Free Counselling by Telephone?

The newsletter of the Sooke Parent Education Advisory Council (SPEAC), School District 62, provided me with information that I had not been aware of before.  The BC government pays for counselling delivered by telephone.  At first, I was astonished, then curious.  I didn’t know this resource was available.

The message from SPEAC advised that:

Confident Parents Thriving Kids is a skill-building program designed to help parents who are experiencing difficulties with their child’s behaviour, such as aggression antisocial behaviour and oppositional defiance.

A visit to the website revealed that the counselling is offered by the Canadian Mental Health Association, BC Division.  Confident Parents Thriving Kids is described as “a family-focused coaching service effective in reducing mild to moderate behavioural problems and promoting healthy child development in children ages 3-12.” I was even more curious so dug a bit more and found some interesting facts, such as the program was developed in Oregon.

Although the BC government provides the funding to the CMHA, the counselling is actually delivered by counsellors accredited by Implementations Sciences International, Incorprated (ISII). Their Parent Mnagement Training, Oregon Model (PMTO) has apparently existed since 1999, but it arrived in British Columbia in 2015.  They explain:

Based at the Canadian Mental Health Association, British Columbia (CMHA BC), this implementation named Confident Parents: Thriving Kids (CPTK) is delivered via telephone by PMTO-trained clinicians throughout the province of British Columbia. CMHA, founded in 1918, is the oldest national mental health charity in Canada with the BC Division created in 1952. CPTK is designed for parents of children with mild to moderate behavior problems. The basic PMTO concepts and skills have been adapted for a 6, 10 or 14 week curriculum, allowing parents to access the most effective program for their needs. Only 12 months after implementation of CPTK began, CMHA BC reported 65% of parents’ concerns resolved with an additional 79% of families reporting “very good or good improvements” in their child’s behavior. (Results were measured by a standardized interview tool administered to parents at intake and at exit from the program.) The first PMTO specialist was certified exactly 1 year after the start of Workshop 1, which is a credit to the site’s readiness with access to families seeking services and its support of practitioner progress.

Referrals to the program have to be made by a family physician, pediatrician or nurse practitioner.  I do wonder whether children described as gifted, whose behaviour gives cause for concern, would be eligible for this free program.  Parents can check the information on the CMHA page about Confident Parents Thriving Kids and at the website of  Implementation Sciences International, Incorporated.



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