Kids with Confidence is a program for children and young people aged 7-18 living in families affected by mental illness.
The program provides a mixture of education and support. This is done through a range of family sessions, group programs, fun activities and resources including a quarterly newsletter. The program is divided into two components, for younger children and adolescents.
Education programs and school holiday activities are offered for children 7-12. The programs run for five weeks after school and focus on education about mental illness, mental health, feelings and coping strategies. Currently programs run in Bendigo and Castlemaine throughout the year.
A monthly activity program is offered for adolescents aged 12-18. This program utilises a peer support model and includes a mix of fun based activities and outings, and mental health education. The program is held in Bendigo and is offered after school hours.
Christmas parties are held each year for families involved with the program.
All children accessing the program receive a quarterly newsletter containing an update on what is happening in the program and information about mental health strategies.
Ongoing evaluation of the programs is conducted that adheres to the EQUIp principles, utilising questionnaires and verbal feedback from participants.
Children attending education activities complete a questionnaire at the end of each program. Parents are also encouraged to provide feedback both verbal and written in the form of questionnaires.
Has grown out of the CHAMPS camps model. The program has been running in different ways for 10 years, and community and worker response has been favourable. Practice is informed by recommendations made in:
Regular reviews of current literature ensure the program remains abreast of current research.
The program receives recurrent funding from the Department of Human Services, and additional support for the adolescent program is provided by Carer Support Services and St Lukes.