How does Seasons for Growth work?
Seasons for Growth is a small group education program that supports children and young people to develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes to understand and respond well to experiences of change, loss and grief.
Seasons for Growth supports children and young people who have experienced change and loss, including, although not limited to friendship changes; family separation; loss or death of someone they care about; loss of a pet; relocation and forced migration; living away in out of home care; physical or mental illness; or impacts of war, terrorism or pandemics. We suggest that children and young people impacted by bereavement wait 6-12 months before participating in a Seasons for Growth program.
What are the learning outcomes for children and young people?
Seasons for Growth supports connection with others going through similar circumstances, fostering emotional literacy and resilience as a pathway to improved social and emotional wellbeing. Specifically, the program provides a safe learning environment for children and young people to:
- Acknowledge their experiences and recognise they are ‘not the only one’
- Understand that their feelings and other behavioural reactions are normal
- Develop skills for coping, positive choices, goal-setting and decision making
- Build a peer support network and a felt sense of belonging and connection
- Help restore self-confidence, self-esteem and self-respect
How is the Seasons for Growth program delivered?
Trained facilitators known as "Companions" deliver the program for small groups of 4-7 children and young people aged 6 -18 years. The like-to-like peer learning process creates a safe space for children and young people to practice new ways of thinking and responding to the change and loss that has occurred in their lives.
Stormbirds has four age-appropriate levels:
- Level 1 (ages 6-8 years)
- Level 2 (ages 9-10 years)
- Level 3 (ages 11-12 years)
- Level 4 (ages 13-18 years)
The program includes eight formal sessions (40-50 minutes per session); one celebration session; and one optional reconnector session where participants can meet again to review their learning and discuss any issues that may have arisen since they completed the program. Each participant is provided with an activity journal to explore and complete throughout their Seasons for Growth journey.
The small group program is not designed to be used in one-on-one counselling, or as a whole class program.
What do I need to deliver the Seasons for Growth program?
Companions trained in the program are often professionals such as teachers, social workers, counsellors, psychologists, mental health workers, chaplains or those working in pastoral care.
Companions attend ten-hours of training which involves engaging with the evidence and theoretical foundations underpinning the program; and exploring the program content via an ‘inside out’ approach that immerses Companions in the key learning outcomes and activities. Trained Companions are supported with a comprehensive set of materials including manuals and participant journals and access to an online portal offering additional resources, networking opportunities and support.