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Direct Care – Intervention

Behavior Service

The Child Mind Institute’s behavior service provides support to elementary school educators and caregivers with students in grades K-3 struggling with behavior and emotion regulation. Services include small-group instruction to help children learn social and emotional skills, individual student behavior plans, weekly teacher consultation and student observation, and family education. There may be between five and six students in each group, and groups are led by a Child Mind Institute clinician.

Who is eligible for this program?

Classroom teachers should identify students for the program based on students’ needs, their own desire to consult with a Child Mind Institute clinician, and parental engagement. Some signs that a student may benefit from participating may be that the child:

  • Doesn’t follow directions
  • Argues with peers or teachers
  • Has difficulty regulating emotions
  • Has trouble staying focused on classroom tasks/work
  • Has difficulty solving problems appropriately with peers
  • Has difficulty being flexible when things don’t go their way

Children referred for the program will be screened by Child Mind Institute staff to ensure appropriateness for the intervention. Please note that students who display frequent or severe aggression, property destruction, or elopement may not be a good fit for the small-group setting.

Detective Club Curriculum

The Child Mind Institute offers an 8-week, school-based behavioral and emotional skills group for children in grades K-3. The program is informed by the Incredible Years®, an evidence-based, small-group program targeting social-emotional learning, emotion regulation, and problem solving. Integral to the success of this group is weekly caregiver and teacher engagement to promote positive behaviors and skills use at home and at school. The group curriculum covers the following topics:

Session 1: Group Introduction & School Rules

Students will get to know other group members and identify and practice behaviors that will help them be successful in the group and in school.

Session 2: Feelings Identification

Students will learn basic feelings vocabulary and practice identifying feelings in themselves and others. Students will learn that we can feel many different feelings at once, and that people can feel differently about the same situation.

Session 3: Relaxation Skills

Students will learn strategies to manage big and uncomfortable feelings. The strategies include deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and imagining a calm or happy place.

Session 4: Problem Solving

Students will learn steps for social problem solving. They will learn to identify the problem, brainstorm solutions, and select a solution that will lead to good consequences. Students will build a bank of appropriate solutions to common peer problems.

Session 5: Anger Management

Students will learn that sometimes we are feeling too angry to solve a problem and we need to manage feelings of anger before acting. Students will learn to go into their turtle shells, where they can use the relaxation strategies that they have learned to help them calm down.

Session 6: Helping, Sharing and Teamwork

Students will learn how to be good team players at home and at school. They will learn and practice behaviors such as sharing, helping, taking turns, compromising, giving compliments, and being flexible.

Session 7: How to Talk With Friends

Students will learn important skills for communicating with others, including how to introduce themselves, ask questions about a peer’s interests, show interest in what the other person is saying, and take turns in the conversation

Session 8: Graduation

Students will celebrate their accomplishments in the group and create books that they can take home which summarize all the skills learned in the program

In addition to Detective Club, the behavior service intervention includes a teacher and caregiver component.

Teacher Coaching with the Detective Club Curriculum

A behavior service clinician will provide in-vivo support to the teachers of the Detective Club students in applying behavior management strategies in their classrooms. This collaborative and supportive coaching format runs simultaneously to the weeks of Detective Club. For example, teacher coaching may follow this format:

  • Two initial teacher planning meetings to establish rapport, provide initial feedback, and set goals.
  • Six 20-minute live coaching sessions which may include:
    • 5-minute observation during core instruction
    • Verbal and non-verbal prompting and praise to direct teacher use of skills with a focus on increases use of effective behavior management strategies
  • Feedback and support meetings depending on the teacher’s availability.

Caregiver Meeting with the Detective Club Curriculum

A behavior team clinician will provide four caregiver meeting opportunities throughout the Detective Club intervention. The content of each meeting will be the following:

  1. Introduction and Setting the Stage for Success at School
  2. The Power of Your Attention
  3. Implementing a Behavior Chart
  4. Post-Intervention Planning and Advocating for Your Child

The clinician will call to check in and ask caregivers in the group to complete forms to help measure progress.

Request service

Please follow these steps to help streamline the process to bring our behavior service to your school:

  1. Establish a consistent and responsive point of contact to coordinate the application process, scheduling, logistics, data collection, and caregiver communication.
  2. Send an email to to schedule a partnership meeting.
  3. Once our team confirms partnership, swiftly provide appropriate student referrals and speak with legal guardians to obtain verbal consent.
  4. Provide a consistent, confidential time and meeting space for weekly student groups (one hour at a designated time each week).
  5. Have a consistent, engaged in-house mental health provider who will co-lead student groups for one hour each week.
  6. Provide time for teachers of students in the group to meet with the Child Mind Institute clinician on a weekly basis for 15-20 minutes.