Many parents wish children came with instructions. You’re not alone. We have a program for you!

The Circle of Security Program can help you strengthen your parent-child relationship and gain confidence to better understand and support your child, especially during times of upset or distress.

This FREE 8-week virtual group will enhance your ability to support your child to achieve increased calmness, cooperation, and effective communication. You will gain knowledge and a deeper understanding of how behaviour and connection can impact your relationship with your child. As a caregiver, you will understand the importance of building a secure relationship with your child and help them to know that they can turn to you for support when confronted with difficulties or challenges.

The Circle of Security Parenting program is intended to support parents:

  • To better understand their child especially during times of upset and distress
  • To enhance parent’s ability to support their child to achieve increased calmness, cooperation, and effective communication
  • To enjoy increased confidence, happiness, and delight in interactions with your child
  • To gain a deeper knowledge and understanding of the interaction between behavior, connection, and relationships with their child

If you think that this group is what you have been looking for, CALL us at 416-438-3697 x19055 for more information, and to be placed on the waitlist.

Attendance for every session is imperative to gain the full benefits from the program as each week builds on the topics presented from the previous week. If a group member misses 2 or more sessions, they maybe be asked to withdraw from the group and register for the next group session.

Program focus: ADD/ADHD, Autism, Behaviour Difficulty, Child Development, Communication Skills, Developmental Disability, LGBT, Mental Health, Parenting, School, Skill Development, Socializing, Trauma more…

Children, youth up to age 18, their mental health professional and families can access psychiatric consultation via virtual platform. Youth and family must be connected to a service provider to support the referral process.

This service requires a referral by a mental health professional who has worked with the child/youth and family and is knowledgeable of their situation. The mental health professional will be involved in the entire process following the psychiatric consultation and will follow up with the client on any recommendations.

All referral forms must be faxed to 647-689-2788. If you have any questions, please email the Urban Tele-Mental Health Service Coordinator at urbantelementalhealth@stridestoronto.ca or call us at 416-438-3697 ext. 14292.

UTMH Referral Form

UTMH Consent Form

UTMH Follow-up Form

Program focus: Behaviour Difficulty, Child Development, Parenting

The Triple P-Positive Parenting Program is a multi-level, preventively-oriented parenting and family support strategy developed by the authors and colleagues at The University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. The program aims to prevent severe behavioural, emotional and developmental problems in children by enhancing the knowledge, skills and confidence of parents.

The program content draws on the following:

  1. Social learning models of parent-child interaction that highlight the reciprocal and bidirectional nature of parent child interactions.
  2. Research in child and family behaviour therapy and applied behaviour analysis.
  3. Developmental research on parenting in everyday contexts
  4. Social information processing models that highlight the important role of parental cognitions such as attributions, expectancies and beliefs.
  5. Research from the field of developmental psychopathology that has identified specific risk and protective factors that are linked to adverse developmental outcomes in children.
  6. A population health perspective to family intervention that involves the explicit recognition of the role of the broader ecological context for human development.

The group goals are:

  1. To increase parents’ competence in managing common behavior problems and developmental issues
  2. To reduce parents’ use of coercive and punitive methods of disciplining children
  3. To reduce parenting stress associated with raising children

Triple P is offered over seven sessions:

  1. Introduction, What is Positive Parenting, Causes of Child Behaviour Problems, Goals for change, Keeping track of children’s behaviours
  2. Promoting children’s development, developing positive relationships with children, encouraging desirable behaviour, teaching new skills and behaviours
  3. Managing misbehaviour, developing parenting routines
  4. Planning ahead, family survival tips, high risk situations, planned activities routines
  5. Telephone session – Implementing parenting routines
  6. Telephone session – Implementing parenting routines continued
  7. Program close – phasing out the program, progress review, maintenance of change, problem solving for the future, future goals, celebration

Program focus: Behaviour Difficulty, Communication Skills, Mental Health, Parenting

Family Counselling is intended to help caregivers explore their concerns about their child with a trained therapist. The goals of counselling services are to help your family get an understanding of your concerns and to enhance problem solving skills; as well, to give your family an opportunity to learn effective ways to cope with any different challenges.

Benefits of Family Counselling may include:

  • Receiving help to define family goals
  • Finding ways of achieving the goals and improving communication in your relationships
  • Learning new information about your child’s personality or development
  • Connecting or coordinating services with other community groups and activities
  • Communicating with your child’s school or day care
  • Learning more effective or useful parenting strategies
  • Receiving an assessment to help with treatment planning (e.g., psychological assessment)
  • Experiencing a safe place to talk about painful events that have affected your child

Access to this group is through Intake.

Program focus: Communication Skills, Mental Health, Parenting, Skill Development

Facing Your Fears is a group program that uses a cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) approach for the reduction of anxiety symptoms (Facing Your Fears Facilitator’s Manual, 2011). There is a vast amount of literature supporting the use of CBT to manage children’s anxiety, resulting in CBT being the best practice for the management of this disorder.

The overall goal is to provide children with the skills for them to be able to successfully cope in a variety of anxiety-provoking situations.

The treatment goals are:

  • Helping children to recognize signs of anxious arousal and to use these as cues for the use of anxiety management strategies
  • Encourage children to identify negative self-statements in order to initiate more positive and constructive self-statements
  • Helping children to use self-ratings and self-rewards
  • Identifying the cognitive processes associated with excessive anxious arousal
  • Training in cognitive strategies for anxiety management and behavioural relaxation
  • Performance-based practice opportunities with learned skills applied to real-life situations
  • Provide parents with the knowledge and skills needed to support their child in coping with anxiety

There are 14 sessions, which cover:

  1. Welcome to Group: Words We Use for Worry
  2. When I Worry
  3. Time Spent Worrying
  4. What Worry Does to My Body: Beginning to Measure Worry
  5. The Mind-Body Connection
  6. More Mind-Body Connections: Introduction to Exposure
  7. Introduction to Exposure (Continued)
  8. Practicing Exposure and Making Movies
  9. Facing Fears and Making Movies
  10. Facing Fears and Making Movies
  11. Facing Fears and Making Movies
  12. Facing Fears and Making Movies
  13. Facing Fears and Making Movies
  14. Graduation

Access to this group is through Intake and Family Counselling Services which allows for assessment of eligibility criteria.

Program focus: Child Development, Mental Health, Parenting, Skill Development

Babies’ Best Start works in partnership with Toronto Public Health to provide service to families under the provincially funded program Healthy Babies Healthy Children. In this partnership a Public Health Nurse from the City of Toronto and a Family Home Visitor from Strides Toronto work as a team to provide in-home support to families in the prenatal stage and to families with young children from birth to three years of age. Children must be referred before the age of three.

The parent receiving this service determines their own goals which may include areas such as pregnancy, breastfeeding, healthy attachment, healthy eating, safety, child development, positive parenting, parent health and well-being and community resources. The home visitors represent a variety of cultural backgrounds and speak many different languages.

Referral Details

Referrals can be made by parents or through a midwife, family doctor, nurse or other service provider to Healthy Babies Health Children through the Toronto Public Health Department. Children must be referred before the age of three.

Eligibility Details

Clients must meet the following criteria:

  • Living in Toronto
  • Pregnant or parenting a child who is 0 to 3 years old
  • Be the legal guardian of the child(ren)
  • Actively parenting the child(ren) in the family’s place of residence
  • Available for home visits during our hours of operation.

The client must also meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Healthcare professional has concerns about the health and well-being of the client, family and/or child.
  • Parent has concerns or questions about the child’s health and development, parenting, parent-child relationship.
  • Newcomer to Canada, here less than three years and having their first baby in Canada.
  • Client has a limited informal and/or formal support system.
  • Client has a history of or is experiencing physical and/or mental health illness that is impacting capacity to parent or cope with pregnancy.
  • Client facing challenging life situations or life stressors such as homeless, domestic violence, child protection concerns, no OHIP.

The Healthy Babies Healthy Children program is funded by the government of Ontario and delivered by your local public health unit.

Get a fact sheet about the Healthy Babies Healthy Children program

Program focus: Abuse, ADD/ADHD, Behaviour Difficulty, Child Development, Child Welfare, Communication Skills, Mental Health, Parenting, Skill Development, Socializing, Trauma more…

Live-in treatment at Strides Toronto is an intensive, therapeutic, twenty-four-hour care and treatment program for children whose social, emotional and behavioural difficulties are such that they have been unable to adequately function in a family setting, even with the provision of less intrusive service alternatives such as outpatient counselling or Day Treatment.

The program provides a range of services including assessment, twenty four-hour care and treatment; in-home support related to parenting and child management; children’s groups; individual child and family treatment; and aftercare. Program consultants are available as required for psychological and psychiatric assessments as well as on-going treatment consultation. Other specialized assessments are arranged as required e.g., speech and language, occupational therapy and neuropsychological testing.

The purpose of the program is to promote opportunities for children and their families to learn and practice new social skills and regulate emotions that will enable the children to return home. For those children for whom returning home is not possible, emphasis is placed on preparing them for integration into their next home environment.

“Betty’s Place” is a staff operated treatment program located in a residential neighborhood that serves six children at one time (male and female). The program is funded and licensed by the Ministry of Children, Community & Social Services under the Child and Family Services Act.

Quick Access
Quick Access is a bed designated to the various Child Welfare agencies for their clients who require access for children needing immediate placement. Clients who are admitted through the Quick Access process will receive the same treatment as any other client admitted through the Regular Service process.

Eligibility Details

Residential Service is provided to children primarily between the ages of 6-12. Children are referred through Help Ahead Central Point of Intake from across Toronto. The specific admission criteria for the service include:

  1. Children who continue to experience social/emotional difficulties in their home environment despite previous less intrusive interventions.
  2. Children must have at least average intellectual potential, i.e. children who do not require educational services designed for the developmentally delayed.
  3. Child must be able to be safely maintained in an unlocked community setting.
  4. Families must be willing to be involved in monthly treatment planning meetings, family work, in house behaviour management sessions, and attend organized family events within the residence
  5. A child who may have a mild form of autism will be considered.
  6. Children with physical handicaps will be considered given the limitations of our site.

The Live-In Treatment program is funded by Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services (MCCSS).

Program focus: Child Development, Parenting

This program offers Family Home Visiting and Parenting Groups and is designed for families with children  from birth to under 6 years of age who may be new to Canada, are living on a low income, or may be feeling alone or overwhelmed. The goal of our program is to help mothers and fathers see their strengths, build strong relationships with the children, and find positive ways to raise healthy, happy children. This program is free and voluntary.

Family Home Visiting
Supportive professional Family Home Visitors can meet regularly with parents in their home to provide information about infant and child development, healthy eating, safety, breastfeeding, toileting and community resources.

Parenting Groups
Trained staff offer a variety of weekly parenting groups such as Infant Massage, Parent-Child Mother Goose®, Nobody’s Perfect Parenting Group, Building Connections, and Summer Fun. Groups are offered at different community locations across Scarborough.

Eligibility Details

Families with children under 6 years of age who are either:

  • new to Canada
  • single or young parents
  • having a language barrier
  • living on a low income
  • feeling isolated

AND with a self-identified parenting struggle.

Program focus: Behaviour Difficulty, Child Development, Mental Health, Parenting

The Community Support program works in partnership with other service providers to develop and deliver flexible mental health services that are responsive to unmet and emerging needs of children from birth to age 12 and their families.

Programs are based on current best practice and determinants of health and are created in relation to needs identified in the community in cooperation with community partners and families. Activities in the program include groups, workshops and presentations to families and/or community organizations to increase awareness and facilitate knowledge transfer to enhance the social emotional well-being of families with children under 12 years of age.

Program goals are to assist families in establishing and achieving their goals for the healthy development of their children; to enable children to function more successfully in all social contexts (home, school, neighbourhood); and to enhance the capacity of the community to promote the healthy development of children.

The services strive to be accessible to all families in relation to location, literacy level and cultural sensitivity. Areas of service include:

School Services
Program provides parenting workshops and presentations; parenting groups; class wide anti-bullying and social skills programs; and staff training.

Community Agencies
Program provides parent education, parent groups, and participates in community development activities.

Shelter Services
Program provides parenting groups, children’s groups, brief counselling, staff consultation and training to school and shelter staff.

EarlyOn
Program provides parent education, groups, and brief consultation on topics related to children under 6 years of age.