Although there are exceptions based on the ‘fit’ between the child and the facilitator, the vast majority of our facilitators are credentialed by the Behavioural Intervention Certification Council in the United States. They received 40 hours of theory training and 42 hours of practical training before sitting for theory and practical exams in order to be accepted into our staff complement. Thereafter they work for at least one year before writing an entrance exam for senior instructor training. Senior instructor training takes a further 6-8 weeks, and school facilitation is one of the topics covered. They also receive extensive ongoing training covering a variety of relevant topics for up to 6 hours of theory training in a group setting per month as well as individualised practical observations and trainings throughout every month.
The methodology used at Catch Up Kids is Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA). ABA is a research-based and data-driven intervention which uses the scientific principles of behaviour to address issues of social importance in order to produce practical change. ABA has broad applications, and as such we serve a wide client population. In addition to addressing behavioural concerns, our curriculum has eight skill repertoire-building areas: academic, adaptive cognition (e.g. perspective-taking, inferencing), executive functions (e.g. attention, organisation, planning, self-regulation), language, motor, play, and social skills.
As with our one-on-one intervention programmes, the format of every child’s facilitation programme is different as it is made to suit their needs, the needs of the parents, and the needs of the school environment. The format, in terms of frequency, duration, and structure of the facilitation, is decided as part of the IEP development. That being said, it is typical for a child to have a team of three facilitators. This is to ensure a balance between generalisation of skills and continuity and consistency of intervention.
The Role of the Facilitator:
The role of the facilitator in the classroom is to provide specialised support where necessary, but ultimately to teach the child to learn effectively from the teacher, the classroom environment, and his/her peers. The goal of facilitation is almost always to eventually be able to fade out facilitation services, i.e. we aim to “work ourselves out of a job”. Our facilitators are trained to respect the authority of the teacher in the classroom, to adopt the values and work ethic of the classroom, and to be as unobtrusive as possible while still providing the child with the necessary support.
Catch Up Kids has successfully provided facilitation at many schools in and around Johannesburg and Pretoria. Here are some of the experiences as described by teachers at those schools:
My experience with [the case supervisor] and the team has been very positive and helpful. We are working in collaboration and this has been very beneficial for my pupil. It has made him feel important and special. [The case supervisor] has undertaken all our requests and we are all on the same page. She has also been a bridge between the school and parent.
To whom it may concern,
I am a teacher at a primary school in Johannesburg and I wish to give feedback with my experiences in communicating with [the Catch Up Kids case supervisor] with regard to a child in my class. I have been in constant communication with [the case supervisor] since January this year. At the beginning of year I met with [the case supervisor] and the child’s mother in order to do discuss [the case supervisor’s] involvement with this child and how we would go forth for the rest of the year. [The case supervisor] has updated me on the child’s progress on a regular basis and has also emailed on various occasions for my feedback of the child at hand. In addition to this, [the case supervisor] and I have worked together in deciding which skills he has needed to work on, and then have sent home the necessary work to enhance those skills.
I am extremely impressed with the [the case supervisor] for her constant care and involvement with both myself and our school. Thank you for your support and valuable input.