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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

- Page 23

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - December 12, 1970, Lethbridge, Alberta .Saturday, December 12, 1970 THE LETHBRIDGE HERAID 23 Is HRDA acts in co-ordinating role The gear-up stage of a 4-year program designed to stimulate social and econ- omic development that will have far- reaching effects on the estimated mostly Native population of the Lesser Slave Lake Special Area of Alberta is well underway. The provin- cial agency, HRDA, which stands for the Human Resources Development Authority simply called "Herd-ah" for short is playing an extensive role jn guiding the program in all its broad context. The plan helps the people of the area to take full advantage of all opportunities presented to them through various multi-level federal and provincial government services already available. Through an established regional office, serving the square mile area, HRDA representatives act in a dove- tailing fashion to co-ordinate all the necessary activities. They set a system of priorities for the work to be done. Representatives and delegates from registered community associations work side by side with the human resource officers of HRDA, who are presently co-ordinating programs throughout the province. Newpre-empioyment training centres Post-secondary adult education in the province will be taking another bij step forward with the scheduled com- pletion of two all-new Alberta Voca- tional Centres in Edmonton and Calgary. The move to the ultra-modern central- ly located buildingswill consolidate all iacilities and staff of this ongoing program. Up to now they have been spread out in various rented quarters in both cities, and the move will mean an increase in the province's over-all capacity to provide thousands of young men and women with specializ- ed pre-employment training. Academic courses needed to complete further education will be taught at the centres along with such things as. secretarial and business .programs and specific vocational studies. All students attending the regular day programs at the centres are enrolled on a reference basis only and are finan- cially assisted in one form or another with training allowances provided either by Canada Manpower or other provincial services. One such centre is already operating in Fort McMurray which, in addition to similar courses offered by the two new major centres, offers courses in heavy-duty construc- tion equipment training. Probation offers better opportunity The use of composite, written pre- sentence reports for consideration by the presiding justice in the courts of Alberta are becoming more wide- spread. Such reports, relating primarily to the social background of offenders, submitted by full-time probation offi- cers of the Adult Probation Branch, are made only after the establishment of guilt. The growing trend in the use of probation orders in sentencing, or. following a term of imprisonment, offers an offender a greater opportun- ity of preserving self-dignity and a second chance to face life on his own responsibility. The resulting cost sav- ing to taxpayers is 8 to 10 times less than the cost of imprisonment, plus support costs if a family is involved. A voluntary, pre-employment program mainly for the benefit of younger probationers, such as highschool drop- outs, unskilled workers, or persons without job experience (largely in the 16 to 25 age is another social service aspect of probationary work. The program arranges special counsel- ling and guest speakers, such as em- ployment or personnel officers of major firms, discussing job opportuni- ties and interview requirements. Parole supervision and staff for family courts are also provided by this branch of the Attorney General's Department. community support a community affair The Alberta Department of Youth provides many vital support sendees to communities, agencies, organizations, clubs, private and public groups in- volved in working with people. Departmental officers help to organize leadership workshops, management seminars, sports clinics, student council workshops. They provide speakers on youth problems and pro- grams. They offer consultant services. Financial assistance is also part of the over-all pattern of work undertaken to help develop potential in people throughout the province. A research capability including studies, Evaluations and inventory-taking of Alberta's youth and their community's resources is offered. Facilities include a computerized index of references material on youth activities and re- lated subjects and a data bank on drug abuse. During summer months the Depart- ment co-ordinates a student travel exchange program working with the federal government, local school boards and communities. Each year about 400 boys and girls from all across the province travel in groups for exchange visits to other parts of Canada. Channeling this broad scope of services to local levels is done through more than 50 professional consultants of tha Department of Youth and represent- atives working with communities. Community action in the form of greater understanding and tfie involve- ment of people on a volunteer basis is vital in strengthening the many impor- tant and varied family services provid- ed through the Child Welfare Branch. Particularly in its work with juvenile offenders. New methods in the care and treatment of young offenders, under supervision of the trained social workers of this Branch, are directed at rehabilitation rather than out-moded concepts of lock and key control. The eventual aim is to encourage proper motivations and establish new routes back into the mainstream of society for boys and girls in trouble with the law. Since juvenile probation, and the care of children held in custody as juvenile delinquents, (boys under the age of 16 and girls under 18 became the responsibility of a Branch this year, a new approach is.already taking.shape. Co-educational Youth Development Centres have been established in Calgary and Edmonton. They provide academic and vocational training along with other interest-expansion pro- grams. With the program under the over-all umbrella of the Social De- velopment Department, all the services of the department are more readily available should the child's behavioral problems stem from family problems. Basic human rights protected To ensure that each Albertan Enabl- ed to develop to his maximum poten? tial without the hindrance of discrim- ination, the staff of the Human Rights Branch work to protect certain basic rights of individuals. The activity of this Branch of the Department of Labour includes educational program- ming with community and church groups, service clubs, ethnic associa- tions, schools and other organizations. To acquaint Albertans with their rights under The Human Rights Act a variety of literature is available including a human rights display scroll for organi- zations, a multi-colored placard for businesses and a quarterly newsletter, Human Concern, for general distribu- tion to the public. These publications are available without charge on re- quest. Should a person feel that he has suffered discrimination in employ- ment; hotel, motel or apartment ac- commodation; or in other services generally available to the public such as restaurants, stares, theatres, because of his colour, race, religion, place of origin or ancestry, he may register his concern with this agency. The Human Rights Branch then acts promptly to investigate the matter and arrive at a satisfactory solution for ttm persons involved. mmm mm m IN MINV HOB DIRPONS ;