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SNAP™ Under 12 Outreach Project

Ages 6-12

Rating: Level 1


The SNAP™ Under 12 Outreach Project (ORP) of the Child Development Institute (formerly the Earlscourt Child and Family Centre) was developed as an intervention for child delinquents. In Canada, children under 12 who commit offenses fall under the authority of provincial child welfare agencies rather than the juvenile justice system. ORP serves boys ages 6–11 who have had police contact or are referred from other sources, and who also are clinically assessed as engaging in above-average levels of aggressive, destructive, or other antisocial behavior. Under ORP leadership, 14 agencies from across Toronto joined with the police in 1999 to coordinate services for delinquent children with treatment anchored in ORP. The program’s screening and assessment procedures involve two interviews at intake—one with the child, another with the parent—in addition to an objective risk assessment that uses the Early Assessment Risk List for Boys. EARL–20B (as it is known) is a validated, structured, clinical decision-enhancing risk assessment tool for use with aggressive and delinquent boys under the age of 12. ORP employs a multisystemic approach, combining interventions that target the child, the family, and the child in the community. The program uses a variety of established interventions that are organized around SNAP™ (Stop Now And Plan): skills training, training in cognitive problem solving, self-control strategies, cognitive self-instruction, family management skills training, and parent training.

ORP is a 12-week outpatient program with five primary components:

  • SNAP™ Children’s Group—a structured group that teaches children a cognitive-behavioral self-control and problem-solving technique called SNAP™ (Stop Now and Plan). Examples of specific therapeutic SNAP™ topics (that match presenting problems of children) include “Stopping Stealing,” “Peer Pressure,” “Dealing With Angry Feelings,” and “Avoiding Trouble.”
  • A concurrent SNAP™ Parent Group that teaches parents effective child management strategies based on Stop Now And Plan principles.
  • Individual Befriending for children who are not connected with positive structured community-based activities and require additional support.
  • One-on-one family counseling based on Stop Now And Plan Parenting, or SNAPP.
  • In-home academic tutoring for children who are not performing at their age-appropriate grade level.

ORP has been in operation and extensively researched for over 20 years since its inception in 1985. It’s sister, gender-sensitive program, the SNAP™ Girls Connection (GC) began in 1996 and has also been shown to be effective. Both programs are fully manualized and are in various stages of replication. Over 60 full or modified replications of the SNAP™ model are currently in operation in Canada, the United States, Europe, and Scandinavia.


Two of the five key ORP studies to date conducted at the program development site in Toronto are described here. Both of them employed control groups. The first of these used a randomized control trial to assess the effects of ORP on treated children and their families, compared with a non-clinical recreation control group. The experimental sample consisted of 32 children (24 boys and 8 girls) referred to ORP during the summer of 1994. The two groups did not differ on most measures of problem severity or risk level, but the experimental group youths were more likely to have come from higher income and intact families. The control group received a nonclinical activity/recreation program at the same time that the experimental group participated in ORP. Measures were selected to elicit information from parents about aggressive and delinquent behaviors of their children. In addition, official criminal records were obtained for follow-up on recidivism. There were five data-collection points over the 18 months of the study.

The second controlled study examined the effects of ORP on a sample of 379 boys and compared a subgroup who received the “standard” ORP program with another subgroup who received an “enhanced” version of ORP. As intended, the enhanced program group was significantly higher risk than the standard group, but they did not differ on pre- and post-ORP delinquency measures. A general growth mixture modeling approach was used to examine the overall ORP program effect in reducing delinquency. Evaluators analyzed data from three points: pretest, posttest, and 6-months’ follow-up. This study demonstrated that the amount of treatment received influences treatment effectiveness in terms of immediate decreases in delinquency and aggression, and that enhanced services make a huge difference in the treatment effects for highly delinquent boys.


Studies of ORP and GC, using rigorous scientific procedures and standardized measurement tools (including two evaluations of independent replications of ORP) have consistently demonstrated positive treatment effects. Overall, studies on the ORP and EGC show the following:

  • Significant improvements after treatment with maintenance of treatment gains at 6, 12, and 18 months in terms of three standard outcome domains—internalizing (e.g., anxiety, depression), externalizing (e.g., aggression, delinquency), and social competency (e.g., peer relations, participation in activities).
  • Sixty percent of the treated high-risk children do not have criminal records by age 18.
  • Treated children improve significantly more than children receiving an attention only or delayed treatment; effect sizes are very large for boys (exceeding 1.1) and moderate (0.38) for girls.
  • Parents experience less stress in their interactions with their children and increased confidence in managing their children’s behavior.
  • Children report a less positive attitude toward antisocial behaviour, associate with fewer peers who their parents consider a “bad influence,” and demonstrate more prosocial skills after treatment with teachers, peers and family members.

The average cost of providing ORP services for a low-risk child is about $1,000 (4-month program), $2,300 for a moderate-risk child (6-month program), and $4,300 for a high-risk child (12-month program).


Augimeri, Leena K., David P. Farrington, Christopher J. Koegl, and David Martin Day. 2006. The Under 12 Outreach Project: Effects of a Community-Based Program for Children With Conduct Problems. Journal of Child and Family Studies (published online).

Augimeri, Leena K., Depeng Jiang, Christopher J. Koegl, and John Carey. 2006. Differential Effects of the Under 12 Outreach Project (ORP) Associated With Client Risk and Treatment Integrity. Toronto, Ontario: Centre for Children Committing Offences, Child Development Institute.

Augimeri, Leena K., Christopher J. Koegl, and Kenneth Goldberg. 2001. “Children Under Age 12 Years Who Commit Offenses: Canadian Legal and Treatment Approaches.” In Rolf Loeber and David P. Farrington (eds.). Child Delinquents: Development, Interventions, and Service Needs. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage, 404–14.

Augimeri, Leena K., Christopher J. Koegl, Kathryn S. Levene, and Nicola Slater. 2006. A Comprehensive Strategy: Children Under 12 in Conflict With the Law, “The Forgotten Group.” Toronto, Ontario: Center for Children Committing Offences, Child Development Institute.

Day, David Martin. 2003. Addressing Antisocial Behavior in Children: An Evaluation of the Durham Under 12 Pilot Project. Oshawa, Ontario: Kinark Child and Family Services.

Day, David Martin, and Leena Hrynkiw–Augimeri. 1993. Serving Children at Risk for Juvenile Delinquency: An Evaluation of the Earlscourt Under 12 Outreach Project (ORP). Toronto, Ontario: Earlscourt Child and Family Centre.

Hrynkiw–Augimeri, Leena, Debra J. Pepler, and Kenneth Goldberg. 1993. “An Outreach Program for Children Having Police Contact.” Canada’s Mental Health 41(2):7–12.

Lipman, Ellen L., Meghan Kenny, and Carrie Sniderman. 2007. Banyan Community Services Under 12 Outreach Program. Final Evaluation Report Hamilton, Ontario: Offord Centre for Child Services.

Pepler, Debra J., Kathryn S. Levene, and Margaret M. Walsh. 2004. “Interventions for Aggressive Girls: Tailoring and Measuring the Fit.” In Marlene M. Moretti and Candice L. Odgers (eds.). Girls and Aggression: Contributing Factors and Intervention Principles (Vol. 19). New York, N.Y.: Kluwer Academic/Plenum, 41–56.

Walsh, Margaret M., Debra J. Pepler, and Kathryn S. Levene. 2002. “A Model Intervention for Girls With Disruptive Behavior Problems: The Earlscourt Girls Connection.” Canadian Journal of Counseling 36(4):297–311.

Webster, Christopher D., Leena K. Augimeri, and Christopher J. Koegl. 2002. “The Under 12 Outreach Project for Antisocial Boys: A Research-Based Clinical Program.” In Raymond R. Corrado, Ronald Roesch, Stephen D. Hart, and Jozef K. Gierowski (eds.). Multiproblem Violent Youth: A Foundation for Comparative Research on Needs, Interventions, and Outcomes. Amsterdam, Holland: IOS Press, 207–18.


Dr. Leena K. Augimeri
Child Development Institute
46 St. Clair Gardens
Toronto, ON M6E 3V4
Phone: (416) 603-1827
Fax: (416) 654-8996