Group work

Kites believe that every interaction between a young person and staff member has potential for personal discovery and learning new ways of interacting and negotiating in a healthy manner.

Kites believe that often a young person’s difficulties arise out of, and are expressed within their interactions and relationships with others. A primary goal of our treatment programme is the development of a young person’s social abilities.

Our milieu approach highlights the importance of social relationships on the ability of individual’s to make improvements, and supports them in putting into practice the new skills and perspectives they have learnt in individual treatment and within the residential setting.

The milieu approach recognises the importance of identifying and empowering the individual’s own internal resources, enabling them to expand upon the strengths they already have to facilitate future safe and fulfilling emotional and behavioural functioning.

The milieu approach allows staff to closely observe and develop an understanding into how the young people inter-relate, how their relationships may deteriorate becoming problematic, and how specific situations trigger dysfunctional responses. The alternative interactions, role modelling and reflection of staff offer new opportunities to learn how to interact with others safely and effectively.

Within Kites the entire staff membership is part of the milieu team, working closely together to generate an understanding of the young person, as well as developing a comprehensive approach to working with each young person, whilst providing containment as a whole organisation.

The Kites Group Program has been developed in recognition of the potential that group work has to offer when working with both adolescents who have displayed harmful sexual behaviour and with adolescents in general. It is a psycho-educational, therapeutic group program, acknowledging the holistic needs of each young person, which fits within the integrative treatment concept adopted by Kites.

It is designed to complement individualised treatment plans through three distinct, but concordant ‘courses’. Each runs for eight weeks, building upon the skills and knowledge developed along the way, and facilitated within a structured, nurturing, and therapeutic peer group context.

The overall aims of the group programs are linked to and reflect many of the key treatment objectives, which are also echoed within each young person’s personal therapy, and their residential environment.

The program themes are:

  1. Beliefs, exploring personal values, aspirations, and emotional literacy;
  2. Social skills, exploring different relationship types, communication and interpersonal skills;
  3. Managing change/Transitions, exploring issues of self-care and navigating life’s challenges.

Environmental Therapy in Kites incorporates the Kites Challenge Programme, a series of physical activity challenges aimed to provide unique life experiences to the young person which result in improved social skills, team work ability, empathy, negotiating skills and self-confidence and self-esteem.

Activities include night hikes, bike rides, camping and orienteering, and are planned to provide a level of challenge and stress that develops the young person’s coping strategies and planning skills. Often the young people experience an improved sense of identity and efficacy through overcoming the challenges they are faced with.

Additionally young people are supported to congruently accept their abilities whilst recognising areas of weakness.