In all of these profiles of Evenstart children, their names have been changed and we have used stock photos of other children. But these stories are their actual life experiences.



Bradley was referred by Social Services to the EvenStart program. His stepfather, who threw him down the stairs, was jailed for Bradley's mistreatment and abuse. Bradley had unhealed lacerations and bruising all over his body, and his private parts were mutilated. Although Bradley’s recovery is slower than most children, the EvenStart team of professionals considers his future hopeful. He has started to act more like a child and stops running to hide and sleep in safety under benches when he arrives at school each morning.



Jenny has been abused all her little life. She has never felt safe, never in control. Her stepfather locks her into the basement without food as a form of discipline. When he makes breakfast, he signals a Pit Bull to snap the toast from her hand. Jenny has tried to drink chemicals from under the sink. She has burned down the family home. Jenny was recently discovered through the Play Therapy component of our treatment program to have been sexually abused and Social Services have intervened.



Carrie comes to our school program quiet and invisible. She has learned to survive domestic abuse by not being noticed. Children like Carrie retreat into their own worlds, searching for comfort from a frightening, unpredictable, and violent environment. Withdrawal is often the only way for self-protection and survival. An inner retreat is this child’s first chance to say to the outside world: “This is my choice!” Upon entry to the EvenStart building each morning, Carrie now eagerly helps other children reach their cubbies and find reading books they like.



Johnny was referred to us by the Alberta Children’s Hospital at age three. He was not yet toilet trained and when a diaper change was due the attending teacher noticed his bottom was blistered in the pattern of a stove top heating element. He and his brother had been physically abused until apprehended by Social Services and placed in foster care. We’re helping Johnny to recover through education and therapeutic interventions.



Kristy’s mother has a problem with drug abuse. Kristy is often taken to adult parties. At the age of three, she comes to school in sequined mini skirts, hair extensions, or a bikini bathing suit. She has no idea of what is reasonable for a child. While other children are dressing up and playing house, Kristy is acting out situations that include going to bars and meeting men. We work steadily with Kristy on learning what it is to be a child, on defining herself in terms of what is appropriate for a child and not an adult. We work to establish new values of self-respect and standards of normalcy for this little girl. With consistent care and guidance by the EvenStart team, Kristy has made great inroads.



Ollie came to us with no language skills, no toilet training, and never having had interaction with other children or adults. Kept in a strring of motel rooms, and guarded only by a German Shepard, Ollie was three years old when police raided the unit to discover that the child was being left alone for days on end. Incarceration of both parents involved in the drug and prostitution rings in Calgary resulted in Ollie’s referral to the EvenStart program by authorities. Ollie now speaks up a storm, plays with toys, and enjoys social interaction with other children of the same age.



Kevin came to us at age four. He has been seen at the Alberta Children’s Hospital after trying to burn down his home. There is a history of alcohol abuse and violence by a stepfather who is in and out of the house. It is also discovered that Kevin has been molested by a boy in his housing complex. Placed in foster home after foster home, he tells us that all he wants is his own mommy and daddy; he constantly asks “Why doesn’t that ever happen?” After a year of EvenStart’s intervention, Kevin has now stopped destroying furniture and is the first in class to raise his hand to help!



Suzie was kept in a kitchen crib outfitted as a cage for the first three years of her life. With little direct human contact, she had no verbal skills, was not toilet trained, and did not know how to read or sing. Upon placement in the EvenStart program, Suzie would have to be carried by staff during each class day. If let down, she would scream and howl. She could only make guttural sounds to indicate what she wanted or needed. Pictures taken of Suzie at the Zoo on a recent field trip show her climbing the Dinosaur with friends and giggling, laughing, and playing like a normal four-year-old.

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    Phone: (403) 541-0277  Fax: (403) 541-0800