Child Development Advisor (CDA)

"Enhancing the social, emotional and behavioral development of students"

The Purpose and Role of the CDA

The School Child Development Program provides support to students and staff at the school level which addresses the full range of services provided as part of the Responsive Services and School-Community Support/Coordination components of the Comprehensive Guidance and Counseling Program model developed by Alberta Education. The program is a planned school-wide program that offers support and addresses issues in the following key domains:

  • social growth and development
  • personal growth and development
  • educational growth and development
  • community support/transition support

Some of the specific issues addresed by the CDA include:

  • Preventative Programming for kids at risk
  • Self-esteem/Building Resiliency/Character Building through "Fun FRIENDS" and "FRIENDS for Life" class programs
  • Peer issues and choices through "Salvaging Sisterhood" groups
  • Relationship Building
  • Reinforcing Social Skills
  • Coping with changes in the family (Divorce and Separation groups)
  • Classroom Survival Skills
  • Dealing with loss and grief
  • Conflict resolution and anger management
  • Bully awareness through whole school programs
  • Promoting Safe and Caring Schools
  • Family support and referrrals

Planned activities focus on the acquisition of specific competencies by students to enhance both their social interaction and their academic achievement.  These activities are administrated by the CDA through one-on-one sessions, small groups, or whole class activities. The areas, which are dealt with, include self-esteem, friendship, social skills, anger management, cooperation, classroom survival, conflict resolution, respect, and responsibility. Although emergent and individual crisis-oriented support is provided through the program, the focus of the program is school-wide and preventative in nature.
The Child Development Advisor (CDA) serves as the primary individual who initiates the program development and implementation. Students are referred to the CDA by the classroom teacher, the school resource team, administration, or by parents.

The CDA also functions in collaboration with Program Specialists, Psychologists, Family School Liaison Workers and other professionals.

A CDA can, when appropriate, provide referrals to community based agencies, such as FCSS, Big Sisters and Big Brothers Program, Alberta Mental Health, and other counseling services.

This ensures that the needs of all learners are being met. The program is designed to provide proactive and preventative programs as well as intervention with issues which have already been identified. The CDA is an active member of both the School Resource and Crisis Management Teams.

How to Contact the CDA

There are different avenues for involving a CDA in your child’s school program:

  1. A teacher may see a need for CDA involvement. The teacher will first consult with the CDA, then request permission from the parent for CDA involvement. A consent form may be sent home with your child.
  2. Parents may directly request CDA involvement by making an appointment with the CDA or requesting involvement via the teacher.
  3. Parents can phone or email the CDA directly at cheschlball@rockyview.ab.ca
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