PEI

P.E.I. takes 'a really positive step for child protection'

P.E.I.’s child protection services received funding this week for a family violence risk assessment tool that is a significant improvement over the system the province is currently using, says the provincial director of child protection.

New assessment tool coming with federal funding agreement

The new assessment tool will help the province offer appropriate support, says Kelly Peck, the province's director of child protection. (Sheehan Desjardins/CBC)

P.E.I.'s child protection services received funding this week for a family violence risk assessment tool that is a significant improvement over the system the province is currently using, says the provincial director of child protection.

Kelly Peck said the Spousal Assault Risk Assessment is more specifically designed for family violence situations.

"As we've grown to learn, through research, just the impacts, the very concerning Impacts, that family violence has on children, it was requested by our staff and identified as a need to have a more thorough risk assessment tool that is specific to family violence," said Peck.

"It's certainly a really positive step for child protection."

Tracking changes in risk

A $500,000 funding agreement was signed with the federal Department of Justice for training and use of the tool over five years.

One of the benefits of the new tool, Peck said, is its ability to track changes in risk.

"So whether the risk is increasing in a home environment or decreasing," she said.

"That will be really important for our relationship with families in terms of being able to continue to offer support, and what supports we're offering, as we continue to monitor those risk factors within the home."

The funding agreement includes hiring a new family violence coordinator, who among other things will improve communication between child protection and victim services.

Victim services is already using Spousal Assault Risk Assessment, and using it in child protection services will also help the two services coordinate, said Peck.

More from CBC P.E.I.

With files from Angela Walker

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