Niagara SNAP for Schools
SNAP® (Stop Now And Plan) is an award winning, evidence-based program developed more than 30 years ago by the Child Development Institute in Toronto, Canada. SNAP is designed to enhance problem-solving skills and emotional regulation in children. Based on the promising research of the clinical model, SNAP for Schools was created and aims to decrease anti-social and bullying behaviors; while increasing pro-social behaviors in schools.
Recognizing a growing need for proactive solutions and early interventions for children with challenging behaviors, the John Howard Society of Niagara partnered with the Niagara Regional Police and Pathstone Mental Health to bring the SNAP for Schools program to classrooms across the Niagara Region.
The Niagara SNAP for Schools program is delivered by a John Howard Society of Niagara SNAP facilitator to selected classrooms (grades 2-8) within the Niagara Catholic District School Board, District School Board of Niagara, Conseil scolaire Viamonde and Conseil scolaire de district catholique Centre-Sud. Selected classrooms must contain a minimum of two children displaying above-average levels of aggression. The facilitators work in collaboration with school personnel and community partners to maximize the benefits of SNAP for the entire class.
The Niagara SNAP for Schools program also features a mental health component in which children and families can receive additional support. Through an expedited referral process the Niagara SNAP for Schools program can connect children and families to a clinician, including Pathstone Mental Health or the John Howard Society of Niagara.
The Niagara SNAP for Schools project is partially funded through the Government of Canada’s National Crime Prevention Strategy. With the support the Child Development Institute, the fidelity and integrity of the SNAP for Schools program will be ensured.
The following clinical services can be available to participants who are referred through the program to either the John Howard Society of Niagara or Pathstone Mental Health:
SNAP Girls Group / SNAP Boys Group
Children participate in weekly sessions, lead by a qualified SNAP clinician. Throughout these sessions the SNAP strategy is discussed and serves as the base for various fun and interactive therapeutic activities, including role plays. Depending on the needs of the group, children work together or individually with the clinician, allowing them to customize the SNAP technique in a way that will work for them.
SNAP Parent Group
The weekly parent sessions run concurrently with the child sessions. Over the course of the sessions, parents learn effective ways of dealing with their child’s behaviors through the use of the SNAP technique. The supportive format of these sessions provides parents with an opportunity to connect with other parents facing similar challenges.
SNAP Individual Counseling
This component provides children with support and counseling services to help integrate the use of the SNAP strategies in their everyday lives. These encounters can take place in the family home, at school or at one of the John Howard Society of Niagara locations.
SNAP for Parents: Family Counseling
This program provides parents and/or families with support and counseling services to help integrate the use of the SNAP strategies in their everyday lives. These encounters can take place in the family home or at one of the John Howard Society of Niagara locations.
Members of the SNAP program assist families with the process of assuring their child is receiving the best possible education. Depending on the needs of the child and those of the family, program representatives are able to engage children and families in the school environment by joining in school activities, participating in school outings, accompanying parents to school meetings, etc.