Canadian Red Cross – Walking The Prevention Circle


Categories associated with best practice:

  • Health Equity
  • wtt_ico
  • Canada



Red Cross RespectED: Violence and Abuse Prevention services.


Create safe environments free of violence and abuse, esp. child & youth.


The Canadian Red Cross Walking the Prevention Circle (WTPC) is a program that provides a community with a framework and roadmap for preventing abuse and violence. WTPC takes the form of a Capacity Building model that trains prevention educators in their own communities. A critical part of this framework involves providing communities with the language and context to look at really difficult experiences they are facing in order to be able to find healing and a healthy future path. For example, by placing current experiences of violence and abuse into a historical context that looks at contact factors, the Indian Act, and residential schools, a community is better able to understand where their experiences of violence have come from, and in turn better able to be empowered to find solutions. WPTC is an intensive three-day community-based program. In addition to introducing a language and context for violence and abuse, this workshop helps to begin developing a roadmap consisting of 10 steps towards creating safe communities. These steps are shown in the diagram below. The depiction of the process as a winding and bumpy road is done intentionally to note that it is not a linear and smooth process.


To date WTPC workshops have been offered in more than 100 communities from coast to coast to coast. There is a manual to help guide the process. Recent efforts by the Red Cross have focused on increasing the number of Aboriginal Workshop Facilitators available to conduct the workshops. It is noteworthy that the significant uptake of this program has occurred with virtually no attempts to advertise the program, suggesting that the process is one that the communities experience as very positive and helpful. A more formal evaluation is currently underway.

The Walking the Prevention Circle program demonstrates four guiding principles in youth service delivery, as follows:

Understanding and integrating cultural identity

  • Comes from an historical perspective including Contact Factors, The Indian Act, Residential Schools, Government systems, and popular culture.
  • Uses culturally appropriate teaching tools.
  • Weaves together the Principles of the Red Cross with traditional Aboriginal teachings.
  • Support systems include both traditional and formal systems.
  • The WTPC workshop is adjusted to reflect the community’s history, traditions and reality; appropriate Elders are incorporated into the teachings.

Increasing youth engagement

  • Youth receive relevant prevention education from community-chosen facilitators who have been selected by the Red Cross and community.
  • Incorporate fun, culturally-based activities and crafts into the workshops to facilitate youths’ participation.

Fostering youth empowerment

  • Ties into UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and other international agreements that underscore children’s rights to be safe and connected to their culture.
  • Youth and adults are provided with a language to help them name experiences, sort through confusion, and let things go to move forward.
  • The community owns both the problem and solution to violence within their community.
  • Youth receive education on how and where to report, and how to help a friend.

Developing and maintaining effective partnerships

  • Process initiated by a request from the community.
  • Dialogue with the community on needs, capacity, support systems and strengths – are clear about what the Red Cross does offer and does not offer.
  • Participants attend a 3-day WTPC workshop and may then be selected by their communities for further training to become prevention educators.
  • Prevention educators are trained and supported by Red Cross.
  • Flexibility based on the community’s needs in terms of the structure of the workshop and the language in which it is delivered.

Primary Source Document


Contact information of developer(s) and/or implementer(s)


Intervention Focus


Health Issue(s) that is/are addressed by the Intervention



Specific Activities of the Intervention


Priority/Target Population for Intervention Delivery





Implementation History


Expertise Required for Implementation within the Context of the Intervention


Are there supports available for implementation?


Are there resources and/or products associated with the interventions?