Who We Are
Professional Education

Professional Education is a core focus of Invest in Kids. Our work with the professionals who work with young children and their families recognizes the invaluable role these professionals have in ensuring the positive health and well being of Canada's young children. Through professional education, we

  • Bring the most current science and practice to professionals,
  • Enhance their skills, and thus their effectiveness, and
  • Build community capacity.

We have established a strong reputation as a creator and disseminator of high quality training and educational resources for a growing range of professionals across Canada and the United States. Our training institutes and other initiatives reach public health nurses, family home visitors, early childhood educators, social workers, children's mental health professionals and physicians. In addition, we develop resources and tools specifically for professionals to use with parents.

All of our professional education efforts reflect the following considerations:

  • Guided by best practice and research: Our professional education team works closely with our research experts to ensure best practice and current research informs the content of educational materials. Our goal is to bridge the gap between research and practice for the professionals we train.
  • Developed in partnership with experts: Invest in Kids recognizes and values the contributions of experts in both research and practice from across Canada. These individuals are a key part of the development process.
  • Tested: We always pilot the curriculum, any additional materials and the training experience itself to ensure we are meeting the needs of our participants.
  • Comprehensive and on-going evaluation: At every Invest in Kids training institute, both the written material and the training experience are evaluated daily by participants. In addition, we conduct follow-up evaluations up to one year after an individual has been trained.
  • Informed by on-going surveys: Every year we conduct follow up surveys with those professionals we have trained to get a better understanding of their training needs. This information assists us in identifying new training initiatives.
  • A participatory approach to training: Invest in Kids believes that all professionals who attend training come with a wealth of knowledge and experience. This is a resource we tap into throughout the course of our institutes to create a highly interactive experience that embraces and expands upon the wealth of skill and knowledge of each participant.
Development of New Training Materials and Experiences
All our training material and experiences reflect current research and best practice which is then applied to the development of strategies specific to a profession or a setting. Development begins with the creation of an Advisory Committee comprised of experts from across Canada. These experts guide the creation of the material and work with the experts at Invest in Kids to ensure training curricula is of the highest quality. All training material is reviewed by the Advisory Committee, as well as by other external reviewers with specific expertise. All professional education materials or experiences offered are kept current, with notification sent to all former trainees when new editions are available.

Invest in Kids has developed the capacity to customize and adapt existing training materials to meet the unique needs of a region, program or profession. This process is guided by an advisory group that represents the region, program or profession purchasing the training. The customization process allows the group to ensure that the training material is consistent with their specific practices and needs. Every effort is made to build on existing resources that the group may have to enhance the core training material developed by the Invest In Kids. This process ensures the community involved is part of the creation process and that the manual is truly representative of their project or profession.

We endeavor to work with local partners across Canada to increase our ability to disseminate training and increase access to the training. Partnerships enable us to provide communities with training that uses local experts who have been well trained on our training approach and on the actual training curricula. This approach allows Invest In Kids to leverage our resources to meet the increasing training needs of professionals across Canada and, importantly, to build local capacity.

Current Training Institutes

Train-the-Trainer: An Institute for Training Family Home Visitors

This 3-day Institute will focus on building the knowledge and skills of professionals training family home visitors. The professional's role as a trainer and content expert is examined using a comprehensive curriculum that addresses recruitment, training, and supervision of community members to provide in-home services for at-risk families. The 2001 edition is now being used for all new trainers.

Upcoming Training Sessions
Session 1 – April 14-16, 2003 - Toronto
Session 2 – April 28-30, 2003 - Toronto

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Train-the-Trainers: An Institute for Training Postpartum Nurse Home Visitors

This 2-day Institute will support nurse trainers who are implementing a universal postpartum home visiting program. The Public Health Nurse's role as trainer and content expert is facilitated through the use of a comprehensive curriculum that addresses issues related to postpartum care of both the mother and infant, the family's transition, and other concerns that the family may have.

Upcoming Training Sessions
Session 1 – June 10-11, 2003 - Toronto

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An Institute for Professionals Using Home-Based Interventions with High Risk Families

This institute is designed for professionals using home-based interventions when working with young children and their families considered to be high risk. During the 5 day training, participants become familiar with current research and best practice on such topics as child development, intervention strategies, strategies for reaching, engaging and supporting families, parental mental health, and working in an interdisciplinary context.

Upcoming Training Sessions
Session 1 – May 5-9, 2003 – Toronto
Session 2 – May 21-23 and May 26-27, 2003 Edmonton
Session 3 – June 4-6 and June 9-10, 2003 Calgary

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An Institute for Centre-Based Staff Working With High-Risk Families

This 3-day Institute is designed for early childhood educators working with high-risk families and their young children in child care settings. Individuals will strengthen their knowledge on topics such as centre-based intervention strategies, child development, challenging behaviours, and interdisciplinary practice. Using an interactive approach participants will build on their own knowledge and skills to strengthen their practice in early intervention and prevention.

To Be Piloted
March 27-29, 2003 - Edmonton

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A Resource Guide for Home Visitors

This one-day institute brings together all the practical elements of home visiting. Individuals will receive their own Resource Guide containing protocols for home visits, a planning guide to use with families, the Developmental Program Plan for supporting a child's development, specific activities that can be used with parents to strengthen parenting capacity, and frequently asked questions to reproduce and distribute to families. As this newest curriculum is based on the philosophy and principles of Train-the-Trainer Curriculum for Professionals Training Family Home Visitors, A Curriculum for Training Nursed Conducting Postpartum Home Visits, and An Institute for Professionals Using Home Based Interventions with High Risk Families, registrants are required to have trained with Invest in Kids prior to taking this institute.

Upcoming Training Sessions
Session 1 – April 17, 2020 - Toronto

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An Institute for Professionals Working in Children's Mental Health Setting

This 3-day institute is intended to provide core training in early childhood mental health services. The training blends current research and best practice in the areas of early childhood development, child psychopathology, parent-child relationships, family eco-systems, screening and assessment and interventions that improve both parent-child relationships and parenting capacity.

The training is designed for children's mental health professionals who use both home and centre-based interventions when working with young children and their families and builds on the multidisciplinary nature of the field.

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