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Obtaining Funding to run RFTS

Several centres have been very successful in obtaining funding to run RFTS. You too can help increase your community’s ability to run RFTS. See below for some persuasive ideas and support that can be used when advocating for funding for your RFTS program.

Arguments to Use in Applications to Obtain Funds to Run RFTS in Your Community

  • The early years are important for child development, brain development, adult capacities (e.g., Fraser Mustard, etc.)
  • Secure parent-child attachment in the early years is an important protective factor, and insecure attachment is associated with poorer outcomes in terms of social, emotional, and cognitive development, and physical and mental health (e.g., Cicchetti, etc.). Many children are at risk for insecure attachment due to child, parent, and/or family risk factors.
  • Individual attachment interventions are effective (e.g., Bakermans-Kranenburg et al., 2003) but costly. Brief behavioural interventions are better than longer therapeutic interventions.
  • RFTS is innovative, as it is an 8-session group-based attachment course for parents of infants under 2 years. High and low functioning parents attend these large community-based groups, making it prevention and intervention at the same time.
  • Costs include those associated with advertising, space, leaders, childcare, materials, etc., but are significantly less than individual home visiting (Niccols, 2003, 2008).
  • There are several lines of evidence for RFTS:

    1. The content is based on 30 years of attachment research.
    2. The format is based on 25 years of research on parent training and adult learning (e.g., Cunningham et al., 1995).
    3. The pilot study showed positive results (Niccols & Mohamed, 2000, Journal of Early Intervention).
    4. Results of the randomized clinical trial funded by the Ontario Mental Health Foundation show positive effects on infant attachment (Niccols, 2008).
    5. RFTS won an award from the Ontario Association for Infant Development, in recognition of significant contributions to the field of infant development.
    6. Right from the Start has been presented at international conferences in the Netherlands, the United States, and across Canada.
    7. Facilitator training sessions are being conducted across Canada, the United States, and Sweden.