- Tier: Tier 2: Early Intervention and Cohort Specific
- Type of intervention: Therapeutic programs
- Strength of evidence: Level 3: Foundational and emerging evidence for program
- Geographic location: Only available in the Inner and Outer Gippsland areas.
The Adolescents Building Connections Program is facilitated for students aged 12 to 17 years who live in the Gippsland region. The program is designed for young people who are using or at risk of using violence, unsafe, and risk-taking behaviours. The program can be offered in single gender groups.
Students are encouraged to accept responsibility for their choices and behaviour while learning to emotionally regulate. Facilitators challenge their old ways of thinking and acting, and individual referrals are made when necessary.
Short-term (1–3 months)
- Develop awareness and skills in healthy and respectful relationships, empathy, active listening, nonviolent communication, mediation, and resilience
- Increase sense of belonging and connection
- Increase self-confidence and emotion regulation
- Increase knowledge on the impact of conflict on self and others
- Access to immediate interventions and support
- Available referral pathways as required
Medium-term (6–12 months)
- Decrease the use of disrespectful language and disruptive or disrespectful behaviours
- Improve confidence to use the knowledge gained via the program in everyday life and choices
- Increase engagements with education, community and service system
- Reduce the likelihood of family breakdown and potential entry into youth homelessness
- Enhance school engagement and participation resulting in increased respectful communication and a positive school culture
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- Target population: Students in Years 7–12 displaying antisocial or bullying behaviours.
- Staffing: Staff backfilling is not required unless they wish to participate or attend the program.
- Training requirements: Participants are expected to participate in 8 x 1-hour sessions consecutively to complete the program. The program requires a suitable space in the school including tables, chairs, and sufficient space to accommodate limited physical movement and activity. Access to data projector technology and a whiteboard is appreciated but not essential.
- Factors to consider: The program can be delivered to up to 6 schools during any one term. The program's approach is to provide two single-gendered programs at each partnership school supporting up to 12 young people in each program, with a minimum group size of 6. This would allow for a maximum of 12 groups to participate in any one term. Throughout each term, up to 144 young people can participate in the program across the delivery region. All sessions are led by two facilitators, ideally reflecting a gender balance.
- Australian context: This program has been developed and applied in Australia.
The cost per program including delivery to 2 distinct groups over 8 x 1-hour sessions is $6,490 inc. GST.
Travel time for two facilitators costs $158 per hour inc. GST. Delivery beyond 100 km from the City of Latrobe may incur an additional transport and accommodation cost.