide needed support to the families during and after recovery. Lead organization should be able to manage logistical elements which enable the program to happen, such as the flexibility needed to provide a program appropriate for children from infancy to young childhood.
  • Partnerships: The Alcove Addiction Centre for Women partnered with Further Education Society to help develop the prevention program. Other partner organizations include those that can provide various forms of support to the families (e.g., Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre, Step programs, Betty Ford Children’s program, Calgary Police Services, United Way of Calgary, CUPS, Calgary Foundation, children counsellors, and Indigenous Elders).
  • Training and technical assistance: Limited information on this topic.
  • Risk assessment tools: Limited information on this topic.
  • Materials & resources: Limited information on this topic.

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 Children’s Prevention & Healing program was implemented in Calgary, Alberta from 2017 to 2019 through Alcove Addictions Recovery for Women. Funding was provided through the Civil Forfeiture Grant, Government of Alberta.

Main Findings from Canadian Outcome Evaluation Studies

No information available.

Cost Information

A social return on investment (SROI) was conducted on the Children’s Prevention and Healing program for the years 2017 to 2019. The findings have shown the following:

  • The ratio for GES was 5:1, which shows that for every dollar invested in the program, an average of $5.00 in social value was created; and
  • This value is realized by long-term avoidance of substances after treatment by the mothers (and potential services needed for dealing with substance issues), a reduction in behavioural issues and unsafe experiences for the children, and a decrease in bullying and supplemental care needed for the children (e.g., social services).


There is no Canadian reference available at this time.

For more information on this program, contact:

Alcove Addiction Recovery for Women

1937 – 42 Avenue SW

Calgary, Alberta, T2T 2M6

Telephone: (403) 984-2707



Record Entry Date - 2021-09-29
Record Updated On - 2022-01-17
Date modified: