How long has AARC worked with addicted youth?

AARC was established in 1992 and has treated over 500 adolescents and families. AARC’s treatment model originated from the doctoral research work of Dr. F. Dean Vause (year) titled “The Alberta Adolescent Recovery Centre: A Treatment Centre for Chemically Dependent Youth and their Families”. AARC now has the capacity to provide intensive treatment for 25-30 youth and families.

What are the qualifications of AARC’s clinical staff?

All clinical staff at AARC has received education in various post-secondary programs in addictions, mental health, psychology, social work, marriage and family therapy, and nursing. To view the academic qualifications of each clinical staff member please click here.

As a non-profit organization, how is AARC accountable to the community?

Board of Directors:

AARC has a distinguished Board of Directors who acts according to a Governance Model of Leadership and provides the foundation for the direction of our organization. Members of the Board are selected specifically with emphasis placed upon their knowledge of the community, medical fields, risk management and strategic planning, and legal arenas. This governing strength and wisdom allows AARC to provide the most comprehensive treatment available to youth according to our mission, values, and goals.

For a list of the board of directors please click here.

Clinical Committee:

AARC’s Clinical Committee consists of a group of professionals who oversee the delivery of clinical services for the treatment of the disease of addiction to adolescents and their families. Their mandate is to ensure that the clinical operations of AARC run smoothly with adequate communications between the committee members and the Executive Director with respect to competence and clinical care. They provide effective support to the clinical staff and their programs, having ultimate responsibility to the Board of Directors.

Alberta Child and Youth Services:

AARC operates under a Standing Offer Agreement with Calgary & Area Child and Family Services Authority that governs the terms and conditions under which AARC provides services for youth under the Authority’s care. The protocols set out in the agreement cover a range of matters including referral and intake processes, clinical assessment criteria, case monitoring and conferencing, documentation and reporting requirements on treatment goals, progress towards these goals, and safety of the youth involved. Under the agreement, the Authority has the right to review and evaluate AARC’s treatment program.


AARC is fully accredited by the Canadian Accreditation Counsel (CAC), an internationally recognized and respected evaluation process used to assess the quality of community agencies. For accountability and best practice AARC voluntarily undergoes accreditation for both the day program and recovery homes (respite homes). The accreditation process is intensive and includes: policy and procedure review, on-site observation, file reviews, review of mandatory training for all clinical staff and counsellors, and interviews with all levels of staff in the organization including the Board of Directors, youth, and their families.

Leadership and Governance
Financial, Human Resource, and Administrative Management
Information Management
Outcomes Evaluation including Ongoing Quality Improvements
Organizational Ethics Policies and Practices
Client Rights including Policies on Discrimination, Grievances, Advocacy, Child Welfare, and Legal Council
Health and Emergency Response including training for managing behaviour, restraining clients, suicide prevention, administering medication, client transportation, and facilities evacuation
Cultural Awareness Training delivery Policy and Procedures


Can our family afford AARC?

AARC believes that no family should be turned away from treatment because of an inability to afford the cost. Each family is assessed for payment options based on their income and ability to pay. Approximately 90% of families entering treatment are subsidized.


Please contact us directly for more information regarding treatment costs.

Jeanette G, grandmother of three AARC graduates:

“I am a single parent and have guardianship of three grandchildren that became addicted to alcohol and drugs. Without AARC and their generous donors my grandchildren and I could not have afforded to receive the treatment we so needed. All three children now know to stay clean and sober and can live productive lives and give back to society.”

How is AARC funded?

AARC is funded through client fees, corporate and private donations, and charitable fund raising events such as AARC’s annual Gala Benefit dinner and golf tournament. Donors involved in these events have the opportunity to learn more about AARC through graduate speakers who share their stories of experience. For more information on these events please click here.


Does AARC collaborate with outside professionals?

AARC works with many outside clinicians in the professional health community to help treat clients and families affected by addiction, including but not limited to:

  • Dr. Hogg BSc, MSc, MD, FRCPC, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist
  • Dr. Botha MD, MBA, AARC Physician
  • Dr. Alan Stanhope MD, MB, BS, LMCC AARC Physician
  • Dr. Choate BSW, RSW, PHD, Assistant Professor at Mount Royal University
  • Lana Dunn, Registered Psychologist
  • Brenda Parkinson, Registered Psychologist, Registered Marital and Family Therapist

Please click here for further information on our consultants.

Cathy Lane Goodfellow, Associate Senior Counsel, Youth Criminal Defence Office says:

“AARC is an approved provider of addictions assessments to the Provincial Court, Family and Youth Division. It is my observation that members of this judiciary division support the AARC program and where a young person is facing detention, AARC is seriously considered as an alternative to custody. It is important to note that when an AARC client is before the Provincial Court, Family and Youth Division for sentencing on a criminal matter, the Court accepts as true all comments made by AARC staff concerning the client’s progress in rehabilitation.”