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Parenting C.A.R.E. for COVID-19: Supporting parents of special needs children

The recent evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic has led to unique changes in the home environment: for example, difficulty balancing work, child care, and self-care while managing your own and your child’s worries. While these changes have the potential to increase stress in the familial environment, especially among parents and

families with special needs children, they also provide the unique opportunity to develop stronger family climate and relationships. Adaptations to the Parenting C.A.R.E. Program have been made that focus on supporting parents during these challenging times. The present version, Parenting C.A.R.E.: Parenting in the time of COVID-19, will specifically focus on supporting parenting skills in the context of the unique stressors associated with the COVID-19 pandemic:

  1. Engaging in self-care and boundary-setting as a parent during/following COVID-19;

  2. Modelling healthy life choices and work habits in the family environment;

  3. Managing your own and your child’s difficult emotions;

  4. Maintaining effective communication with support networks, both within and outside the household;

  5. Supporting children, adolescents, and young adults while physically distancing, and,

  6. Talking to children, adolescents, and young adults about COVID-19.

It is anticipated that participation that Parenting C.A.R.E. Parenting in the time of COVID-19 will support the development of parent emotion regulation, parent emotion socialization, child emotion regulation, and child psychological and behavioural functioning in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. In developing a partnership with the SCERT, we would be able to determine if there are any specific adaptations that would be required when working with families of special needs children. Given that we are the creators of the parenting program and are based within an institutional setting such at McGill University's Faculty of Education, which would enables us to adapt the program content efficiently as well as guided by an evidence-based approach.

Primary Investigator: Tina Montreuil, PhD

Institution & Department: McGill University, Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology

Co-Investigator: Armando Bertone, PhD

Years collaborated with SCERT on project: 2021 - present


The parenting program has begun with some Summit School parents in February of 2022. Results to come!


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