Secret Agent Society – delivered by Early Start Australia

Delivered by Early Start Australia, Secret Agent Society (SAS) uses games to develop social skills and emotional regulation with children aged 8 to 12.

  • Tier:
    • Tier 1: Positive Mental Health Promotion
    • Tier 2: Early Intervention and Cohort Specific Support
  • Type of intervention: Support for diverse cohorts
  • Strength of evidence: Level 4: Established evidence for program (supported by quality research evidence)
  • Geographic location: Statewide

Program description

Secret Agent Society (SAS) is a small group spy-themed program delivered by trained facilitators. The program uses games to develop social skills and emotional regulation with children aged 8-12.

The program can be used with small groups of children presenting with a range of disorders including:

  • high-functioning autism
  • anxiety disorders
  • ADHD
  • anger management difficulties.

Skills targeted include:

  • recognising emotions in themselves and others
  • expressing feelings in appropriate ways
  • coping with feelings of anger and anxiety
  • communicating and playing with others
  • coping with mistakes, transitions and challenges
  • building and maintaining friendships
  • solving social problems
  • preventing and managing bullying and teasing.

Intended outcomes

  • Develop parent and teacher awareness of emotions, emotional regulation, problem solving
  • Children will learn to recognise emotions in themselves and others
  • Children will have increased ability to cope with feelings of anger and anxiety
  • Children will have increased ability to communicate and play with others and build and maintain friendships
  • Children will cope better with mistakes and transitions and prevent and manage bullying and teasing
  • Children will acknowledge their personal strengths

Program details

Target audience
  • Primary school students - upper
  • Capacity building for primary school staff
Program providerEarly Start Australia
Delivery mode
  • Face-to-face
  • Online
  • Combination of face-to-face and online

*In regional areas all sessions can be delivered online, a combination of online and face-to-face can be used in instances where travel is limited for the facilitator.

Implementation considerations

  • Target population: Children aged 8-12, their parents and their teachers.
  • Program adaptability: The program can be adapted to meet individual and cultural needs by using the expertise of trained facilitators.
  • Staffing: A teacher will need to be present during delivery of the program.
  • Training requirements: Teachers will be required to complete a two-hour training workshop. The SAS small group program includes nine 90-minute sessions delivered weekly (or eighteen 45-minute sessions), regular home missions (home practice), four 2 hour parent information sessions and a two hour teacher training workshop.
  • Factors to consider: There is a minimum of 6 participants per small group program. Schools will be required to have IT facilities to support virtual presentations. Each child will require access to a computer either at home / school to access the digital platform.
  • Australian context: The program was developed and evaluated through the Clinical Psychology program at the University of Queensland.


  • Item cost: $5000+
  • Detailed cost: For the small group program of 6 participants, the program costs $20,780 (inc. GST)