Child Development Institute’s Stop Now And Plan® (SNAP) mental health program receives funding from Public Safety Canada that helps facilitate expansion to reach over 100 communities across Canada

Toronto, Ontario, April 04, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Adam Vaughan, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development makes a crime prevention funding announcement to Child Development Institute’s SNAP® evidence-based mental health program on behalf of the Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness along with Julie Dzerowicz, Member of Parliament for Davenport.

With this current project Public Safety Canada is investing in a venture philanthropy model which is an innovative concept to create substantive social change by bringing government, business, foundations and individual donors together.

Dr. Leena Augimeri, Director and co-founder of SNAP expresses gratitude and optimism for the funding, explaining “Child Development Institute is honoured to have the opportunity to work with Public Safety Canada to expand and implement our evidence-based Stop Now And Plan (SNAP) mental health program to reach over 100 communities across Canada. These scaling efforts will continue to be supported by LEAP | Pecaut Centre for Social Impact. SNAP teaches children with disruptive behaviour concerns in the middle years (ages 6-11) emotion regulation, self-control and problem-solving skills. The SNAP strategy is targeted and designed to help children and families stop and think before they act and make better choices ‘in the moment’ – keeping them in school and out of trouble. Multiple studies have shown increased emotion regulation/self-control, greater cognitive executive functioning, and decreased behavioural concerns with proven cost effectiveness.”

The funding from Public Safety Canada is spurred by the interest to develop evidence-based programs which yield high, rigorous evidence-based testing in various communities. SNAP has been selected due to the program’s vast implementation, testing and effectiveness in urban, rural and Indigenous communities. The funding is also provided to support further development of CDI’s risk/need assessment tools which assess the level of risk and need of elementary school-aged children for violent and anti-social potential in order to create effective and appropriate treatment plans.

Tony Diniz, CEO of Child Development Institute, illustrates how the investment will help the program by remarking “We are delighted to have Public Safety Canada funding support that allows us to use an innovative approach that offers start-up training and consultation fees. This support will enhance our ability to reach new Canadian communities in need of evidence-based mental health services and support for their children; thus helping to create massive social change that will foster happier, healthier children and families and safer communities. When this initiative is realized, Canada will have its first children’s mental health program with national reach bringing a proven solution to Canadian children and families. The support of Public Safety Canada matches a similar level of support from other governments, from foundations, corporations and donors and the willingness of agencies across Canada to assist children and their families.”

Dr. Leena Augimeri adds “Canada is leading the way by using this innovative model to create massive social change in mental health to provide access to service in communities that might not otherwise have the capacity to do so.”

Company Backgrounder:

Child Development Institute (CDI) is a Toronto-based organization mandated with the mission to transform the lives of children, youth and their families by developing and delivering world class, innovative, evidence-based mental health programs. CDI is an accredited children’s mental health agency providing a range of programs and services for children, youth and their families in Toronto. We offer evidence-based programs across four streams: Early Intervention Services, Family Violence Services, the Integra Program and Healthy Child Development. Our approach is family-focused, and we work with each child and family’s unique strengths, needs and challenges. For more information about CDI please visit:

About SNAP®: Developed by Child Development Institute over 30 years ago as an intervention program for children under 12 in conflict with the law, SNAP has evolved into an internationally recognized model for teaching children with disruptive behaviour problems and their parents effective emotion-regulation, self-control and problem-solving skills. Gender-specific SNAP Boys and SNAP Girls programs are offered at CDI in Toronto, and through SNAP Affiliates across Canada and around the world. The primary goal of SNAP is to keep children in school and out of trouble by teaching them to stop and think before they act. The SNAP National Expansion launched in 2014 with the goal of reaching over 100 communities (and up to 20,000 high-risk children) across Canada by 2020 with the help of LEAP | Pecaut Centre for Social Impact. Reaching these children can result in a social impact of billions of dollars in savings in criminal justice system costs alone. Using a venture philanthropy model, Phase 1 of the SNAP Campaign has raised over $12 million dollars for the SNAP Expansion to cover SNAP start-up costs for organizations interested in implementing the program in their community. This innovative children’s mental health initiative will transform the face of children’s mental health in Canada by addressing unmet service needs in communities, in addition to supporting schools. For more information about SNAP, please visit



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