Stop Now And Plan (SNAP)
Age group: Late childhood (7-11)
Population served: Aboriginal/Indigenous; Families; Youth in contact with law enforcement (and/or at risk)
Continuum of intervention: Secondary crime prevention
The SNAP® program is a gender-sensitive cognitive behavioural multi-component family-focused model (SNAP® Boys and SNAP® Girls). There is also SNAP® for Schools.Footnote1
The SNAP® program employs a multi-systemic approach, combining interventions that target the child, the family, the school, and the community.
The program uses a variety of established interventions such as: skills training, training in cognitive problem solving, self-control strategies, family management skills training, and parent training.
The main goals of the SNAP® program are to:
- Increase emotional-regulation and self-control skills (for children and their parents);
- Reduce aggression, delinquency and antisocial behaviour; and
- Increase social competency.
The appropriate clientele for the SNAP® program is boys and girls ages 6–11 years old (and their families) who have had police contact or who are experiencing serious behavioural problems at home, at school, with persons in authority, and in the community and referred from other sources (e.g., teachers, social workers, parents).
To be eligible to receive services, youth must also score within clinical levels on the conduct, oppositional and/or externalizing scales as assessed by either standardized measures, adapted checklists or through a clinical assessment.
The SNAP® program consists of the following components:
- SNAP® children’s group, a gender-specific manualized core component that focuses on teaching children self-control and problem solving skills. All SNAP® children attend SNAP® boys or SNAP® girls groups once a week for 90 minutes for at least one 12-week consecutive group session;
- SNAP® parent group, which runs concurrently with the boys group and teaches parents self-control, problem solving skills, and effective child management strategies with a special emphasis on monitoring skills based on SNAP® principles;
- Individual defriending/mentoring, which provides children with individualized support from a SNAP® worker to enhance skills learned in the SNAP® children’s group and goal attainment. Children are also connected with volunteers to help the youth join structured recreational activities within their communities;
- Stop now and plan parenting (SNAPP-individualized family counselling) based on strategies learned in the SNAP® parent group. It helps parents who are unable to attend the parent group and families who need additional parenting support. Continuing service after the parent group ends may take the form of ongoing individual family counselling or monthly family support nights;
- SNAP® school advocacy/teacher support, which ensures that SNAP® children receive the best possible education. Where possible, teachers of all SNAP® children are contacted at the start of the program to introduce the program and SNAP® strategy and to offer behaviour management support if needed; and
- SNAP® long term connections/continued care: Families may continue to be involved in SNAP® as long as there is a need and interest. In addition to previously listed components, this may also include activities such as: SNAP® parent problem solving groups; leader-in-training club; and participation as a peer or parent mentor.
Intervention duration varies based on the risk level of each individual:
- Low-risk youth (4-6 months)
- Moderate-risk youth (6-12 months)
- High-risk youth (12-18 months)
Available if needed are other program components, such as victim restitution, crisis intervention, arson prevention program for children (TAPP-C), and academic tutoring.
Some of the critical elements for the implementation of this program or initiative include the following:
- Organizational requirements: It is important to maintain accurate and rigorous records and develop individualized treatment plans. If the lead organization does not have a registered psychologist on staff, they should communicate with the Child Development Institute (CDI) for further advice and information. The lead organization must include development and implementation of written policies regarding cultural competence, parent involvement, privacy of personal information, client complaints, and client feedback mechanisms. Organization must enter into a SNAP® licensing agreement.
- Partnerships: Organizations should collaborate with other social services and relevant community stakeholders (e.g., police, children-youth-family serving agencies, fire departments, juvenile judges, schools, health departments, and child welfare).
- Training and technical assistance: The Centre for Children Committing Offences (CCCO) provides core SNAP® Implementation Training for new affiliate sites.
- Risk assessment tools: Children are evaluated with the Early Assessment Risk List for Boys (EARL-20B) and the Early Assessment Risk List for Girls (EARL-21G).
- Materials & resources: SNAP® resource materials (manuals, training DVDs and booklets) are designed to support the delivery of the SNAP® Model.
The most recognized classification systems of evidence-based crime prevention programs have classified this program or initiative as follows:
- Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development: Not applicable.
- Crime Solutions/OJJDP Model Program Guide: Effective (more than one study)
- SAMHSA's National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices: Not applicable.
- Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy: Not applicable.
Gathering Canadian Knowledge
Canadian Implementation Sites
In total, from 2009 to 2019, 12 organizations will have been supported by Public Safety Canada’s National Crime Prevention Strategy to implement the SNAP® program. As of 2018, 4 organizations are still implementing a SNAP® program.
Programs are listed alphabetically:Footnote2
- Alternative Pathways: SNAP® (Bryony House) (Nova Scotia) (2014-2019) (process and outcome evaluation in progress; see study #4)
- From Risk to Resiliency (Society of Safe and Caring Schools and Communities) (Alberta) (2009-2013) (process evaluation completed)
- Niagara SNAP® for SchoolsFootnote3 (John Howard Society of Niagara) (Ontario) (2009-2013) (process evaluation completed)
- Project Raven (Cree Regional Authority and the Grand Council of the Crees) (Quebec) (2010-2013) (process and outcome evaluation completed – multisite; see study #3)
- SNAP® (FIREFLY) (Ontario) (2014-2019) (process and outcome evaluation in progress; see study #5)
- SNAP® (Prince Albert Métis Women’s Association) (Saskatchewan) (2010-2012) (process evaluation completed)
- SNAP® (St. Leonard’s Society of Toronto) (Ontario) (2009-2013) (process and outcome evaluation completed – multisite; see study #3)
- SNAP® (Youth Achievement Centre of the Yukon Government) (Yukon) (2010-2015) (process evaluation completed)
- SNAP® for Schools ProgramFootnote3 (Canadian Safety Schools Network) (Ontario) (2009-2013) (process evaluation completed)
- SNAP® Program for At-Risk Children and Youth (Uncles & Aunts at Large Society) (Alberta) (2009-2013) (process and outcome evaluation completed – multisite; see study #3)
- SNAP's Venture Philanthropy Approach to Create Massive Social Change in Canada for High Risk Children (and their Families) (Earlscourt-Creche Child Development Institute) (Ontario) (2017-2022) (process evaluation in progress)
- Stop Bullying on the West Island (Centre famille & ressources A.D.D.) (Quebec) (2014-2019) (process and outcome evaluation in progress; see study #6)
- Target One Two (Eastern Ontario Training Board) (Ontario) (2010-2013) (process evaluation completed)
Main Findings from Canadian Outcome Evaluation Studies
An outcome evaluation study of the SNAP® program was conducted in 2007 by Augimeri and colleagues (period is unknown). A randomized controlled trial design was used to assess the effects of the SNAP® program on treated children and their families compared with a waitlist control group in Toronto, Ontario.
Results from this evaluation showed the following:
- It was discovered that the experimental group improved significantly in delinquency and aggression scores compared to the control group. This result remained significant through all five time periods (the only exception is Time 4 for the aggression scores); and
- The percentage of children with at least one criminal conviction up to the 18th birthday was nearly twice as high for the control group compared with the experimental group; however, this difference was not statistically significant. There were also no significant differences between the groups in terms of the total number of convictions or the average number of convictions by offense type.
For more information, refer to Augimeri et al.’s (2007) publication.
An outcome evaluation study of the SNAP® program was conducted in 2002-2005 by Lipman and colleagues. A quasi-experimental design (with quantitative and qualitative measures) was used to compare changes in offending behaviour and social competence pre-post among SNAP® boys and a waitlist comparison group in Hamilton, Ontario.
Results from this evaluation showed the following:
- Boys in the treatment group had significantly lower scores on the rule-breaking, aggressive, conduct problems, and total problems scale on the Child Behavior Checklist measure than boys in the control group. However, there was no significant difference between the groups on the competence scale; and
- SNAP® treatment group boys showed no significant improvements on the Teacher’s Reporting Form (TRF) measures, except for adaptive functioning. Comparison group boys showed no significant improvements on any of the TRF measures.
For more information, refer to Lipman et al.’s (2008) publication.
As part of Public Safety Canada’s funding, a multisite outcome evaluation study of the SNAP® program was conducted in 2010-2014 by Chettleburgh in three implementation sites: Edmonton, Toronto and the Cree Nation (Québec). A quasi-experimental design was used to measure the effects of SNAP® program on participating children and families using a comparison group from children on a waiting list (“Delayed Treatment Group” or DTG) in three sites.
Results from this evaluation showed the following:
- There were no significant differences between the treatment group and comparison group children in Edmonton and Toronto on the Child Behaviour Checklist and the Teacher Report Form scales or their constituent subscales. These results may be attributable to the small sample size of the comparison group and, therefore, lack of statistical power; and
- No results were available for the Cree Nation site due to the absence of a comparison group.
For more information, refer to the National Crime Prevention Centre’s (2013a) publication.
Alternative Pathways: SNAP® (Bryony House) in Nova Scotia has been selected by Public Safety Canada for a process and outcome evaluation. This evaluation is currently in progress; results are not yet available at this time.
SNAP® (FIREFLY) in Ontario has been selected by Public Safety Canada for a process and outcome evaluation. This evaluation is currently in progress; results are not yet available at this time.
Stop Bullying on the West Island (Centre famille & ressources A.D.D.) in Quebec has been selected by Public Safety Canada for a process and outcome evaluation. This evaluation is currently in progress; results are not yet available at this time.
The cost per youth involved in the SNAP® program is based on risk level. In 2014, the average cost of providing the SNAP® program services for a low-risk child was approximately $1,400 (CAD) for 4–6 months of service. For a moderate-risk child, program services costs were approximately $3,500 (CAD) for 6–12 months of service. And for a high-risk child, services costs were approximately $6,700 (CAD) for 12–18 months of service (Chettleburgh, 2014).
Cost benefit analysis (CBA) were also conducted. In 2013, as part of the SNAP® multisite (see study #3), a CBA was conducted based on effects related to the changes in the participants’ ability to strengthen their social engagement, academics and other social skills (Total Competency measure). For the Edmonton site, potential savings per year were calculated at approximately $88,000 (CAD) compared to a total investment cost of $22,000 (CAD) thus producing a benefit-cost ratio of 4:1. For every dollar spent on producing a change in the Total Competency measure, four dollars is saved each year (National Crime Prevention Centre, 2013a).
In a separate CBA, Farrington and Koegl (2015), assess the effect size of the Stop Now And Plan-Under 12 Outreach Project (SNAP-ORP) and convert this into a percentage reduction in convictions. Based on convictions, we estimate that between $2.05 (CAD) and $3.75 (CAD) are saved for every $1 (CAD) spent on the program.
Finally, social return on investment studies (SROI) on SNAP® were conducted through the support of the Safe Communities Innovation Fund (Alberta Community Crime Prevention Organizations, 2015). One study was with the Society for Safe and Caring Schools & Communities. The social value created through the SNAP® program was financially valued in terms of the change experienced at the individual level by assigning financial proxies to represent this change. On average, after three years of funding, the SROI was 3.37:1. The second SROI study was with the New Roads project. The analysis looked at the outcomes for 70 children and caregivers over the three years of the pilot project. The SROI ratio, which is based on the total value created divided by total investment, indicates that over the three-year pilot, the average social value of investment in the New Roads program is $3.50 (CAD) for every dollar invested.
Alberta Community Crime Prevention Organizations. (2015). Social Return on Investment (SROI) Case Study: SNAP. Recipient of Safe Communities Innovation Fund, Government of Alberta. Available from: https://open.alberta.ca/publications/safe-communities-innovation-fund-pilot-project-executive-summaries
Augimeri, L. et al. (2007). The SNAP® under 12 outreach project: Effects of a community-based program for children with conduct problems. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 16, 799–807. Available from: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10826-006-9126-x
Chettleburgh, M. (2014). Final evaluation report: SNAP® multisite program implementation in Edmonton, Toronto and Cree Nation. Final Evaluation Report. Submitted to the National Crime Prevention Centre, Public Safety Canada (Unpublished report).
Farrington D. & Koegl C. (2015). Monetary Benefits and Costs of the Stop Now And Plan Program for Boys Aged 6-11, Based on the Prevention of Later Offending. Journal of Quantitative Criminology 31, 263-287. Available from: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10940-014-9240-7
Lipman, E. L., et al. (2008). Evaluation of a community-based program for young boys at-risk of antisocial behavior: Results and issues. Journal of the Canadian Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 17(1), 12–19. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2247441/
National Crime Prevention Centre. (2015). Results from the Stop Now and Plan (SNAP®) Program. Evaluation Summary. Ottawa, ON: Public Safety Canada. Available from: https://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/cnt/rsrcs/pblctns/rslts-stp-nwpln/index-en.aspx
National Crime Prevention Centre. (2013a). Results from the Stop Now and Plan (SNAP®) Program. Evaluation Summary. Ottawa, ON: Public Safety Canada. Available from: http://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/cnt/rsrcs/pblctns/rslts-stp-nwpln/index-eng.aspx
National Crime Prevention Centre. (2013b). The Stop Now and Plan Program – SNAP®. Crime Prevention in Action. Ottawa, ON: Public Safety Canada. Available from: http://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/cnt/rsrcs/pblctns/stp-nw-pln-prgrm/index-eng.aspx
For more information on this program, contact:
Record Entry Date - 2018-03-13
SNAP® for Schools is an adaptation of the SNAP® model. The 13-week in-class program covers topics such as managing anger, handling group/peer pressure and dealing with bullying. The program also offers individual interventions for identified students, while the rest of the class benefits from the universal skills learned in the SNAP® classroom sessions. For more information on this program, contact the program developer.
For specific information about each replication of the program, communicate with the Research Division, Public Safety Canada.
See footnote on SNAP® for Schools.
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