The Coquitlam school board staff at SNAP training, late 2016.
CDI prides itself on implementing SNAP in ways that make sense for the local community. In Coquitlam, British Columbia, our SNAP team has been working with School District 43 – the first district in Western Canada to adopt SNAP – to take the program to children and families in their community. The SNAP model is now operational in the region, with teaching staff and members of the inclusion support team, along with members of the Aboriginal education team delivering the program the school setting.
This SNAP site is unique in its approach to children’s mental health care, with the clinical program for children and parents facilitated on the school premises. One of the advantages of this framework is that staff are able to build on and strengthen the relationship between caregivers and parents, and the school. As well, running the clinical program in the school naturally allows for children to use SNAP techniques in the school setting.
The vast distance between SNAP’s headquarters in Toronto and Canada’s west coast hasn’t stood in the way of the site’s success: “Through technology, we have been able to meet with the school team ‘face to face’ each week,” says Alyssa, a SNAP trainer-consultant. “This has allowed us to role play for the staff as well as troubleshoot any issues that might come up in the weekly sessions.”
Other parents have commented to teachers that they would like to see the program delivered to their children. We are working to build on our success with this school district and to ensure that SNAP can be made available to more families in the region.
CDI looks forward to continuing to work with SD43 to positively impact the lives of more children and families through SNAP.