The Edmonton Police Service (EPS) has protocols in place to ensure the safety of every child in the community. Child sexual abuse and severe physical abuse of children are among two of the most heinous children’s issues in Alberta and the rest of the world. The EPS child protection section investigates these types of alleged abuses working in the multi-disciplinary Zebra-Child Protection Centre.
Among the cases the EPS investigates are sexual abuse complaints regarding children under the age of 14; sexual assault complaints regarding youth between the ages of 14 and 17 where the minors are in the care of others such as group homes or schools; and serious physical assault allegations pertaining to children under the age of 14. There are numerous other instances when the authorities become involved as well. The EPS also steps in when a child is allegedly in imminent danger or is at risk.
The Zebra-Child Protection Centre, also in Edmonton, is the first of its kind in the country. It brings together professionals who work on behalf of children’s best interests. These people are from Alberta Children’s Services, crown prosecutors, Child at Risk Response Teams (CARRT) medical and trauma screening professionals and volunteer advocates. The centre is a one-stop area for gathering information and helps authorities to minimize additional trauma children might suffer.
It often takes a village to ensure children are safe from harm. A lawyer who is experienced in dealing with the legal aspects of children’s issues is always good to have on one’s side when it comes to ensuring the best interests of children. A client who has questions regarding the welfare of children and the circumstances that might affect them legally, might do well to seek a lawyer’s advice.