COACH is an intensive, year-long community-based treatment and academic program that provides emotional, behavioural and academic wraparound intervention and support for 30 boys and girls with profound emotional, behavioural and academic issues.  The COACH 1 site is for children/youth ages 5-11, and the COACH Expansion site is for children/youth ages 12-15.

Children/youth supported by COACH have experienced severe emotional, sexual, and/or physical abuse/neglect, have long-standing and pervasive emotional or behavioural problems, and sporadic or no school attendance.  They are involved with the child welfare and justice systems.

The COACH team, which includes COACH mentors, teachers, principals, professional and community resource/support people, psychologists, and behavioural consultants provide a strength-based wraparound approach for the child/youth and their families/guardians to attain personal and academic achievements.

COACH provides a combination of academic, emotional, behavioural and life skills learning in a small, off-site school setting.  Goals of COACH include reintegrating the child/youth into their community school with appropriate school system supports, stability in the child/youth’s living environment, and a reduction in negative and dangerous emotions and behaviours.  COACH supports the child/youth and their family during the transition phase to the community school and continues to offer support into adulthood.

COACH is supported by an advisory committee of partners, including Winnipeg School Division, Macdonald Youth Services, Mulvey School, General Wolfe School, Clinical Support Services (WSD), Manitoba Families and Manitoba Education.

An ongoing program evaluation of COACH focuses on pre- and post-measures in a case study format.  Multiple informants including the child/youth, parent/guardian, teacher, psychologist, and COACH staff complete a standardized survey at the start of COACH and the end of each school year.  Positive outcomes have been identified in academic, social, emotional, community and behavioural functioning, as well as an increase in parental/guardian involvement and improved parent/child relationships.  A randomized controlled trial (RCT) evaluation is being conducted for the first two years of the COACH Expansion for the older age group.  The RCT will offer evidence on the causal impact of the COACH Expansion program.