Programme sur l’attachement en intervention relationnelle

Program snapshot

Age group: Early childhood (0-6)

Gender: Mixed (male and female)

Population served: Families; Individuals suffering from FASD; Persons with disabilities; Victims of crime

Topic: Crime issues involving a mental health disorder or other health disorder; Family (domestic) violence/child maltreatment

Setting: Urban area; Community-based setting; Social services setting

Location: Quebec

Number of completed Canadian outcome evaluation studies: 1

Continuum of intervention: Secondary crime prevention; Tertiary crime prevention

Brief Description

The Programme sur l’attachement en intervention relationnelle is an intervention program implemented by the Centre Jeunesse de Lanaudière (CJL) in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Safety in Quebec. The program aimed to improve the relational safety of children under the age of 5 in the Lanaudière region. The program also aimed to improve parental behaviours towards children in interaction contexts and increase parental competence.                   

The program is centered on counselling and social work; family therapy; parent training; skills training; and social emotional learning.


The main goals of the Programme sur l’attachement en intervention relationnelle are to:

  • Reduce the incidence of neglectful and abusive behaviour among the most at-risk parents; and
  • Reduce the impact that neglectful and abusive behaviour can have on child development.


The appropriate clientele for the Programme sur l’attachement en intervention relationnelle is children (and their parents) from birth to 5 years of age who have medical complications (i.e., prematurity, fetal alcohol syndrome), intellectual or behavioural problems, and problems associated with emotional regulation and attachment potentially due to family relationship problems.

To participate in the program, parents must be French speaking and currently seeking assistance from the Centre Jeunesse de Lanaudière (CJL) and the Centre Jeunesse Mauricie Centre-du-Québec (CJMCQ).

Children are referred to the program by the Centre Jeunesse de Lanaudière (CJL) and the Centre Jeunesse Mauricie Centre-du-Québec (CJMCQ).

Core Components

The Programme sur l’attachement en intervention relationnelle consists of:

  • Eight home visits take place which are geared toward improving the behaviour of parents through activities involving parent-child interactions. These activities are videotaped and used to provide feedback to parents once their participation in the program is complete. Recorded activities correspond to the following priority objectives: the sensitivity of the parent towards the child; the ability of the parent and the child to engage in mutually reciprocal interactions; and the perception of commitment and responsibility for the child. Program facilitators also address important topics including knowledge of child development; representations and attitudes of parents towards the child; and stress experienced in the context of parenting. Visits are weekly and are approximately 90 minutes in length.

Implementation Information

Some of the critical elements for the implementation of this program or initiative include the following:

  • Organizational requirements: It is important for the lead organization to tailor the home visits to meet the individual and unique needs of the families participating in the program.
  • Partnerships: Organizations should collaborate with the Centre Jeunesse de Lanaudière (CJL), the Centre Jeunesse Mauricie Centre-du-Québec (CJMCQ), child services, and other community-based organizations.
  • Training and technical assistance: Limited information on this topic.
  • Risk assessment tools: Limited information on this topic.
  • Materials & resources: Limited information on this topic.

International Endorsements

The most recognized classification systems of evidence-based crime prevention programs have classified this program or initiative as follows:

  • Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development: Not applicable.
  • Crime Solutions/OJJDP Model Program Guide: Not applicable.
  • SAMHSA's National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices: Not applicable.
  • Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy: Not applicable.

Gathering Canadian Knowledge

Canadian Implementation Sites

Public Safety Canada’s National Crime Prevention Strategy provided funding to implement the Programme sur l’attachement en intervention relationnelle between 2004 and 2006 by the Centres Jeunesse de Lanaudière (Quebec).

Main Findings from Canadian Outcome Evaluation Studies

As part of Public Safety Canada’s funding, an outcome evaluation studyFootnote1 of the Programme sur l’attachement en intervention relationnelle was conducted in 2004-2006 by Moss and colleagues. A quasi-experimental approach was taken using pre- and post-test measures. A total of 106 families agreed to participate; however, only 84 families completed both pre- and post-test measures. Of these 84 families, 43 of them were in the experimental group and 41 were in the comparison group.

Results from this evaluation showed the following:

  • The parental sensitivity of mothers in the experimental group increased from pre-test to post-test compared to mothers who were in the comparison group. This finding suggests that observations of parent-child interactions are useful for helping parents achieve this increased level of sensitivity. The effect of the intervention on parental sensitivity was even more pronounced for families in which children were neglected or abused. This suggests that the intervention is particularly useful in improving the sensitivity of parents involved in disruptive parent-child relationships. While parents showed improvements in parenting skills, the intervention had no effect on parents’ reported stress levels;
  • Children in the experimental group achieved better scores in relation to motor development after the intervention was complete compared to children in the comparison group; and
  • The intervention improved the level of secure attachment experienced by children in families characterized by higher levels of socio-demographic and psychosocial risk compared to children from low-risk families. This result suggests that the intervention, which focuses directly on the observation of parent-child interactions and increasing parental sensitivity, is particularly well suited to meet the needs of parents with a variety of different problems including economic, family, and psychosocial difficulties.

For more information, refer to Moss et al.’s (2006) publication.

Cost Information

In 2006, as part of Moss et al.’s outcome evaluation study, it was found that the average cost per family in the Programme sur l’attachement en intervention relationnelle was $4,261 CAD.


Moss, E., et al. (2006). Rapport final d’évaluation du programme sur l’attachement en intervention relationnelle destinée à l’enfant (0 à 5 ans) et à son parent. Final Evaluation Report. Submitted to the National Crime Prevention Centre, Public Safety Canada (Unpublished report).

For more information on this program, contact:

Centre jeunesse de Lanaudière
260 Lavaltrie Road South
Joliette, Quebec J6E 5X7
Telephone: 1 (800) 229-1152

Record Entry Date - 2018-03-08
Record Updated On - 2021-04-29
  1. 1

    A process evaluation study of the program was also conducted through Public Safety Canada’s funding. For more information, communicate with the Research Division, Public Safety Canada.

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