Seasons for Growth – Children & Young People’s Program
Seasons for Growth® is a small group loss and grief education program. The Young People’s Program aims to strengthen the social and emotional wellbeing of children and young people (aged 6 -18) who are dealing with significant loss or change including the death of a loved one, parental divorce or separation, the experience and aftermath of natural disaster and moving house or school as well as many other life changes and losses.
Small groups of 4-7 children work with a trained adult Companion (facilitator) who supports the children to have a say and learn new ways to think about and respond to the changes and losses in their lives. Children learn that they are not alone in dealing with the effects of change, loss and grief, and build their understanding and communication, decision making and problem solving skills as part of a supportive peer group.
The Seasons for Growth® Young People’s Program is a structured eight week program filled with peer-to-peer learning opportunities - time to talk and listen as well as take part in activities including drawing, music, art, journaling, roleplays and stories. A celebration session and two follow up ‘reconnector’ sessions complete the program, and each session explores an age appropriate concept, for example “I am Special” and “Feelings”. The story of the seasons is used to explain the cycles of life, including change and loss, and provides a valuable metaphor for children to explore and understand their own story.
The Seasons for Growth® Young People's Program has five levels;
- Level 1: 6-8 year olds
- Level 2: 9-10 year olds
- Level 3: 11-12 year olds
- Level 4: 13-15 year olds
- Level 5: 16-18 year olds
“I feel stronger and I can achieve anything I want to do. I will be the same person when I get home but I will be... refreshed and trying to be always positive.” 15 yr old girl
“Bad things won’t last forever” 8 year old boy
“I can make choices and decisions” 11 year old girl
“(I learned) how to cope with feelings and not to bottle my anger up” 10 year old boy
Seasons for Growth® was developed in 1996 by Anne Graham in collaboration with education, health and welfare professionals. It is recognised within the national mental health initiatives for children and young people - KidsMatter and MindMatters. Adults who facilitate the Seasons for Growth® program have been endorsed by an agency, undertaken training and are accredited as Companions.