Helping children and young people deal with issues arising from their parent’s separation.
iKiDs (I Know I Do) is about helping children to understand, to express themselves and to participate in the decisions that impact on them. Parental separation can be hard for children and young people, as well as for the adults involved. It requires a major adjustment in children’s lives, not only are they often living in two households but they have their own sense of grief and loss to cope with. Where children are exposed to ongoing parental conflict it is even harder for them and can lead to anxiety and other mental health problems. Our iKiDs service provides an independent counsellor who is skilled in supporting children and young people, after their parents separate.
What we do
We work with children and young people up to the age of 18 years in three distinct ways: one-to-one counselling, education and group work.
We provide counselling for children/youth from the age of five whose parents have been separated for no more than three years. We provide a safe, friendly and confidential way for children to talk about what they are feeling or thinking.
How does it work?
Parents can call one of our offices to refer their child. From the age of 16 years children are able to self-refer. Our staff will talk with you about the service and if appropriate, book you in for a parent intake and assessment appointment. If you are not eligible for the service they will give you information on alternative services, or they may ask a worker to call you to discuss alternative services.
You will be advised on what documents to bring to the intake appointment. In most cases, we also ask the other parent to have an intake appointment with us. Once the intake process has been completed, the child is able to begin counselling. Because it is important for children to have control over the information shared with their parents, confidentiality is assured when requested, except in cases requiring duty of care, for example, if we had any concerns about safety
Child consultation is a process specifically designed for families, where parents’ concerns about their children’s reactions to separation can be addressed. Child consultation can form part of the mediation process for separated parents. It can also be useful in counselling to include children’s views independently and meaningfully in a range of family situations.
The pathway into this service is that parents are seen in counselling or in mediation where their concerns about the children are shared and the potential for child consultation is discussed. Both parents must give their consent for the child consult to go ahead. The child is then seen by one of our child consultants and their perspectives on the changes within the family are sought.
Following this consultation, the child consultant will attend a session with the parents and the original counsellor or mediator. In this session, the child consultant will discuss the child’s experiences of separation. It is essential that children have control over the information shared and confidentiality is assured when requested, except in cases requiring duty of care.
After feedback is provided to the parents, the mediator or counsellor will facilitate a discussion with the parents. This discussion incorporates information to guide parenting strategies or plans.
Please contact your closest Relationships Australia SA site to find out about the availability of child consultations.
Education – Schools
iKiDs practitioners are also able to deliver educational workshops to schools. Please contact your closest Relationships Australia SA site to find out about the workshops we offer.
The Northern iKiDs service offers a psycho-educational puppet show for primary schools in Northern Adelaide. The show is called ‘You’ve Got a Friend in Me’ and covers themes such as coping with parental separation and other losses/changes, dealing with feelings, friendship skills and disrespectful vs respectful behaviours. Schools are also given follow-up resources to re-visit the themes in the classroom.
‘You’ve got a friend in me’ includes music, dancing and Aboriginal themes, whilst exploring some very serious and real concerns that children may face. The show is relevant for all children, regardless of parental separation. Schools have reported that the intended messages are clear, and yet the show is entertaining. Please contact our Salisbury office if interested in booking a show on 8250 6600.
We facilitate therapeutic groups for children of different ages and cultural groups to build and reshape relationships of trust and self-esteem. We have five goals:
- To create common ground and safety among peers
- To explore the language and complexity of feelings
- To define and differentiate self and others
- To define and revise roles and relationships
- To explore and establish or restore compassion and optimism.
iKiDs is designed to complement other services and programs. An important part of this service is to create referral pathways and in more complex cases integrate with other Relationships Australia SA services or external agencies.
This service is subsidised by the Commonwealth Government, Department of Social Services. For some services there is no cost. Where a fee applies it is determined according to household income and includes concession rates. Fees can be negotiated or waived.
iKiDs (Supporting Children After Separation) is provided by Relationships Australia SA and is funded by the Australian Government under the Family Support Program.