SNAP® Girls (Stop Now And Plan), formerly known as SNAP® Girls Connection, is a specialized, family-focused intervention for girls (6–11 years) who are reported as experiencing conduct, oppositional, and/or externalizing problems. The program was developed in Canada and has affiliates throughout Canada, the United States, and various European countries. Participants and their parents meet in separate groups once a week for 13 weeks. Individually and in their group meetings, girls learn how to regulate their emotions, practice self-control, and improve problem-solving skills, with a special emphasis on challenging cognitive distortion—which thereby helps the children make better choices in the moment. The goal is to reduce the girls’ disruptive behavior, risk of police contact, and discipline issues while also improving parent-management skills.
The conceptual framework of the program draws on five core treatment theories based on a developmental approach that include Systems, Social Interactional Learning, Cognitive-Behavioral, Attachment, and Feminist Theories. The program has a cognitive–behavioral foundation, emphasizing the emotional, social information-processing, and skill difficulties common in children displaying aggressive behaviors.
SNAP® Girls includes two 13-week programs that that run concurrently, using structured, manualized curricula: SNAP® Girls Children’s Group for girls and SNAP® Parenting Group for parents. Groups are created based on age, risk level, and group cohesion (e.g., maturity levels and developmental needs). The curricula and approach differ slightly, according to the age of the girls. For the younger girls (ages 6–8) the focus is on behavior management using rote learning, visual prompts, and simplified worksheets. For the older girls (ages 9– 11) the focus is more on cognitive distortions such as: thinking she is bad if she does something wrong; generalizing by saying, “I’m an idiot,” instead of focusing on the situation; or saying she “can’t stand” something instead of acknowledging that she doesn’t enjoy it. The 13-week SNAP® Parenting group provides the caregivers with effective child management strategies with a special emphasis on challenging cognitive distortions or thinking errors, reducing isolation, and enhancing parent-child relationships.
In addition to the girls’ and parents’ programs, the participants are offered adjunct services, including school advocacy, tutoring, individual and family counseling. For girls that have completed the SNAP Girl's group, there is also a manualized mother-daughter group called Girls Growing Up Healthy that focuses on enhancing relationship capacity, healthy relationships, and physical and sexual health.