Services at Prairie Harbour Inc. (Previously Portage Family Abuse Prevention Center) include:
What We Do!
The following excerpts of some of the comments from the completed Group Evaluation questionnaires
Protection Order Designates
Staff are now trained and certified by the Department of Justice to submit applications to a Magistrate for consideration in extreme situations. A Protection Order is a Court Order, granted on an urgent basis in cases of domestic violence, and stalking, forbidding the respondent from having contact with the applicant. These Orders are very beneficial to the safety of clients.
Prairie Harbour Inc. is grateful for the assistance and support of:
Children’s Support Program
Qualified trained children’s support and activity workers provide childcare programs to children of all ages. The mothers have an opportunity to do personal things like taking a shower, go for appointments, or attend meetings. As well, this is an opportunity for children in the shelter to receive stimulating/educational activities, active/quiet activities, indoor/outdoor activities, individual and group activities that will encourage physical, social, intellectual, emotional, and sensory development at the appropriate age level for each child. Children also benefit by getting both one on one time with the Child Care Worker as well as time to interact with others in a group setting. We encourage children in expressing themselves by listening and responding to them with questions, comments or clarification. We also provide a variety of weekly nutritious snacks for the children in accordance with the Canada’s Food Guide and with mothers. Both children and mothers benefit from this program as they are given an opportunity to be themselves and adjust and learn to live in an environment where there is not constant tension and danger. Part of the Children’s Program is funded through CAPC. The Community Action Program for Children (CAPC) is a National program delivered by the Public Health Agency of Canada. It was established in 1992 to enhance the well being and healthy development of children living in conditions of risk.
Children’s Counselling Program
Every day children in shelter have an opportunity to meet one on one with a trained Children’s Counsellor. Children are given the opportunity to talk about whatever they want as well as their current issues and how they are feeling. During these sessions children learn to keep safe, express feelings positively, as well as learn about what domestic violence/abuse are. Most importantly session focus on children learning about their family, abuse and anger. The Children’s Counsellors also focus on building children’s self esteem and assertiveness so that they know they are not to blame for the abuse in the home. This program is offered to residential, non-residential and follow-up clients. The contact is structured and based on each child zone of proximal development. It also provides the Counsellor with an opportunity to assess emotional, psychological and physical needs and make proper referrals to other professional agencies involved with children and families. Another element of the program is maintaining relationships with mothers. The Children’s Counsellor also meets with parents frequently one-on-one to discuss different children issues. They are kept updated with their children’s progress as well as parents are empowered to take charge for their children. As well the Children’s Counsellor can also meet one-on-one with the parent to discuss parenting issues such as: effects of domestic violence on children, positive discipline, and learn the skills they need to increase positive parenting and modelling.
After departure from shelter, clients can still continue to access services through the shelter. They can continue ongoing counselling and support. Individual clients are met with on a regular basis or an as needed basis. Group sessions are also offered to those interested. Even though clients are no longer in shelter they are still in continued need as women who have left an abusive relationship are at most risk. Follow-up helps increase support and encouragement to clients on their continued journey. A past follow-up client commented on the program in a recent survey:
“They offered courses and counselling that provided me with many tools to build a better future for me and my children. They helped me to see my weaknesses and help me build on them. The shelter has helped me to become a better mother and a stronger person. I never would have made it without their ongoing support”.
Prairie Harbour Inc. provides information and presentations to agencies and school groups.
The Residential Program
Offers a free, safe environment for women and their children fleeing an abusive relationship. Sometimes the level of violence and fear is so escalated individuals may need to come to shelter to ensure safety. Supportive, non-judgemental counselling is provided daily. We provide support, encouragement, empowerment and education needed to assist families with the strength they need to make new choices to end the violence in their life. Some comments from our past residential clients are: “This is the safest I’ve ever felt in a long time”, “Staff are very helpful and supportive”, and I’ll never forget this wonderful place”.
Many people need support but do not need to stay in a shelter in order to take steps to end the violence in their lives. We try to provide services to these families as well as to help friends and neighbours learn how to support a woman in ending the violence she is experiencing.
The Crisis Lines
Anyone can contact our crisis lines (do not subscribe to Call Display) for assistance: male, female, children, family, friend, neighbour, etc. Both local and provincial toll free lines are available for telephone counselling on a 24/7 days a week basis. Trained staff offer assistance in a variety of ways or ensure the caller is directed to the appropriate resource. As quoted by a past caller “I could call the shelter at any time, day or night, and get someone who understood my situation and could help me deal with the problem I was dealing with at the time”.
Healthy Relationship Presentations
This program provides children and youth with an opportunity to learn about healthy relationships, and how to recognize an abusive relationship. Presentations are appropriated designed for age groups from ages 5 years to the age of 17 years. Many students have sought help through their schools following the Healthy Relationships Presentation. Many children reported abuse in their familial situation. Some youth disclosed that they recognized themselves being an abuser. Many youth have subsequently volunteered their services to the shelter to give back to the women and children involved with domestic violence. Evaluations indicate the presentations have been very effective in the education of youth and children about domestic violence / dating violence and how to get help. Some responses about the presentation from youth that stated impact are as follows;
“Now I know how to help a friend or someone I know in abuse relationships”.
“It was informative and interactive. It was also very relatable to students because there were current songs and stories that were very relevant to the topic”.
Prairie Harbour Inc. believes that education is the best way to eliminate domestic violence from the community. Presentations on domestic violence issues for health care, professionals, local businesses, faith communities, colleges, and other service providers are available upon request.
Healthy Relationship Presentations provide age appropriate educational presentations for schools – K to Grade 12 and other interested groups. Presentations are appropriately designed for age groups from ages 5 years to the age of 17 years. Many students have sought help through their schools following the Healthy Relationships Presentations. Many children report abuse in their familial situation. Some youth disclosed that they recognize themselves as being the abuser. Many youth subsequently choose to volunteer services to the shelter to give back to the women and children involved with domestic violence. Evaluations indicate the presentations have been very effective in the education of youth and children about dating violence/domestic violence and how to get help. Some responses about the presentation from youth are as follows:
“Now I know how to help a friend of someone I know in an abusive relationship.”
“Very informative and inspirational”
“It was informative and interactive. It was also very relevant to students – through the current songs and stories that were presented on this topic.”
The Victim’s First Emergency Cell Phone Program
Commenced in July 2007 by Manitoba Justice. Pre-programmed cell phones are given to victims of domestic violence and stalking who are in the highest risk situation. The program has provided women with additional security as well as continued counselling support from Prairie Harbour Inc.
Volunteers AT Prairie Harbour Inc. are just the most special individuals you could meet. The volunteers do not act as counsellors or professional advocates, but assist in a variety of tasks that help women and children who have survived domestic abuse. Volunteers assist the staff in a variety of ways: transportation, childcare, sorting donations, picking up groceries and supplies and a host of duties that arise in a facility such as ours that are just to numerous to mention. Each volunteer provides a valuable contribution that enhances the services we provide. If you have a talent, skill or hobby or time to offer Prairie Harbour Inc. then it could be a contribution that could transform the lives of women and children that access our services. If you are interested in lending us your time, skills, and energy, please call the Administration Line at 239-5234. The spirit of volunteerism is definitely reflected throughout the organization and includes its dedicated and supportive Board of Directors that provides the leadership and guidance needed to ensure Prairie Harbour Inc. meets its mission and goals.
“Volunteering is the most fundamental act of citizenship and philanthropy in our society. It is the offering of time, energy and skills of one’s own free will.” (Canadian Volunteerism Initiative.)
Looking After Pets
We have made arrangements for anyone who needs to have their pet(s) taken care of temporarily while in shelter. These pet foster care arrangements are at no charge to the client.
Student Placement Information
We offer field placements for both college and university programs. We are committed to providing an excellent learning experience for students. We are an official student placement site for: Red River College, University of Brandon and University of Manitoba.
For more information about any of the programs or services contact the Executive Director at:
Box 1541, Portage la Prairie, MB, R1N 3P1.
Phone: (204) 239-5233
Fax: (204) 239-6710