Family life is difficult – it doesn’t have to be unbearable though.
When your kids have special needs or behavioral challenges, what seems like an everyday task can sometimes feel like mission impossible. We are passionate about helping families find joy in being together, despite the obstacles that may stand in their way. We help strengthen families by providing services that include Behavioral Consultations.
What is a Behavioral Consultation?
A Behavioral Consultation happens when one or more of the child’s parents/caregivers discuss family dynamics. The conversation is usually focused around one or more children’s challenging behaviors and the way that they affect the family’s ability to function. The Consultant makes suggestions and develops a plan of action from a toolbox of methods that they have been trained in, or previously seen evidence-based success in. At KFS, everything we do is relationship-based and individualized.
What does the initial consultation look like?
A Consultant comes to the family’s house and observes the children in their natural environment. (We do not meet in offices, as we know that unfamiliar surroundings cause people to behave differently than they would in their own home.) The Consultant makes time to spend with the children, then sits down with the parent/s for the consultation. Depending on the situation and ages of the children, we like to involve the entire family in the initial consultation.
What is the purpose of a Behavioral Consultation?
The purpose of the Behavior Consultation is not to fix the family’s situation his/herself. The Consultant is there to train and empower the parents to change the way they lead their family, by equipping them with strategies and tools to make life easier. The Consultant is the overseer, the parents outwork the plan – history has proven that lasting changes can not be made to a whole family dynamic unless the whole family is on board. Though it may seem as though one person of the family can be making things dysfunctional, every member of the family has a part to play in overall change.
After the initial consultation, how often do families see the Behavior Consultant?
It is recommended that in the first few weeks of the intervention that the Consultant visits the family on a weekly basis, to check in with how everything is going. It is likely that there will be a few “teething problems” with some strategies, and these kinks can be worked out with the consultant during consultations. The consultant can help families to start a culture of meeting regularly which can then be sustained without being present. The consultant is involved for as long as the family requires the assistance. One of the biggest advantages of having a third party involved in a family behavioral intervention is that the consultant helps to keep the parents accountable for reinforcing the strategies that will lead to change.