Canadian Mental Health Association (BC): Confident Parents Thriving Kids Program
The Confident Parents: Thriving Kids program, a family-focused coaching service effective in reducing mild to moderate behavioural problems and promoting healthy child development in children ages 3-12, is being delivered by the Canadian Mental Health Association (CPMA) BC Division, with funding from the Ministry of Children and Family Development and the Ministry of Health. Confident Parents: Thriving Kids is delivered via telephone by trained coaches whose role is to empower parents and/or caregivers to serve as the primary change agent for their children. Parents learn effective family management practices that support social skills and cooperation in their child. These practices are proven to prevent, reduce and reverse the development of mild to moderate behaviour problems that create challenges at home, school and in social settings.
The program is offered at no cost to BC families, and coaches are available to meet with parents during day, evening and weekend hours to meet each family’s needs. The program is grounded in the Parent Management Training – Oregon Model developed by Implementation Sciences International Inc.
Confident Parents: Thriving Kids teaches parents key positive parenting practices through a 6, 10 or 14-week program depending on the behaviours presented. All of the sessions are held via telephone and parents are provided with an accompanying manual that they will work through with their Coach.
The intervention works incrementally, ensuring parents have sufficient time to practice and learn a skill before learning additional strategies. At the end of each weekly session, parents are assigned some homework to develop the new skill at home.
The program focuses on five key principles:
- Encouragement of positive behaviour.
- Systematic, mild consequences for negative behaviour.
- Monitoring of children’s activities, peers etc.
- Problem-solving to prevent problems and address day-to-day family living issues.
- Positive involvement in children’s interests, activities, and social development.
Supporting components of this model include giving good directions, observing and recording behaviour, identifying and regulating emotions, fostering communication through cooperation, and promoting school success. More information on the Parent Management Training – Oregon Model program can be found here.
Entry in to the Confident Parents: Thriving Kids program requires a referral from a primary care practitioner such as a physician, pediatrician or nurse practitioner. For children with severe behaviour or attention problems, the family doctor may consider a referral to a mental health specialist. The Confident Parents: Thriving Kids program has been designed to address symptoms in the mild to moderate range.