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The Better Behaviours Service (BBS) offers assessment and treatment for young people six to 18 years old (and their parents/caregivers) who are demonstrating disruptive behaviour. Children and young people seen in the service are demonstrating oppositional, non-compliant, aggressive, impulsive and/or dysregulated behaviour.
Children and youth who may be fighting, breaking rules, having difficulties in friendships, falling behind academically or having problems negotiating adult expectations – and their families.
Intake and Assessment
Referrals of children and youth for psychiatric assessment are completed by a physician (family doctor, pediatrician, psychiatrist) and are forwarded to Access CAMH, CAMH’s centralized intake service. An appointment with a CAMH clinician will be booked following intake.
A CAMH clinician will meet with the child or youth and parents/caregivers to collect information to best understand presenting concerns in order to inform which forms of medical and psychosocial treatments, if any, may be helpful. If psychosocial treatment is indicated, the clinician will make a referral to the BBS.
Matching Assessment and Treatment for Children (MATCH) Assessment
Every child and family have unique strengths and challenges. In order to best fit children and parents/caregivers to psychosocial treatment, the BBS completes a further assessment (called a MATCH assessment) that will help the team recommend either group or individualized treatment at CAMH, or treatment outside of CAMH. MATCH is an integrated clinical and research assessment that helps determine a suitable treatment option based on the child’s emotional, cognitive and behavioural functioning; parent-caregiver and family needs; and readiness and preferences for treatment.
The BBS offers psychosocial interventions for children, youth and parents/caregivers in group and individualized formats. All treatments offered have concurrent child/youth and parent/caregiver interventions.
The group interventions (for children and youth six to 12 years old and their parents/caregivers) are well-established programs that are empirically supported and well-evaluated; research has demonstrated their effectiveness in reducing disruptive childhood behaviour. To participate, children must be in the “at risk” or clinical range on standardized behavioural measures, have intellectual functioning above the borderline range, have no evidence or query of autism spectrum disorder, and have no evidence of factors that would indicate more intensive treatment would be most beneficial.
The Dinosaur Social Skills Program is a 15-week intervention group for children six to eight years old who demonstrate challenging behaviours, including non-compliance to adult requests, disruptive/aggressive behaviour and social behaviour difficulties. The program teaches children positive communicate skills, problem solving and emotion management and regulation; it promotes self-esteem and positive social skills.
The Incredible Years Parenting Program is a companion program for parents/caregivers of children in the DSSP. It is an intervention group for parents/caregivers whose children display non-compliant, disruptive and aggressive behaviour. The program promotes positive behaviour in children and helps parents to develop strategies to reduce parental stress, improve parent-child relationships and lessen child disruptive behaviour.
The Coping Power Child Program is a 15-week group for children nine to 12 years old. Children learn strategies to reduce errors in thinking and improve their problem solving, emotion regulation and social competencies. The program attempts to reduce disruptive behaviour by directly challenging children’s unhelpful thinking and replacing it with socially acceptable problem-solving skills.
The Coping Power Parent Program is a companion intervention for parents/caregivers of children in the Coping Power Child Program. The program helps parents develop skills and competencies to help reduce their emotional stress and improve their parenting and family problem-solving strategies. The group emphasizes cognitive and behavioural parenting skills and ultimately helps parents/caregivers develop an integrated approach to behavioural management.
Individualized interventions are indicated when it is determined through MATCH that group treatment is not a good fit or when the youth is older than 12 years old. These interventions typically include concurrent parent and child treatment and draw upon models of care similar in approach to the group interventions. Treatments with children focus on the development of children’s social-cognitive, social problem-solving and emotion regulation skills. Parents learn strategies to manage their stress and develop more effective parent and family problem-solving approaches.
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