Foundation Wings of Hope concluded the ten-month pilot project ‘The Cognitive – Behavioural Treatment Program for violent behaviour in school children’. Its’ main objective was identification and treatment of violent behaviour in schools. For the pilot project three primary schools (PS) in Sarajevo Canton were chosen. These were PS Fatima Gunić, PS Džemaludin Čaušević and PS Čengić Vila I.
One of the two main parts of the project were workshops for pedagogues, psychologists and social workers. Teachers and management were also included. The objective was that school staff learns to adequately respond to violent behaviour. Twelve members of psycho-pedagogical support teams in schools were introduced to several approaches and techniques and how to appropriately apply them. On trainings for teachers 107 of them were present. Topics of the workshops were ‘Teacher’s stress’, ‘Assertiveness’, ‘Mental health’, ‘Peer violence in the school’ and ‘Student’s motivation’. In the end of the project school staff reported that trainings increased their knowledge and they felt more confident to apply learned techniques.
Cognitive – behavioural treatment
Psychotherapists of the Foundation Wings of Hope in cooperation with professional teams in schools provided cognitive – behavioural treatment for children and their parents to reduce children’s violent behaviour and offer support to those that were victims of violence.
Individual treatment plans were prepared for 23 children and their parents to modify cognitive behavioural therapy to issues of children. Most commonly they received help with changing their violent behaviour, controlling difficult emotions, solving problems, organizing their time, studying and gaining social skills. Parents were supported in setting clear rules and expectations, using appropriate disciplinary practices, managing stress and encouraging their children.
Both children and parents recognized children’s positive behavioural changes. In some cases problems even disappeared. Children reported also about more positive feelings and gaining useful skills. Parents and school staff also developed more cooperative realtions and parents became more willing to consult with the psychotherapist in case problems reemerge.
Project was supported by In Foundation that deals with improvement of social inclusion of children and youth in Bosnia and Herzegovina.