HOT DOCS and DOCS for Success: General Information

Negative behaviors, such as whining, tantrums and noncompliance, are very common during the toddler, preschool and elementary school years. If not appropriately addressed, these behaviors are likely to compromise healthy social and emotional development and school readiness (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2002). Children with special needs and disabilities are at even greater risk for behavioral problems, which further impedes their development. Caregivers may not understand why their children act as they do, and become frustrated in their attempts to discipline, thus emphasizing the importance of parent training.

The HOT DOCS/DOCS for Success programs offer caregivers a problem-solving approach towards understanding children's needs and solving everyday behavior problems. The program emphasizes proactive behavioral principles and positive behavior supports. HOT DOCS is a 7 week course designed for parents, caregivers, and child service providers of children up to approximately 7 years old.  Participants gain and understanding of what may be triggering behavior problems, how to help children learn prosocial skills, and what solutions will work best with their child. Participants learn both specific strategies to implement and a problem-solving method that can be applied as new challenges arise. DOCS for Success is a 6 week course designed for parents, caregivers, and service providers of elementary school age children. Participants learn the problem-solving process and strategies similar to those in the HOT DOCS program, with an emphasis on elementary age students and working with their schools. Caregivers who have completed HOT DOCS/DOCS for Success training report increased confidence in their skills and improved behavior in their children as a result of this experience.

HOT DOCS/DOCS for Success classes are available in both English and Spanish and are offered several times a year at various sites in the community, including our USF site located in the Children's Medical Services (CMS) building, YMCA and Easter Seals. HOT DOCS/DOCS for Success has been recognized as an outstanding community resource and has received awards from Early Steps, Early Childhood Council, and the Hispanic Heritage Committee. HOT DOCS is recognized as an emerging best practice, with several studies published in peer reviewed journals.

Upcoming Classes:

  • HOT DOCS (in Spanish) at Shriner's Hospital on the USF Campus. Tuesday mornings, 10AM-12:30PM, 7 weeks starting Tuesday, June 17th.
  • HOT DOCS (in English) at USF in the CMS building. Tuesday evenings, 6PM - 8:30PM, 7 weeks starting Tuesday, August 19th.

For more information about these programs or to register, call Carrie Adams at cadams@health.usf.edu
or (813) 974-1048.