Minimizing the Social and Financial Costs of Childhood Conduct Disorder: Building Upon the SNAP® Foundation
A highly recognized Canadian model – being replicated around the world, endorsed and supported by the Canadian National Crime Prevention Centre
Successful implementation of evidence-based practices requires a long-term, multi-level, multimodal approach. Organizational readiness andsupport, and system level support, can facilitate successful implementation within a larger context of innovation and change.
Children’s Mental Health Ontario (CMHO, 2006), Barriers to the Implementation of Evidence-based Practices
WHY FOCUS ON CONDUCT DISORDERED CHILDREN? Conduct Disorder (CD) is the most common reason for referral to children’s mental health centres in North America. Because ofthe prevalence and long-term negative impact of such problems, the cost of failing to treat children with CD is enormous. Poor lifespan outcomes include persistent criminality, poor vocational and social functioning, mental illness, increased rates of hospitalization, family and parenting dysfunction and substance abuse. Not including indirect, social and victim costs, children with CD have beenconservatively shown to consume 7-10 times more resources than children who do not experience this disorder. The largest proportion of these costs is associated with youth crime, which, in Canada, is typically assumed under provincial ministry funding streams. The prevalence of CD in children 6-11 years of age is approximately 6.5% for boys and 1.8% for girls, which translates into a conservativeestimate of 33,000 children, for example, in Ontario alone. If we arbitrarily assume that a third of these children will outgrow CD (or we remove the least severe third of this population), this still leaves about 22,000 moderateto-severe cases requiring specialized assessment and treatment. There exists a consensus in scientific literature that the early identification and treatment of childrenwith marked conduct problems hold the best promise for preventing youth crime and maximizing population health outcomes. In short, it becomes harder and more expensive to treat CD as children grow older. As accountability frameworks are increasingly being applied to children’s mental health service systems, it makes sense to invest in evidence-based, early approaches ® that consistently producepositive treatment outcomes. In this regard, the STOP NOW AND PLAN (SNAP ) program has proved to be an exemplary model. A COMPREHENSIVE COLLABORATIVE CRIME PREVENTION APPROACH: HELPING YOUNG CHILDREN in CONFLICT WITH THE LAW Early identification and targeted interventions are the key to crime prevention – not only for young children and their families, but for the communities and service providersthat bear responsibility for the healthy development of our children. Our approach in the Centre for Children Committing Offences at the Child Development Institute is remarkably straightforward, which is why we are being called upon from an ever-expanding range of professionals to facilitate and implement our comprehensive, three-stage crime prevention strategy: 1) police-community referralprotocols that navigate at-risk children through the system in a timely manner to appropriate service providers; 2) structured clinical risk assessments that gauge the risk of future antisocial potential and treatment needs for targeted children; and 3) ® gender-sensitive STOP NOW AND PLAN (SNAP ) programs that are tailored to meet the clinical needs of aggressive and antisocial children and theirfamilies.
OUR COMPREHENIVE, COLLABORATIVE 3-STAGE CRIME PREVENTION STRATEGY:
POLICE-COMMUNITY REFERRAL PROTOCOLS Directs at-risk children to “ready” services in a timely manner STRUCTURED CLINICAL RISK ASSESSMENT Using the Early Assessment Risk List (EARL) approach
STOP NOW AND PLAN (SNAP®) GENDER SENSITIVE PROGRAMS Designed to meet the needs of antisocial children in conflict with the law...
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