Behavior Consultation Services
YMCA Behavior Consultation Services is a resource for parents and primary caregivers with children ages 0-12. We believe that supporting children’s caregivers, through increasing awareness, confidence, knowledge, and skills in caregiving and child development, we can promote children’s social-emotional development while transforming challenging behaviors. We do this by building supportive relationships and collaborating with caregivers, including families and childcare providers, to promote and grow in their ability to respond to the needs of children in their care.
Our approach is grounded in Early Childhood Mental Health consultation with research-informed and evidence-based practices. The skills, strategies, and support are aligned with the Center for Social Emotional Foundations of Early Learning (CSEFEL) from the University of Vanderbilt, and the Strengthening Families framework. We consistently strive to ensure that our work is responsive to the individual needs of each child, family, and childcare provider by focusing on fostering a collaborative relationship in identifying needs and potential solutions.
Through education, support, and social-emotional modeling, we can not only better understand our children, but support them in their growth and development. The YMCA is proud to offer behavior consultation during this critical period of life for children and caregivers.
HOW DO CONSULTATION SERVICES WORK?
Typically, families engage in behavior consultation services because their child is having challenging behaviors either at home or in their childcare/preschool setting. Behavior consultation services are provided by consultants who know that challenging behaviors are children’s way of telling us that they need additional support. The consultant will learn about the child, family, and child care provider’s strengths to build on what has been working. They will try to understand what has been going on, learn about what has already been tried, and work together in finding additional strategies for how to help the child.
Key parts of Consultation Services
- Referral: Requests for services can be initiated by families, caregivers and/or childcare providers. A consultant will reach out to describe services and determine the best fit for your needs.
- Gather Information: You and your child care provider will participate in an intake session to gather information about your child's strengths and challenges. Your consultant will facilitate screening tools and conduct an observation
- Collaborative Meeting: Your consultant will arrange a meeting with your child's "team" to share ideas about what may be causing your child's challenging behaviors. The team will come up with a plan for how to support your child's strengths to be built on, specific goals to be addressed, and strategies to be implemented.
- Next Steps: Your consultant will work with you and your childcare provider to implement the identified strategies and partner on achieving goals. Service options differ for each family and may include coaching, training, and external referrals.
- Wrapping Up: The timeline for ending services will depend on the support services. When it is time to conclude, your consultant will discuss transition planning such as connection to additional supports or services.
Are you a child care and early education provider?
YMCA Behavior Consultation Services can also be utilized by child care and education providers to support social-emotional development and school readiness. Through consultation services, we work with those caring for children to make sense of behaviors to understand what they may be communicating, and finding ways for how to support children’s growth and development. In developing partnerships with families and providers, our consultants offer education on development, linkages to community resources, and ongoing support for incorporating strategies to promote healthy development.
When a provider chooses to participate the following models of service are available to them:
- Child Specific Consultation – This model of services takes a look at the social-emotional development of an individual child who has been referred to services. For each child, consultants follow the process listed in the graphic above.
- The amount of time services are delivered varies depending on the individual child’s needs as well as the identified services and strategies to be implemented.
- All individual children receiving services are required to have parental consent before any services are provided.
- Classroom & Programmatic Consultation – This model of services looks at the social-emotional environments as well as offers trainings to assist child care and education providers to promote the social-emotional development of all children in their care. The process includes assessment, observation and a collaborative plan to determine what supports will be most beneficial to the classroom and/or program. The goal of this service is to provide staff with the tools and skills to incorporate social-emotional development strategies into their work.
- Delivery of these services depends on the unique needs of the staff and program. Your consultant will work with you and your program to identify needs, explore potential solutions and determine the duration over which services will be delivered.
- Training Services – YMCA Behavior Consultation Services also provide child care providers and community partners with trainings on topics related to social and emotional development. Consultants work with partners to tailor trainings to the recipients’ individual needs.
Success Stories from Parents in the Program
“From the moment you came and we conducted the meeting I saw there was an immediate shift in the behavior. This has been such a positive experience for both us and his school. The teachers are working with our son differently, and we are just so thankful for the program. Our son has started to use the language we give him to talk about his feelings.”
“Our son loves the tools the program gave us. We use the story about our “Personal Space Bubble,” every day and he has started to use the language with us and his friends. The school has told us that he is doing much better, and we are so excited by the improvements.”
“The positive praise techniques have been wonderful for my son. He is more responsive, and he really enjoys our one on one time together. The school is really trying to implement the strategies since our joint meeting, and they don’t call as frequently to report any outbursts. I see the progress he is making, and I know it will just keep getting better.”