The eConnect Online program is an adaptation that builds on the strong evidence of the broadly implemented in-person Connect program. We have adapted the program to be delivered online using a secure videoconferencing platform. This supports caregivers from different locations to come together online for highly interactive and engaging sessions with group facilitators and other caregivers, in real-time to learn about attachment and to practice how to apply this understanding to challenges they experience in their own families every day. The development of this program began with the goal of bringing our evidence-based program to families with at-risk teens in rural communities and small towns in BC who do not have sustainable access to the program in-person. However, with the spread of COVID-19 limiting face-to-face contact, we have been working hard to expedite the development of eConnect Online to address the urgent need for accessible mental health interventions for vulnerable youth and families. We are also working on revising the content of Connect to target specific COVID-19 stressors, while still retaining the core attachment- and trauma-focused principles underlying Connect’s success across cultures and populations over the past two decades. Our goal is to mitigate the short-term and long-term negative consequences of COVID-19 for vulnerable teens and families during this stressful time.
Our international network has been growing rapidly, with new sites in Mexico and South Africa implementing Connect, along with our existing international implementation sites in Sweden, Italy, and Australia.