ATTACH™: Program & Collaboration with Dr. Nicole Letourneau, University of Calgary and in partnership with Harvard Center on the Developing Child, Frontiers of Innovation. This intervention program helps moms mitigate the negative impact of trauma on their children caused by domestic violence. The program is focused on improving reflective function, children’s attachment security, parent-child relationships and child health and development for at-risk mothers and children <72 months of age. Toxic stressors place children at risk for insecure attachment, altered parent-child relationship quality and altered health and developmental trajectories, including immune function. Parental reflective function, i.e. parents’ capacity to understand their own and their child’s mental states and thus regulate their own feelings and behavior toward their child, buffers the negative effects of toxic stress on children.
Child Development Centre (CDC): A cornerstone intervention to help children meet their developmental milestones and utilizes sensory play, arts and crafts, general play, reading, and songs. The CDC is also used as a trauma informed childcare space to support other programs for moms.
Working for Kids: Developed by Dr. Judy Cameron, a neuroscientist from the University of Pittsburgh who is a member of the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child at Harvard University, and was a member of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Network on Early Experience and Brain Development. This educational platform is based on neuroscience principles that uses novel, recently developed, hands-on educational tools that teaches adults how the brain develops and how factors in a child's environment shape brain development. The program provides methods/tools that moms can employ to help their children develop into healthy adults. Adults are empowered to help children improve their language skills, problem-solving skills and social-emotional skills - setting children on an upward trajectory for success in life. Discovery House participates in research for Working for Kids and ran its first independent cohort in 2018/19. The program has started to be tested in the United States, and Discovery House is leading the way in being part of the first evaluation of the program in a Canadian community affected by high ACEs.
Please note: While the content of Working for Kids is for young kids, the program is delivered to mothers.
Moms' Empowerment: Group-based program (8 sessions) for mothers who have experience domestic violence. It is designed to support and enhance emotional regulation, parenting and disciplinary skills. The facilitator leads conversations while creating a safe space for moms to learn and talk about their own experience and feelings.
After School Program: School-aged children receive help with homework and engage in activities that incorporate brain science. This program is delivered in partnership with Awo Taan.
Kids' Club: Group-based intervention for children aged six to twelve (Grade 4-6) who have experienced domestic violence. It is designed to enhance the child’s sense of safety, develop the therapeutic alliance and create a common vocabulary of emotions. While children are at Kids' Club, moms are participating in Mom's Empowerment.
SNAP®: Affiliate & Collaboration with Child Development Institute SNAP® stands for Stop Now And Plan, and is an evidence-based gender sensitive, trauma-informed multi-component cognitive behavioural model developed over 33 years ago by the Child Development Institute. The primary goal of SNAP is to help children (aged 6-17) who are struggling with disruptive behavioural issues to stop and think before they act, and keep them in school and out of trouble. SNAP provides a framework for teaching effective emotional regulation, self-control, and problem solving skills to parents and their children. Discovery House is currently the only SNAP affiliate in Calgary. SNAP has undergone continual evaluation and research and is proven to reduce crime by 18-33% (Farrington, Koegl, 2015) while also improving parent-child relationships. Participation in SNAP is shown to change brain activity from ventral to dorsal regions, signifying emotional self-regulation and intentional cognitive control (Stieben, 2005).