Providing support for elementary-aged children facing significant challenges, problematic behaviors, and intense
Through a structured, short-term program that offers a higher frequency of attendance than traditional counseling formats. The SPARK program is designed to provide additional support to families who have a child that requires more than one 45-50 minute counseling session per week. For elementary-aged children with mental health challenges, we want to provide a structured and therapeutic environment. Our program is designed to provide clients with a more immersive and concentrated therapeutic experience. The intensive nature allows for a more rapid and focused approach. Our SPARK programming for kids is designed to encompass a range of valuable skills and topics.
The following are introduced each day during programming:
Techniques for mindfulness and relaxation are taught and practiced to help clients cultivate present-moment awareness, reduce stress, and enhance overall well-being. These techniques may include deep breathing exercises, guided imagery, and progressive muscle relaxation.
Coping mechanisms and skills are introduced to empower clients with effective strategies for managing and navigating challenging emotions, situations, or triggers. These skills may include problem-solving techniques, emotion regulation strategies, stress management tools, or assertiveness.
Expressive arts interventions are incorporated to encourage self-expression and creativity as therapeutic outlets. These interventions may involve activities such as art therapy, music therapy, or other creative modalities. They provide individuals with a non-verbal means of exploring their thoughts, emotions, and experiences.
Engaging in daily discussion topics allows clients to explore and process various themes, issues, or questions related to their mental health and personal growth. These discussions can be facilitated in group therapy sessions, providing a safe and supportive space for individuals to share insights, gain perspectives, and foster mutual support.
The (virtual) parent groups offer an educational and supportive environment for parents to learn and grow with their children. These groups provide parents and caregivers an opportunity to connect, share experiences, and gain valuable insight into their children’s development.
Who is this for?
There’s a good chance your child would benefit from our SPARK program if they have any of the following…
Emotional dysregulation If your child struggles with managing their emotions, such as frequent outbursts, intense mood swings, or difficulty calming down, our program can provide support and teach them skills for emotional regulation.
Behavioral difficulties If your child exhibits challenging behaviors or intense emotions, such as intense anxiety, depression, or aggression that interfere with daily functioning our program can help them learn strategies to manage these and develop a sense of control.
Trauma-related symptoms: If your child has experienced a traumatic event or exhibits symptoms of trauma, such as flashbacks, nightmares, or avoidance, our program can provide a safe space for building resilience and developing healthy coping strategies.
Goals for the SPARK Program
To promote emotional regulation and coping skills Our aim is to enable your child to better understand and manage their emotions and reactions. We want to assist your child in developing and utilizing effective problem-solving skills, empowering them to navigate challenges and make safe & healthy decisions.
To involve YOU, the parents or guardians actively in the treatment process, equipping you with tools and strategies to support your child’s mental health and overall well-being.
To provide ongoing assessment and monitoring of your child’s progress throughout the program adjusting treatment goals and interventions as needed. We are committed to providing this update each week.
To facilitate a smooth transition after our program, by collaborating with other professionals involved in your child’s care during and at the end of the program. Examples of other professionals include school counselors, teachers, and healthcare providers, to create a comprehensive support system.
What To Expect
Investment of Time.
When enrolling your child to participate in our elementary SPARK program, as the parent or caregiver ask yourself the question, do we have the time to dedicate to this opportunity?
To be a part of our SPARK program, you need to be ready to dedicate time each week to take your child and make sure their schedule is free to attend without any overlapping responsibilities. It’s important to mark this time on your calendar and plan accordingly. Kids will not benefit from the program if it’s not a priority for them. A child’s progress is greatly impacted by caregiver involvement. We consider caregivers as an essential part of the child’s treatment team, and we strongly suggest their active involvement.
Involvement can lead to greater success in managing emotions and behaviors. Involvement can take the form of:
Reinforcing the skills your child is working on in the program
Model for your child, (you or another adult in the home) using skills they are working on in the program can lead to them mirroring your behaviors and creating a stronger bond between child and caregiver
Practice skills to build confidence, thus your child will more likely retain and use those skills in their daily life
Make sure to give thorough and correct updates about how your child is doing in the program. Include information about their positive progress and the areas where they still face challenges.
Encourage your child’s elementary school or individual therapist to collaborate
Investment of Money.
Participating in the SPARK program is:
- $150 for intake/assessment
- $375 per week.
We do not bill insurance for our program. Our program is designed to be psychoeducational, skills development, and support.
We know that raising kids can cost a lot of money. There are many things like after-school activities, tutoring, and buying clothes that add up. And now, you might be thinking, “Do I also have to pay for this program?” We understand that getting treatment can be expensive and put stress on a family’s finances.
You may already know that mental health conditions can affect a person’s life in important ways, like doing well in school, making friends, and doing everyday things. If these conditions aren’t treated properly, they can get worse and be harder and more expensive to treat, like needing to stay in a hospital. Even though it might be tough to make financial changes now, getting treatment can be really valuable in the long run.
Here is what’s included in our SPARK Program:
- Assessment / Intake to SPARK
- Virtual Parent Group
- 3 days of programming
- Weekly review/update of the treatment plan to various professionals the family determines is necessary to receive a weekly update; examples are: pediatrician, school counselor, therapist, or psychiatrist
Spark Participant Journey
Next Steps, learn more about the program!
- Caregiver fills out the form, to inquire about the SPARK program
- The office will respond by answering any questions the family may have and schedule the assessment
- The caregiver and child complete the assessment together.
- If the family qualifies for the program, a start date is provided, as well as more details such as how to access the family dashboard, schedules, and helpful tools to get the most out of the program.
- If the family does not qualify for the program, options and referrals (if necessary) are provided.
Due to the influx of referrals, please be patient with us, as we will respond as quickly as we can. The messages are checked daily, if you do not get a response in 24 hours please resubmit.
We appreciate you reaching out to us, we look forward to working with you!
If you are already enrolled, please click on the button to gather more information
- Spark journey stages (broken down by description, milestones, and action steps so families can monitor progress)
- Weekly schedule
- Daily schedule
- Crisis plan
- Check-in (healthy routine tracker)
- Program skills tracker
- Please note: The client dashboard will be set up and the link e-mailed to family during intake/assessment
On the fence?
Here are some frequently asked questions!
How long are children typically enrolled in the SPARK program
The duration of our SPARK program can vary depending on the individual needs of the child. Generally, the program can last on average 4-6 weeks. The length of the program is determined by various factors, including the severity of the child’s mental health concerns, their treatment goals, and their progress throughout the program.
During the initial assessment and evaluation process, the treatment team will collaborate with the parents or caregivers. The treatment plan may be regularly reviewed and adjusted throughout the program to ensure it remains effective and meets the child’s evolving needs. This is updated each week. It’s important to note that the length of the program should be based on the child’s progress and readiness for transitioning to a less intensive level of care. The treatment team will work closely with the parents or caregivers to create a comprehensive discharge plan that includes appropriate aftercare support and recommendations.
Parents and caregivers can expect ongoing communication with the treatment team regarding the child’s progress.
What happens at the Intake or Assessment appointment?
In SPARK, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for families. A key goal of the program is to support children wherever they are on their developmental journey. The therapist will discuss your goals with you, learn more about you and your situation, and determine if SPARK is a good fit for you. During this assessment, the therapist will help you understand the client’s journey process, and what treatment will look like.
What does a typical day look like for my child?
- Caregiver Checkin
- Daily Update & Assessment
- Daily Mindfulness & Relaxation
- Discuss and Celebrate Wins
- Discuss Challenges
- Review Daily Coping Skills
- Expressive Arts Activity
- Themed Discussion of the Day
- Last 15 minutes: Updating parents & caregivers on daily interventions
Will I know who is working with my child and what their experience/qualifications are?
As a parent or caregiver, you have the right to know who is working with your child in our program; as well as their experience and qualifications. Transparency and clear communication about the treatment team are essential components of the treatment process. If you have any questions or concerns about your treatment team, please don’t hesitate to bring that up.
How will communication and collaboration with others on the treatment team be handled?
Communication and collaboration with others on the treatment team in our program are crucial for the comprehensive care of your child.
Here’s how communication and collaboration are typically handled:
Release of Information: A Release of Information form will need to be filled out to authorize the sharing of relevant information between the treatment team members. This ensures that appropriate and necessary communication can take place.
Assessment and treatment plan: The assessment and treatment plan for your child will be shared with the treatment team before the program starts. This provides a comprehensive overview of your child’s needs, goals, and treatment approach. There will also be a description of the program provided.
Regular communication channels: The treatment team will establish regular communication channel to keep all members informed about your child’s progress and any updates related to their treatment. Historically this is a link to a space that the family (and other professionals can access at any time) as well as a family dashboard.
Collaboration meetings: Collaboration meetings may be scheduled between the treatment team members to discuss your child’s progress, treatment adjustments, and any other relevant concerns when close to discharge. These meetings ensure that all professionals involved in your child’s care are on the same page and can make informed decisions collectively. They are scheduled for 20-30 minutes on Fridays (sometimes Monday morning if therapist is out of town on Friday). This is designed for quick updates. This is not designed for parent coaching, longer case consults, etc.
Confidentiality and privacy: The treatment team will adhere to strict confidentiality guidelines to protect your child’s privacy and ensure that sensitive information is shared only with authorized individuals involved in their care.
Are there any additional support services available for the family during the Program?
Our program recognizes the importance of providing support not only to the individual receiving treatment but also to their family members. Additional support services families might utilize in the office or outside of our office:
- Lending Library – Our office has a bookshelf full of helpful books for parents & caregivers to check out (FREE!)
- Parent Hub – Our parent website, that provides additional support for parents and caregivers (1 month FREE)
- Referrals (In the office or outside the office) to counseling for siblings or parents, family therapy, marriage counseling, etc.
Will my child still be able to attend school or camp while participating in the SPARK program?
In many cases, children participating in our SPARK program can still attend school or camp while receiving treatment. Since the group sessions are scheduled in the afternoon, it would mean that your child may miss a small portion of their regular school day, but can still attend in the morning/early afternoon.
Here are a few considerations regarding your child’s school attendance during the SPARK program:
Communication with the school: Make sure to tell your child’s school about them joining the SPARK program. This helps the school make changes and help your child with their schoolwork. It’s important for their progress in academics.
Schoolwork completion: It is advisable to work closely with your child’s school and the treatment team to ensure that any missed schoolwork is made up and that your child stays on track academically. This can involve coordinating with teachers, obtaining assignments, and creating a plan for completing missed work.
What is the process for admitting my child into the SPARK program?
- Families contact the office to schedule an intake/assessment
- Assessments are done on Fridays
- After completing the assessment, if BOTH the therapist & the caregiver believe the SPARK program is a good fit, and there is an opening for the upcoming week, the family will pay for their spot in the program at that time.
- Spots are first come first serve.
- Families commit to 4 weeks.
- The program starts on Monday with the Parent/Caregiver Virtual Group Call; Children come on Tues-Wed-Thurs to SPARK
What's the overall point of the SPARK program? Why is it important?
Supports clients who have significant impairment in their day-to-day functioning due to psychiatric symptoms that cannot be managed through weekly individual or weekly group therapy. Supports clients by reducing symptoms and improving overall function.