Ottawa Collaborative Problem Solving

©  Think:Kids at MGH www.thinkkids.org

About Collaborative Problem Solving

Collaborative Problem Solving (CPS) is a model for providing treatment and support to children and youth with social, emotional and behavioural challenges. CPS is increasingly recognized as a best practice model in the delivery of mental health services for children and youth.
Its two major principles are:

  • Youngsters exhibiting difficult behaviours are doing so because they lack the appropriate skills to behave in healthier ways. This principle recognizes that helping children and youth to develop skills — for example, how to adapt to change and how to tolerate frustration — will support development of healthier behaviour.
  • These challenges are best addressed by collaborating with the child or youth to solve the problems leading to the difficult behaviours.

Ottawa’s Community of Practice in CPS

Ottawa has developed a Community of Practice in Collaborative Problem Solving (CPS) that continues to strengthen and expand.

History of the Community of Practice

Thanks to support from the Provincial Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health at CHEO, Crossroads and four other service providers in the Ottawa community had the opportunity to be trained at the Collaborative Problem Solving Institute (where CPS was developed) in Boston, in August 2008.

This Community of Practice expanded in 2009 to include the Cornwall Hospital and Occupational Therapy at CHEO, and other service providers in Ottawa and Eastern Ontario are receiving training and planning to implement CPS as well.   This community has a direct partnership with Think:Kids at Masschetus General Hospital Department of Psychiatry.

As a result, Crossroads, Youth Services Bureau, Roberts/Smart Centre, Coordinated Access and the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) have implemented this model in their organizations — using a consistent and similar approach to treatment and case review when providing services to their respective clients/patients.

Ottawa Collaborative Problem Solving (OCPS) meets weekly to share knowledge and build its understanding of the CPS approach. Service providers are working together towards a common goal of improving outcomes for the ever increasing number of children and youth receiving services in the Ottawa region.

The membership is ever growing and encompasses the sectors of child and youth mental health, health, education, youth justice, young single parents, as well as colleges and universities.