ConnectED Parents: Moving to virtual interventions to engage parents in the prevention of adolescent dating violence

 Shift: The Project to End Domestic Violence (University of Calgary) is implementing, evaluating, and scaling ConnectED Parents, which is a multi-component, gender-transformative approach to prevent adolescent dating violence. ConnectED Parents builds the capacity of parents (or primary caregivers) of adolescents, aged 10 to 20 years old, to teach their children the competencies to have healthy dating relationships through three co-occurring interventions:  

  1. Parents receive brief interventions delivered via text message that build their knowledge and skills to teach their adolescent children about healthy dating relationships,  
  2. Alberta-based service providers that specialize in working with groups of parents develop capacity to build a healthy social environment where these parents gather, and  
  3. Key influencers within these groups of parents build capacity to provide peer-to-peer supports.  

Project link: 

Community of Practice members:

Lianne Lee 


Lianne holds a Master’s Degree in Educational Research, and Bachelor’s Degrees in Education, Economics and Society, and English. Since 2006, she has led a broad range of community programs and systems-change initiatives that seek to enhance the wellbeing of children and youth from diverse backgrounds. Included is frontline work in after-school community programs early in her career and managing undergraduate programs and research projects at the Werklund School of Education’s Youth Leadership Centre. In addition to directing the Alberta Healthy Youth Relationships Strategy at Shift: The Project to End Domestic Violence, Lianne has helped to lead the design of a provincial primary prevention framework for Alberta to guide policies and practices that stop violence before it starts. Lianne is the Project Manager for this project. 

Sara Winstanley


Sarah Winstanley has spent a decade working with girl and women leaders as a facilitator and program coordinator/manager and has a more recent background in gender-focused policy analysis. She is currently a Research and Evaluation Lead, as well as a Curriculum Developer with Shift: The Project to End Domestic Violence, housed within the Faculty of Social Work (FSW) at the University of Calgary. She is also a sessional instructor within the same faculty. She has her BSW and MSW from the University of Calgary and is a registered social worker. for this project. 

Lana Wells


Lana Wells, BA (Hons) ’94, BSW’96, MSW’97, is an internationally recognized expert on domestic violence prevention, whose ability to work across disciplines, translate knowledge into action, and advocate for change has made her an invaluable contributor. As an associate professor in the Faculty of Social Work and the Brenda Strafford Chair in the Prevention of Domestic Violence, Wells founded and leads a primary prevention research hub called Shift: The Project to End Domestic Violence and in 2022, co-founded Shift to Learn an online prevention platform that is focused on building the social conditions that prevent violence before it starts. She supervises graduate students in the Faculty of Social Work and the School of Public Policy where she is also a research fellow. Wells earned the Alberta Inspiration Award in Leadership in Family Violence, was recognized as a PEAK scholar from UCalgary, received the John Hutton Memorial Award for Social Action/Policy from the Alberta College of Social Workers and was honoured in the YW’s She Who Dares 150 Women Project. In 2017, she received the UCalgary Teaching Award for Curriculum Development for the co-creation of the Advancing Healthy and Socially Just Schools and Communities graduate certificate program. In 2022, she received the Order of the University of Calgary in recognition for exemplary and distinguished service to UCalgary and the Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee Medal which was awarded to Albertans in recognition of their significant contributions to the province. Wells has advised, consulted for, or partnered with all orders of government in Canada and hundreds of not-for profit organizations on advancing primary prevention efforts to stop violence before it starts. She has also been engaged by the UN and contributed to a resolution for the Human Rights Council on engaging men and boys in and addressing violence against women.