** Due to the limitations that COVID-19 pandemic restrictions place on the number of participants in our CIRCLE OF FRIENDS room, this program has been temporarily suspended. **
Pending official advice, we hope to be able to resume this program in Term 2, 2021
CIRCLE OF FRIENDS is a nurturing small group program that gives children the skills, knowledge and confidence they need to make and keep friends.
Led by highly qualified and experienced child psychologists, CIRCLE OF FRIENDS will help your child learn to connect, compromise and manage conflict with other kids.
During 6 weekly sessions, our caring and friendly child psychologists will show your 8 – 12 year old how to problem solve their way through playground politics and find like-minded peers and playmates.
How CIRCLE OF FRIENDS helps
CIRCLE OF FRIENDS will take your primary school aged child on a step by step journey as they learn practical ways to cope with and overcome difficult social situations.
Fun and engaging weekly sessions will teach your child how to:
- Interpret and respond to other kids’ social cues
- Respect others children’s personal space
- Think positively
- Express emotions appropriately
- Deal with experiences like being excluded from groups, teasing and losing a friend
- Develop empathy for others
- Recognise and manage their own feelings
- Listen to and cooperate with others
- Negotiate and compromise
- Seek help in appropriate ways
- Become confident, resilient and adaptable.
Why are friendship skills important for your child?
Being able to make and keep friends is a critical part of your child’s emotional and social well-being.
Research confirms that social and emotional skills support all aspect of children’s lives, including their academic learning and opportunities for future relationship success.
Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) is taught in schools and is part of the Australian Curriculum, which states that:
‘Students with well-developed social and emotional skills find it easier to manage themselves, relate to others, develop resilience and a sense of self-worth, resolve conflict, engage in teamwork and feel positive about themselves and the world around them. The development of personal and social capability is a foundation for learning and for citizenship.’
CIRCLE OF FRIENDS has been developed by Kids First’s child psychologists and teachers. It supports the Australian Curriculum by teaching primary schooolers how to:
- Effectively regulate, manage and monitor their own emotional responses
- Persist with tasks and overcome obstacles
- Identify the resources they need to achieve their goals
- Persevere in the face of setbacks and frustrations.
When can my child come to CIRCLE OF FRIENDS?
CIRCLE OF FRIENDS is great way for your child to learn that he or she is not the only one who struggles with making and keeping friends.
This fun, safe and encouraging program runs for 6 weeks and is offered each term to groups of 8 and 9 year olds and 10 to 12 year olds at Kids First Children’s Services, which is located in Brookvale in Sydney’s northern beaches.
Is Circle of Friends suitable for children with disabilities such as autism?
Kid First offers Social Skills Groups, such as Social Stars, Social Detectives and Social SuperHeroes.
These programs, which are based on the internationally renowned Social Thinking® programs of Michelle Winner Garcia, more specifically cater to the social and learning needs of children with autism and other social language challenges.
Do health fund or Medicare rebates apply for CIRCLE OF FRIENDS?
Yes. CIRCLE OF FRIENDS is a health service and children who participate may be eligible for private health insurance or Medicare rebates.
Please check with your fund to find out if your policy covers psychology groups. Your family doctor is the most appropriate person to speak with regarding your child’s eligibility for a Medicare plan.
How will I know if CIRCLE OF FRIENDS is the right choice for my child?
Important information for parents, teachers and school counselors
Every child has different needs… and sometimes, a small group experience might not be the best clinical option for your child at this point in time.
That’s why, if you are a parent of a child who is interested in CIRCLE OF FRIENDS, we require you to attend a preliminary session with one of our child psychologists prior to the start of the program.
Why do parents need to meet the Child Psychologist first?
Giving you the chance to share your child’s social struggles in a private and confidential setting before we meet your child is very important.
As a parent or carer, you can give us the ‘big picture’ about how your child is coping at home and school.
You can tell us about your child’s personality, likes, dislikes and the social situations that they have struggled with in the past, or are dealing with now.
We want your child to have the best possible chance of success… and knowing as much as possible about your child’s challenges will help you, with the help of our Child Psychologist, to make informed decisions.
It will also help our child psychologist to tailor the group to meet the individual needs of each child who participates in it.
If you or the child psychologist decide that the CIRCLE OF FRIENDS small group program is not in your child’s best interest right now, that’s okay!
Our child psychologist will suggest alternate professional and personal options that will be the best fit for your family.
Find out more about CIRCLE OF FRIENDS
We welcome your inquiry and would be happy to arrange an appointment so that you can discuss your child’s social and emotional needs with one of Kids First’s experienced child psychologists.
You can call us on (02) 9938 5419 or provide your details in the comments box below and we will be in touch to have a chat with you as soon as possible.