This program facilitates a collaborative and comprehensive approach to the early identification and delivery of prevention/intervention to children in kindergarten to grade six who are exhibiting at-risk and negative behaviours or who are at increased risk of victimization. While the focus of the program is on children, the philosophy of the program also includes educating parents and inviting the family into an active role.
MASST aligns with Gang Reduction Intervention Program’s vision in a number of ways. It is a preventative based approach to gang involvement. On the Calgary Police Service Crime Prevention and Reduction Continuum, MASST is located on the preventative side which signifies our vision is to avoid children and youth from entering the criminal justice system and gang affiliations. MASST accomplishes this by assessing the child and family for risk factors in gang involvement and tailoring an individualized program to provide the child and family with alternatives to the gang lifestyle.
MASST seeks to increase protective factors and resiliency in the child and family. Some of our common strategies include building positive ties to the community, which includes adult mentoring relationships, after school programming and recreation, connecting parents to community resources and community safety education. Secondly, MASST works individually with the child to increase their social and emotional competence, decision making capabilities, provides regular contact with positive adult role models and increases life skills including making positive choices with peers. MASST works to address systemic issues that put the child at risk for gang involvement including access to in-house clinical counselling services and external referrals to specialized programming which target other risk factors such as exposure to domestic violence.
MASST believes in presenting the child and family with opportunities that provide a viable alternative to gang involvement.
The Resource Teacher or other school staff/ administrator who has identified a child as being in need of referral to MASST can for CBE, contact the Risk and Resiliency Team or for CCSD, the assigned area Behavioural Consultant. The referral will then be screened to ensure it falls within the MASST program mandate and selection criteria. If accepted by the CBE/CCSD School Board representative, the referral is forwarded to MASST for further screening. Once accepted to MASST, referrals are assigned to a team who will contact the school to confirm involvement and contact the child’s parent(s) to confirm participation in the program.