Our Together4Kids (T4K) service provides therapeutic support aimed at helping children process the uncertainty and distress of homelessness. Children who are or have been homeless will often be feeling insecure, or even traumatised. T4K works to support children’s mental health and development to help them manage difficult transitions and make sense of their experiences.
We asked T4K’s Children’s Therapeutic Workers what informs their work in supporting children through difficult times. Here are their ‘go-to’ resources:
- The Garden Therapeutic Group is for infants 0 – 4 years accompanied by a parent. This program promotes shared positive experiences between child and parent. The program uses sensory-based activities to support attachment and attunement such as music, relaxation, cooking and puppetry.
- Caterpillars to Butterflies Therapeutic Group is for girls 5 – 9 years who have experienced homelessness and domestic violence. The program aims to validate experiences, increase emotional literacy and regulation and improve pro-social behaviour within a group environment. The butterfly analogy assists children to identify their strengths in the face of change and uncertainty.
- The Pirates Therapeutic Group is for boys 5 – 9 years who have experienced transience and family violence. This program uses the analogy of sailing through rough seas to help children identify their strengths in dealing with the unknown. Boys are encouraged to work together in a group setting, develop leadership skills and be brave in the face of change and uncertainty.
- Animal Assisted Therapy: T4K worker Mel and her certified Therapy Dog, Chloe, work with children one-on-one and in groups. Chloe has had an incredible impact on the children she connects with, facilitating engagement; establishing comfort and safety; and helping them to learn, heal and work towards their therapeutic goals.
- T4K Professional Development Program: As the child focused specialist service for the homelessness and domestic violence sector, T4K offers a number of professional development short courses, free for NAHA funded services. Courses coming up include:
- Narrative Approaches to Working with Children
- Train the Facilitator: Therapeutic Group Programs for Children
- Trauma Informed Practice for Frontline Workers
- The Garden Therapeutic Group: Train the Facilitator
- Child Safe Environments
- Reflective Conversations for Frontline Workers
- A Child Focused Approach to Supervision of Practice