BARK is an animal assisted therapeutic group program for children affected by family violence. The group is held will be held at the Patricia Giles Centre in Joondalup in 2015. It is a six week program, for primary school aged children, held after school and includes afternoon tea. Each session runs from 3.30-5.00pm. The children will spend time with small animals that are used to being handled (guinea pigs, rabbits and cats). Very few children have a strong negative reaction to small animals unlike dogs which can cause anxiety. The group program is facilitated by a Children’s counselor and a Child Advocate. The program promotes empathy, healing and trust in primary aged children who have witnessed and/or experienced family violence. The children will be taught how to safely handle and care for the animal by using the animal as the focus of conversation about physical and emotional safety; children can identify when the animal is relaxed and when it’s nervous. Noticing and interpreting the feelings of another and changing their behaviour helps children demonstrate empathy.
Established in Western Australia in 1941, The Federation of Western Australian Police and Community Youth Centres (PCYC) is a not-for-profit organisation that creates opportunities for young people in the community through the delivery of recreational and educational activities and programs. We operate in excess of 50 PCYC Centres and Blue Light Units throughout metropolitan and regional Western Australia, as well as two camp facilities.
PCYC is different to other organisations delivering youth services because of our relationship with the Western Australia Police. Police Officers work closely with our organisation, referring young offenders to life-changing programs run by PCYC, which plays an important role in early intervention and youth crime prevention. Through the provision of life skills, intensive mentoring, diversionary programs and training we focus on ‘breaking the cycle’, to prepare those identified young people for gainful employment or re-entry into traditional education.
The Department for Communities has a strong commitment to providing quality services that meet the needs of Aboriginal children and families, through our early years program, Best Start.
Best Start is family-friendly and flexible, and a program can include:
playgroups and fun activities for young children and their carers
nutrition and health education programs
early language and numeracy skills
integration into kindy and pre-primary programs.
Programs for Children & Young People
These are just a few of the great programs on offer to children and young people in WA. If you have any more information on these programs, including testimonies, or can suggest other programs you might use, please contact Keeping Kids Safe.
Best Beginnings is a home visiting service run through the DCPFS for families of new infants. It involves regular visits to your home by caring, trained professionals who provide support, advice, information, connections and practical help. The program is structured according to your needs. The aim is to improve child health and wellbeing, parent and family functioning and social support networks. Support can come from a range of professionals including nurses, teachers, social workers, and psychologists. You need to be referred to the program before birth or before your baby is 3 months old. You can continue in the program until your child is two years old.
CAFTS is a child sexual abuse service that provides counselling from a centre in Inglewood, where there are four dedicated counselling rooms including a therapeutic play room. CAFTS works in partnership with the Australian Childhood Foundation to offer therapeutic interventions to children and families who have been impacted by sexual abuse. The service aims to reduce the harmful effects of child sexual abuse by offering a number of programs. These focus on repairing the impact of trauma, reintegrating the sense of self, strengthening attachment relationships, improving family functioning and educating community systems. There are 3 programs:
Vinnies Youth run a variety of programs that target the needs of disadvantaged young people aged 8 to 15 years. The programs provide young people with the opportunity to experience educational and recreational activities in a safe environment, a chance to learn basic life skills like teamwork, and the opportunity to feel proud of themselves, all while having a heap of fun. Programs and activities include:
Edmund Rice Camps for Kids WA Inc is a non-profit community based organisation that serves the needs of children aged 7–16 and their families and supports the personal development of young adult volunteers who serve as friends and mentors to the children in our care. We provide camps and other recreational and developmental activities for children who would not otherwise have such opportunities, supporting children who are ‘at risk’ or experiencing some form of disadvantage.
As a non-competitive form of exercise, yoga gives children the physical benefits of traditional school sports in a safe and supportive environment while also teaching them valuable skills for relaxation and concentration. In this way, yoga educates the whole child. Yoga can increase your child's flexibility, balance, strength and coordination, aiding healthy childhood development. It has also been shown to help children with disturbed sleeping patterns, bad posture, lethargy, obesity, asthma, and poor concentration.
The kids yoga courses taught by The Yoga Space are designed by Samantha Briatico who is an experienced and friendly yoga teacher. Samantha has a 'Working With Children Check' and also teachs in primary and high-schools.
Classes run for approximately 45 minutes. Parents are asked to drop their children off and either wait outside (where you can see the class from a distance) or you might like to grab a coffee from a nearby cafe. If you would like to join the class you are welcome, try be an active participant to model enjoyment of the class to your child.
This Practitioners section is for you to share resources and programs that you find effective when working with traumatised youth. If you know of any other great programs for kids, please contact us and let us know!
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