Parent Coaching

Cindy Knott, RSW is a dynamic parent coach with experience in adoption social work, adoptive and foster parent education, crisis management and child welfare. She has been supporting adoptive and foster parents for over 25 years and understands the unique joys and challenges of parenting children with adverse life experiences. Cindy works with parents from a trauma and attachment informed perspective while understanding the realities that neurodiversity and dysregulated nervous systems bring to the family system.

Parent coaching helps families to identify what is putting pressure or stress on the family system and what needs to change for the family to function optimally. We believe that it is best practise to start with the least intrusive interventions for children and parent consultation offers an opportunity for the child’s experience in the family to change without the child attending sessions directly. Parent coaching may address a current crisis and work towards increasing regulation and connection within the family.

Parent coaching starts with a brief assessment of family functioning and the specific needs of each child. Any of the following may be part of a parent coaching session depending on the individual family needs:

  • Assessment of child, parent, and family functioning and recommendations.
  • Recording a baseline of current stresses and behaviours to monitor change over time.
  • Identifying your goals and child specific parenting plans that you wish to implement.
  • Learning practical strategies for responding to complex behaviours and situations.
  • Preparing you and your children for trauma counselling or parent child counselling sessions.
  • Processing your own feelings about your child’s past and current experiences and behaviors.
  • Support in responding to crisis situations to increase regulation for all family members.
  • Support in navigating systems that are not trauma informed (school, hospital, childcare setting)
  • Support in navigating extended family conflict or misunderstanding regarding your child’s needs.
  • Assistance with developing your child’s life story or explanations for complex situations.

Parent Coaching Q&A

How can parent coaching help you and your child prepare for counselling?

Parent consultation helps families start counselling with a better understanding of the parent role in helping a child heal from adverse life experiences. It sets a foundation of parent responding that is trauma informed and attachment based so that the child can rest in the relationship and focus on processing historical trauma and mental health concerns. This allows children, youth, and their parents to see faster and more impactful outcomes of counselling.

Will I have to start all over again if our family begins to work with a clinical counsellor in the future?

No! Your parent consultant and clinical therapist are part of a team. With your permission the parent consultant will share her assessment, the goals you have been working on, the progress you have made, and outstanding concerns that she recommends therapy address.

What if my child wants to meet the parent consultant?

While this is not typically the role of a parent coach, there may be concepts relevant to how a child or youth thinks, feels, or behaves that warrant a good explanation. The parent consultant can model for parents how to talk to their children about these important ideas with a trauma informed, attachment-based foundation and age-appropriate language.

Are parent consultations offered virtually?

YES! These consultations are provided in the comfort of your own home with flexible scheduling.


  • "We first started working with Cindy when we were struggling with some challenging behaviours around the time of our notice of placement for our 3 adopted children with complex needs. At the time, Cindy helped us come to terms with the behaviour we were experiencing as new parents, helped us to understand the root causes of those behaviours, and ultimately, Cindy helped us figure out how to parent our children who have complex trauma, neurodiversity, attachment trauma, and developmental delays. 

    Cindy has been with us through the lowest points of our adoption and the highest points - and with Cindy's ongoing support, our family grows stronger every day. We would recommend working with Cindy to anyone going through the adoption process or who is experiencing challenges parenting a child with trauma, neurodiversity, disrupted attachement, or other adverse life experiences."
  • "We have really valued and appreciated your advice over the past 17 months. You have opened our eyes to a better understanding of what our child is going through, which has been invaluable."
  • "Cindy did a fantastic job! She was excellent at leading discussions, answering questiona and providing resources when further questions came up."

Book an Appointment with Cindy Knott, RSW, MPA

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Mon-Sat 9am - 4pm
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