Programs, Supports and Strategies

Triple P - The Positive Parenting Program

The Positive Parenting Program is a helpful, practical approach to raising children that focuses on the positive. Triple P uses strong, nurturing relationships, good communication and positive attention to help children develop. It helps create a family setting that is loving, supportive and predictable.

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The program uses easy-to-follow suggestions for small changes that make big differences to parents, children and families. It is proven to be very successful in developing good attitudes and behaviour.

Positive Parenting for Parents

Positive Parenting for Practitioners

Families First

Are you expecting a baby? Are you the parent of an infant or a preschool child? Families First may be for you.

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  • providing information on health, safety and nutrition
  • learning through play
  • exploring solutions to challenging situations
  • providing information about pregnancy
  • getting health care for your family
  • connecting to community resources
  • supporting healthy growth, development and learning
  • building strong family relationships
  • sharing information about child development

Families First offers home visiting supports to families with children, from pregnancy to school entry. There is no cost.

Families First is delivered across the province by community public health. First a public health nurse will visit with you to talk about your family. Together you will decide what community resources would be best for your family.

Home visiting may be one of the options available to you. A home visitor will meet with you and your family on a regular basis for up to three years. The home visitor will support you in building a strong relationship with your child and family, while sharing information and suggesting activities to help your child grow up healthy and happy.

Families First Brochure

For more information on Families First, contact your community public health office.

Pregnant or a New Parent?

Healthy Baby encourages early regular prenatal care and promotes and supports healthy outcomes for moms, babies and families.

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Pregnant Woman

Manitoba Prenatal Benefit

If you are pregnant, live in Manitoba and have a net family income of less than $32,000 a year, the Manitoba Prenatal Benefit can provide you with a monthly cheque to help you buy healthy foods that you need during pregnancy.

Community Support Programs

Healthy Baby Community Support programs help pregnant women and new parents connect with other parents, families and health professionals. Healthy Baby group sessions offer information, support and resources on prenatal and postnatal nutrition and health, breastfeeding, parenting tips and lifestyle choices.

Communities That Care (CTC)

In 2008 Communities That Care (CTC) was announced as part of Reclaiming Hope - Manitoba's Youth Suicide Prevention Strategy.

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CTC is a tested, effective community-wide initiative to promote positive, healthy development of children and youth. One of the main goals of CTC is to develop healthy behaviours for all children and youth by providing opportunities, skills, and recognition; in families, schools, communities and peer-groups. Over 500 communities globally are "Communities That Care".

How CTC Works

Community members (youth, families, Elders, residents, service providers) come together to work on issues youth in the community are facing like drinking & drug use, violence, teen-pregnancy, delinquent behaviours, school drop-out, and depression/suicide.

Together communities are empowered to celebrate youth and success, create a vision for a healthy community, form working groups, identify strengths and challenges in the community, plan how to deal with those challenges, set realistic goals and oversee the implementation and monitoring of evidence-based programming with a focus on prevention.

Healthy Child Manitoba is currently working with four Manitoba communities to pilot the Communities That Care model for community development.

For more information on CTC, please contact:

Jennifer Wood
Provincial Coordinator, Communities That Care
204-945-4045 or

Healthy Buddies

In 2009-2010, Manitoba's Healthy Schools Initiative (a partnership between Manitoba Healthy Living, Youth and Seniors, Healthy Child Manitoba and Manitoba Education) introduced the Healthy Buddies™ Program as a pilot project in 20 elementary schools across the province. Healthy Buddies is a peer mentoring initiative that pairs younger students with older students who teach the younger students about nutrition, physical activity and positive self-image.

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First implemented in British Columbia, Healthy Buddies™ was developed by physicians and educators as an early intervention resource beginning in kindergarten and continuing through grade 7. Older students spend half the program learning the lesson and half the time teaching it to younger students. This process helps older students become role models and to better understand the lessons themselves.

Each participating classroom receives resources such as games, videos, and music to assist in the teaching and learning process. The aim of Healthy Buddies is to complement existing healthy schools programming such as expanding physical education and smoking reduction efforts.

The purpose of this pilot was to evaluate the effectiveness of Healthy Buddies in Manitoba and determine the value of offering and implementing this program at a provincial level. Short form report summarizing the key findings of the evaluation

More information about Healthy Buddies

Additional information pertaining to Manitoba can be found at:

Roots of Empathy

Roots of Empathy (ROE) is a Canadian, award-winning program, developed by Mary Gordon, that has been shown to have a dramatic effect in reducing levels of aggression among school children by raising social/emotional awareness and increasing empathy.

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  • Roots of Empathy (ROE) is an evidence-based, bilingual, universal classroom based program for students from kindergarten to Grade 8 which focuses on building capacity of the next generation for caring and compassionate citizenship and parenting.
  • Certified instructors follow a standardized Canadian curriculum (K, 1-4, 5-6, 7-8) to provide ROE for students in the classroom, 3 times a month for a school year. The heart of the program is the monthly family visit with a neighbourhood baby (2-4 months old in October) and parent(s). The emotional bond that develops with the "classroom" baby over the school year increases students' emotional literacy, resulting in increased prosocial behaviour and decreased aggression and bullying.
  • Students receive age appropriate instruction on the crucial role of positive parenting for optimal early childhood development, including neuroscience, safety and injury reduction (Shaken Baby Syndrome, SIDS, FASD), diversity and inclusion, and how to understand and take the perspective of another person.

Roots of Empathy was launched in Manitoba as a pilot project in 2001. Positive outcomes resulted in Manitoba offering ROE province-wide to interested public, band-operated and private school divisions and communities. In July 2008, the Assembly of First Nations, at their Annual General Assembly, passed Resolution 31 endorsing and supporting ROE and SOE as programs compatible with traditional First Nations teachings.

In 2013/14 approximately 6000 Manitoba students from kindergarten to grade 8 participated. Approximately 35,000 Manitoba students have participated in ROE in the past 13 years.

From 2002 to 2006 Manitoba conducted a randomized control trial and longitudinal follow-up to determine the real world effectiveness of the ROE program, as delivered under routine conditions of practice in school divisions. The results demonstrated that ROE decreased students' physical aggression and indirect aggression, and increased students' pro-social behaviour immediately after program completion. Follow-up results demonstrated that these beneficial effects were maintained or continued to improve up to three years after ROE program completion. Based on these rigorous evaluation results, ROE has continued to expand across the province, with ongoing monitoring of program fidelity and student outcomes.

Roots of Empathy is an important component of Reclaiming Hope - Manitoba's Youth Suicide Prevention Strategy.

Read more about the Effectiveness of the Roots of Empathy (ROE) Program in Preventing Aggression and Promoting Prosocial Behaviour | April 2010

Healthcare Quarterly, 14(Special Issue 2) 2011: 80-91: Effectiveness of School-Based Violence Prevention for Children and Youth: A Research Report

Roots of Empathy website

Seeds of Empathy

Seeds of Empathy, created by Mary Gordon, is an adaptation of her Roots of Empathy program. Seeds of Empathy is designed to foster social and emotional competence and early literacy skills for younger children, ages three to five years old.

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Like Roots of Empathy, Seeds of Empathy is designed to reduce physical aggression and bullying by fostering children's empathy. The long term goal is to improve emotional health and social functioning. While Roots of Empathy is provided to kindergarten to grade 8 classrooms, Seeds of Empathy is aimed at the early childhood years to be implemented in child care facilities, nursery schools and Aboriginal Head Start programs. In both Roots and Seeds, the baby is the "teacher". By becoming aware of the baby's perspective and learning to label his or her feelings, children learn to understand their own feelings and to develop empathy.

For three to five year olds, the goals for Seeds of Empathy are to:

  • Foster the development of empathy;
  • Build social and emotional understanding;
  • Reduce aggression and increase pro-social behaviour; and
  • Develop positive attitudes toward competencies in early literacy.

For early childhood educators, the goals for Seeds of Empathy are to:

  • Increase their knowledge base of early childhood development and skill sets in working with three-to-five year olds, with a specific emphasis on socio-emotional development; and
  • Help them promote empathy in Early Childhood settings.
  • Promote early literacy skills.

Seeds of Empathy training, implementation and delivery commenced in Fall, 2010. SOE was officially launched in Manitoba on December 15, 2010. SOE is available in urban, rural and remote communities in Manitoba, including First Nations, child care, nursery school, Headstart and preschool programs. Program administrators complete and submit an application in early spring, with training being provided in the summer and early fall for the SOE teams.

Over the 2013/14 year, 81 Seeds of Empathy programs will be delivered in 67 centres, of which 44 are First Nation/Aboriginal centres (65%). There are approximately 1,300 children anticipated to participate in Seeds of Empathy during the 2013/2014 school year.

Seeds of Empathy is an important component of Reclaiming Hope - Manitoba's Youth Suicide Prevention Strategy.

Seeds of Empathy website

FASD Supports and Interventions

Healthy Child Manitoba believes that individuals with FASD and their families can benefit from supports and services that address their unique challenges throughout the lifespan. As a result, HCM supports the following FASD specific initiatives:

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Bridges FASD Intermediate School Program

A partnership between Healthy Child Manitoba, Manitoba Education and Advanced Learning, and the Winnipeg School Division to support students with FASD in grades 3 to 6 at David Livingstone School. The purpose of this program is to identify and utilize best practices in the education of students with FASD in order to maximize the success of the student while minimizing barriers to learning in a classroom setting.

Building Circles of Support

This is an 8 week parenting information series offered by the Manitoba FASD Centre in person and through Tele health video conferencing to parents, caregivers, family members and professionals who support children and youth diagnosed with FASD. The purpose of the group is to help educate and empower families and other key individuals in the child's life about FASD; learn about the best practices in parenting a child with FASD; connect and network with other families;and link to FASD resources and services in their area.

FASD Family Support, Education and Counselling 6-14 Program

This program offered by New Directions for Children, Youth and Families works in partnership with parents and professionals to develop programs that are individualized to meet the needs of children and youth with FASD, ages 6-14, living in Winnipeg. The program also provides home-based services and counselling to families: and helps to access family advocacy and other services.

The FASD Family Network

This network is co-sponsored by the Manitoba FASD Centre and the Rehabilitation Centre for Children. It provides an opportunity for parents and caregivers of children affected by FASD to meet with other parents and caregivers. Participants are asked to share ideas, develop connections and provide knowledgeable input into developing new services for families. The program also offers recreation opportunities for youth with FASD, such as summer and winter camps. Learn more.

Manitoba Key Worker Program

This program offered through the Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority provides support and personalized information to families of children and youth, ages 0-21, with FASD or confirmed prenatal alcohol exposure. Key Workers assist families in accessing supports, community resources, and health and education information that reflects the specific needs of the family. Key Workers work in collaboration with parents, family members, adoptive parents, caregivers and service providers to assist children and youth with FASD experience less frustration and more success. Key Workers supplement and enhance, but do not replace existing community resources. Learn more.

Visions and Voices

Visions and Voices (V&V) promotes FASD education and awareness in Manitoba through supporting adults who have an FASD diagnosis to develop the skills and materials needed to speak publicly about their experiences of living with FASD. Through a professional life-story vignette on DVD, and a brief verbal presentation, participants share important “teachable moments” in their lives by weaving their story into a message of hope.

For information on more FASD services in Manitoba, see the Resource List.