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Frederica Hendricks - Noble


The Friends for Life program is an evidence-based practice being used in schools to assist children to learn skills to manage anxiety. The Friends for Life program has been used by school districts in British Columbia, Canada, for over 10 years, yet there is little research on how the program is being implemented in schools by teachers. This qualitative case study investigated the implementation practice of the Friends for Life program by teachers in Grades 4 and 5. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 8 teachers from a smaller school district in British Columbia, Canada. The results yielded themes, which described critical factors that helped or hindered teachers in implementing the program with fidelity. A key finding of the study demonstrated teachers were running the program weekly, as per program guidelines. A key factor that was identified as helping teachers to implement the program with fidelity was support of school counselors, district staff, and the building administrator. The implications for social change include providing school administrators with information, which can help them to support teachers to implement the Friends for Life program with fidelity. As a result of these findings the Friends for Life program may consider updating the training materials and program implementation protocols in order to ensure teachers are implementing the program with fidelity and therefore, children are learning the skills they need to manage their anxieties and worries.

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