Programme for at-risk youth planned for fall

| 16/06/2017
CNS Local Life

(L-R) Brendon Malice and Judith Seymour of DCS; Michael Myles of Youth ACT; Desiree Phillips, SNAP trainer; and Kattina Anglin of Youth (ACT)

(CNS Local Life): The Department of Counselling Services (DCS) will be rolling out an early-intervention programme this fall for children who struggle with behaviour problems, in partnership with the Youth Anti-Crime Trust (Youth ACT). The Stop Now And Plan (SNAP) programme, developed by Canada’s Child Development Institute, is an evidenced-based, proven best practice programme, which has a high success rate teaching children with behavioural problems how to make better choices ‘in the moment’, stated a government press release.

Two staff from the department along with two delegates from Youth ACT were trained by SNAP facilitators in May and the remainder of the staff will receive a nine-day training session later this month. Representatives from education, social services, local law enforcement, and community support groups will be participating.

Youth ACT, which is underwriting the entire training programme through sponsorship by Sol Petroleum and Rotary Sunrise, enjoys a long and positive partnership with government and generates funds to facilitate various intervention and youth crime-prevention programmes in the Cayman Islands.

Brendon Malice, one of the department’s programme facilitators, said of the initiative, “We’re inviting many of our community partners to take up this training opportunity. It’s important that prior to us offering the programme to families, our allies get a comprehensive understanding of the type of initiative they are referring their clients on to and what to expect in terms of likely outcomes.”

Free to families, the SNAP programme will use simulations, learning strategies and other interactive coaching techniques to teach children and families emotion regulation, self control and how to prevent poor decision making which can lead to acting out, poor socialisation and rash outcomes in childhood and later life.

As one of the department’s lead facilitators, who underwent initial training in May, director Judith Seymour said, “The SNAP programme is consistently yielding quantifiably positive results. It is a huge investment for us but we are keen to offer it to families because we know it is well worth it. As a behaviour-modification programme, SNAP can be life-changing with outcomes that we want to see replicated here in the Cayman Islands.”

SNAP was developed in 1985 by the Child Development Institute, an accredited children’s mental health organisation in Toronto, as an intervention programme for children younger than 12 in conflict with the law. Since then, it has grown and evolved into an internationally recognised model offering gender-specific programmes for children ages six-11 and youth ages 13-17 as well as specific initiatives for the community and schools.

For more details about SNAP, visit the programme’s website

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Category: Youth

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