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F-Words for Child Development

Niagara Children’s Centre staff have embraced a framework for thinking about child development called the “F-Words for Child Development”: Functioning, Family, Fitness, Fun, Friends, and Future! 

  1. Functioning: what people do – how things are done is not important
  2. Family: the essential “environment” of all children and youth
  3. Fitness: physical and mental wellbeing
  4. Fun: activities that people enjoy
  5. Friends: friendships established with others
  6. Future: looking ahead and planning for the next steps/next phases of life!
The framework makes it easy (and fun) for us to partner with families and their children as we focus on a child and families’ strengths and interests, rather than challenges and deficits. It keeps us all accountable in making sure that we are thinking about/trying to meet all of a child's and families’ needs, rather than getting stuck in one or two areas. We believe that working on strengthening each f-word results in the best possible outcomes for children and their families.

Upcoming Workshops 

Please check back soon or view our event calendar. We look forward to spending time together as we help you create a profile that captures the fun, function, family, fitness, friends and future to describe who our children truly are. 

F-Words Tools

There are wonderful tools that can be used by both professionals and families. You may work together with your therapist to use them, or you may wish to use some on your own or with other professionals, educators, or caregivers who work with your child. Here are some of our favourite, easy-to-fill, one-page f-word tools!

F-Words Profile

F-Words Profile: Add a photo for each f-word and write about how each f-word relates to you/your child today. You can use this sheet to help others really get to know you/your child! This is a great tool to prepare for a new childcare/school/teacher/ caregiver!

F-Words Goal Sheet

F-Words Goal Sheet: Write down one goal for each of the f-words and explain why this goal is important to you. These can be goals you would like to work on at home, in therapy, in school, and/or in the community! This is a great tool to keep all of your service providers on the same page- literally! 

F-Words Agreement

F-Words Agreement: Please write down what is most important to you for each of the f-words. What you write can be a pact between your family and your service providers to focus everyone on what matters most! 

F-Words Life Wheel

F-Words Life Wheel: Reflect on and indicate your level of satisfaction with each of the F- Words. This can help plan the next steps: doing more of what is going well and/or setting goals based on what you want to improve! Write in any notes to help with planning! 

About CanChild

Program Overview

The F-Words for Child Development was created by CanChild, based on over two decades of research. CanChild research efforts focus on children and youth with disabilities and their families.

Together with CanChild, families and service providers from around the world, we believe that the F-Words should be the focus of goal setting, service planning, and therapeutic interventions for the children we serve - they are all important to and equally impact health and functioning!

We invite you to learn more about the f-words by visiting the CanChild website.

F-words Foundations Course

We invite you to learn more about the f-words by visiting the CanChild website. When you are ready to dive in even further, check out the F-Words Foundations Course for both professionals and families! Here are the access instructions:

  • Visit:https://canchild-fwords.ca/
  • Click on “Login/Sign Up”
  • Click on “Create a New Account”
  • Enter your information. A confirmation email will be sent to you.
  • Click on the link in your email message. This will take you to the Enrollment page.
  • Click on “Enroll Now”
  • Enter this enrollment key – 1234

You should now be able to access the F-words Foundations Course!