CORE© (Minami, 2017) is a model of helping skills training developed by Dr. Masahiro Minami (Simon Fraser University). CORE is specifically designed to meet the training needs of group home staff supporting individuals under care. CORE consists of three progressive domains: Knowledge, Skills, and Conduct. CORE Knowledge© delivers necessary information through self-directed reading of knowledge material. CORE Knowledge material covers 16 themes of knowledge (e.g., impact of loss and grief, trauma, FASD) including themes required by the Employment and Community Services Standards Manual by CARF International. Only those staff who pass the examination progress onto CORE Skills© training. CORE Skills consists of four full-day (8 hours) intensive modules (32 hours in total) designed to train staff in practical skills necessary to assist youths with challenging behaviors. CORE Skills training exclusively employs dynamic role-plays and simulated experiential exercises to ensure staff skills absorption. CORE Skills consists of CORE MICROSKILLS©and CORE RISK© assessment protocol. MICROSKILLS Level 1©, for example, offers 22 sets of skills. MICROSKILLS Level 2© offers advanced helping strategies/skills informed by a wide range of empirically supported psychotherapeutic treatment approaches, such as cognitive-behavioural therapy, behavioural activation, mindfulness-based stress reduction, and Morita therapy. CORE Trainers© evaluate staff performance, and extensive feedback is provided. CORE Skills is evaluated on a pass/fail basis and the unsuccessful staff are required to repeat the training. Staff who successfully complete the CORE Skills training, move on to the final CORE Conduct© training. CORE Conduct introduces staff to pertinent codes of conduct developed by the agency in a simulated discussion format. Possible scenarios ‘raising red flags’ to disturb conducive and optimal working climate and collegiality are introduced and staff are asked to demonstrate their ethical approach to handle/manage such scenarios through simulated role-plays. Only staff who successfully complete all three COREdomains will be placed in the specialized group homes. COREalso features ongoing clinical supervisions by the Milieu clinical team, onsite skills modeling through COREMentors©, and collaborative team case meeting to ensure continuous quality assurance.

If your agency/organization/institute are interested in adopting/implementing CORE© helping skills training program, email Dr. Minami ( for more information.

Project partners:

Milieu Children and Family Services

Kumamoto University