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Reaching IN...Reaching OUT (RIRO)         Resiliency Skills Training Program

"This is training that every person, whether working with children or parents, needs in their lives. The adult skills are so important. Maybe the conflicts in the world will reduce if future generations get these skills taught very early in their lives." –HS (professional development co-ordinator)

RIRO Resiliency Skills Training Program provides service providers working in early learning, child care, community/mental health and other settings with the knowledge and skills they need to model and teach resilience approaches to young children, from birth to eight years of age. The 12-hour evidence-based program has several flexible delivery models designed to meet the individual needs of groups and organizations. (Click here for information about program effectiveness.)

As the diagram below shows, RIRO skills supports children's resilience by training adults how to role model thinking and coping strategies while simultaneously enhancing adult-child relationships.

How the resiliency skills training works

Designed to reach young children under the age of eight years, RIRO skills training works by laying a strong foundation of thinking and coping skills that support resilience in the adults who care for and work with them. RIRO teaches "3Rs of Resilience"– skills to help Relax, Reflect and Respond effectively to life's challenges.[1]RIRO Skills Training Program is based on The Resilience Factor (Karen Reivich and Andrew Shatté) and the Penn Resilience Program (an acclaimed resiliency promotion and depression prevention program for school–age children) and has been adapted for young children from birth to seven years of age.

The resiliency skills help adults and children develop several critical abilities associated with resilience:
  • being in charge of our emotions
  • controlling our impulses
  • analyzing the cause of problems
  • empathizing with others
  • believing in our competence
  • maintaining realistic optimism
  • reaching out to others and opportunities.

RIRO Resiliency Skills Training gives service providers skills and theory to support a relationship-based reflective practice and provides a framework for creating a "culture of resilience" in programs serving young children.

How the training is delivered

RIRO Skills Training Program is delivered by authorized RIRO Trainers through non-profit organizations in communities in Canada and elsewhere.

Consisting of 12 hours of content divided into two parts, the program can be successfully and flexibly delivered to meet organizational scheduling needs and preferences. (Click here for program summary.)

Part 1 helps adults build their own foundation of the critical resiliency abilities described above. Participants learn resiliency skills they can model with children and families. Specifically, they learn to:

  • identify and strengthen critical abilities associated with resilience
  • use strategies to stay calm and focused in stressful times
  • identify how their thoughts can affect their ability to cope with stress and challenges
  • challenge thinking habits that hinder resilience
  • generate alternative ways to handle conflict, problems and stress.

Part 2 helps participants learn to apply the skills with children. They learn to:
  • model the skills and foster resilience in the children around them
  • use their own resiliency skills to increase their understanding of children's behaviour
  • incorporate resiliency skills into their work setting by using child-friendly approaches such as children's literature, puppets, and play-based activities.

Based on RIRO's formal testing of training delivery models, the 12 hours of program content can be successfully delivered in 2 full days, 4 half-days, 6 after-work sessions, and 10-12 brief sessions (suitable for lunch breaks, children's sleep periods, etc.).

RIRO Resiliency Skills Training is available in French
Please help spread the word to your colleagues. For more information or to become a trainer for this program, click here.

How to access the 12-hour RIRO skills training

To attend RIRO Skills Training (hosted by RIRO in Toronto) that is open to any service provider working with young children and families,
click here for more information and registration.

To arrange an onsite RIRO resiliency skills training for your organization, please contact us at info@reachinginreachingout.com

How to access a RIRO Trainer "Intensive"

For more information about becoming a RIRO Trainer, click here.

To host a RIRO Trainer "Intensive" in your organization or community, contact us at info@reachinginreachingout.com

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"It makes you more aware of how you interact with children and how you can misread cues or situations.  It teaches you to be more empathic towards children and parents – to think twice before assuming and thinking you're right." RB (ECE-frontline, teen parents)

"These skills are LIFE SKILLS."
–PB (infant resource specialist)

"The resiliency skills have affected every aspect of my life, both in personal relationships and as a manager of a day care center. I've just become more effective in my relationships with other adults."
LD (ECE, manager)

"The RIRO materials and program are fantastic. The information can be used in so many ways, professionally and personally"
-RA (facilitator trainer-early learning)

"How we role model resilience with young children on a daily basis is an essential part of their learning - it is a far more important than we realize" -CJ (center resource worker)