Luna has a vision for the future of child advocacy in Alberta

PolicyWise sat down with Luna Child and Youth Advocacy Centre to talk about their focus on child well-being and healing. They discussed their vision for the future and why sharing what they’ve learned is important.

Luna is a Child and Youth Advocacy Centre located in Calgary, AB. PolicyWise worked with them to revise their theory of change. We also created an evaluation framework together.

For Luna, it’s all about the bigger vision. They’re excited to capture the impact they’re having on children that goes beyond court outcomes. Their goal is to tell stories of well-being and healing as well. They hope that everyone involved in supporting children and caregivers can now see how what they do contributes to the bigger picture. 

Child and Youth Advocacy Centres support children and youth who’ve experienced sexual abuse, or severe physical abuse or maltreatment. The Centres pursue justice while minimizing trauma and facilitating healing for children and their caregivers.

Luna is also committed to the larger vision for Child and Youth Advocacy Centres across Canada, and beyond. Sharing what they learned, their theory of change, and evaluation framework is part of that.

Luna explains why their revised theory of change
and evaluation framework are important.

"They will help us to understand our outcomes. Without understanding outcomes, how can you focus your resources? How do you hold your organization accountable for the difference you are trying to make? That’s what is so exciting about this work. Just creating the framework and defining the change we hope to achieve, our work shifts. It has a more explicit purpose now. If we want to understand children’s protective factors, for example, we need to first know what they currently are. And, it’s not only our impact we are now able to capture. We can see gaps and opportunities to grow. "

We heard that, “doing this work requires humility.” For example, the Luna team asked for feedback during the development of their framework. The feedback made them realize that it’s okay to look different. There are many great Child and Youth Advocacy Centres doing great work. 

Luna’s theory of change and evaluation framework are not the first. In fact, there are quite a few others. There is space for all of these because every Child and Youth Advocacy Centre is unique. 

Luna hopes that by sharing their theory of change and evaluation framework they can contribute to ongoing growth and learning more broadly. They explained that, “the more we share the more we can all learn, grow, and adapt for our specific contexts and circumstances.”

So, what’s next for Luna and others who embark on changes to a theory of change and evaluation framework? 

“Bringing it to life!” Luna explains. “As Child and Youth Advocate Centres we’re trying to have our voice heard and advocate for the resources we all need. These resources will help us to achieve our vision.”